Energy conservation from systematic tire pressure regulation
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The majority of US drivers do not consistently monitor the tire pressures in their vehicles. The 2000 TREAD Act, which requires automakers to gradually provide tire pressure monitoring systems for vehicles sold in the US will correct this problem for new vehicles. This law does not impact the problem in previously deployed vehicles, which have a turnover time of ∼20 years. A solution is provided here to address under-inflated tires on the current 220 million vehicles and the concomitant wasted energy due to increased rolling resistance in the US automobile fleet. This communication reports on a preliminary study of tire pressures in randomly chosen vehicles, which were undergoing oil changes at a combined retail/auto-care facility. The study indicates that substantial benefits would accrue if car care facilities systematically offered complimentary tire pressure checks with oil changes including: (i) increased safety by decreasing all crashes and saving more than 100 lives per year, (ii) reduced petroleum consumption by over a billion gallons/year, which would (iia) provide over $4 billion in economic savings for US consumers that could in part be recouped in retail/auto-care facilities, (iib) reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13.5 million tons and automobile pollution and (iic) enhance national security. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.