Consumers no longer have to sacrifice roadholding, braking distance or tyre life when buying an environmentally-friendly tyre. This was the message from Bridgestone Marketing Manager, Tony Burns, as he announced the launch of Bridgestone’s flagship ‘green’ tyre, Ecopia.
“The Ecopia combines a unique tyre compound with fine detailing to give a tyre that not only reduces fuel consumption, but gives a quieter ride and improved roadholding,” Burns said. “Perhaps the greatest innovation of our new tyre is its ability to offer reduced rolling resistance without compromising on braking performance.”
The heart of the Ecopia formula is a specially-designed silica compound combined with a coupling agent which limits friction between the carbon compounds of the tyre, giving lower rolling resistance. With less energy being channeled into heat buildup, the Ecopia runs cooler and more economically – in controlled tests, the Ecopia showed itself to be 3.1 percent more fuel-efficient than an equivalent conventional tyre. Improved fuel-efficiency also means a reduction in Co2 emissions.
“Reduced emissions is a key target for the Ecopia,” commented Burns. “It’s widely believed that most of the lifetime emissions attributable to a tyre are released during its manufacture and disposal, but the real surprise is that 87 percent of a tyre’s emissions actually arise during its useful life. Cutting fuel consumption therefore plays a far bigger part in reducing the lifetime emissions of a tyre than is generally realised,” he added.
Despite its exceptional environmental performance, the Ecopia managed to shave almost six percent off the wet braking distance of its conventional counterpart during testing. This improvement is mainly due to rib linking technology which braces the tread blocks against longitudinal displacement under heavy braking. The rib linking combines with specially-designed contours which stabilise the shoulder of the tyre and resist deformation, contributing to better stability and reduced rolling resistance. This also reduces road noise, giving a more pleasant ride to vehicle occupants, and reducing noise pollution in roadside communities.
The result is a tyre which matches or outdoes a conventional tyre in all areas of the performance chart, but really shines in rolling resistance, with longer tyre life as an important additional bonus.
The Ecopia tyre is available in a variety of sizes to fit almost any vehicle on the roads, and is competitively priced against its conventional opposition. “The Ecopia is the first green tyre to outstrip conventional tyres on overall performance,” Burns commented. “It represents not only a major milestone for Bridgestone, but a new era in tyre technology,” he concluded.