These new regulatory provisions represent major progress in terms of the information given to the consumer on safety (braking on wet ground) and environmental topics (rolling resistance, external noise). They require information to be given to consumers concerning fuel consumption, grip on wet ground and external rolling noise.
Purpose of the regulation
The aim of this new regulation is to increase the safety and the environmental and economic efficiency of road transport by promoting safe, fuel-efficient tyres with low rolling noise levels. Tyre labelling should enable consumers to make more informed choices based on an assessment of these three factors, in addition to the other criteria usually considered at the time of purchase.
However, it is important to be aware that fuel efficiencies and road safety also strongly depend on driver behaviour, in particular the following points:
- eco-driving can significantly reduce fuel consumption,
- tyre pressure should be appropriate and checked regularly to ensure optimum fuel consumption and grip on wet ground,
- braking distances must always be strictly adhered to.
It is important to bear in mind that the three criteria described in the label, while important, do not exhaustively cover the full scope of a tyre's performance.
The left-hand side of the label shows the contribution made by the tyre to fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Tyres, mainly due to their rolling resistance, account for around 20% of vehicles' fuel consumption. A reduction in rolling resistance can therefore make a considerable contribution to the energy efficiency of road transport, and thus to reducing emissions (CO2). It is rolling resistance, measured on a simulator, that determines the grade of the tyre.
What is the difference between an A tyre and a G tyre?
The difference in Rolling Resistance is considerable and represents a technological evolution of several tyre generations.
On a Touring vehicle, the difference in impact on fuel consumption between an A tyre and a G tyre is very large, in the order of 0.5 litres/100km. This amounts to around 80 litres of fuel per year (assuming 15,000km/year).
Over €100/year for a petrol vehicle (at a pump price of €1.30/l.)
The economic impact is very considerable, and so is the environmental impact, as this difference in consumption corresponds to 12g of CO2 emissions per km.
The right-hand side of the label shows the tyre's performance when braking in the wet. The measurements are taken on vehicles in conditions defined by the European regulation (speed, road characteristics, water depth, temperature, etc.).
The grade is established by comparing the performance of the tested tyre with a reference tyre.
What is the difference between an A tyre and an F tyre? (For this safety performance, tyres given a G grade are not authorised for sale).
The difference in braking distance between a vehicle fitted with category A tyres and a vehicle fitted with category F tyres is over 18 metres.
External rolling noise
Traffic noise is a major irritant. The lower part of the label concerns the level of noise emitted outside the vehicle, and not the noise perceived by the driver inside the vehicle. The figure expresses the sound level in decibels.
In addition to the noise value in decibels dB(A), a pictogram shows whether the tyre's external rolling noise value is over the compulsory future upper European limit (3 black waves = noisier tyre), between the future upper limit and a level 3 dB below it (2 black waves = average tyre) or over 3 dB below the future upper limit (1 black wave = low-noise tyre).
Other sources of information for users
For categories of tyres for private cars, light utility vehicles and trucks, the labelling information will be presented on the manufacturers' promotional documents, including on the internet.
The same information must also be shown on (or with) the tyre sales invoice given to the buyer. The user will then be able to improve his or her knowledge of the products and compare them on the basis of these criteria.