Low rolling resistance tires have been increasingly used to help manufacturers improve EPA efficiency ratings. While the specialty rubber used to be found mostly on hybrids, it is starting to find its way onto other vehicles as well, like gas-engined Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs.

According to Modern Tire Dealer, California is looking to capitalize on advances in the tire industry to increase fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions with a new proposal from the California Energy Commissions (CEC). The CEC has assembled a draft proposal to rate tires based on Rolling Resistance Force (RRF) efficiency. All tires that rank within 15% of the lowest combined tire size designation and load rating will be designated a fuel efficient tire.

Under the CEC's proposal, tire manufacturers would have to test their product to the same ISO 28580 test protocol. The CEC is hoping that the tire ranking system will be easy for consumers to understand so they can make an informed decision when it comes time to purchase new shoes for their car or truck.

Not surprisingly, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) isn't exactly keen on the idea of additional oversight. According to Modern Tire Dealer, the RMA says the CEC's proposal would cost the industry up to $20 million, while forcing tire companies to hire additional workers for testing and data analysis (great, new jobs!). The RMA also points out that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also working on its own tire standards system, seemingly rendering the California initiative redundant.

[Source: Modern Tire Dealer]

Share This Photo X