Bridgestone Ecopia Tires – Click above for high-res image gallery

Tires can really suck gas. Overcoming rolling resistance can account for anywhere between five and 15 percent of a light-duty vehicle's fuel consumption, and standard tires don't put a priority on reducing that resistance. But, low-rolling resistance tires, at their name implies, do. At the Chicago Auto Show this week, Bridgestone unveiled two new tires – called the Ecopia EP422 and the Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia – that bring the company's fuel efficient tires to a new class of vehicles.

The Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia tires were designed for SUVs, CUVs and light trucks and are the first Ecotopia tires for these vehicles. The Ecopia EP422 are all-season tires designed for regular passenger vehicles and are made with post-consumer recycled rubber and Bridgestone's NanoPro Tech Technology. Bridgestone estimates that these tires offer four percent better fuel economy than standard Bridgestone tires. The will be available some time this spring.

To highlight the green side of these tires, Bridgestone brought the Idea plug-in hybrid van from Bright Automotive to show off at the company booth. Take a look in the gallery below.




PRESS RELEASE

New Generation Bridgestone Brand Ecopia Tires Debut At The Chicago Auto Show New eco-savvy tire is Bridgestone‟s first for SUVs

CHICAGO, Ill. (Feb. 10, 2010) - Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) today took the stage at the Chicago Auto Show to launch the Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia, its first ever tire for SUVs, CUVs and light trucks that incorporates Ecopia technology featuring Bridgestone‟s latest and best low rolling resistance, which helps drivers achieve improved fuel economy without sacrificing wear or wet handling performance.

The company also introduced the Ecopia EP422, an all-season, low rolling resistance tire for fuel-efficient vehicles. The Ecopia EP422 also utilizes post-consumer recycled rubber and incorporates Bridgestone‟s cutting-edge NanoPro Tech Technology that contributes to fuel efficiency and CO2 reduction by controlling the interaction between polymer filler materials and other rubber materials. Both the Ecopia EP422 and the Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia are built with a new Fuel Saver Sidewall compound that lowers rolling resistance by returning more energy back to the tire (instead of generating heat) than a conventional sidewall.

"Our commitment to environmental leadership touches every facet of business from creating green products in an environmentally responsible way to working with partners to protect lands and waterways," said John Baratta, President, U.S & Canada Consumer Replacement Tire Sales, BATO. "These additions to our Ecopia line will provide drivers reliable performance in all weather conditions while helping them save money at the pump, thanks to the improved fuel economy of a lower rolling resistance tire."

In recent testing, the Ecopia EP422 demonstrated a 36 percent improvement in rolling resistance when compared with a conventional Bridgestone tire, and the Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia showed a 42 percent improvement over a conventional Bridgestone tire.* The lower rolling resistance for these Ecopia tires can result in roughly 4 percent better fuel economy when compared to a conventional Bridgestone tire.** That can help get savings at the pump. For example, with gasoline averaging $2.70 per gallon and a vehicle with a 15 gallon tank, a driver who fills up once a week could save about $85 a year on fuel costs (using Bridgestone Ecopia tires versus conventional Bridgestone tires)**; over four years that‟s $340. That‟s almost enough to cover the cost of the tires.

"Creating a „green‟ tire doesn‟t mean you have to sacrifice wear, wet performance or stopping ability," said Phil Pacsi, Vice President, U.S. & Canada Consumer Tire Marketing, BATO. "Both of these additions to the Ecopia tire line will help provide improved fuel efficiency and a lower carbon footprint, but they‟re also rugged tires that come with a 65,000-mile limited tread wear warranty. These tires are good for our planet and your pocketbook."

The new Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 will be offered in five sizes ranging from 15 to 16 inches. Popular fitments include the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, Chevy Malibu and Nissan Altima. The Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia will be offered in six sizes from 16 to 18 inches. Popular fitments include the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, Lexus RX400h, Ford F-150 and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Both tires are backed by the company‟s exclusive Buy and Try 30-Day Guarantee, which allows consumers to return the tires within 30 days if they‟re not completely satisfied.

Both tires will be introduced in the second quarter of 2010.

About Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) is a business unit of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. Reporting into the BATO business unit are the company's Latin American tire operations, the U.S. and Canadian consumer tire businesses and the U.S. and Canadian commercial tire businesses. BATO develops, manufactures and markets Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. The business unit is focused on retail, wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off road, motorcycle, agricultural and other tires to its customers in the Americas. In addition, through its Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions unit, retreading customers have access to industry-leading research and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales expertise, providing them with a total tire solution.

A complete listing of available sizes as well as features and benefits of this tire and other Bridgestone brand tires is available at www.bridgestonetire.com. Visit www.tiresafety.com for news and information about the importance of proper tire inflation and visit www.thinkbeforeyoudrive.org to learn about the company‟s commitment to teen driver safety education and its many programs designed to give young drivers the resources they need to become better, safer drivers.

*Rolling resistance tests were conducted comparing the Ecopia EP422 with the Bridgestone Turanza EL400. The Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia was compared to the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza.
**Mileage benefits are approximate. Actual savings will vary based on several factors, including inflation pressure, type of vehicle and load, road and weather conditions, driving style, etc
.


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