If effective, the product-registration requirement would, therefore, address what is perhaps the biggest concern for the tire industry regarding the existing scheme.
An existing test and logo for snow performance will also be included in the label, while a test for ice performance is being developed towards its inclusion as a parameter in the future.
No test has yet been developed that would allow the mileage or abrasion rate of tires to be measured reliably, said the EC, noting that the latter effect is a major source of microplastics released into the environment.
These parameters will also be considered for future mandatory inclusion on the labels, once an appropriate test standard is finalised, the Commission pointed out. Similarly, re-treaded tires could be included in the scheme, when an appropriate test standard is finalised.
The grading of the parameters has been adjusted by redefining the boundaries between the current A-G classes to make them more accurate and to reflect the fact that the bottom class (G) is now empty because of mandatory safety requirements.
The new regulation, reckons the EC, will lead to CO2 savings of 10 million tonnes – equivalent to removing almost 4 million passenger cars from EU roads per year – by 2030., and save up to €125 per car and per year – through increased uptake of tires with class A label instead of class F.
This assumes that the new labelling scheme will increase consumer awareness of and confidence in the label and so become more likely to purchase more fuel-efficient tires.
The proposed changes could deliver €7 billion in energy savings – through greater use of tires with lower rolling resistance – and lead to an increase in turnover of €9 billion in the tire manufacturing, wholesale and retail sectors, the Brussels regulator further claims.
On the other hand, some media reports have suggested that the changes would add around €17 to the price of a tire for a mid-range family car through increased production and design costs.
For its part, the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) has urged EU regulators to focus on the surveillance and enforcement aspects of tire labelling, rather than ‘rescaling’ the actual tire-label parameters.
The industry association backed its argument with an own-funded report into the impact of the tire labelling scheme since its introduction in 2012. This found a “steady evolution” of the market but no significant increase in the uptake of higher rated tires.
Carried out by the Lizeo Group, the analysis of 400,000 tire labels in the EU28 found that in 2012-13, the most common tire label for passenger car tires was rated ‘E-C’ – “E” for tolling resistance and “C” for wet grip. In 2017, this label was still the most common, at around 25% of the passenger car tire market.