Michelin and General Motors (GM) have announced that they are working together to develop a tire that does not need air, called Uptis and that could be ready for use in 2024.
Uptis (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System), not only replace the traditional tires, but also the rim on which the rubber is mounted.
The prototype on which Michelin and GM are working has been presented at the Movin’On conference on sustainable mobility, which started yesterday in the Canadian city of Montreal and will run until June 6.
Michelin noted that Uptis is resistant to punctures and blowouts while allowing the potential reduction in the use of raw materials and waste.
The prototype also reduces maintenance needs, such as regular checking of pressure or inspections for punctures.
According to the French company, which already presented at Movin’On 2017 a prototype airless wheel and partially made with 3D printers, the use of Uptis would reduce by 20% the tires discarded each year by punctures or uneven wear, which means 200 million wheels, a weight equivalent to 200 Eiffel Towers.
Michelin also indicated that airless tires will have the same impact on vehicle consumption as conventional tires.
Without an air chamber, Uptis keeps the rubber surface in contact with the road with spokes made of high strength composite materials coupled to an aluminum rim.
GM Vice President for Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, Steve Kiefer, said in a statement that “General Motors is excited about the possibilities of Uptis and we are delighted to collaborate with Michelin on this innovative technology.”
“Uptis is ideal to drive the automotive sector to the future and a great example of how our consumers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our suppliers,” Kiefer added.
Michelin and GM are already testing the Uptis tires with a fleet of Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles. E (EFEUSA) .-