By Denna Bowman
A new tyres labelling regulation has been approved by the European Parliament today to help drivers choose the most efficient and quietest tyres.
The legislation means that from 1st November 2012 the fuel efficiency, wet grip and external “rolling noise” levels of tyres must be displayed by manufacturers according to a grading system.
The tyre label will uses classes similar to the European energy label used for household appliances, such as fridges and freezers. They will range from best-performance (green “A” class) to worst (red “G” class) to help EU consumers judge the fuel efficiency. The information must also be provided on promotional material, including websites.
The European Commission says the move could mean fuel savings equivalent to 6.6 million tonnes of oil across Europe by 2020 – more than the annual oil consumption of a country such as Hungary.
The CO2 savings from cars and commercial vehicles combined is put at between 1.5 million tonnes and four million tonnes per year, depending on how quickly buyers respond by picking the most climate-friendly tyres available.
The most optimistic forecast for reduced emissions is about the same as removing 1.3 million cars from the road every year, say experts.
The only exemptions will be retread, racing and off-road professional tyres.