Complex Made Simple

Michelin and Petroleum Institute sign technical partnership for UAE’s first solar racing car

Michelin, the world’s leading tire company, has entered into a technical partnership with the Petroleum Institute (PI) in Abu Dhabi, and will equip the UAE’s first solar racing car for the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge (ADSC); the flagship solar car race in the Middle East.

Michelin will be fitting PI’s car with its industry-leading solar tire, the MICHELIN Radial X 95/80 R16, for the race, which is a multi-day cross-country road competition taking place from 15 to 19 January 2015, starting and finishing in Abu Dhabi. Coinciding with the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2015, the ADSC will culminate in a parade through the capital ending at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), during the opening ceremony of the World Future Energy Summit.

According to Nour Bouhassoun, Chairman and President of Michelin Africa, India and Middle East Zone (“AIM Zone”): “At Michelin, we are determined to be at the forefront of mobility technology, and are extremely happy to be the technical partner of a forward-looking organisation such as the Petroleum Institute.”

Dr. Fahad Almaskari, Director of the Solar Car project at Petroleum Institute commented: “It’s certainly an exciting time for Petroleum Institute as we launch the UAE’s first solar racing car. We believe that bringing together the best components will bring our car much success in this competition and it therefore makes sense for us to partner with the world’s leading tire company, Michelin, and use its industry leading solar tire.”

Also present to witness the Partnership Signing ceremony were Mr. Ahmed Abdul Jalil Al Fahim, Chairman of the Al Fahim Group; Mr Frank Bernthaler, CEO of Al Fahim Automotive; and Mr. Bilal Al Ribi, General Manager of Central Motors & Equipment (CME), the importer in Abu Dhabi for MICHELIN tires and automotive member of Al Fahim Group.

“We are very pleased to be associated with the Petroleum Institute’s solar car initiative in Abu Dhabi and contributing to the students’ talented efforts of promoting energy-saving concepts. Solar car tires are new to the region and showcase the best of Michelin’s tire technology, which is also reflected in the range of MICHELIN tires available here,” said Mr. Al Ribi.

Michelin: a key partner in solar car races all around the world
Michelin has been involved in solar car races since the first solar race was organized in Australia in 1987. Since then, Michelin embarked on a 25-year mission for energy efficiency, assisting thousands of passionate students from all over the world in taking up the challenge to work for better mobility. For Michelin, the solar car races are all about fostering and supporting the innovation and technologies to develop new approaches of sustainable mobility.

This continuous effort has resulted in tires that are safe, long lasting and – of particular importance to the solar car races – very energy efficient. Thanks to fitting very low rolling resistance tires to these solar vehicles, the teams reduce the energy required to move the car, allowing them to travel further using less power.

MICHELIN energy efficient tires: technology transferred from solar cars to your car
Over the past decade of using the MICHELIN Radial and MICHELIN Radial Solar tire ranges, solar car teams competing in solar competitions all around the world, such as the World Solar Challenge, have relayed their technical findings, including wear rates, temperatures and overall performance, back to Michelin.

With over 6,600 employees in the Michelin Research & Development department, this feedback is then used by the team to develop and enhance MICHELIN tires for the passenger car range. Michelin introduced its first green (energy saving) tire in 1992 and it has continued to be the industry leader in this technology. Michelin constantly strives to reduce energy (fuel) use, while simultaneously improving other tire performances such as safety, longevity, silence and comfort.

MICHELIN Radial Solar 95/80 R16: the Ultimate Energy Efficient Tire
The MICHELIN Radial Solar 95/80 R16, which will be used on PI’s car is the ultimate energy efficient tire and features a grooved tread pattern, helping to simultaneously improve safety and performance of solar cars in all weather conditions.

The MICHELIN Radial Solar offers an extremely low rolling resistance, with a coefficient of around 1.3 kg/t. This is equivalent to climbing a permanent slope of 0.13 per cent when many passenger car tires today have a rolling resistance equivalent to climbing a permanent slope of 1 per cent.

The energy efficiency of the present MICHELIN Radial Solar tire is approximately 7 to 8 times better than the average passenger car and is the most energy efficient tire in the world.