Tyres are a safety-critical vehicle component and are subject to the increasing demands of multiple international (UNECE) regulations governing many aspects of their functional and environmental performance.
Tyre design must achieve a fine balance between multiple performance parameters. Some of these are antagonistic, for example, increasing tyre abrasion resistance reduces wet grip, a key contributor to road safety.
BTMA members are committed to establishing a robust and representative tyre abrasion test method by early 2024. It is expected that this will support international regulation requiring a minimum standard of abrasion resistance for new tyres. In the meantime, tyre manufacturers are already introducing new product ranges with increased wear resistance.
However, driving style, road surface and vehicle condition have collectively 10 times more impact on tread wear than tyre design. The influence of driving style is particularly relevant to electric vehicles with their capability of high levels of instantaneous acceleration and resulting increased rate of tyre wear. There is growing awareness of this issue as we transition towards an all-electric vehicle fleet.
- Future fiscal charges on motoring must at least maintain the existing incentive for eco-driving provided by road fuel duty;
- Government must pursue a holistic approach to regulating the tyre / road interface, considering place-specific optimisation of road safety, environmental impact and total cost to society.