With fuel prices at a record high, and our environment under increasing stress from pollution, the benefits of fitting Eco Tyres to your vehicle becomes increasingly attractive with fuel savings of up to 6% possible.
In their latest tyre tests, Englands Which Car magazine tested tyres in sizes 205/55 R16V – one of the UK’s most widely fitted tyre sizes. The tyres which came top for fuel economy were the Pirelli Cinturato P7s and the Hankook Kinergy Eco K425, which both beat big names like the Continental PremiumContact 5, Goodyear OptiGrip and Bridgestone Turanza T001 for rolling resistance.
In fact, fitted to a car returning 40mpg, either the Pirelli or the Hankook would give you an extra 2.4mpg (around 6%) compared with the worst tyre in our test for rolling resistance, the Nexen N8000. That equates to around nz$100.00 a year at today’s record fuel prices.
Ok, we’ve all heard of eco-friendly, green or low rolling resistant tyres and their fuel saving abilities. But many of us still do not really know an eco-friendly tyre is and why is it such a technological advancement? Eco-friendly or Eco Tyres were developed for one reason: to reduce fuel consumption without affecting performance or grip.
Up until recently, it has been impossible to produce a single tyre which can reduce fuel consumption and still provide excellent grip due to the differing amounts of energy required for fuel economy and grip.
Here’s the science bit: Lowering rolling resistance (the amount of energy a tyre absorbs) reduces the amount of energy needed to move the car therefore, reducing fuel consumption. This requires tyre compounds which absorb low levels of energy. However, grip is affect by high frequency distortion (the degree to which the tyre faces small stones and uneven road surfaces). For the best grip, compounds which absorb high levels of energy are required.
By introducing silica to a tyre compound the previously impossible is made possible. Engineers can now produce a single tyre which can absorb different amounts of energy at different frequencies for fuel consumption and grip.
So what does this mean to the man in the street? Well, assuming that your tyres maintain the correct tyre pressure and making allowances for varying speeds and different driving characteristics, Eco-tyres offer a 20% reduction in rolling resistance which equates to a 5% fuel saving.
The use of silica has also been found to offer substantial benefits. Compounds using silica are more elastic and flexible at lower temperatures which allow for better grip and braking during wintry weather.
Most importantly, Eco Tyres are the responsible choice for our environment; they reduce vehicle emissions and are made in cleaner process with less toxic raw materials, our environment needs all the help it can get!