Bridgestone has announced details of what it says is its quietest tire to date, the U-AP 002, following 18 months of internal testing and development with operator Stagecoach. As Bridgestone’s biggest fleet customer, Stagecoach has also become the first company in Europe to operate its green vehicles on the newly designed tire.
According to Bridgestone, the tire was specifically designed for the requirements of electric and hybrid bus fleets and meets the 3PMSF standard for winter driving. Outputting just 69dB, the U-AP002 reduces noise pollution by 2dB compared with a previous iteration and a higher load capacity also features to combat added battery weight when used on electric vehicles – suitable for up to eight tons in steer axle.
Featuring a B-grade in rolling resistance to help improve fuel consumption and reduce exhaust emissions, a 9% longer tire life ensures more mileage per tire due to a thicker sidewall and a stronger casing. It is also possible to retread the tire, leading to a long-lasting product.
“There is often a compromise in performance when meeting the environmental needs of a fleet, but this isn’t the case with the U-AP 002. It is the quietest tire we have ever made, while also offering greater wear life performance versus its predecessor,” commented Greg Ward, commercial sales director at Bridgestone. “Fleets need to hit greater sustainability and efficiency targets while also looking for a long-lasting, top-performing product regardless of the powertrain. We’ve ticked all the boxes with the U-AP 002.”
Supplied with the tire is an electronic tagging system RFID (radio-frequency identification) to enhance the traceability of tire casings for companies. This, says Bridgestone, will provide a time-efficient and accurate system for data sharing and entry, with users able to access findings and help optimize cost of ownership.
“As more and more electric vehicles roll out across the country, it’s crucial that we have a reliable product that supports our aim of delivering cleaner air in the towns and cities we service,” said Sam Greer, regional director for Stagecoach. “We’re pleased to have worked with Bridgestone on the development and testing of its U-AP 002 tire on our Manchester fleet. This cleaner, greener and quieter bus tire has met all of our expectations and supports our drive to improve sustainability of our services.”