Michelin HydroEdge tires featured on ‘Designing Spaces'
GREENVILLE, S.C.—As part of a theme to educate consumers on making their lives more “green” via environmentally responsible travel, the “Designing Spaces” cable TV show recently featured a segment on how tires can make a difference.
During a “Think Green” segment—which aired in June on the Women's Entertainment and TLC networks—Michelin North America Inc. personnel offered tips on how motorists can choose the most fuel-efficient tires. They plugged the Greenville-based tire maker's Michelin HydroEdge tire.
Michelin said the segment's purpose was to educate viewers on the benefits of tires that are engineered for low rolling resistance, and therefore, lower CO2 emissions, such as the company's tires branded with its “Green X” label.
“Designing Spaces” is a half-hour series, created by Quorum Productions, that educates viewers on how to make every space count as well as ways to make their homes more beautiful and functional.
Yokohama car, truck ‘eco' tires now on market
FULLERTON, Calif.—Yokohama Tire Corp. has made its dB Super E-spec tire using orange oil technology available to U.S. consumers and has added sizes to its Z.environment truck tire line.
The dB Super E-spec, which the company unveiled at the 2008 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, is made in a zero-emission facility, and is produced using a mix of orange oil and natural rubber. It is available in four sizes: 185/65R15 88H; 195/65R15 91H; 195/55R16 86V; and 215/60R16 95V.
Yokohama said the tires, which mix sustainable orange oil and natural rubber to “drastically cut the use of petroleum without compromising performance,” help improve fuel efficiency via a 20-percent reduction in rolling resistance and an advanced inner liner that minimizes tire weight and reduces air loss to help the tire stay properly inflated.
The Fullerton-based tire maker also recently added four sizes to its 103ZRT commercial truck tire line.
The 103ZR, part of Yokohama's eco-friendly Z.environment line, offers truck tires that it claims last longer and are more fuel efficient.
The four new sizes are: 295/75R22.5 14(G) and 16(H) ply; 11R22.5 14(G) and 16(H) ply; 285/75R24.5 14(G) ply; and 11R24.5 14(G) and 16(H) ply.
John Cooney, Yokohama director of commercial sales, said the Z.environment line, which includes the 703ZL and 501ZA, has been a success, and the tire maker believes the 103ZR will achieve the same result. “The casing innovations actually predict changes in tire shape that occur in early stages of wear,” he said, resulting in increased durability due to stabilized performance over the tire's wear cycle.
Special features of the 103ZR include rock ejector platforms that keep stones and debris out of the grooves to enhance durability; improved fuel economy due to stronger and more pliable rubber that reduces heat generation and provides low rolling resistance; and a wide tread, partnered with a 23/32-inch tread depth.
SEMA Show on lookout for some ‘green' innovators
DIAMOND BAR, Calif.—The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is accepting applications for exhibitors for its “Making Green Cool Zone” at the 2009 SEMA Show, Nov. 3-6 in Las Vegas.
The dedicated area inside the South Hall (upper level) of the Las Vegas Convention Center recognizes the specialty-equipment industry's commitment to advancing ecologically friendly or “green” performance vehicles, products and solutions by showcasing those companies “whose creativity and innovation in the development, deployment and marketing of green performance technologies prove that being environmentally friendly can also be cool,” SEMA said.
“The SEMA industry recognizes that being green is no longer limited to specific segments of the market,” said John Waraniak, SEMA vice president of vehicle technology. “The green performance revolution is well under way. Going green is no longer an option—nearly 85 percent of Americans consider themselves environmentalists. SEMA wants to demonstrate that bringing more environmentally responsible vehicle technologies and products to the marketplace doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice performance and the ‘coolness' factor.”
Diamond Bar-based SEMA pointed to a new generation of performance and clean diesels, advanced hybrid powertrains, extended range and pure electric vehicles as examples of the greening of the automotive industry, and said “greening-up vehicles creates new and exciting business opportunities for SEMA members and the specialty-equipment industry.”
A number of green vehicle technologies will be discussed with a panel of industry leaders and experts during the Driving Green Performance Vehicle Technology Brief¬ing SuperSession, Tuesday, Nov. 3 at the SEMA Show. Available at no charge to all registered show attendees, the seminar will focus on green performance and SEMA's commitment to helping keep members informed about the latest vehicle technologies and opportunities associated with high performance engineering energy and fuel efficiency.
The technology briefing seminar also will include an overview of a major industry research study the association conducted with the Center for Automotive Research that focuses on the latest OEM powertrain strategies, platforms and new market segments and how they will impact the specialty equipment industry.
To be eligible for the Making Green Cool Zone, SEMA said vehicles, products and technologies must be aligned with one or more of the following categories: high-performance and green mobility; current powertrain solutions; future powertrain solutions; vehicle energy management; mobile electronics for green mobility; green wheels, tires and suspensions; fast tracking 35 mpg; and “Making Green Cool.”
Program details and an application are at www.SEMAshow.com/mgcz.
Conti program aims at protecting environment
INDIAN LAND, N.C.—Continental Tire North America Inc.'s (CTNA) launch of its Continental Tire Responsibility program is focused, in part, on its commitment to help protect the environment.
With the campaign, Conti will launch its ExtremeContact tire line in 2009, which it said will combine performance and low rolling resistance without compromising either tire characteristic.
“Continental Tire has been cognizant of the need to protect the environment for many years,” said Andreas Gerstenberger, executive vice president of sales and marketing, CTNA. “Some of our first efforts at that were our tire lines that include silica in their compounds, which reduces rolling resistance and CO2 emissions. Now we're prepared to take this a step further and are developing tires with increased fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions, using sustainable materials and processes.”
The responsibility theme also will have an impact on the tire maker's corporate practices. Conti said its goal by 2012 is to reduce energy consumption by 18 percent from its 2007 levels, water usage by 17 percent, waste by 16.3 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 15.5 percent.
All of the company's manufacturing plants are also required to maintain ISO 14001 certification for environmental management systems to supply products to automotive manufacturers, Conti said.
“We are continually aligning the production, quality and performance of our products with environmental soundness, and we strive to conduct all of our activities in an environmentally conscious manner,” Mr. Gerstenberger said. “Going forward, each and every employee is obligated to protect the environment, and we will continue to avoid harmful emissions and waste.”
FedEx expands its hybrid-electric vehicle fleet
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—FedEx Corp. has added 92 hybrid-electric trucks to its delivery fleet—the first standard FedEx delivery trucks converted to hybrid-electric systems.
The number of additional trucks increases the logistics services company's fleet of hybrid-electric vehicles by more than 50 percent, from 172 to 264. Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx said its hybrid-electric fleet has logged more than 4 million miles of revenue service since the company first introduced hybrids in 2004—reducing fuel use by 150,000 gallons and carbon dioxide emissions by 1,521 metric tons. That is equivalent to removing 279 cars from the road annually.
The converted hybrids, produced in Charlotte during the past six months, were developed with Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. and Eaton Corp., which provided the hybrid-electric systems. The standard FedEx trucks used in the retrofit program were 2000 or 2001 models with 300,000 to 500,000 miles driven. An added benefit of the conversion program is that it not only reduces pollution, according to FedEx, but also extends the lifespan of the vehicles, helping eliminate waste production and creating a reduce-and-reuse program.
The retrofit hybrid trucks are projected to improve fuel economy by 44 percent, decrease particulate matter by 96 percent and reduce smog-causing emissions by 75 percent compared with standard FedEx delivery trucks.
The latest retrofitted hybrids will be placed into service in California, primarily in the Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco metropolitan areas. Each will display the FedEx EarthSmart logo. In the coming months, FedEx said all of its hybrid trucks will be re-branded as part of its EarthSmart initiative.
Since 2005, FedEx has been rebalancing its fleet with smaller, more fuel-efficient sprinter vans and optimizing routes. As a result, it claims to have saved 45 million gallons of fuel or 452,573 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Green Earth oil gets API Service ‘donut' symbol
STAMFORD, Conn.—Green Earth Tech¬nologies Inc. has been granted the “Donut,” the American Petroleum Institute's (API) service symbol, for its SAE 5W-30 weight G-OIL.
The firm said G-OIL, which it calls the “ultimate biodegradable green motor oil,” has passed all engine test criteria for the API certification, becoming the first and—it claims—only bio-based motor oil to receive the API symbol.
Green Earth recently began rolling out G-OIL 5W-30 in bulk and quart size bottles. It has been available in 2-cycle, 4-cycle and bar and chain oil for outdoor power equipment for about a year.
Unlike traditional petrochemical-based motor oils, G-OIL is made with renewable animal saturated fats whose molecular single-bond carbon chains are similar to common petroleum oils, the firm said, but have no harsh effects on the environment and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
Used oil burners a way to save bucks, go green
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Summer may not be the time when many auto service shops and business owners think about winter heating bills, but saving used oil now could provide dividends during colder months, according to a waste oil heating systems marketer.
EnergyLogic L.L.C. said waste oil heating systems can help lower or eliminate heating costs and onsite recycling “is the cleanest, most efficient manner of disposal for our environment.”
Robert Stevens, president of EnergyLogic, said “burning waste oil as fuel for heat allows businesses to turn a liability into an asset and is a simple, yet far-reaching, way for them to go green.” The company, in business since 1984, claims it has helped customers reduce energy costs, in some cases “saving many an average of 80 percent of their heating expenses.”
The firm's waste oil and boiler systems provide onsite recycling of used oil for companies such as garages, lube shops, tire and car dealerships and heavy equipment dealers. It said other disposal methods require transportation and processing costs and can expose businesses to liability costs if used oil is spilled or improperly disposed of in transit.
More details about EnergyLogic is available at www.energylogic.com.
Be Cool markets new earth-friendly radiator coolant
ESSEXVILLE, Mich.—Be Cool Inc. has debuted an extended-life, super-duty coolant/antifreeze it is touting as “a new-generation earth-friendly biodegradable, propylene-glycol formula.”
The firm said its new Be Cool¬ant protects cooling systems and aluminum components down to minus 26 F, providing 300,000 miles of extended coolant protection. The product “is ideal for all performance and severe duty applications including American, European and Asian high-performance cars as well as diesel-powered tow vehicles and RVs,” Be Cool said, is compatible with all colors of coolant, and features a self-sealing capability for sealing hairline cracks in aluminum engine blocks and cylinder heads.
For more information on Be Coolant and other products, call (800) 691-2667 or visit www.becool.com.
Safeway to use nitrogen in truck, trailer fleet's tires
PHOENIX—Grocery chain Safeway Inc. will begin using nitrogen instead of compressed air to inflate the tires in its truck and trailer fleet.
A report in Transport Topics, a newsletter published by the American Trucking Associations Inc., said the Phoenix-based food retailer plans to use nitrogen tire inflation in about 80 tractors and 320 trailers.
Supplying nitrogen for Safeway's fleet is NitrogenMan Tire Inflation, a Phoenix company that says it is the first free-standing, drive-through facility in Arizona offering nitrogen tire inflation. According to its Web site, NitrogenMan can—in less than 30 minutes—purge compressed air from tires and refill them with nitrogen starting at $24.95 for four tires and a spare, with pricing based on tire size.
The firm offers mobile tire inflation and supplies and distributes Parker Hannifin Corp. and Branick Industries Inc. nitrogen inflations systems.
Frank Ruscitti, owner of NitrogenMan, told Tire Business his company has installed a Parker Nitrogen System at Safeway's Tempe, Ariz., distribution center and is training the chain's staff “on the proper procedure for purging and filling tires with nitrogen. They plan to have the Arizona fleet converted by August.”
Safeway operates stores in the Western, Southwestern, Rocky Mountain and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. and in western Canada.