Green tires: Where the rubber meets the road

by Jim Motavalli
Mother Nature Network
September 17, 2012

AIKEN, S.C. ‚Äî Most of us don’t think about tires much until we either get a flat or they wear out, and then the bite of up to $1,000 or more for all four corners sure gets our attention. Most of all, we don’t think of tires as having anything at all to do with fuel economy, when in fact they make a big difference.

The feds recently finalized the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which will require automakers to achieve a fleet average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. It’s safe to say automakers are looking for fuel economy wherever they can find it, and tires are now a big focus. Up to 15 percent of the gas in your tank goes to overcoming your tires’ resistance to the road, the Department of Energy says, so it’s not surprising that you can improve fuel economy up to 4.5 percent with low rolling-resistance tires.

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