Continental’s 5th-generation Conti Eco truck tyre range for regional and long-distance operations

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In Hannover last weeek, Continental has presented the fifth-generation Conti Eco tyre line for freight transportation. The new product is geared squarely to the needs of customers in the transport sector and a dynamic regulatory environment, which means it also meets all the requirements of the EU Taxonomy for fleets.

The completely newly developed truck tyres from Continental allow haulage companies to significantly reduce their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in both regional and long-distance operations, and to cut costs. With the new generation of the Conti Eco, the tyre manufacturer’s development experts were able to resolve the conflicting goals of optimized rolling resistance and high mileage. The tyres are available now in many countries across the EMEA region – in Conti Eco HS 5 form for the tractor unit’s steer axle and Conti Eco HD 5 form for the drive axle.

Continental has been working intensively on the development of the new product line for several years, with extensive testing completed prior to market launch. “We are in no doubt that we are offering our customers the right tyre at the right time,” says Ferdinand Hoyos, Head of Continental’s Business Area Replacement Tyres EMEA.

Indeed, rising operating and personal costs, as well as investment in sustainability and a rapidly changing legal landscape, are among the most frequently cited challenges for fleet operators in Europe. A recent study conducted by Boston Consulting for the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) shows that the total cost of ownership is still the leading decision factor, but that sustainability factors are gaining in importance as a purchasing criterion – in both the OE and replacement business. “Sustainability and cost efficiency have long gone hand in hand at Continental,” explains Hoyos. “And interest in this area is now growing all the time across the market, which lends extra weight to our strategy.”

With the new, fifth-generation Conti Eco, Continental is reducing its number of tyre lines for freight transportation. “Our new tyre builds on its successful predecessors – the Conti EcoPlus Gen3+ for long-distance haulage and the Conti EcoRegional Gen3+ for regional transport,” explains Hinnerk Kaiser, who is responsible for the development of truck and bus tyres at Continental. “The new Conti Eco brings together the best qualities of the Conti EcoPlus and Conti EcoRegional, and elevates them to a new level.”

This is made possible by optimized rolling resistance and higher mileage capability – classically conflicting goals in the world of tyre development. “In the past, if a tyre ran particularly smoothly and therefore needed less drive energy, that might come at the expense of robustness and durability,” points out Kaiser. Now the tyre developers at Continental concentrate on mileage-neutral measures to improve rolling resistance across all components – in the construction of the casing, the treads and the design of the overall contour and tread. The treads, with their two-layer construction (cap base) and innovative compounds, enable a high mileage and considerable robustness while also optimizing rolling resistance. The road contact compound (cap) allows the developers to focus on mileage and robustness.

The technical performance parameters here are clear. At the steer axle, a thicker under-tread reduces rolling resistance – but it also enables tread compounds with a focus on extending mileage. At the drive axle, the optimized shoulder design with innovative sipe form in the tread shoulder area plays a key role in promoting even tyre wear – which also has a positive effect on mileage. In the casing, several compound components and a new bead geometry are tailored to optimizing rolling resistance. These measures combine to produce an up to 12 percent  improvement in rolling resistance and an up to 10 percent increase in mileage over the two predecessor products.

The optimized rolling resistance and high mileage of the new Conti Eco tyres have a positive effect on their environmental footprint. “If our product increases the fuel efficiency of a truck and lasts longer, the result is lower CO2emissions,” says Hinnerk Kaiser. Choosing the right tyres is therefore becoming even more important, not least given the emissions-based toll charges for fleet operators in the EU. “Replacing the outgoing EcoRegional HS 3+/ HD 3+ with the new Conti Eco HS 5/ HD 5 tyres across a fleet of 100 vehicles – which cover around 80,000 km per year in regional use – can save up to € 69.000 and 120 metric tons of CO2.”

Continued focus on retreading

Added to which, the new tyres also make a convincing impression with their excellent grip, allow heavy goods vehicles to display safe and secure handling – even in fluctuating weather conditions – and offer outstanding traction throughout their lifespans. Customers can also ask for them to be delivered directly from the factory with latest-generation sensors. This allows the Conti Eco Gen 5 to drive the progress of fleet digitalization and – in conjunction with the ContiConnect 2.0 tire management solution – enables remote monitoring in real time and predictive service planning. This helps to substantially reduce tire-related operating costs, as do the retreading solutions from Continental. “We designed the casings of the new Conti Eco from the outset to make them ideally suited to retreading. The new tyre line also contributes in this way to greater cost efficiency and sustainability in the transport sector,” says Hinnerk Kaiser. A retreaded tyre consists up to 70 percent of material from the old tyre and costs up to 40 percent less than a new tyre, while offering equal mileage and safety.

The new Conti Eco tyres will be available in numerous sizes, starting with the following:

  • 315/70 R 22.5 Conti Eco HS 5
  • 315/80 R 22.5 Conti Eco HS 5
  • 385/55 R 22.5 Conti Eco HS 5
  • 385/65 R 22.5 Conti Eco HS 5
  • 315/70 R 22.5 Conti Eco HD 5
  • 315/80 R 22.5 Conti Eco HD 5