Consumption, safety and noise; these are the symbols of the European Tyre Label.
From 2012 al tyres manufactured for passenger cars, buses and commercial vehicles such as vans and trucks have to display a new label complying with ruling (CE) nº 1222/2009. This label provides information on the tyre’s features including its impact on fuel consumption, its road grip on wet conditions and the level of noise that it generates.
This labelling system standardises the information, facilitating a better choice of tyre for the consumer and allowing him to know beforehand the product’s safety performance, fuel consumption and environmental impact.
Reading to tyre label:
- The graph on the left side of the label headed by the picture of a wheel and a fuel pump displays a system of colour coded lines (from green to red) that indicate fuel efficiency. This is ranked by letters, A being the most efficient and G the least one, and makes reference to the tyre’s rolling resistance which is key to fuel economy. The smaller the tyre’s resistance the less fuel it needs and the less CO2 emissions it generates. The actual variations in efficiency amongst ranks have been thoroughly tested and it is estimated that between the A and the G ranks the difference in consumption is about 0.5 litres per 100 kilometres.
- The second column displays the symbol of a tyre and a rainy cloud and it indicates the braking distance on a wet surface, or what is the same, the tyre’s grip. This scale also goes from A (maximum efficiency) to G (minimum efficiency) but the ranks are not colour coded. Between the top and bottom ranks the difference is about 18 metres. A tyre classified as G, for instance, needs 18 metres more at 85 km/h to stop the same car than a tyre classified as A on a wet surface. It is also worth considering that braking distances will vary with the type of vehicle and the condition of the tarmac.
- At the bottom of the label an icon with a wheel and a loudspeaker symbolises the level of noise generated by the tyres. This is measured in decibels (dB) and the scale consists of three lines of increasing size that represent sound waves. One line indicates the tyre generates up to 68 dB, two lines that it produces between 69 and 71 dB and three lines between 72 and 74 dB. Because noise scales are logarithmic this means 3 dB less translate into approximately half the levels of perceived noise.