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Greener driving with the right tires

Here’s how to save up to half a litre of fuel per 100 kilometres

Choosing the right tires can have a significant effect on your driving emissions. Taking differences in features, materials and the manufacturer’s environmental responsibility into account can help lower your carbon footprint when buying new tires.

Choosing the right tires can help lower the emissions and fuel consumption of your vehicle. The most direct impact comes from differences in rolling resistance, which refers to the energy lost when the tire is moving. The lower the rolling resistance, the less energy is lost, and less fuel is needed. Better fuel efficiency has a positive effect on the driver’s carbon footprint with reduced CO2 emissions. For electric vehicles, lower rolling resistance translates to a longer driving range.

‘Rolling resistance has a huge impact on fuel consumption. A tire with correct pressures and a top A classification in the EU tire labelling system can save up to half a litre of fuel per 100 kilometres when compared to the lowest performing tires,’ said Nokian Tyres’ technical customer service manager Matti Morri.

The EU tire labelling system makes it easy to compare differences in fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise. Over 90% of Nokian Tyres' products represent the top classifications in rolling resistance.

Adopting an economic driving style has an equally important role in lowering the environmental impact of your driving. By avoiding idling, utilising engine breaking, predicting traffic, and preheating your vehicle in cold weather can lower fuel consumption by up to 20%. Maintaining correct tire pressures is also vital.

‘An economic driving style helps tires last longer in use. Money spent in tires and taking regular care of your vehicle will pay itself back as fuel consumption is kept to a minimum,’ explained Matti.

When considering the total climate impact of a tire, it is important to compare the differences in environmental responsibilities of different manufacturers.

‘A significant part of our production runs on renewable energy. Solar panels produce electricity for our storage facilities in Nokia, Finland as well as our new Spain test center,’ Nokian Tyres’ head of innovation and development Teemu Soini illustrated.

Nokian Tyres is a pioneer in giving up the use of harmful high aromatic oils. The latest innovation at Nokian Tyres is the Green Step concept tire that incorporates an ambitious design with 93% of the materials either recycled or renewable.

According to recent global studies, as many as one billion tires are discarded annually across the world. What happens to tires at the end of their lifecycle?

‘In Europe the recycling rate of a used tire is very high. The rubber materials can be separated and recycled into new tires. The metal reinforcements can also be recycled back into tire production or for the use of other industries,’ Teemu Soini said.

In addition to recycled materials, tire manufacturing also features many renewable materials. A renewable material is derived from natural resources such as trees or plants. Renewable materials are a natural part of carbon circulation and do not contribute to the overall greenhouse effect.

‘Renewable natural rubber harvested from rubber trees is a key component in tire manufacturing. We are also doing research that aims to find renewable alternatives for carbon black and synthetic rubbers,’ Teemu Soini said.

Fighting climate change requires broad and innovative collaboration between different industries.

‘We are constantly discovering new forms of collaboration and promoting circular economy. For instance, the by-products of the forest and pulp industry could be refined into materials for tire manufacturing,’ Teemu Soini highlighted.

Quick Guide to greener driving
  • Compare the rolling resistance and other key features before buying new tires. The EU tire labelling system makes comparing tires easier.

  • Find out about the ways tire manufacturers carry their environmental responsibility.

  • Adopt an economic driving style. Avoid idling, use engine braking, predict traffic and pre-heat your vehicle in cold weather.

  • Check and take care of your tire pressures at least once a month. Too low a pressure level shortens the lifespan of a tire.

  • Also check the wheel alignment. Incorrect wheel alignment reduce grip and accelerate tire wear. Fuel consumption also increases as rolling resistance becomes higher.

  • Recycle old tires according to your local recycling guidelines.


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