Since November 2012 across the European Union, manufacturers of tyres for use on cars, light and heavy commercial vehicles must specify a label denoting fuel consumption, wet grip and noise classification. The information must be available in technical promotional literature with every car tyre, including the manufacturer website. For passenger and light truck tyres, the manufacturers or importers have the choice of either putting a sticker on the tyre tread or a label accompanying each delivery of batch of tyres to the dealer and to the end consumer. The tyre label follows a similar efficiency classification to energy efficient appliances, with the best denoted in green (Category "A") to the worst performance in red (Category "G").
This initiative results from a regulation by the EU Commission released in 2009 as part of the Energy Efficiency Action Plan, designed to improve the energy performance of products, buildings and services to reduce energy consumption by 20% until 2020.
Rolling Resistance (Fuel Efficiency)
The Rolling Resistance (or Fuel Efficiency) label relates to the running friction of a tyre. The lower the frictional value is, then the less energy - and therefore, fuel - is consumed. The rating on the label informs the consumer about the energy efficiency of the tyre, tying its environmental compatibility to lower CO2 emissions.
The evaluation is given in classes "A" to "G", whereby "D" is not used. Improvement by one class signifies a saving of approx. 0.1 litre of fuel over 100 km. Between class "G" and class "A" there is a total reduction of approx. 7.5% of the fuel consumption.
Braking Performance (also Wet Grip)
The Braking Performance, or Wet Grip, label relates to the grip a tyre has on a wet road. Wet Grip is a key factor in relation to the safety performance of a tyre. The effects of the wet grip on road safety is tangible as tyros with an excellent wet grip significantly reduce braking distance.
The tyre label is classified according to classes "A" to "G", whereby "D" and "G" are not used. The braking distance difference from one class to the next on a wet road is classed from using an initial speed of 80 km/h and a vehicle length of between 3.0m - 6.0m. Between class "G" and class "A" there is a total reduction of approximately 30% in braking distance. In total, the braking difference denoted between Class "A" and "F" is over 18 metres.
The Noise Emmisions label represents the noise that the tyres generate when running on a road surface and is measured in decibels (dB). The noise emission of the tyres acts on the overall noise intensity of the vehicle and not only affects driving comfort inside the vehicle, but also the noise impact on the environment. The value is denoted by one, two or 3 black levels on the label, from 1 meaning the most efficient to 3, representing the loudest impact.