Fuel-Efficient Tires

California is pressing for more cars to be fitted with fuel efficient tires. In this article they state that most cars come from the factory with fuel efficient tires on them. The problem is when these tires are replaced. Most people are doing so with less efficient tires. They go on to say that if more cars were fitted with sensors letting the driver know when the tire pressure is low, and drivers were to check their tires more often, this could save more than 500 million dollars annually.


Marie said...

I think that is a really stupid thing for California to do. The demand to decrease the amount of fuel being used doesn't reside in fuel effecient tires, it is fuel effecient transportation. Besides the fact that people could walk and ride bike more to conserve fuel.

Fred said...

I wonder how good this estimate is. It sounds like a dumb thing to me too. I think there are better ways to conserve fuel.

Dr. Tufte said...

I'm not at all surprised by this savings figure. Proper tire inflation is a well known method by which manufacturers meet their CAFE requirements, and a common explanation for why typical drivers can't match the MPG advertised for cars.

But ... there is no mention of tradeoffs. The $500M for the state works out to about $25 per car per year. How often would you have to check your tires for it to exceed $25? Two times per year? Five times?