Bridgestone OE for Mercedes S-Class Hybrid
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid Long is the first imported hybrid vehicle to hit Japan’s roads, so it’s no surprise that Bridgestone is proud to announce the supply of its Potenza RE050 Ecopia range as original equipment. The RE050 Ecopia will be fitted to the large German saloon in 255/45R18 99Y size.
As the name suggests, Ecopia is Bridgestone’s flagship environmental range, and in its Potenza guise is described as a tyre that offers strong wet and dry performance while delivering reduced rolling resistance. This desire to cut down rolling resistance, says Bridgestone, stems from the discovery by the Japan Rubber Manufacturers Association that 87.1 per cent of total carbon dioxide emissions during a tyre’s lifecycle occur during the usage stage. Bridgestone believes it 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 began producing Ecopia brand tyres for trucks in 2002. The first Ecopia tyre for passenger cars, the EP100, was released in April 2008.
Upon announcing its OE supply to the Mercedes S-Class hybrid, Bridgestone also disclosed plans to further expand the Ecopia range and extend the line-up’s scope of coverage to global and original equipment markets. By incorporating technologies used in Ecopia tyres, such as NanoPro-Tech (a technology that draws out the special characteristics of rubber and controls the microstructure of materials through molecular design), into existing product lines, Bridgestone says it will expand its “eco-product” portfolio. Plans are afoot to convert 100 per cent of Bridgestone’s replacement market passenger car summer tyres in Japan to eco-products by 2014.