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General Motors Intends To Offer Michelin Airless Tires “As Early As 2024”

Chevrolet Bolt with Michelin Uptis airless tires 6 photos
Chevrolet Bolt with Michelin Uptis airless tiresChevrolet Bolt with Michelin Uptis airless tiresChevrolet Bolt with Michelin Uptis airless tiresChevrolet Bolt with Michelin Uptis airless tiresChevrolet Bolt with Michelin Uptis airless tires
For quite a long time, airless tires have eluded the automotive industry. But General Motors is taking a step forward in this regard with the help of Michelin, planning to offer the technology on “passenger vehicles as early as 2024.”

Called Uptis for Unique Puncture-proof Tire System, the technology will be real-world tested this year in Michigan with the help of a Chevrolet Bolt fleet. “General Motors is excited about the possibilities that Uptis presents, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Michelin on this breakthrough technology,” commented Steve Kiefer.

“Uptis is an ideal fit for propelling the automotive industry into the future and a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners,” concluded the senior vice president of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. The question is, what are the advantages of the Uptis Prototype in comparison to crossply, radial, and run-flat tires?

First of all, prepare to bid farewell to leaks, flats, and blowouts. This translates to reduced use of raw materials and less waste. On the other hand, the Uptis lasts longer by eliminating irregular wear caused by over- and under-inflation of the tire. The benefits in sustainability alone make the Uptis an interesting alternative to radial tires, don’t you agree?

Michelin claims that 20 percent of all tires in the world are scrapped each year due to punctures and irregular wear, an enormous amount of waste by all accounts. That’s 200 million tires or the equivalent to 200 examples of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

“Through work with strategic partners like GM, who share our ambitions for transforming mobility, we can seize the future today,” added Florent Menegaux, chief executive officer at Michelin. On the downside, the Uptis won’t come cheap at first.

Like every new technology introduced to the automotive industry, it’ll take years for large-scale production to bring down the price of airless tires such as the Uptis. Competition from Pirelli, Nokian, Goodyear, and the rest of the big boys will take the pricing further down, but as mentioned beforehand, it’ll take a lot of time before airless tires will favor the consumer’s wallet as well.

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