By Alex Kapadia
Michelin has revealed its view of the future of automotive transportation and the role that tyres will play in meeting the unique demands of more eco-friendly vehicles.
Dr Patrick Oliva, global vice president for Sustainable Development for the Michelin tyres group, told the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS): “No doubt you have heard about Michelin’s green energy-saving tyres that lower rolling resistance and therefore improve vehicle fuel economy.
“But improving fuel economy isn’t enough. If tyres improve fuel economy but only last half as long or double the braking distance – don’t buy them! They wouldn’t save the environment or your wallet anything.
“Michelin is currently working on our fifth generation of green tyres and we have proved an improvement of at least 2 percent in improved fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions with each successive generation. More than 10 percent total!
“This has been, in our own way a silent revolution, reducing global fuel consumption by more than 3 billion gallons and avoiding 30 million metric tons in CO2 emissions since 1992.
“Michelin has committed to improving fuel economy while maintaining very long wear life, excellent wet braking, comfort and low noise.
“We know that the quality of the tyre is at the core of its value – the balance of performances must be maintained. In fact, Green X tyres such as the Michelin HydroEdge come with a 90 thousand mile warranty and stop up to 14 feet shorter in wet conditions than our top “green tyre” competitor.
“While we have been developing the broadest offering of green energy-saving tyres of any tyre maker in the world, we have also continued to dominate the J.D. Power and Associates Awards for Customer Satisfaction – receiving more than four times the number of awards of all other tyre makers combined.
“Clearly, Michelin is raising the bar on tyre performance.”