Green tyres perform poorly compared to non-eco counterparts

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A summer tyre test has revealed that so-called green tyres compare poorly with non-eco counterparts, when it comes to performance in wet conditions.

German motoring association ADAC and consumer organisation Stiftung Warentest have jointly tested 35 size 185/60 R14 H and size 205/55 R16 V tyres for their latest summer tyre test, according to Tyres and Accessories.

It reported: “The second-mentioned size is the country’s most-sold tyre size for mid-class cars, and the ADAC notes that four pairs of these 205/55 R16 V tyres were evaluated as part of the test. Each pair was an eco/comfort product from the same manufacturer, and placing them back to back gave an additional insight into their respective strengths and weaknesses.”

The results of this comparison of eco-friendly and comfort tyres highlighted deficiencies with the green products. According to the ADAC, “the so-called eco models only offered slight advantages in the environmental and economic criteria, however in wet conditions they consistently showed disadvantages when compared with the comfort tyres.”

Top performance in the areas of wear and fuel economy are inconsistent with top grip and aquaplaning performance, noted the ADAC, naming Michelin’s Energy Saver+ as an example of this. This particular tyre is described as a high-mileage, economical model and respectively scores ‘very good’ and ‘good’ ratings in these categories – but in spite of this it ended the test in the bottom quarter due to only achieving a ‘satisfactory’ rating in the wet grip category. The other three eco models performed similarly, the motoring organisation reported.

In the 205/55 R16 V, the Michelin Primacy 3 didn’t just leave the Energy Saver+ in its wake. The Primacy 3 finished first ahead of its 18 competitors; Goodyear’s EfficientGrip Performance and Continental’s PremiumContact 5 secured second and third places in the 16-inch category. In the size 185/60 R14 H test, the Continental and Goodyear tyres finished first and second, with third place going to Nokian’s Line (previously the xLine).

“In the larger size, the candidates overall followed a reasonable level: Six models achieved a ‘good’ rating, 12 received ‘satisfactory’. Only Nankang’s Econex Eco-2 [since replaced by the Econex Eco-2+] received an ‘inadequate’ rating due to its poor performance in the wet,” stated the ADAC regarding the 205/55 R16 V test. The outcome was similar for the smaller size, with six tyres were rated ‘good’, eight ‘satisfactory’, one ‘adequate’ (Kumho KH27 Ecowing ES01) and one ‘inadequate’ (Matador MP16).

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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