No resistance to fuel savings

June 19, 2012

Part two of two

There are two big factors tire consumers focus on today. People are becoming more aware of the environment and want to promote ways to protect it. Consumers are also concerned about the rising price of fuel.

Low rolling resistance (fuel saving) tires are a welcome feature for many drivers.

Tire consumers demand quality and safety from their tires. They also demand fuel efficiency. Tire manufacturers keep up with the demand by introducing more and more tires with low rolling resistance as an added feature.

So just who exactly are these demanding consumers? We asked the manufacturers, and here’s what they told us.

“Most of our customers are hybrid owners, car manufacturers and taxi fleets,” said John Wu, assistant product manager for Maxxis International.

“Nokian Tyres builds all its tires to have low rolling resistance and markets to all customer groups,” said Marc Bujold, global sales manager, e-commerce at Nokian Tyres plc.

“Most consumers want to save money and the use of low rolling resistance tires provides a significant improvement in the fuel economy of their vehicle,” said Rafael Navarro, vice president of Communications and Media Relations at Pirelli Tire North America.

But more so than being “green,” the main reason cited for the growing demand of lower rolling resistance tires is improved fuel consumption. “This is both good for the environment and it saves money,” said Maxwell Wee, director of sales for Sentaida International Inc. “We are constantly reviewing ways to improve our product and incorporate green initiatives in our manufacturing process.”

As tire makers come up with ways to make better tires that meet consumer demands, new low rolling resistance tires continually hit the market. Last month we covered tires from manufacturers ranging from Apollo Vredestein B.V. to Michelin North America Inc. This month we outline low rolling resistant tires from tire makers ranging from Nexen Tire America Inc. to Yokohama Tire Corp.


Nexen NBlue ECO

Nexen Tire America Inc.’s NBlue passenger tire contains a special compound containing eco-friendly materials, according to Nexen. The tire also features a special tread pattern designed for stability and mileage, and a dynamically engineered tread sequence engineered to reduce road noise.

The high performance touring replacement tire adopted the low rolling resistance compound to maximize the energy efficiency by minimizing the rotation resistance on the surface. A lightweight design reduces CO2 emissions.

New materials and technology not only reduce rolling resistance, but also are responsible for features such as cornering stability, long mileage and low road noise.

The NBlue is available in 30 sizes ranging from P185/65R15 86H to P235/55R18 99V. There is one T-rated size: P215/65R17 98 T.

Nokian Rotiiva AT

Nokian Tyres Inc. says the new Rotiiva AT (All Terrain) all-season tire grips effectively both on and off the road.

The Rotiiva AT completes Nokian’s SUV and 4x4 range. It will be available in 26 SUV and light truck sizes ranging from 15 inch to 20 inch.

Nokian says the Rotiiva AT is excellent on asphalt or gravel, but also moves with ease in lighter off-road conditions. The sturdy structure and tailored, cut-resistant tread compound give the tire excellent durability when used with heavier cars, as well.

The aggressive tread pattern of the new product, and especially its wide, polished grooves, maximize grip and handling in rapidly changing summer conditions.

Thanks to a unique tread pattern, the tire also cleans easily and runs effortlessly on a soft platform.

In addition, 3D sipes bind pattern blocks together upon road contact for extra stability.

Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season

Pirelli Tire North America’s low rolling resistant tire is the Scorpion Verde All Season, designed specifically for SUVs, crossovers and light trucks.

Compared to previous Pirelli all-season tires, the Scorpion Verde All Season offers 20% less rolling resistance (thanks, in part, to an 8% reduction in weight), lowers CO2 emissions, and lasts longer — all part of Pirelli’s “Green Performance” strategy. The tire’s “green DNA,” as Pirelli likes to say, is identified by the company’s “EcoImpact” symbols on the sidewall.

It is manufactured with HAOF (Highly Aromatic Oil Free) compounds and 8% less raw materials  for less impact on the environment.

In addition, the tire gives drivers “increased performance in wet braking, dry handling, wet handling, snow traction and reduces aquaplaning.”

The Scorpion Verde All Season, is available in 19 sizes, ranging from P235/70R16 106H to 275/45R20 110V XL.


Sentaida Delinte, Landsail

“The tires we offer with a silica compound that improves (lowers) rolling resistance are our Delinte and Landsail line of tires,” said Maxwell Wee, director of sales for Sentaida International Inc. “Our Landsail LS288 tires, which are sold widely in Europe, achieved B (A to G range) level in European grading of rolling resistance requirements.”

Toyo Versado Eco

The Versado Eco from Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. is designed specifically for hybrids and other popular environmentally friendly vehicles. It is available in 15-, 16-, 17- and 18-inch rim diameters. Widths range from 175 to 225 mm with 65- down to 45-series profiles.

The Versado Eco is an all-season, low rolling resistance luxury performance tire. Tread compound innovations include a naturally derived material called Green Powder as a component to help lower rolling resistance.

A smooth and comfortable ride is delivered using several elements including Toyo Tires’ Silent Wall Technology. Long tire life is a result of an optimized tread profile and an improved contact patch.

Yokohama AVID Ascend

Yokohama Tire Corp. is utilizing its orange oil technology with the AVID Ascend.  It is available in 45 sizes in applications ranging from crossover vehicles, to passenger cars and minivans. The T-, H – and V-speed rated Ascend will initially be offered in sizes ranging from 15 to 18 inches.

The Ascend’s features include 3D Adaptive Sipes that increase block rigidity for longer, more even tread wear, while promoting wet and winter traction.    ■