Akron, Ohio -- Bridgestone Corp. plans to launch its its Ecopia line of fuel-efficient tyres in North America and Europe next year after rolling it out in Japan earlier this year, according to Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. Chairman Mark Emkes.
Bridgestone claims the Ecopia line can improve a car's fuel economy by as much as 5 percent.
The tyre maker also plans to start building Ecopia technology into its Turanza and Potenza touring and performance tyre lines to reduce their rolling resistance, Mr. Emkes said at the International Tire Exhibition and Conference (ITEC) in Akron. Tyres that incorporate this technology will carry Ecopia sub-branding to alert drivers to their low rolling resistance characteristics, he said.
While incorporating Ecopia technology, these tyres will continue to provide the performance, handling and ride for which they're known, he stressed.
Mr. Emkes prefaced his news about Ecopia by saying the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is working on a rating system that would grade tyres on fuel efficiency, thus enabling consumers to compare options and choose â€œgreenâ€ tyres.
The proposed government rating system is still a few years away, he said, so tyre makers have the opportunity now to give consumers reliable information on rolling resistance.
Bridgestone rolled out the Ecopia in Japan in April after working on the concept for six years. The version launched, Ecopia EP 100, offers 30-percent lower rolling resistance than a comparable Bridgestone tyre, the company said.
The Ecopia line achieves its rolling resistance improvement via a new tread rubber that uses Bridgestone's NanoPro-Tech materials technology, which draws out the characteristics required to control the microstructure of materials through molecular design, Bridgestone said.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)
Story from Bloomberg