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Brussels, 13 November 2008

Right set of tyres can reduce your fuel bill

Today's technology makes it possible to significantly reduce the tyre share in vehicle fuel consumption allowing a driver to reduce his/her fuel bill by up to 10% between the best and the worst set of tyres available on the market. The European Commission has put forward a proposal for a Directive introducing a labelling scheme which aims at influencing consumers to buy more energy efficient and better performing tyres through the provision of harmonised and easy to understand information on tyres.

Expected fuel savings from the increased use of fuel efficient tyres are estimated between 2.4 and 6.6 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) in 2020 depending on the speed of market transformation, which in quantity exceeds the annual oil consumption of Hungary.

Part of the fuel consumption by vehicles is lost in the interaction between the road and the tyres. There is also a large range of tyre performances as regards wet grip, which is directly relevant to road safety. Some tyres also perform better as regards external rolling noise which is a significant nuisance of road traffic. Lack of reliable and comparable information on tyres’ performance makes it difficult however 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.

The labelling scheme that the Commission is proposing will allow end-users to compare tyres by means of a grading on fuel efficiency as well as on wet grip and by the indication of the external rolling noise emitted. The objective is to promote the market transformation towards more fuel-efficient, safer and low noise tyres.

The proposed Directive will require the tyre manufacturers to declare the fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise performance of C1, C2 and C3 tyres (tyres fitted on passenger cars, light and heavy duty vehicles). Tyre performances should be displayed at the point of sale by means of a sticker and on technical promotional literature such as catalogues, leaflets or web marketing.

It is proposed that the labelling scheme will enter into effect by the end of 2012.

The proposal will benefit end-users (consumers, companies or local authorities owning small or larger fleets and road transport operators) who will be able to make better informed choices and net savings by opting for fuel efficient tyres. It will also benefit tyre manufacturers who face difficulties in obtaining a return on their investments in Research and Development. The provision of standardised information on tyre performances will indeed allow competition not only on prices but also on tyre performance.

Finally, the labelling scheme contributes to cleaner transport with reduced CO2 and pollutant emissions due to the increased use of fuel efficient tyres. The CO2 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 proposal is set at EU level to avoid fragmentation of the EU market and ensuring a level playing field for fair competition among manufacturers.

More information here.

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