The European Commission has recently published a Regulation on the labelling of tyres with respect to fuel efficiency, rolling noise and wet grip1. The Regulation covers tyres for passenger cars, light commercial and heavy commercial vehicles (C1, C2 and C3). The driving forces behind the Regulation are the need for sustainable mobility, lower CO2 emissions, lower rolling noise and less traffic accidents. The European legislators have considered safety as paramount, to ensure that tyre manufacturers do not reduce the wet grip performance in order to accomplish lower rolling noise and/or rolling resistance. The latter is directly related to fuel consumption.
Fuel efficiency class, wet grip class and rolling noise class have to be determined and measured in accordance with UN-ECE Regulation No. 117 and its subsequent amendments. UN-ECE Regulation No. 117 is a protocol for type-homologation of tyres, i.e. type approval of new tyres.
The decision to exclude retreaded tyres from the 1222/2009 Regulation was taken after an extensive impact assessment and stakeholder consultation. Retreads were excluded for economic reasons. For retreads, there are about 8,000 possible combinations of original casing manufacturers, casing parameters, retreading processes and tread parameters. It is economically not feasible to get type approval for retreads. The costs are simply too high (approx. € 5,000 per combination) to be able to recover these from the sales of relatively small series of retreaded tyres, i.e. 20 to 50 tyres per batch of retreaded tyres.
The market prices of retreaded tyres range from € 150 - € 280 per tyre depending on amongst others tyre size, applied tread and original casing.
Although retreaded tyres are now exempt of the obligation to apply with Regulation 1222/2009, the sector, i.e. the retreading companies, primarily SMEs, and the SME associations have a strong need to prove that retreaded tyres can comply with the safety and environmental requirements for new tyres.
September 25, 2014
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