On 5 October transport authorities in New Zealand introduced the EnergyWise approval mark to help identify fuel efficient tyres and to help encourage consumers to ask for Energywise-approved tyres. The mark is also designed to give reassurance about the performance of the wet braking performance of tyres.
Energywise approved tyres must meet standards for both fuel efficiency and braking in the wet. According to the New Zealand government, fuel savings can be as much as 7 per cent – equivalent to saving up to 15 cents per litre every time you drive.
According to the Bridgestone, all its EP100, PZ-X and PZ-XC Bridgestone Ecopia car tyres are Energywise approved. However, there are actually already 200 products produced by Aeolus, Bridgestone, Goodyear, Dunlop, Hankook, Kumho and Yokohama that qualify for the accreditation, as of 17 October 2014. An up to date list can be downloaded from the energywise.govt.nz website.
The campaign is being run by New Zealand government agency the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and supported by major tyre manufacturers and importers in the New Zealand tyre market.
However, due to the fact that much of the market is not currently covered by the mark there is some skepticism about how much impact the programme can make (see above list). Furthermore because 2012 local government figures show that about half of the total number of cars imported into New Zealand were are pre-owned vehicles – which are not covered by the rules – this significant chunk of the market won’t be marked either.
Liz Yeaman, general manager Transport, EECA, said the approval mark has been developed in response to a growing awareness of the impact tyres can have on a vehicle’s fuel consumption, as well as car owners looking for reassurance about the safety of the tyres they are buying: “Since early this year, EECA has been working with the tyre industry to develop agreed criteria for fuel efficient tyres. The result of this is a single, easy way for consumers to identify a fuel efficient tyre. Until now there was no way for New Zealand motorists could easily compare tyres for fuel savings and safety so we believe the approval mark will change the way New Zealanders buy tyres”.
According to Tim Southey, marketing manager for Bridgestone New Zealand, adopting the approval mark is an obvious step for Bridgestone: “We’re committed to providing customers with the safest products available, while ensuring our environment is protected through new energy efficient technologies. So adopting the standard for our Bridgestone Ecopia car tyres makes perfect sense.”