Green tyres, fuel savings, CO2 emission - Green tyres: up to 3% fuel savings

Green tyres: up to 3% fuel savings

Environment Published the 18/05/2011

A "green" tyre can save up to 3% fuel and 4g of C02/km compared to a "black" tyre. Not negligible in terms of savings and environmental impact.

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Take the test: throw a steel marble and a rubber marble onto a smooth surface. After a moment, the two marbles will slow down and finally stop. The steel one will go the further. The reason is due to the difference in rolling resistance between the two materials.

Going further with the same energy is precisely the challenge of the today’s cars and even more so those of tomorrow. Knowing that the tyre is responsible for approximately 20% of fuel consumption, obviously it is not possible to meet this challenge without changing tyre’s characteristics. And especially the famous rolling resistance.

What is rolling resistance? 

How to define this notion more scientifically? Rolling resistance, as physics books say, is a result of the "energy loss generated by the deformation of the tyre under the effect of the load." The loss of energy results in heating of the tyre rubber. In other words, the higher the rolling resistance, the more energy car’s engine must provide to move the vehicle, resulting higher fuel consumption and higher CO2 levels.

Michelin announces fuel savings of 3%

Green tyres developed by manufacturers can significantly reduce rolling resistance and to a lesser degree, fuel consumption compared to conventional tyres. "A 10% gain in terms of rolling resistance leads to fuel savings of 1.6% and a reduction in CO2 emissions of 2 g/km," says Vincent Marquis, head of car tyre section and public relations at Continental France. This rule was confirmed by Goodyear, who announced a 13% reduction in rolling resistance and fuel savings of 1.9% with its EfficientGrip tyre. For its part, Michelin, a pioneer in green tyres, went even further with the Energy Saver: they announced savings of 3% on fuel consumption and C02 emissions reduced by 4 g/km.

Insufficiently inflated tyres significantly increase rolling resistance.

> A study conducted by Bridgestone shows that two thirds of European drivers drive on underinflated tyres. This negligence leads to over-consumption of fuel estimated at 2 billion litres and surplus CO2 emissions of 4.8 million tonnes.