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U of M: Low Rolling Resistance Tires Can Save Nearly $150 a Year

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Switching to low rolling resistance tires can save an average of $150 a year for drivers, according to a new study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. 

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UMTRI research professor Michael Sivak examined rolling resistance for 63 new, same-sized tire models. Each tire had the same load and inflation pressure in order to calculate the fuel consumed annually by the average driver. The tires used represented a cross-section of current T-, H- and V- speed-rated tires.

Sivak calculated the differenced in fuel used, and money spent, between tires at the extremes or rolling resistance.

"The obtained rolling resistance extremes yield a minimum and maximum annual fuel consumption of 505 gallons and 547 gallons, respectively," Sivak said. "At the average 2013 price of regular gasoline, the obtained fuel-consumption results in a $147 difference in the annual cost of gasoline per light-duty vehicle."

Research found for the combined set of all tires, the added fuel consumed with tires at the current maximum rolling resistance represents an 8.3% increase compared to the fuel consumed with tires at the current minimum rolling resistance, the university said.

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