Michelin Primacy HP to Benefit Vauxhall ecoFLEX
Michelin reports it has developed a tyre – the energy-efficient Primacy HP – specifically for Vauxhall’s new Insignia ecoFLEX. The tyre is said to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 0.2 litres per 100 kilometres, thereby lowering CO2 emissions by more than four grams per kilometre. In this way, the tyre contributes to the Insignia ecoFLEX’s notable performance in terms of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, which for the 160-horsepower vehicle are fewer than 140 grams per kilometre.
As with all its tyres displaying the Green X marking, Michelin says it has met the challenge of increasing energy efficiency while improving other qualities such as grip and longevity. The company has been involved in GM’s development program since its inception and has set up a dedicated technical team for the Insignia project. The car manufacturer identified very early on the important contribution tyres can make to a vehicle’s environmental balance. Indeed, tyres account for 20 per cent of total fuel consumption, reports Michelin. With each turn of the wheel, the tyre compresses to hug the road and absorb surface irregularities. As its structure is deformed, the rubber heats up and some of the energy is lost, a phenomenon that creates rolling resistance.
In 1992, Michelin demonstrated that integrating silica in tyre rubber compounds would reduce fuel consumption while optimising performance in other key areas, such as grip and wear-resistance. Since the market launch of these first green tyres, Michelin says it has helped to generate fuel savings of more than 10 billion litres, thereby reducing the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere by 25 million tonnes.