EU and UK tyres to feature explanatory quality labels by end of next year
The labels have been introduced to help fleet managers, maintenance companies and the general public to make informed decisions about the quality of tyres they buy. The new labels, part of EU regulations, will apply to all tyres manufactured after July 2012 and on sale after November 2012, regardless of date of manufacture. The tyre Label will apply to car and sports utility vehicle (SUV) tyres, van tyres and truck tyres but not to re-treaded tyres, off-road tyres, spare tyres or vintage car tyres.
The information displayed on the label will show wet grip, rolling resistance (fuel efficiency) and noise. The wet grip and rolling resistance ratings will be displayed as coloured bands from A-G, A being the best and G being the worst. External noise will be measured in decibels and split into three categories represented by black sound waves – with one sound-wave representing the quietest tyres and three representing the noisiest.
The Campaign for Better Tyres was set up by national environmental NGO Environmental Protection UK to promote energy efficient, low noise and safer tyres. They recommend that fleet management and maintenance companies now consider setting a minimum standard based on these labels for their tyre procurement policy.
Layla Redway-Harris, campaign manager at the Campaign for Better Tyres said: 'Ahead of the new labels we’re urging fleet managers and maintenance companies to look at their current tyre procurement approaches now.
'In this current economic climate it can be hard to justify spending the extra money on premium tyres. The reality is that they can save you money in the long term and should be linked to business and public sector organisation’s overall approach to safety, energy efficiency and environmental responsibility'
For fuel efficiency, the difference between each grade means a reduction or increase in fuel consumption of between 2.5%-4.5%. For wet grip, the difference between each grade is a stopping distance of between 3-6 meters when travelling at 50mph. For noise, one sound-wave means that the tyre is 3db quieter than the new, tighter future European limit. Two sound-waves mean that it is already compliant with the future European limit and three sound-waves mean it is only compliant with the current limits.