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Goodbye to blowouts: Michelin presents airless tires

Who doesn’t know it? The next meeting is due, but Murphy has struck again and you are standing in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire. According to the TCS – the No. 1 Swiss roadside assistance – a flat tire is one of the most common causes of breakdowns in Switzerland* Now, in 2024, an environmentally friendly solution will follow: airless tires by Michelin.

The Uptis from Michelin – the most important questions about airless tires

Today, a worldwide amount of around 1 billion tires end up in the garbage every year, approximately 20 percent of them due to blowouts and irregular wear due to incorrectly adjusted tire pressure.** That’s 200 million tires per year, which is about 200 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower.

What is the difference to a ‘normal tire‘?

The Uptis is a fixed unit. The basis is an aluminium rim, which is connected to the rubber tread of the tire by flexible plastic spokes. The resistant spokes ensure the load-bearing capacity and dampen vibrations during driving. As the tire does not require any air pressure, it is more puncture-proof than conventional tires and thus prevents the next blowout.

airless tire

airless tires

What are the advantages?

  • The solution is more environmentally friendly
  • Goodbye to blowouts, drivers feel safer on the road and dangers of flat tires are avoided.
  • Fleet owners and professional drivers optimize their business productivity (no
    downtimes due to flat tires, almost no maintenance necessary).
  • The use of raw materials is reduced, which in turn reduces waste.

michelin uptis

To what extent is an airless tire more environmentally friendly?

  • Reduces the number of damaged tires that are scrapped before they reach the end of their life.
  • Reduces the use of raw materials, energy for production and emissions associated with production.
  • Lasts longer as irregular wear due to incorrect tire pressure adjustment is avoided.

What can the tire do?

The Uptis is just as resilient as a pneumatic tire and has already been put through its paces on a test site. Its performance is comparable to that of a run flat tire.

When is the market launch planned?

It will be launched in 2024.

What will the tire cost?

There is no concrete price information available yet.

*Interview with Reto Blättler regarding punctures, tire expert at TCS – Tagblatt

**Derived from the Michelin survey (2012-2015), based on a sample of 135,000 tires and extrapolated from official estimates that 1 billion tires are disposed of each year.

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