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The Green Life: Fuel Savings From a Tire?

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June 23, 2009

Fuel Savings From a Tire?

Green tire Michelin wants to help the phrase “green driving” become less of an oxymoron. The company released a new tire this month and claims that it reduces a vehicle’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2,000 pounds per year—or, as Michelin advertises, by as much as planting 40 trees.

During Michelin’s tests, their Energy Saver A/S Tires made cars up to 8 percent more fuel-efficient than other brands’ comparable tires. The tires also lasted 16,000 miles longer before they had to be replaced.

The fuel savings are achieved in part because of a special tread rubber that keeps the tires cooler and lessens the amount of work the engine does. The tires also decrease rolling resistance, but, Michelin assures customers, breaking power is not; the tires stop 8 feet shorter than fuel-saving tires from other companies.

Energy Saver A/S tires come in sizes that fit both hybrid and mainstream vehicles and offer a promising way to put a dent in the 11,450 pounds of carbon dioxide that an average car releases each year. But you still might want to consider planting those 40 trees to help offset the rest.

--Sarah F. Kessler

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