The European Parliament proposed last week for tire manufacturers starting November 2012 to label the fuel efficiency/performance as well as the wet grip and noise performance of tires (or ‘tyre’ as they spell it in Europe).
According to EU lawmakers, the new tire label will use a fuel-efficiency classification similar to the energy label for washing machines and fridges, with performance rated from ‘Class A’ (best) to ‘Class G’ (worst).
Tire suppliers are also expected to provide a “fuel savings calculator” on their websites so that consumers can assess the potential average savings of fuel, CO2 and costs of the tires.
The proposal still requires approval by the Council of the European Union.
European-based rubber chemical producer Lanxess said it welcomes the decision as “their high-performance rubber products can enable the tire industry to comply with the requirements.” A car’s tires are said to be responsible for 20% of its fuel consumption
In a related news (which might interest tire manufacturers concern on the life cycle analysis of their tire products), Japanese specialty chemical company Teijin started supplying chemically recycled ECOPET PLUS® polyester fibers for the cords of Toyo Tire & Rubber’s PROXES® Ne tires.
Toyo Tire & Rubber will put its PROXES Ne tire on the market beginning on December 11. Teijin expects to produce 10 tons/month (approximately 50,000 tires) of the recycled polyester fibers for tire cords in 2009, and rising to 30 tons/month (approximately 150,000 tires) in 2011.
I’m not sure if ECOPET PLUS will be produced exclusively for Toyo Tire & Rubber or if other tire manufacturers can use them too. I have to ask Teijin for that…stay tune!
By the way, another interesting information on tires from this NY Times’ blog Green Inc.
Of the 300 million tires recycled annually in the US, roughly 45% are used as fuel in cement kilns, paper mills and power plants, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association. The article debates on whether recycled tires used as fuel should be exempted from the stringent Clean Air Act regulations that apply to solid waste incinerators.