January 22, 2002

GM AUTOnomy fuel cell car has new Goodyear low-rolling resistance tires

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Akron, Ohio – GM’s fuel cell concept car, the AUTOnomy, which was displayed at the Detroit auto show, is equipped with some unique low-rolling resistance tires developed by Goodyear.

Complete with a tree leaf-inspired tread pattern, the 22 inch Goodyear concept tires reduce rolling resistance, the power-robbing friction between the tire and road. The new E-metric tire (newly designated for use on electric or hybrid vehicles) operates at higher inflation pressures, reduced load percentages and lower rolling resistance.

To soften the ride, Goodyear developed a new tire profile, said Bill Egan, chief engineer of advanced tire technology at Goodyear. “A narrower rim width and rounder sidewalls make the tire more shock-absorbent.” To make the tires roll more freely, low-rolling-resistant tread compounds were moulded into smaller tread elements that flexed easily – and with less friction – when it touched the road, Egan said.

“The leaf pattern is effective on two fronts,” he added. “It helps the tread pattern flex and it visually sends the message that Autonomy is environmentally friendly.”

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