Gear

Michelin debuts airless prototype tyre for last-mile delivery e-cargo trikes

Michelin has introduced a prototype of its Michelin X Tweel airless radial tyre for e-cargo trikes, which debuted at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The tyre was mounted on the Coaster Cycles e-cargo trike in its booth in the eMobility Experience and Test Track area.

“Michelin is committed to innovation to solve tomorrow’s challenges in this complex and demanding market,” said Tony Marconi, Tweel business director. “We aspire to be the leader of sustainable solutions for urban fleets and know the most costly step of logistics is often the last-mile delivery.

“Our innovative Tweel has solved challenges in other segments where flat tyres are an issue. We are looking to get ahead of these obstacles in the urban mobility area and aim to deliver the best solution possible for customers to maximise uptime and minimise issues.”

According to Michelin, the main advantages of an airless tyre solution on e-cargo trikes for last-mile delivery include:
– Reduced downtime (late deliveries, cost of repair, inefficient operators) by eliminating flat tyres
– Improved safety/stability. Tweels provide more stability when going around corners, allowing faster last-mile deliveries
– Potential to increase carrying capacity over pneumatic tyres
– No tyre maintenance or flat repairs
– Efficient changeability – fewer parts, fewer problems (on and off)
– Extended range due to lower rolling resistance
– Improved end-of-life reuse and recyclability
– Improved tyre wear

“Coaster has been pushing the limits of what’s possible in e-mobility and leading the way in innovative solutions for last-mile delivery providers,” said Jesse Bartholomew, vice president product for Coaster Cycles. “The Michelin airless radial tyres will help our customers make safer, more efficient, and faster deliveries with no down-time. We’re proud to partner with Michelin on such an exciting project.”

Read more: Tern joins Bicycle Association’s Investors in Cycling programme

A Michelin X Tweel airless radial tyre is a single unit that replaces the current tyre and wheel assembly. There is no need for complex mounting equipment, said Michelin, and once they are bolted on, there is no air pressure to maintain. The energy transfer within the poly-resin spokes helps reduce the “bounce” associated with pneumatic tyres while providing outstanding handling characteristics.

Rebecca Morley

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