British Gas is to fit Michelin Cross Climate tyres to its fleet of 13,000 vans.
Fleet manager Colin Marriott tested the tyre at its launch event in Geneva, comparing the new technology to Michelin’s summer and winter ranges as well as some competitors’ all-season tyres.
He said: “I was impressed by the performance of the Cross Climate tyres. On dry roads there was absolutely no doubt they performed as well as Michelin’s summer tyres, and they outperformed the winter tyres and all-season tyres by some margin.
“It was a very easy decision for us to fit these tyres, due to the quality of the product.”
British Gas will be asking OEMs to supply Cross Climate tyres on its new vehicles where possible. All replacement tyres will be fitted by ATS Euromaster.
The CrossClimate offers the benefits of a summer tyre for dry or wet braking, total mileage and energy efficiency, while also offering the traction and braking performance of a winter tyre on cold and snow-covered roads.
After being evaluated by three independent European testing organisations – TÜV SÜD, Dekra Test Centre and UTAC CERAM – the Cross Climate tyre has obtained Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake (3PMSF) approval, meaning it can be used in countries that require special winter equipment at clearly defined times of the year.
The tyre has also earned the top ‘A’ rating for wet braking on European tyre labels and ‘C’ for rolling resistance, with a noise rating of 68 decibels.
With a V-shaped tread and self-blocking 3D sipes, the tyre is designed to optimise traction in snow. Described as a 'claw' effect, the vertical and lateral waves of the sipes give the tread blocks greater rigidity, while also benefiting longevity, steering precision and general dry road performance due to its ability to resist heat build-up.
The Cross Climate tyre is currently available in 23 dimensions, covering 76% of all car and car-derived van tyres in sizes from 15 to 17 inches, with Michelin to launch additional sizes next year.
Andy Fern, head of fleet at Michelin, said: “By fitting Cross Climate, motorists can drive safely the entire year without needing to change tyres. Cross Climate fitments address an increasingly urgent need among business motorists to feel safer when faced with unstable, unpredictable weather.”