Green tyres, fuel savings, CO2 emission - Michelin : “No compromise between performance and safety”

Michelin : “No compromise between performance and safety”

Environment Published the 10/03/2010 by Laurent

For Michelin, a tyre must be safe, efficient and ecological. Its director of Technical Communication, Pierre Menendes, talks about the French manufacturer’s projects and achievements in terms of low consumption tyres.

rezulteo™ : What are the latest innovations of the Michelin group?

Pierre Menendes : Michelin's Technical Communication DirectorCopyright © :
Pierre Menendes: The key is the development of the automobile in terms of the electric car. All manufacturers are focusing their efforts on lowering fuel consumption, reducing CO2 while maintaining comfort, pleasure and power. For its part, Michelin has been working for years on low consumption tyres. For a very simple reason: 20% of a vehicle’s fuel is used just to turn the tyres and this percentage increases for electric cars, as it exceeds 30%.We have thus developed technologies for electric cars that we presented last September at the Frankfurt motor show. This is a tyre concept that integrates this technology and which will soon be available in a specific range of tyres for electric cars.

rezulteo™ : Is your goal really to reduce energy consumption?

PM : Indeed, but with a major difference compared to our competitors. Our research is working on reducing consumption and CO2 emissions and at the same time enhancing safety and longevity. With standard technology, to reduce fuel consumption, you have to compromise on mileage or on grip. We have invested 800 million Euros in these innovative technologies to work on breakthrough solutions, i.e. solutions enabling us to make simultaneous progress in 3 areas: mileage, reduced consumption and reduced braking distances.

rezulteo™ : What materials are used in this new tyre?

PM : We use silica which heats less and reduces energy losses, as it is the heating which consumes fuel. We have also worked on making the tyre lighter, by reducing its weight by one kilo. This is the case for the “Energy Saver” tyre, more lightweight and above all more efficient. More than 30 million of these tyres have already been sold.

rezulteo™ : Are you also working on noise?

PM : Yes, it is one of our concerns. The tread pattern of Michelin tyres integrates noise optimization. Our teams of scientists and designers have developed a unique tread pattern. It is comprised on long longitudinal grooves, straight and directional. This provides a very quiet drive with at the same time, good grip on wet surfaces.