As from 1 November 2012 consumers will know quickly which tires will help them saving fuel: A new easy-to-read label ranks tires on a scale from G (bad) to A (best). To make sure that the fuel savings does not come at the expense of safety or noise, three parameters are evaluated: Fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise.
THE EURO ENERGY LABEL FOR TIRES
By 1 November 2012, the fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise performances of tyres will be displayed by means of a grading forconsumers and fleet managers. The initiative is expected to trigger fuel savings from the increased use of fuel efficient tyres between 2.4 and 6.6 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) in 2020 depending on the speed of market transformation. The CO 2 savings from all vehicle types are expected to range from 1.5 million tonnes to 4 million tonnes per year depending on the speed of market transformation towards fuel efficient tyres. This is equivalent to removing 0.5 million to 1.3 million passenger cars from EU roads per year.
The Regulation will require the tyre manufacturers to declare the fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise performance of C1, C2 and C3 tyres (i.e. tyres mainly fitted on passenger cars, light and heavy duty vehicles). Lack of reliable and comparable information on the performance of tyres makes it currently difficult for consumers to take these elements into account in their purchasing decision, in particular when the time comes to replace a used set of tyres. From 1 November 2012, these tyre performances will be displayed at the point of sale and on technical promotional literature such as catalogues, leaflets or web marketing. The aim is to promote the market transformation towards more fuel-efficient, safer and low noise tyres beyond the standards already achieved. It will also pave the way for competition to run on tyre performances in addition to prices, which will in turn stimulate investments in Research and Development.
HOW DOES THE LABEL LOOK LIKE?
The label is similar to those energy labels already used for washing machines, dishwashers and fridges. The better the tire (fuel savings, safety and external noise), the better the classification.
The three parameters:
Fuel Consumption is related to the rolling resistance. By reducing rolling resistance, the tire consumes less petrol.
Wet grip is one of the most important safety characteristics of a tire. Tires with very good wet grip have a shorter braking distance when it rains.
The external noise generated by the tire is expressed in waves: one black wave is the lowest noise level and three the highest. The aim is to reduce traffic-related noise for communities.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU SAVE?
By selecting the best tire (A) a consumer can reduce the fuel bill by up to 9% compared to the least performing product (G) on the market. Here are three examples:
• If you drive a typical passenger car travelling 25 000 km per year (10 000 km urban, 15 000 km inter-urban), you can save fuel costs between €170–€230 per year. As the best performing tires will be more costly (additional €240–€320), it is in the second year that you will have net savings – between €100 – €140.
• If you drive a big passenger car (consumption of 10 lit/100km) with high usage (10000 km urban and 25000 km highway per year), you can save even more fuel costs: €450 per year. As the best tires will be more expensive (additional €240-€320), you will save between €130 and €210 already in the first year.
• If you drive a van, used by companies for delivery and transport, which travels 40 000 km per year (20 000 km urban, 20 000 km inter-urban), fuel costs reductions between €290–€360 per year can be achieved. With additional tires costs of €280–€360, break-even point is already within the course of the first year.
HOW WILL CUSTOMERS GET TO KNOW THE LABEL?
As from 1 November 2012, manufacturers and importers of tires have the obligation to accompany all tires produced after 1 July 2012 with stickers, labels and technical promotional material. Distributors (e.g. tire dealers, repair shops, car retailers) have the obligation to make this information available at the point of sale in a clearly visible position.
For all tires produced before the 1 July 2012, there is no such obligation: This means that for a certain period of time, consumers will find in the shop tires with labels and others without it. The reason is to give producers time to reduce their old stock and prepare for the new label system.