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Rising fuel prices mean that car driving is becoming an increasingly important cost factor. Fleet operators with their numerous vehicles are particularly affected by this development. They have to ensure that their fleets remain economical despite increasing expenditures. Innovations from automakers and their supply industry that will make vehicles more energy-efficient in the future are therefore particularly beneficial for them.
And it is not just private fleet operators who are searching for environmentally friendly and cost-saving solutions. Those awarding public contracts for transactions such as vehicle purchases must take environmental criteria into account. This is ensured by E.U. directives and domestic legislation – where the trend is toward increasing stringency, as demonstrated by the new public contract awarding regulation in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. More efficiency in the municipal vehicle fleet is a welcome development for residents who would like to see less noise, traffic and particulate matter. Employees enjoy traveling in quiet and modern vehicles. And city treasurers are particularly pleased when the vehicle pool can be replaced in a way that doesn’t increase the budget but does lower fuel costs.
The industry is adopting a multi-pronged approach to ensuring cars consume less fuel and emit less CO2 in the future – such as new drive concepts, start-stop systems and more aerodynamic designs. Consumption can be reduced in an efficient and particularly simple way by changing to quality tires with low rolling resistance, also called “green tires.” That’s because the rolling resistance of the four tires alone accounts for 20 to 30 percent of a car’s total fuel consumption – and even up to 40 percent for a truck. “Green tires” have a much lower rolling resistance than conventional tires. A passenger vehicle can save up to seven percent in fuel by using them. What’s more, they can also be fitted to existing vehicles without any difficulty.
Cost-cutting potential for vehicle fleets
To calculate the cost-cutting potential for vehicle fleets, LANXESS has issued a fleet fuel calculator (August 2013) that determines the cost-reduction potential resulting for an entire fleet through green tires.
LANXESS developed this calculator together with Professor Wildemann from the Technical University of Munich to provide a basis for investment decisions. Compared with the fuel-saving app that have been around for a while, the fleet tool offers additional functions.
In addition to the savings potential resulting from low-rolling-resistance tires, the calculator also takes into account the effect that driver training workshops, wheel alignment, air pressure, vehicle loading and other measures have on fuel consumption. Besides conventional cars and trucks, the tool can also calculate the savings potential of garbage trucks, transportation vehicles and other municipal vehicle types.
The economic and ecological savings potential is calculated and depicted graphically: “For a fleet of 100 buses, 150 utility vehicles, 75 light utility vehicles and 75 cars, a switch from standard to green tires would enable fuel savings of up to EUR 1.7 million per year,” says Wildemann. “At the same time, CO2 emissions would fall by 4 million kilograms per year.”
LANXESS road test: trucks achieve fuel savings of almost 10 percent due to “Green Tires”
Truck tire road test with chemical logistics provider TALKE / Results verified by TÜV Rheinland