Do Nitrogen-inflated Tires Cut Fuel Consumption?

Posted on May 1, 2008

DAVIDSON, N.C. – Nitrogen inflation in passenger car tires can lengthen tire life, while also improving the fuel economy of the vehicle, according to the results of two recent studies conducted by the Mechanical Engineering Department at Clemson University. The studies were sponsored by Ingersoll Rand's Industrial Technologies Sector.

The tests conducted show that nitrogen-inflated tires can maintain tire pressure 74% better than shop air per month at normal operating conditions. As a result, nitrogen-inflated tires produce about 70% less rolling resistance than air-inflated tires. By reducing rolling resistance in both automotive and truck tires, the nitrogen-filled tires last longer and reduce the amount of fuel consumption.

"These studies definitively show the benefits of nitrogen-filled tires to the environment, as well as to the finances of anyone who drives a car or truck," said Ryan Lang, Global Marketing Manager, in a statement. "We have certainly believed in the benefits of nitrogen versus air for tires and are pleased that the results support our beliefs."

Ingersoll Rand's Club Car business has begun using nitrogen in the tires of its Precedent line of golf carts and Villager 4 hospitality vehicles. This method of tire filling extends the usage of the tires and maintains their pressure better than air inflation. "Nitrogen improves fuel economy, promotes longer tire life, and is friendlier to the environment than compressed air," said Mike Packer, vice president of Worldwide Sales for Club Car. "It's a competitive advantage for our golf course customers."

Ingersoll Rand's Industrial Technologies Sector makes and sells nitrogen tire-filling equipment and accessories. The company was not involved in the collection or analysis of the data for the two studies. Complete copies of the Clemson University study can be obtained by contracting Susan Jaramillo at (704) 728-8727.

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