By Oliver Hall
Tyres manufacturers have faced criticism for failing to develop more environmentally friendly products sooner.
Nina Renshaw, of the European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E), has claimed that the tyres industry has “cynically exploited the current economic climate to postpone progress on cleaner, safer tyres for years to come.”
However, the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturer’s Association (ETRMA) has hit back that it will be able to meet the proposed new EU tyres regulations which are due to come into force in 2012.
Fazilet Cinaralp, secretary general of the ETRMA, said: “The European tyre industry did not wait until the legislator forced them to make progress on safer or cleaner tyres.
“The industry voluntarily announced in November 2006 that it wanted to contribute to the global efforts for reducing CO2 emissions, while securing safest tyres on the market.
“The pressure exerted by a few European governments on one performance – in particular tyre rolling noise – has not been proportionate to the overall benefits that can be drawn from an ambitious and balanced regulation.”
Mr Cinaralp also told Tyres and Accessories magazine: “I wish to stress that today, 46% of passenger car tyres would be able to fulfil the future noise requirements, approximately 15% of existing passenger car tyres meets the first stage of rolling resistance requirements.
“But, only around 5% fulfil both requirements at the same time.”