Overview of the Lanxess iPhone/iPad app for green tyres
From this November year manufacturers can only sell tyres labelled under the EU regulation 1222/2009/EG showing grades from green to red, A to G, to let consumers know their products fuel efficiency, and a A-G measure for wet weather grip with an additional separate noise decibel rating.
Chemical company Lanxess supplied the unique rubbers that go into the new green tyres and have launched an iPhone/iPad app downloadable on iTunes to help consumers work out how soon they will be able to recoup the extra cost of an expensive A-grade green tyre against a cheaper F-grade alternative.
What are the green/consumer benefits?
In a nutshell, extensive research from the University of Munich suggests that, on average, a family car travelling 30,000 miles per year can reduce its annual fuel bills by up to £800 by switching to a set of green tyres.
Other key benefits include:
* Green tyres are more environmentally friendly, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 0.5 tonnes on average family vehicle travelling 30,000 miles a year on unleaded 95 RON fuel
* Green tyres are safer, reducing braking distances on average by up to 20 metres at 50 mph
Lanxess’s head of marketing, Christoph Kalla, outlined the claimed benefits of green tyre technology saying the average motorist should see a pay-back on the extra cost of green tyres within a two-year window.
During a press briefing at the Reifen 2012 tyre fair he answered questions about the new tyres. Here is the interview:
What will change for drivers as a result of this?
Kalla: “A crucial point is that the new EU labelling system makes key tyre quality features transparent for tyre purchasers for the first time – a major benefit for consumers. Using a simple evaluation system that we already know from washing machines and refrigerators, for example, it will in the future be possible from the outset to compare individual tyre models in terms of three central performance characteristics – fuel efficiency (i.e. saving fuel), wet grip (ie safety) and noise emissions.”
For a long time, buying new tyres has been a price-driven decision and in many cases drivers have opted for low-cost models. Why should the ratings provided by the new EU label now be taken into account and, in certain cases, more money spent on tyres?
Kalla: “Although quality tyres with good ratings on the label are indeed somewhat more expensive to buy, in the medium term they are more economical, as their lower rolling resistance cuts fuel consumption by five to seven percent over the long term.The purchase costs for these green tyres are recouped in just two years on average. This also benefits the environment – if all vehicles worldwide were fitted with green tyres, CO2 emissions could be cut by 50 million tonnes a year. By opting for high-performance tyres, consumers make a valuable contribution to climate protection and save money at the same time!”
What about safety when driving with green tyres?
Kalla: “Safety is boosted with quality tyres. An A-rated tyre in the wet grip category can reduce the braking distance at 80km/hour by around 20 metres compared to one with an F rating. In risky traffic situations, this may save lives.”
Let's look at things from another angle – what do manufacturers need to do to achieve top values in tyre labelling?
Kalla: “As a result of the new EU label, tyres now show consumers what they have to offer even before a purchase is made. Modern tyres are true high-tech products – numerous elements impact on their driving characteristics. The rubbers they contain are critical, being not only responsible for tyre grip but also influencing fuel consumption. This is where incorporating high-performance rubbers from Lanxess makes outstanding values possible.”
How will this work? Tyre manufacturers are faced with the challenge that improvements in rolling resistance have always led to deterioration in wet grip, for example.
Kalla: “Thanks to innovative rubber compounds, it has recently become possible to cut rolling resistance and fuel consumption without reducing tyre adhesion and safety. Crack resistance, elasticity and abrasion resistance are also being improved. We're proud our customers from the tyre industry are able to produce safe, durable and economical tyres using our rubbers.”
How will the tyre market develop?
Kalla: “The future will see even more cars on the world's roads. This development calls for solutions that ensure mobility remains affordable, safe and environmentally responsible.”
Introducing a label that identifies the performance potential of tyres with regard to efficiency and safety is a step in the right direction.
According to our forecasts, demand for green tyres will rise around the world – by 77% from 2010 to 2015. Can quality tyres become even greener by then?
Kalla: “We anticipate that the rolling resistance of the next tyre generation can be lowered merely by using high-performance grades of tyre rubber that are already available – without affecting vehicle safety. Tyres in the future will also be more lightweight. Further improvements can be achieved with new materials and designs – for example by using narrower tyres or new tread designs. Our Lanxess high-tech products will be an important part of these developments.”
The UK specific Lanxess app will be available for downloading from iTunes by the end of June although the European version is ready now at: