Starting in November 2012, a new EU legislation will take effect requiring all tyres to display a label, indicating their performance in three important areas; rolling resistance, wet grip and noise generation. The new legislation, (EC) No. 1222/2009, will empower the consumer by giving a huge amount of information on their purchase – information that has not been readily available to the public. This new legislation allows consumers to make the important decision on which tyre to purchase based on knowledge about areas such as safety and the impact to the environment and will revolutionise the way we buy tyres for the better when it takes effect in 2012.
A great deal of work between now and November 2012 is needed, by all the major tyre companies such as Goodyear and Michelin, in order to ensure that the thousands of different types and sizes of tyre, for cars, vans and trucks, are graded and labelled as per the test methodology required in the legislation.
The standardised label that will be displayed will be similar to those already seen on many household appliances and more recently for new cars making it familiar and easy to understand.
The left of the label gives important information on energy efficiency grading. Reducing rolling resistance can contribute to improving the energy efficiency and therefore this area of the label will ensure you have the low down on how the tyres contribute to fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The difference in fuel consumption between a car fitted with A and G class tyres is around 0.5 litres per 100 km.
On the right of the label, the tyres wet road performance is shown, determined by a measurement against a reference tyre. What many motorists do not realise is that there is a huge difference in wet grip between different tyres. The difference between a tyre graded A, versus a tyre graded F is over 10 metres in braking difference – the equivalent of twice the length of a car.
Exterior noise is also a major factor when choosing tyres. The level of noise emitted from the vehicle will be shown in decibels at the bottom of the label. Only exterior noise is being measured in this case, not the interior noise impacted by the tyres.
So what will not be included in the label? Well, tyre longevity for one which is a key expectation amongst consumers. However, this new legislation is good news for the consumer and improves the market overall by introducing standards. Tyre manufacturers will need to comply and it is the aim that tyres in lower classes for rolling resistance and wet braking will be eliminated over the next few years, in an attempt to improve safety.