EU tyre labelling - Forthcoming tyre performance labelling
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Forthcoming tyre performance labelling

EU tyre labelling Published the 15/12/2011 by Jack

From November 2012, tyres will have to be sold with a label informing the customer of their performance. The criteria: safety, consumption, and noise pollution. This is a favourable time for green tyres.

European tyre labelling Copyright © : DR

Consumers will finally be able to choose their tyres willingly and knowingly. After a vote in the European parliament in April 2009, new legislation will apply to sales of tyres starting from 1st November 2012.

The three criteria

The scheme states that tyres will have to be sold with a label providing information on three criteria:

o   Tyre fuel savings;
o   Level of braking on wet roads;
o   Tyre noise level.

The regulation will apply to tyres for cars, light commercial vehicles and heavy trucks manufactured from July 2012. This is official recognition of the product's performance.

The label

What will the label look like? A letter associated with a colour will be used to assess the first two criteria. The rating will be as follows: from the best performance (green class "A") to the worst (red class "G"). The external rolling noise will be indicated in decibels (a quiet tyre should emit less than 68 db) and the increasing number of waves will be indicated with a loudspeaker icon.

An incentive for manufacturers

One of the effects of this measure is an acceleration of innovation in tyre makers. They will be lining up to update their ranges and get the best scores when the label comes into force. Their efforts are mainly focused on reducing a rolling resistance, responsible for about 20% of fuel consumption.

To be clarified

Vincent Marquis at ContinentalCopyright © : All Rights Reserved
“This is a significant approach”, says Vincent Marquis, head of car tyre section and public relations at Continental France. This is the first time specific information about the three criteria is being made public." The only downside: although the classification gives an indication of the level of product performance, the gain of one class relative to another will not be specified. "In fact", he says, "between a category B and category C, stopping distances are greater than 5 metres." If the consumer wants to know more, he must take a look at the technical manual available to the prescriber by the European Commission. 

Pascal Couasnon, IT director at Michelin said that "Michelin is in step with the future European labelling system, but regrets that it does not take longevity into account".

Pascal Couasnon at MichelinCopyright © : All Rights Reserved
"We are in step with the tyre performance labelling. Firstly, it facilitates consumer choice. Then, it will drive performances upwards. One third of the tyres currently sold would loose their position on the marked if the performance criteria used by the European Union were applied. We know that it will be difficult to get the AA level that only the best products will be marked. We suppose the core market will start within levels B and C, with one limit however: labelling will not take into account durability. This won’t prevent us from continuing to work on this performance and think about the best way to inform the consumer."

Prototype d’étiquetage pneuCopyright © : All rights reserved