Tire manufacturer Michelin a few days ago announced that it is the first tire brand in the passenger car segment in India to be accredited with the government of India’s newly introduced star labeling program. The Michelin Latitude Sport 3 and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV tires received the 5-star rating, the company said. A few months ago, Michelin also became the first brand in India to receive a 4-star rating by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) for its Indian-made commercial vehicle tire Michelin X Multi Energy Z.
So what is this star labeling program, what will companies get out of it, and how important is the information to the general public (tyre buyers)?
The star rating system in detail
Last year, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways proposed ‘star rating’ or ‘labeling’ standards for tires for better fuel economy and comfortable driving. The Standards and Labeling Program is an initiative of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), which was created in 2002 under the Energy Conservation Act of 2001, assists in the development of policies and strategies with an emphasis on self-regulation and market principles to conserve energy.
The idea of the BEE program is to provide the consumer with an informed choice about the energy-saving and cost-saving potential of any product — in this case, it’s tires.
The program, while setting minimum energy performance standards, allows for the display of energy performance labels on products, equipment and appliances. and
As of now, the S&L program covers a star rating for 26 appliances/equipment, including 10 for which it is mandatory. Tires are now covered by the voluntary labeling regime.
Typically, the rating on the tire — will be affixed to the sidewall of the tire — indicates its rolling resistance and fuel efficiency potential. All tire brands in India can apply for star rating and based on their performance the tires will be given an initial rating not unlike what we see says AC or cooler.
A lower rolling resistance coefficient will help fuel economy and therefore get a higher star rating. The label will also provide information such as tread patterns, make, model and year, size and class.
Each test must meet the minimum threshold for each star rating range. A 5-star product, on average, uses up to 9.5% less fuel compared to any other tire with a lower star rating.
If this regulation becomes mandatory (which it will be), all domestic and foreign manufacturers and importers of tires for trucks, buses and passenger cars will be required to assign the BEE star label to their tires sold here.