The idea of reducing the rolling resistance
of tires to improve efficiency is certainly not a new one. Tire manufacturers have been making improvements in this area for years. Most electric and hybrid vehicles
use extremely low rolling resistance tires in order to cut rolling drag to a bare minimum. A new proposal from the European Commission would make these types of tires mandatory beginning in 2012. The proposal would set the maximum drag for new tires limited to 12kg/tonne in 2012, and then 10.5kg/tonne in 2014. The only problem with this is that
reducing rolling resistance generally also reduces traction. If implemented, the new limits could effectively ban the wide tires used by high performance cars. Without these high grip tires, such cars would be essentially undrivable. The commission hopes the change will reduce CO2
emissions by up to five percent.