Michelin Airless Tyre
Michelin’s mascot – Bibendum/Michelin Man – is made from air-filled tyres!

The Michelin airless tyre will be available in the USA in 3 to 5 years’ time

Tyre manufacturer Michelin has said its innovative airless tyre will be fitted to the next-generation Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle (EV) that is expected to be launched in the USA in the next 3 to 5 years.

This was revealed by the President of Michelin North America, Alexis Garcin recently and by doing so, he inadvertently revealed that the new generation Chevy Bolt can be expected by 2025.

The Michelin airless tyre has already been tested on the current-generation Chevrolet Bolt in 2019, when the sidewall-less product was first officially unveiled.

There are many advantages to using an airless tyre. Firstly, such tyres are not prone to punctures, as they do not hold air like pneumatic tyres that have been around since the late 1800s.

The central ribs of the airless tyre, officially called the Unique Puncture-proof Tire System or in short, Uptis, reinforced with resin-injected fibreglass provide the same action that air does in a regular tyre.

Michelin Airless Tyre Working
Will people spend more for a tyre that will spare them from changing a flat tyre on the side of a road?

Michelin claims that its airless tyres will last longer and offer a more comfortable ride than pneumatic tyres. The downside is that such tyres will cost comparatively more than regular ones.

What’s more, Michelin has not yet spoken about producing off-road airless tyres. Pneumatic tyres can be inflated or deflated to reduce or increase their contact patch based on the terrain that needs to be tackled. Airless tyres will have the same tread patch at all times.

Further, since pneumatic tyres have been in use for over 130 years, carmakers have learned to tune their cars’ suspension according to the properties of the tyres. Now, that will have to be reengineered.

We have not yet got into the handling characteristics, noise and ‘feeling’ that pneumatic tyres provide as well. Although the challenge is enormous, since the French brand has quoted a timeline for its airless tyre’s market introduction, it must’ve figured out how to make the product work well in the real world.