The Marketplace Reader

Tire rolling resistance standards and your fuel efficiency

Dalasie Michaelis Aug 19, 2008

From Cindy Skrzycki’s business column at WashingtonPost.com.

Now, as gas prices have hit $4 a gallon and more, the idea of reducing tire “rolling resistance” to improve vehicle gas mileage is gaining traction. After 12 years of blocking any such standard, Congress has ordered a consumer information program by next year to inform buyers on what to expect from tires on fuel economy.

The $34 billion tire industry was long divided on the issue. Michelin North America has favored a standard and has started running ads extolling the gas-saving virtues of its tires. Other manufacturers lobbied Congress to block any rule requiring that tires be labeled to indicate their fuel efficiency.[…]

A 2006 study by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that it was feasible to reduce rolling resistance by 10 percent. This would increase the fuel economy of vehicles by 1 to 2 percent, saving up to 2 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel annually.

I wonder what the rolling resistance rating is of the square tires on this bicycle at Macalaster College.

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