DHL Express tests airless, “puncture-proof” tyres on 50 vans
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Before the end of the year, nearly 50 DHL Express vans will begin running on the Michelin UPTIS airless tyres to make last-mile deliveries in Singapore.
The Michelin UPTIS prototype is a puncture-proof wheel/tyre assembly with no compressed air that is intended for cars and light vans.
The air has been replaced by a structure capable of supporting the vehicle. This ensures the wheel’s robustness and guarantees driving comfort and safety.
It was designed as a plug-and-play solution that allows users to drive conveniently and not worry about road hazards impacting the tyres. It also limits the number of tyres scrapped due to punctures.
With the Michelin UPTIS tyres, DHL hopes to optimise its fleet’s productivity and ensure business continuity, as tyre pressure issues and punctures are eliminated. This will lower the frequency of tyre replacement, leading to less wastage.
“As a pioneer in green logistics, we are excited to partner Michelin to trial its airless tyres on our vehicles in Singapore. To drive sustainability efforts here, we have since converted 80 vehicles in our ground fleet to electric vans. This collaboration marks another milestone for us as we set out to green our last mile operations and achieve net-zero carbon emissions across the DHL network globally,” said Christopher Ong, Managing Director at DHL Express Singapore.
Bruno De Feraudy, Director of OEM activities for the Michelin Group added:
“Michelin UPTIS is a major breakthrough innovation in the tyre field. This is a result of some fifty patents linked to the tyre’s structure and high-tech materials. It demonstrates Michelin’s capacity for innovation in favor of safer mobility that is better for the environment. We are delighted that DHL is trusting Michelin to equip its fleet with the very first Michelin UPTIS tyres, marketed one year ahead of schedule.”
Michelin says airless technology is the key its vision of a fully sustainable tyre by 2050. Today, 20% of tyres are scrapped prematurely due to flats and blowouts (12%) or irregular wear and tear caused by poor tyre pressure (8%).
Based on internal research, Michelin projects that UPTIS airless technology could prevent the premature scrapping of up to 200 million tyres a year worldwide or 2 million tons of material – a material saving roughly equivalent to the weight of 200 Eiffel Towers.