Tire Energy Efficiency
Tires are an often overlooked factor in passenger vehicle energy use. Readily achievable improvements in tire energy efficiency could reduce global fuel consumption from passenger vehicles by as much as 5%. That would translate into a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 100 million metric tons a year.
More efficient tires can be produced without sacrificing safety or other important design attributes. Proper maintenance and better consumer information are also key to achieving those potential energy-efficiency gains.
This paper summarizes the range of possible efficiency improvements for tires and surveys current policies in the European Union, the United States, Japan, and South Korea. These regions together account for a large proportion of global tire manufacturing and sales. Several jurisdictions have programs to improve tire energy efficiency, but none has implemented a comprehensive plan. As a result, there are opportunities for all countries to benefit from shared experience and lessons learned.
The paper explains potential benefits and costs for improvements in tire energy efficiency, market barriers to these improvements, and relationships between energy efficiency and other tire attributes. It summarizes programs that have been adopted to improve manufacturing and sales practices and to promote good maintenance, and provides best practice recommendations.