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EU LABELS

The EU Regulation introduces labeling requirements which refer to the display of information on the fuel efficiency (rolling resistance), wet grip and external noise of a tire to increase the safety and productivity of road transport. It allows end users to make a more informed choice when selecting a tire. The Regulation requires that all tires produced from 1st July 2012 and on sale in the EU from 1st November 2012 carry a sticker or have a label, which must be shown to the end user before purchasing.

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WIDEWAY POSITION

Wideway, in compliance with stringent quality control procedures, welcomes and fully supports the introduction of the tire label, considering it an excellent means to offering end-users more transparency and help in obtaining information when purchasing new tires. The overall value of a tire must be measured on a full list of factors (handling both on dry and wet surfaces, aquaplaning behavior, high speed stability, dry braking, mileage etc.) on which wideway tests all tires. As the label doesn’t show certain more specific information about a particular tire such as winter tires and their performances, the dealers retain a crucial role in the consumers purchasing decision as they will always be the expert who can recommend the right tire for the individual needs of each end user.

FAQ
  • Do all tires fall under the scope of the Regulation?

    The rules apply only to passenger car tires (C1), light truck tires (C2) and heavy duty vehicle tires (C3). The following categories are excluded from the scope:

    · retreaded tire

    · professional off-road tires

    · racing tires

    · studded tires

    · temporary-use spare tires

    · tires designed to be fitted on vehicles registered for the first time before 1 October 1990

    · tires with a speed rating of less than 80 km/h

    · tires with a nominal rim diameter that does not exceed 254 mm or is 635 mm or more

  • Are there any plans to issue an EU-fuel savings calculator showing the impact of differently labeled tires on fuel consumption/fuel spending?

    The European Commission will start work to develop a harmonised fuel saving calculator which could eventually be posted on each manufacturers’ websites, to calculate fuel savings and compare products.

  • Are there any plans to include retread tires?

    There are plans to introduce labeling requirements to retread tires; however this will be decided after an impact assessment is performed by the European Commission. The Commission will present the result of this assessment by no later than March 2016.

  • Why are “POR” tires excluded from labeling?

    POR tires are specially designed to reach exceptional performance levels in poor conditions and on all terrain, which means that they cannot be measured by regulatory thresholds and grading levels.

  • How is compliance with the tire label regulation secured?

    It is the responsibility of the national market surveillance authorities to evaluate compliance with declared classifications. The verification procedures are described below in Annex IV of the regulation.

  • What is the difference between limit and grading?

    A limit is the minimum acceptable performance level for a tire to be authorized on the European market. A grading will give the performance level under defined testing conditions of the tire based on its rolling resistance, its braking capacity on wet surfaces and its external noise emission.

  • How is wet grip linked to road safety?

    Wet grip refers to the safety performance of tires: it reflects the capacity of a tire to brake on a wet road. There are other parameters which are relevant for safety (e.g. road holding ability, directional control, deceleration ability on wet and dry surfaces at higher speed, aquaplaning behavior) but wet grip was identified as the most important safety factor in Europe.

  • What is the relationship between wet grip and rolling resistance?

    There are many different tire characteristics that affect the rolling resistance (RR) of a tire. The RR can be adjusted by modifying certain of these characteristics, but some of them can also have a negative impact on wet grip. The tire development engineer must make these adjustments to achieve the optimum balance for RR and wet grip.  If tire RR limits are lowered too far, the wet grip performance could be adversely affected.

  • What is rolling resistance (RR) ?

    RR is a force acting in opposition to the direction of travel when a tire is rolling. Due to the vehicle load, the tire is deformed in the area in contact with the road surface. This deformation causes internal losses, just like a rubber ball hitting the ground that does not bounce back as high as it was launched.  tire RR can be expressed as a Force (Newton) or as a Coefficient (RRC). The rolling resistance coefficient is defined as RR force (N) divided by the tire load. The advantage of the coefficient is that it allows easier comparison of tires designed to be fitted on different cars.

  • How does RR contribute to vehicle fuel consumption? What other factors contribute to fuel consumption?

    The vehicle engine has to provide a force to compensate for RR. This consumes fuel and so contributes to the vehicle fuel consumption. As a rule of thumb, reducing RR by 6% decreases fuel consumption by 1% for passenger cars. Many other factors contribute to vehicle fuel consumption:  Aerodynamics, vehicle weight, type of engine, auxiliary systems like air-conditioning, slope of the road, personal driving style, tire pressure level, accelerations or general traffic conditions.