Challenge Bibendum Gets Underway Sunday
On Sunday May 30 the 10th Michelin Challenge Bibendum gets underway. This year the five-day event is being held in Rio de Janeiro, and Michelin states that during the course of the week it will present future generations of its low fuel consumption tyres, the first prototype tyres for electric vehicles (which can reportedly increase vehicle operating range by almost ten per cent) and motorised wheels plus the Michelin Active Wheel, both products intended to optimise the design of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Most Challenge Bibendum events will take place in the Riocentro Convention and Exhibition Center, which was also the venue for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit that led to the Agenda 21 sustainable development programme for the 21st century. The first day features the start of the Challenge Bibendum rally and the technical tests. The nearly 80 vehicles that will take part are divided into three categories, each to follow its own itinerary. Cars will drive from Rio de Janeiro to Petrópolis, north of the city, while trucks and buses will travel from Rio to Resende west of the city, and urban vehicles will be driven near the Riocentro. The rally will also include acceleration, noise and handling tests to demonstrate the very low “well-to-wheel” carbon emissions for vehicles that use certain types of biofuels, such as ethanol made from sugar cane, as well as for electric vehicles.
During the five-day event, the 4,500 guests and participants will have the opportunity to talk with each other, meet international sustainable mobility experts, test some of the nearly 150 vehicles entered in the Michelin Challenge Bibendum, take part in theme discussions and a forum, visit the Technology Exhibition Center and attend press conferences, including those held by Michel Rollier, Didier Miraton and Jean-Dominique Senard on Tuesday June 1.
The event’s official opening ceremony of the will take place on the morning of May 31, and will be attended by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Sergio Cabral, Governor of Rio de Janeiro State, Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro; and government officials from both Brazil and Argentina and from other countries.
This is the first time that the Michelin Challenge Bibendum, which was inaugurated in 1998, has been held in South America. Michelin notes the event is the only one of its kind in the world that brings together car, truck, bus and motorcycle manufacturers, academics, OEMs, energy suppliers, research institutes, government authorities, NGOs and other sustainable mobility stakeholders to discuss the issues involved in the challenges of sustainable mobility.