Bridgestone strives to create a utopia with Ecopia
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC is dramatically expanding the number of replacement sizes for two of its Ecopia tire lines.
The company introduced its latest eco-friendly Ecopia products in limited sizes at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show. The Ecopia EP422 is an all-season tire; the Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia is an SUV, CUV and light truck tire with an all-season tread pattern.
Bridgestone will add 24 sizes to the Ecopia EP422 line by mid-year, according to Julie Porter, consumer tire product manager for the U.S. and Canada. That will increase the number of sizes to 29, broken out as follows:
* 15- to 18-inch sizes;
* 45 to 65 series aspect ratios;
* 480 UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) tread wear rating.
The Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia size lineup will increase from six to 19 sizes, ranging from 16 through 20 inches. The tire has a UTQG tread wear rating of 640.
Bridgestone's Ecopia technology features two types of compounding that reduce rolling resistance. NanoPro-Tech controls the interaction between polymer filler materials (such as carbon black and silica) and other rubber chemicals at the molecular level.
The "Fuel Saver Sidewall" compounding lowers rolling resistance by returning more energy to the tire than a normal sidewall. The result is less heat generation.
Porter says Bridgestone's goal is taking Ecopia technology and "applying it across all of our tires."