DOT to create rating system for fuel efficient tires

The Department of Transportation (DOT) plans to finalize a rule in 2017 to help consumers identify which tires are the most fuel-efficient. 

The Tire Fuel Efficiency Consumer Information Program would create a rating system for replacement tires and target the 141 million replacement tires sold annually that lack good rolling resistance. 

If 10 percent of aftermarket passenger car tires were upgraded to tires with a 10 percent improvement in rolling resistance, DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates an annual savings of more than $200 million from 72 million gallons of fuel and 690,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution.

It works out to equal 1.6 billion miles of emission-free driving, according to a news release. 

The DOT, the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House have been working to set fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks. The tire fuel efficiency program is expected to help the nation meet these new standards. The president has mandated that a second set of standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks be created by 2016. 

DOT is partnering with NASCAR in a Drive Safety initiative next year. 

“Making smart consumer choices when purchasing tires and maintaining tires properly can cut fuel use and save money at the pump, reducing the carbon pollution that causes climate change,” DOT said in a news release Tuesday.

“In fact, by enabling a driver to travel farther on a gallon of fuel, proper tire maintenance combined with the use of low rolling resistance tires could save a driver up to $80 per year, and avoid up to 560 pounds of annual carbon dioxide pollution, equivalent to nearly 600 miles of emission-free driving.”