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ON THE ROAD- Bridgestone brings its groundbreaking Enliten technology to the roads on Volkswagen’s ID.3

Bridgestone has collaborated with its long-term partner Volkswagen to bring its groundbreaking Enliten lightweight tyre technology to the car manufacturer’s new all-electric ID.3 vehicle. The environmentally friendly Enliten technology, which enables tyres to have a super low rolling resistance while requiring less materials to be created, is being applied by Bridgestone for the first time on Turanza Eco tyres specially engineered for the ID.3.

Created to bring the benefits of e-mobility to more everyday drivers, the long-awaited ID.3 is Volkswagen’s first all-electric vehicle launched to the market. During the ID.3’s development, Volkswagen sought a tyre fitment that offered a high level of performance in both the wet and dry, good braking, long tyre life, and, most importantly, super low rolling resistance. That’s because rolling resistance can have a huge impact on fuel use and, in this case, the ID.3’s battery power operating range.

Bridgestone responded to all these requirements with a custom developed Turanza tyre with Enliten technology. Enliten is Bridgestone’s new innovative lightweight tyre technology that sets a new lowered standard in material use and rolling resistance to deliver significant environmental benefits – perfect for a vehicle created with sustainability front of mind.

Enliten tyres demonstrate a rolling resistance that is up to 30 percent lower than a standard premium summer tyre.[1] This contributes, in a combustion engine vehicle, to a reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and significantly extends battery life in an electric vehicle – ensuring that ID.3 drivers can enjoy the vehicle’s maximum range. In addition, tyres with Enliten technology enable further fuel/battery conservation by being reduced in weight by up to 20 percent from equivalent standard premium summer tyres.1 This equates to up to 2kg fewer raw material resources required to produce every tyre, another environmental benefit from both a resources and final end-of-life stage management standpoint.

On top of that are Enliten’s performance benefits. The synergy between the unique materials used to create Enliten and a new mixing process has enhanced the technology’s compound wear performance, without compromising on grip. This, combined with a cavity and full 3D pattern design that maximises wet and wear performance, means that Enliten improves the vehicle’s handling to help increase driving pleasure and, in the case of the ID.3, meet all of Volkswagen’s performance targets.

A project benefitting from a long history of collaboration

The great history of success between long-time partners Bridgestone and Volkswagen – which includes breaking the electric-powered vehicle lap record on the Nürburgring’s track last year – paid dividends as the tyres were quickly developed to address all of Volkswagen’s requirements.

The early stages of development saw Bridgestone apply its groundbreaking ‘Virtual Tyre Development’ technology to digitally identify the ID.3’s optimum tyre dimensions. As well as quickening the tyre development phase, Virtual Tyre Development also brings significant environmental benefits by ensuring that the tyres don’t need to be physically produced and driven during development and testing.

The Turanza Eco tyres with Enliten technology are available on Volkswagen’s ID.3 in 18, 19, and 20-inch variants. The 19 and 20-inch tyres are equipped with Bridgestone’s B-Seal technology, which ensures temporary air retention in case of a puncture in the tread area, allowing the vehicle to keep going.

Commenting was Karsten Schebsdat, Head of Chassis Development, Volkswagen: “The ID.3 is our biggest launch since the Golf. We knew that the tyres had to be perfect if drivers were going to realise all of the vehicle’s performance and environmental benefits. So we selected Bridgestone and its Enliten technology for the ID.3. The significant reduction of rolling resistance allowed by Enliten technology has a huge impact on the ID.3’s battery conservation, which is very important, especially with there being many questions around electric vehicle range today. Enliten can go a long way in helping to change perceptions on the viability of e-mobility. It’s a ground-breaking technology for sure.”

Mark Tejedor, VP Original Equipment at Bridgestone EMIA, also commented: “The recent projects in the all-electric ID family have proved what e-mobility is capable of; in the ID.3 we truly have an electric vehicle that’s designed for everyone. We are very proud at Bridgestone to have helped bring the performance and environmental benefits of Enliten to the roads for the first time on Volkswagen’s new all-electric ID.3 vehicle.”

[1] Based on Bridgestone internal data comparing Bridgestone premium summer tyres with and without Enliten technology in the same tyre size (92Y 225/40R18 XL).

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