Continental’s new truck tyre line, The Conti EcoRegional family, is said to enable fleet operators to significantly increase the efficiency of their vehicles in regional transport. The Conti EcoRegional HS3 and HD3 are built to reduce CO2 emissions thanks to a new manufacturing process in combination of an innovative tread design for the steering axle and a rubber compound that is optimized for rolling resistance for the drive axle. Continental claims that during this process, no sacrifices have been made in terms of the other significant tire properties such as mileage, robustness and traction.
Stretching the limits of tyre technology
The Conti EcoRegional HS3, which was produced using the new ‘Conti Diamond’ technique production process, features an optimised tread surface pattern in the ground contact area with a modified tread groove geometry, reduced sipe width, and W-tread groove technology for particularly even abrasion. A highly stable configuration of the circumferential longitudinal tread grooves enables greater mileage while also reducing fuel consumption. The use of sipes in the newly designed tread ribs provides additional grip edges that are important for the traction characteristics. The Conti EcoRegional HD3 runs with the tried-and-tested tread concept of the Conti Hybrid Gen 3 line, but uses a new, innovative tread compound in the form of Conti InterLock Technology. It enables a level of low rolling resistance with the same mileage, especially in regional and highway applications.
The design of the tread with ‘cap’ (responsible for adhesion, abrasion resistance, and directional stability) and ‘base’ (rolling resistance and damping) allows the individual zones to be optimized for specific tasks, thereby helping to resolve the trade-off. In both products, Conti EcoRegional HS3 and HD3, base compounds optimised for rolling resistance are used. In addition, rubber compounds optimised for rolling resistance are used in the casing.
Meeting the toughest CO2 regulations
The vehicle energy consumption calculation tool (VECTO), which was introduced by the European Commission, is intended to ensure that the ambitious European targets for CO2 reduction are met. In order to meet the objectives of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the European Commission adopted the first carbon dioxide emissions regulation for newly registered heavy commercial vehicles (EU Regulation 2019/1242) in 2019. This calls for a reduction in the average CO2 emissions for new heavy commercial vehicles by 15 percent by 2025 or 30 percent by 2030, compared in each case to the reference year July 2019 to June 2020. This regulation currently applies to 4x2 and 6x2 trucks with a permissible gross vehicle weight of more than 16 metric tons, with a future expansion currently being discussed by the European Commission.
Continental has also launched a microsite containing useful information about the latest CO2 emissions regulation for heavy goods vehicles and the simulation tool for trucks called VECTO. Continental aims to provide fleet managers with comprehensive information about the new regulation and its implications for them, given that tires significantly influence fuel consumption and by that the CO₂ emissions generated by a vehicle.
The microsite contains-
-Videos explaining how the VECTO simulation tool works and what exactly is calculated for the HDVs (also available on YouTube) as well as a video about why industry and society need to act now.
-Information about business effects for fleet operators, focusing on fuel efficiency and greater transparency with regard to the purchase of a truck.
-Comprehensive infographic about the new regulation, with facts and figures on how the VECTO tool performs its calculations, which vehicles are affected, the potential of tires to reduce fuel consumption and fleet operating costs, plus other parameters to reduce CO₂ emissions.
Constantin Batsch, Head of Truck Tires Replacement at Continental’s business region Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) said, “From our talks with customers we see that there is a lot of interest from fleet managers all over Europe. We know that fuel consumption and thereby CO₂ emissions will not only become more important when buying a new truck, but also when replacing tires. So, we want to provide fleet operators with important information on how the new CO₂ regulation and the resulting changes for tires affect their business and how they can make best use of it. We see ourselves as service consultants, especially with regard to finding the right tire, tire management and how this helps reduce overall operating costs and CO₂ emissions.”
The European Parliament states that 25 percent of the European Union’s CO2 emissions from transport are generated by heavy-duty vehicles. If truck manufacturers fail to comply with the new regulations, they will incur penalty payments for each vehicle. Further regulations that could affect fleets directly are currently under discussion. Tires impact on up to 40 percent of fleet operating costs because they have a significant influence on fuel consumption (30 percent) as well as on repairs and maintenance (5 percent) and actual tire costs (5 percent).
Continental manufactures the Conti EcoRegional product line in the following dimensions, whereby dimensions 295/80 R 22.5, 315/70 R 22.5 and 385/65 R 22.5 are now offered with the highest-permissible load index as standard:
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