“Why and how do tires pose so much resistance? It has to do with the interaction between the tires and road surface while the vehicle is in motion. Tires are almost always observed when stationary, and so we tend to think of them as unchanging, hard, fixed objects. In reality, tires are very animated and interactive during use.
While under load and rolling, the tire tread necessarily deforms against the road surface and then returns to its static state. This tire contact patch deformation and road surface interaction is crucial to vehicle grip and performance (consider how much grip a rolling cement circle might contribute), but the process requires notable energy.”
This essentially tells us that the entire construction of a normal radial tire is not typically optimized for maximum fuel savings. It is built to save the consumer money when purchasing but beyond that, it is actually costing more due to the extra 4% to 7% of fuel the vehicle is consuming. Most people do not know this and miss out on getting the extra 1-4 mpg in fuel savings from their hybrid, which overtime amounts to extra money in your wallet.
Taking a look at LRR Tire (Low Rolling Resistance) and knowing a few benefits of them. It is time to take a look at the top three brands that are the best and most suitable choices for your Toyota Prius, Honda Hybrid or whatever your drive.
Michelin Energy Saver A/S
Michelin has been pioneering energy saving tires back before we really even knew about it. Their “Green X” technology has been part of a movement that has been revolutionary in helping people get the best bang for their buck when it comes to buying tires. The combination of an advanced tread compound that allows the tread to stay cooler means less energy is being lost due to heat and the overall efficiency of the tire goes up.
Stiffer sidewalls attribute to less deformation meaning less overall drag from tires that have low pressure in them. I personally have had a great experience with Michelin tires and even though they will cost you some coin, rest easy knowing they have your back when it comes to getting every penny back out of them over the life span of the tire. Learn more at michelinman.com
Yokohama Avid Ascend
Yokohama as a little different take on the “eco” friendly tire they are building. Not only do they utilize similar technology as the Michelin, but they also build the tire differently. Yokohama has “orange oil” technology which they use the orange oil in place of petroleum in the tread of the tire. This reduces the amount of crude required to make the tire.
It also has technology called “blue earth” which is more than just something built into the tire. The blue earth tech that is in the Yokohama is a layer that reduces the deformation while rolling thus providing a more efficient ride. It also helps quite a lot with ride comfort as well. Learn more at Yokohamatire.com
Continental Eco Contact
Continental is next up in the battle between bests. Their Eco Contact tire has several takes on what a low rolling resistance tire really should be. The improved component geometry coupled with better silica distribution gives the tread a more stable roll while traveling down the road. This, with the “Green Chili 2.0” Compound which helps reduce rubber loss through its life, means this tire is a seriously great option for your wallet and your ride. Learn more at continental-tires.com
If you love your Toyota Prius, or any other hybrid for that matter. Do the right thing and give it the tires it deserves. Not only will it bring you a smoother more comfortable ride, but you will also see those cost savings at the pump.
Do you like what you see? Please, check out more at TorqueNews.com for other updates and stories trending in the automotive industry. See you in the next story.
Also Watch A Simple Way To Clean Your Car's Wheels and Click to Subscribe to Torque News Youtube Channel for Daily News on Toyota and the Automotive Industry.
See you in the next story where I am discussing 2010 -2014 3rd Generation Toyota Prius 2 things you need to know before buying.
Peter Neilson is automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He is an automotive technology instructor at Columbia Basin College. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reache on Linkedin and at Certified Consulting.