Dr. Patrick Oliva, Michelin, at the 2010 NAIAS – part two

Dr. Patrick Oliva, Michelin, at the 2010 NAIAS – part two

2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Detroit, MI – Dr. Patrick Oliva is the global Vice President of sustainable development for the Michelin Group.

I wrote an article in 2006 about the savings from a In a white paper written by the USEPA entitled “Effect of Single Wide Tires and Trailer Aerodynamics on Fuel Economy and NOx Emissions of Class 8 line-haul tractor-trailers” tests were done that proved that there was a fuel savings with the X-One single wide tire on Class 8 trucks.

Luc M. Minguet, Executive Vice President of Michelin North America explained how the biggest savings occurred; “the duals truckers have been using, XDAHT, were the least fuel efficient. The truckers got on average 5mpg with these tires. If they were replaced with the more fuel efficient XDAs they received an increase in fuel efficiency of 5.25 mpg.

If the duals were replaced with X-Ones the mpg went up to 5.45 on the same vehicle.” CFI gets 6 mpg. They have studied their numbers in real world exercises and know they will get an increase of 5/10 from duallies to X-Ones that brings their mileage to 6.30 mpg.

To a passenger car that goes about 15,000 miles a year an increase of .30 mpg is nothing. You could get that much of an increase by clearing the junk out of your trunk. But to a long-hauler every increase in mpg counts.

On average a long-hauler drives 130,000 miles per year. At 6 mpg the long-hauler purchases 21,667 gallons of gas per year. By just switching to X-Ones there would be a savings of close to 1,032 gallons of gas a year. There are approximately 1,250,000 long-haulers on the road yearly, bringing the savings of fuel to 12,900,000 gallons of gas yearly if they changed their duallies to the X-One wide tire.

There is also a savings in oil when making the X-One wide tire. The main ingredients in producing a tire are steel, natural and synthetic rubber and carbon black, aka oil products. It takes approximately seven gallons of oil to produce one dual truck tire.

According to Michelin engineers it takes 9.5 gallons of oil products to produce an X-One. On an 18-wheeler with dual tires (2 steer tires and 16 duals) that means 126 gallons of oil product used in the production of tires. Replacing the tractor and trailer duals to X-Ones would save 36 gallons of oil products in production. With 1,250,000 18-wheelers on the road that would be a savings of 45,000,000 gallons of oil products.

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.