French tire manufacturer Michelin will create AIRLESS tires for Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles in the next three to five years: the design includes flexible ribs that provide a springy action.
- Michelin is set to take the tire market by storm after announcing it is working with General Motors to develop airless tyres.
- The new tires will be modeled and sold by the next-generation Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle in the next three to five years, which will be introduced as early as 2024.
- If the tread of a car’s tire is punctured, then it won’t make much of a difference because the tire doesn’t hold air and its sides are completely open.
- General Motors (GM) plans to resume production of the Chevrolet Bolt on April 4, the company confirmed on Tuesday.
- Michelin’s airless tire model, the Uptis, is more resilient than a regular tire when it comes to bursting and requires almost no maintenance.
Michelin is set to take the tire market by storm after announcing it is working with General Motors to develop airless tires that will be modeled and sold for the next-generation Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle in the next three to five years.
A revolutionary invention by a French tire manufacturer could put an end to a more than 130-year tradition of refilling conventional car tires with air. Its design will rely on flexible ribs that propel it in a similar way to how pneumatic tires work.
If the tread of a car’s tire is punctured, then it won’t make much of a difference because the tire doesn’t hold air and its sides are completely open.
“We want to introduce the next generation of the Chevrolet Bolt with airless tires,” Alexis Garcin, president of Michelin North America, told CNN Business, “and it will happen now, in the next three to five years.”
General Motors (GM) plans to resume production of the Chevrolet Bolt on April 4, the company confirmed on Tuesday after recalling its entire fleet of this model in August due to the risk of a high-voltage battery fire.
Michelin plans to release airless tires modeled on General Motors’ electric Chevy Bolt in the next “three to five years,” Michel North America president said.
The sides of the tire will be completely open and the tire tread will be flat. The French tire maker has been producing airless tires for lawn mowers and golf carts for the last few years before releasing them to the automotive industry.
The problem arose when Bolt electric vehicles were nearly or fully charged, and GM counted more than 18 suspected fires based on its own investigations last year.
However, the American automaker is now looking to turn the page after betting on Michelin’s airless Uptis prototype (or “Unique Puncture Resistant Tire System”) in the coming years.
It says that Uptis is in line with its future vision of zero accidents, zero emissions and zero congestion as it is more resilient than a conventional tire when it comes to bursting. In fact, tire manufacturing does not require as many raw materials. They also last longer and cannot be over- or under-inflated.
“General Motors is excited about the opportunities that Uptis represents and we are thrilled to partner with Michelin on this groundbreaking technology,” said Steve Kiefer, GM senior vice president of global purchasing and supply chain.
“Uptis is ideally placed to move the automotive industry into the future and is a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners.”
Michelin said fleet owners and professional drivers will benefit from the new tires due to their durability and minimal maintenance.
The tire company has been working on the latest airless tire technology for quite some time now and made a breakthrough when it created airless tires for golf carts and lawn mowers that use technology similar to Uptis.
BAD news for PUNCTUREWALAS
“Michelin and GM introduce airless tires for puncture-free driving”
Michelin has teamed up with General Motors to set a goal of producing airless tires by 2024. Tires called UPTIS.
Source: New Atlas June 5, 2019 pic.twitter.com/zZe7WNFuzh
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Another airless tire is called the Tweel and has a rubberized outer tread with high strength polyresin “spokes”. The Uptis shares the same traits as the aluminum wheel build and will feature rubber and fiberglass composite spokes and an outer rubber tread.
However, for now, the revolutionary wheels will be featured as part of an option if you’re interested in renting a Chevy Bolt electric car – a car that starts at just $32,000.
Its starting price suggests that airless tires will not be limited to the upper end of the market.
Michelin first made a name for itself in the late 1800s when it introduced pneumatic (air-filled) bicycle tires. It was also one of the first tire companies to manufacture and install them on cars.
In 1899, the Belgian car manufacturer Jenatzy introduced their Jamais Contente rocket model with Michelin tires. It was the first car to reach speeds over 100 kilometers per hour (68.5 mph).
The company, also known for its mascot Bibendum, better known as the Michelin Man, has been part of other speed record attempts by sports car makers such as Bugatti.
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