US to Test Rolling Resistance
The US independent tyre testing company, Smithers Scientific Services, has been awarded a $400,000 (£210,000) contract from the California Energy Commission to conduct a study of tyre characteristics in relation to rolling resistance.
The study will involve tyre rolling resistance, traction and treadwear testing, and according to the company will potentially serve as the basis for a fuel efficiency reporting system and minimum- efficiency standards.
“Lower tyre rolling resistance can directly lead to better vehicle fuel economy,” said David Schwarz, vice president of technical services and sales for Smithers. “However, as with any tyre characteristic, there are potential tradeoffs. Thus, the Energy Commission study is not limited to rolling resistance testing. Additional work will be conducted to evaluate other performance attributes.”
There is currently very little information, in terms of tyre rolling resistance or fuel economy, available to consumers purchasing replacement tyres. The study will take about 18 months to complete and testing will be conducted at Smithers’ indoor laboratories in Ohio.