PARIS — Michelin Group has developed and plans to launch commercially an "eco-responsible" tire — dubbed "e-Primacy" — which takes account of the full life-cycle impact of the product.
The passenger tire was designed using environmental-impact simulations encompassing factors such as raw-materials extraction, manufacturing processes, distribution, usage and recycling of tires, Michelin said, claiming the e-Primacy will be "more ecological and economical" compared with its counterparts, while guaranteeing safety, grip and longevity.
Designed principally for city cars, sedans and compact SUVs — both those powered by internal combustion engines and those using electric power — the e-Primacy will be launched this coming spring in European markets in 56 SKUs covering 15- to 20-inch rim diameters.
Said to be the "most efficient" in its category, the tire offers a 27% reduction in rolling resistance compared with an average offered by other premium summer-tire brands, Michelin said.
Michelin's comparison figure is based on rolling-resistance tests carried out by Applus Idiada on new tires in June and on tires "worn to 2mm" tread depth in August.
During its service life, the tire yields on average a lower rolling resistance of 1.5 kilograms/metric ton compared with competitors' products, Michelin claims.
This represents fuel savings valued at nearly $90 and a reduction in CO2 emissions equivalent to 174 kilograms over the life of the tire, according to Michelin.
Michelin said its use of an "energy-passive" compound — employing a "unique elastomer" to reduce energy dissipation — contributes the most to e-Primacy's low rolling resistance and fuel consumption.
The tire also maintains a high level of performance "from the first to the last mile," and passes the European standard certification test R117 under wet braking after 18,600 miles of usage.
To achieve this, Michelin has employed "MaxTouch Construction" technology, which it claims optimizes the stresses experienced when the tire's footprint comes in contact with the road. The feature promotes predictable handling, even wear and long treadlife and gives e.Primacy a "sound excellent longevity."
Michelin said the development of the tire was aligned with its "all sustainable" vision, as part of which the group has committed to reducing the CO2 emissions of all its production sites by 50% by 2030 from the 2010 baseline.
In addition, Michelin aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and is working on the use of renewable or recycled materials in the composition of its tires while further improving their performance.
"In 2030, Michelin tires will have improved energy efficiency by 20% compared to 2010. Tomorrow everything will be sustainable," Scott Clark, executive vice president, automotive, motorsport, experiences and Americas region, said.
Michelin will produce the e-Primacy at plants in Germany, Spain and Italy, in line with its goal of manufacturing as close as possible to its markets.
The company did not comment on its plans for the tire in the Americas.