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Inside Bridgestone Ecopia H002: the tyre cutting costs and CO2 emissions

We speak to Ecopia H002’s Product Manager, Can Topcuoglu

Inside Bridgestone Ecopia H002: the tyre cutting costs and CO2 emissions

Helping our customers reduce both their total cost of ownership and CO2 output is key for us at Bridgestone EMEA. That’s why the portfolio of products, solutions, and technologies we offer to our customers is engineered with those two benefits front-of-mind. Leading that charge – as a product that offers not one but both – is Bridgestone Ecopia H002, our new flagship tyre for trucks.

Ecopia is our tyre range that pioneers low rolling resistance technology to make vehicles more fuel efficient. By achieving that, the Ecopia range reduces both the vehicle’s fuel bill and environmental impact. But we know what you’re thinking: it’s difficult to see how a tyre can reduce fuel use to such an extent.

So, following the launch of the Ecopia H002, we conducted a long-haul fuel consumption test in collaboration with MAN ProfiDrive®. After travelling from Munich to Rome – a 1.030 km distance – the results showed that trucks fitted with Ecopia H002 used 11.4 percent less fuel than trucks fitted with C-labelled regional operation tyres. Of course, this represents an important environmental benefit but also a financial one – approximatively a €5,000 saving per truck, per year[1].

But exactly how are these benefits made possible? We sat down with Ecopia H002’s Product Manager, Can Topcuoglu, to delve a little deeper inside the fuel saving tyre.

“The main challenge wasn’t just to achieve the coveted fuel efficiency ‘A-grade’ in steer, drive and trailer[2] when we began development; we also set out to improve the Ecopia H002’s wet braking and traction performance from its predecessor,” says Topcuoglu. “To make this possible we had to introduce a number of innovative technologies to the process.

“You achieve improved fuel efficiency through tyres by improving the tyre’s rolling resistance. One of the main contributors to low rolling resistance is the use of smart pattern tread designs that are very good at controlling deformation. Achieving that requires patterns designed to optimise stiffness,” explains Topcuoglu.

“Another contributor to improved rolling resistance is the use of new compound materials to form the tyres. In the case of the Ecopia H002, the introduction of our high silica compound allowed us to significantly improve the tyre’s rolling resistance and wet performance at the same time – a big achievement considering that there’s typically a trade-off between these two benefits.”

Improving the Ecopia H002’s rolling resistance was a key priority during the tyre’s development, but so was enhancing its capabilities in the wet. Topcuoglu explains why: “We co-developed the Ecopia H002 with the end users we were designing it for: European fleets. During the research process with our fleet partners we discovered that wet weather performance is their main concern when it comes to fuel efficient tyres. This was resulting in many fleets not using these tyres during the wetter months.

“We wanted to ensure that fleets could feel safe using Ecopia H002 all year long. So, we made wet performance a key consideration and ended up with a tyre with best-in-class wet traction that outperforms all competitors – as proven by the results of the TUV SUD benchmark test[3] and EU label B-B-B grade combination in wet grip in steer, drive and trailer.[4] And with 3PMSF and M+S markings available in all positions, the Ecopia H002 is fully winter ready – providing fleets with peace of mind all year round.”

Better still, the fuel efficient Ecopia H002 tyre has arrived on the market at a crucial time for truck manufacturers to support their efforts, as Topcuoglu explains: “Last year, the European Commission announced that by 2025, vehicle manufacturers need to reduce the total CO₂ emissions of their trucks by 15 percent (vs. a 2019-2020 baseline). In 2030 that reduction target increases to 30 percent.”

Ecopia may be leading the line when it comes to fuel efficient truck tyres in Bridgestone’s portfolio, but it’s not the only player. We’ve set ourselves the target of reducing tyre rolling resistance by 25 percent from a 2005 baseline across our entire portfolio; in 2018, we achieved a 21 percent reduction. We’re making great progress and will continue to do so to make the future of mobility more sustainable.

[1] Test carried out by MAN Profidrive drivers in collaboration with BSEMEA. 3 same MAN trucks (MAX TGX X-Line) fitted with Krone semi-trailers drove from Munich to Aprilia on 13 & 14th of May. Bridgestone H002 compared to Bridgestone regional range (RS1+/RD1+/R168) in 315/70R22.5 steer, drive and 385/55R22.5 trailer fitment. Fuel cost results simulated using the indexed fuel consumption values following the assumption set for one long haul truck doing average mileage of 130.000km and average fuel consumption of 25lt/km. Diesel price 1.3€/lt

[2] EU label grades in long haul sizes 315/70R22.5 and 385/55R22.5

[3] Test carried out by TÜV SÜD at the request of Bridgestone in June 2018 at ADAC proving ground in Hockenheim (D). Bridgestone Ecopia H-Drive 002 compared to Goodyear Fuelmax D, Continental EcoPlus HD3, Michelin X-Line Energy D2, Pirelli TH:01 in 315/70R22.5 size. (Report number: 713136052-7_1)

[4] B grade wet grip in 315/70R22.5 and 385/55R22.5 sizes according to European Tyre Labelling Regulation.