Toyota iQ to Debut With Bridgestone Ecopia as OE
Bridgestone has announced that its Ecopia EP25 tyres will be supplied as original equipment for Toyota’s ‘iQ’ model, which is scheduled for release in Japan on November 20 and in Europe in early 2009. The iQ will be fitted with the low rolling resistance tyre in 175/65R15 84S size.
In a press statement announcing the OE deal, Bridgestone says it believes the company can make a significant contribution to addressing worldwide environmental issues such as global warming through the development of tyres that provide greater reduction in rolling resistance, and thus improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In calculating carbon dioxide emissions at each stage of the tyre lifecycle, from raw materials to disposal, Bridgestone discovered that 87 per cent of total emissions occur during the usage stage.
The Ecopia brand name has been used in Japan since 1991, on tyres fitted to electric powered cars, and later on a series of replacement market tyres designed for bases and trucks. The first Ecopia tyre for passenger cars, the EP100, was released in April 2008. The tyre major says it plans to further extend the Ecopia range, and also extend the scope of the product’s coverage to the global market and their OE applications. Supplying the tyre as standard equipment on the Toyota iQ is a major step towards making this a reality, Bridgestone adds. By incorporating technologies used in Ecopia tyres, such as NanoPro-Tech, into existing product lines, Bridgestone will expand its range of eco-products. The company states its intention to convert 100 per cent of its replacement market summer passenger car tyre range in Japan to eco-products by 2014.