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EU lawmakers strike deal on green tyre standards

Publication date: 20 February 2009

The European parliament and EU member states have reached agreement on new standards for tyres that will reduce carbon emissions and noise pollution from vehicles, ENDS has learned.


Negotiators agreed new tyre rolling resistance and noise limits last week as part of a first reading agreement on new EU vehicle type approval rules. The deal is expected to be endorsed by member states on Thursday and confirmed by the full parliament in a plenary vote on 11 March.


The agreed text largely follows the commission's original proposal. EU lawmakers left unchanged proposed limits for rolling resistance and noise emissions, albeit introducing specific derogations for snow tyres and "special use" tyres which are "intended for mixed use both on- and off-road or for other special duty".


Snow tyres will be allowed to exceed rolling resistance limits of 6.5-12 kilograms per tonne by one kg/tonne and to emit one decibel (dB) of extra noise, while special use tyres for trucks will be allowed to emit 2dB of extra noise on top of the 72-75 dB limits proposed.


Only professional off-road tyres that are "primarily used for servicing in severe off-road conditions" will be completely exempt from the new requirements, according to the agreed text.


The new standards will apply from 2012, with rolling resistance limits to be tightened in 2016-17. Tyre pressure monitoring systems will also be mandatory for cars from 2012 and the commission is asked to investigate extending this requirement to other vehicle types. The commission is also asked to propose a noise classification of EU roads.


Green group T&E was disappointed with the agreed text. "Over half of tyres currently on the market already meet… the [rolling resistance] standards for 2016," said campaigner Nina Renshaw. "[And] people who live near motorways simply won't notice a difference in overall noise levels".


*Meanwhile, the parliament's industry and energy committee debated a separate commission proposal on tyre labelling on Monday. MEPs do not yet agree on where the label should be displayed – whether on the tyres or only at point-of-sale – and how its entry into force date should be specified.


The committee favours a website with extra information on the label for consumers. It is due to vote on the proposals at the end of March with a plenary vote to follow in May.


Source: ENDS

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