A greener world through tires?

Thursday, January 13, 2011 by Hunter Leffel
Recently we started including fuel economy results from data collected during our road ride tests. We tested what I would expect to be the most fuel-effiecent (eco-friendly all season) and the least (Max Performance Summer). At one end of the spectrum are the tires that have been engineered from beginning to end to give the least amount of resistance to roll. Of course there are trade-offs on the performance side of the equation to acheive that. At the other end are some of the stickiest options. While these provide incredible levels of traction, tread life and ride quality tend to suffer a bit. 

The results of the individual fuel consumption portion of those tests follow.

Eco-Friendly All-Season

Tire Line Test
MPG*
Gallons/Year
@ 15,000 Miles
% vs. Most Efficient
Continental ProContact w/EcoPlus Technology 28.1 533.8 -0.36%
Goodyear Assurance featuring Fuel Max Technology 28.2 531.9 ---
Kumho eco Solus HM KR22 27.8 539.6 -1.44%
Michelin HydroEdge with Green X 27.8 539.6 -1.44%
*Our evaluation used Linear Logic ScanGauge II automotive computers to record fuel consumption and Race Technology DL1 data loggers to record true distance travelled.


Max Performance Summer

Tire Line Test
MPG*
Gallons/Year
@ 15,000 Miles
% vs. Most Efficient
Continental ExtremeContact DW 26.7 561.8 -0.75%
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 26.4 568.2 -1.89%
Kumho Ecsta LE Sport 26.4 568.2 -1.89%
Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 26.9 557.6 --
*Our evaluation used Linear Logic ScanGauge II automotive computers to record fuel consumption, and Race Technology DL1 data loggers to record true distance travelled.

Comparing the most efficient in both categories (26.9 mpg vs 28.2), it is easy to see about 5% increase in fuel economy.  While this difference is not much in a single household's eco footprint, the effect can be more significant when extended on a community, state, national or even global scale.

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