Low Rolling Resistance Tires

Transportation is responsible for a significant share of global greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, there has been an increasing focus on enhancing the sustainability of commercial fleet vehicles. One crucial element in this endeavor is the type of tires used by these vehicles, which significantly impacts fuel efficiency and emissions.

The two primary types of tires evaluated in this research are Low Rolling Resistance (LRR) tires and standard tires. LRR tires are designed to minimize energy wasted as heat, and they can reduce the amount of fuel needed to move a vehicle forward. Consequently, they contribute to reduced carbon emissions.

Technology Advancements in Low Rolling Resistance Tires:

Several advancements have been made in LRR tire technology to improve performance while maintaining environmental benefits. These include:

  1. New Compound Formulations: Modern LRR tires leverage innovative compound formulations that reduce the internal friction of the tire material, thereby lowering the rolling resistance.
  2. Optimized Tire Geometry: Advancements in tire geometry, such as optimized tread patterns and sidewall designs, have further reduced rolling resistance and improved fuel economy.
  3. Advanced Manufacturing Techniques: The use of advanced manufacturing techniques like Finite Element Analysis (FEA) have allowed for the precise design of tire structures, leading to further reductions in rolling resistance.

 Sustainability Impact:

  1. Fuel Efficiency: Studies suggest that replacing standard tires with LRR tires can reduce fuel consumption by approximately 1.5% to 4.5%. This is a significant potential decrease considering the number of commercial fleet vehicles globally.
  2. CO2 Emissions: Reduced fuel consumption leads to a proportional decrease in CO2 emissions. A recent study estimated that the adoption of LRR tires could lead to a reduction of up to 10 million tons of CO2 annually in the US alone.
  3. End of Life Cycle: Many LRR tires are now made from more sustainable materials, making them more recyclable than standard tires. This can further reduce their environmental footprint.

Total Cost of Ownership:

While LRR tires might be more expensive upfront, their contribution to fuel savings over time can significantly offset the initial cost, resulting in a lower TCO.

  1. Fuel Savings: The improved fuel efficiency of LRR tires can lead to substantial savings over their lifespan. Assuming a 3% fuel efficiency gain, a commercial fleet could potentially save thousands of dollars annually.
  2. Longer Lifespan: LRR tires tend to have longer tread life than standard tires. This reduces the frequency of tire replacements, leading to lower maintenance costs.
  3. Reduced Carbon Taxes: Fleet operators in regions where carbon taxes apply can benefit from reduced emissions, thereby lowering the TCO further.


The adoption of LRR tires can play a significant role in reducing the environmental impact of commercial fleet vehicles and decreasing the TCO. As technology advancements continue to evolve, the benefits of LRR tires over standard tires are expected to increase. Fleet operators should consider these factors when deciding on the tire types for their vehicles.