DEKRA test places Hankook e-cube on par with premium
A Hankook-commissioned fuel consumption test comparing the Korean tyre maker’s e-cube truck range with the Michelin X Energy and its own standard truck tyre range has delivered favourable results for the e-cube. The test, carried out by DEKRA’s Automobil Test Center in Klettwitz, Germany, pitted identical Scania G420 4×2’ tractor units and Schmitz Cargobull trailers against each other; these were respectively fitted with Hankook e-cube AL10, Michelin XZA 2 and Hankook AL02 on the steering axle, e-cube DL10, XDA 2+ and DL02 on the drive axle – all size 315/80 R 22 – and e-cube TL10, XTA 2+ and TH02 in size 385/65 R 22.5 on the trailer.
The test was carried out at the DEKRA test oval over a nine-day period between 23 April and 8 May 2012, with each vehicle covering approximately 670 kilometres a day. Hankook reports that its fuel consumption optimised e-cube range achieved “top results”, attaining a documented average consumption of 29.4 litres per 100 kilometres. In the tyre maker’s own words, this performance demonstrated a “significant fuel reduction was confirmed in comparison to Hankook standard models as well as a level of fuel efficiency on par with the Michelin X-Energy tyres.” Hankook did not report the standard and Michelin tyres’ average fuel consumption.
“As a result of the fuel consumption measurements at constant speed with three identical vehicle combinations, each with an alternate set of tyres, it was ascertained that Hankook’s e-cube models allow for fuel savings of up to five per cent,” stated DEKRA testers in their concluding report. “Thus, under the conditions tested, the e-cube model is to be equated with the premium competitor in average fuel consumption for the testing period.”
“The e-cube concept not only focuses on the aspect of efficiency which is of utmost importance in the transportation business but also on the increasingly important aspects environmental friendliness and sustainability,” added Hankook Tire Europe president and CEO Jin-Wook Choi. “We continuously invest in further development of our quality products to make sure Hankook clients profit from the very latest in optimal tyre solutions. We are happy to see this confirmed from an independent and renowned testing authority such as DEKRA.”
The basic compound of all three e-cube treads was optimised for efficiency during its development, Hankook notes. This optimisation process is explained in greater detail by a Hankook press statement: “Through the increase of low dampening compounds used in the tread, a significant reduction in visco-elastic power loss was achieved, that as a principle is inherent to the tyre tread: Less energy is lost and the tyres’ fuel efficiency improved. In addition, the innovative Hankook mixture process IMS (Innovative Mixing System) allows for a much more consistent distribution of soot particles and rubber molecules within the mixtures. In combination with extended mixing periods at reduced temperatures this results in a significant increase in the connection rate between the soot and rubber molecules. As a result the e-cube tyres produce less warmth, which also has positive effects on the tyres fuel efficiency by reducing consumption.”
Hankook states that the e-cube series’ tread designs reduce fuel consumption without affecting mileage or performance. “The patented Hankook design technology ‘Stiffness Control Contour Theory’ (SCCT) provides more stability and less movement by ensuring balanced pressure distribution within the tyres,” the tyre maker shares. “Compared to its predecessor this result in considerably increased carcass durability and promises excellent retreadability and cost efficiency. All e-cube tyres are classified ‘low-noise’ and are therefore in principle eligible for funding. Upcoming regulations with regard to rolling resistance and noise, which will become stricter in the future, have already been taken into consideration in the development of all three tyre types.”