Inflating car tires is often not done properly in practice. Here’s the solution!

Inflating Car Tires the right way

The CE Delft air pump study shows that over 60% of cars in the Netherlands drive with under-inflated tires. When motorists inflate car tires themselves, they nearly always do so at a petrol station. Earlier research has shown that the air pumps commonly used at petrol stations have left many cars with still too low a tire pressure and often even lower than the one they came with.

Recently CE Delft decided to investigate whether anything had changed in the meantime, and an independent study was carried out into the operation of the air pumps at filling stations. This involved an empirical study, a data analysis and an impact study into the extent of CO-2 emissions if a technically more efficient air pump were used.

What are the main conclusions of CE Delft’s research?

  • The research data show that 79% of the cars arriving at the pump are under-inflated.
  • 51% are still under-inflated after inflating their tyres. In other words, only 1 in 3 manage to solve the problem of under-pressure.
  • 37% of motorists drive away with a lower tyre pressure than they came with. They said they had not realised this and thought they had inflated!

Do technical improvements to air pumps lead to better-inflated tires and CO2 savings?

Technical improvements to air pumps can certainly make a difference, according to CE Delft’s research. The Coolado smart tire pump proves this already. With this smart tire pump, you can inflate your car tires in a cold state. This ensures a much more correct result. The correct tire pressure can be read immediately on the display of the tire pump itself.

  • 95% of cars would drive away with at least the correct tire pressure.
  • 0% would drive away with a reduced pressure.
  • Fuel consumption per car would be reduced by 1.5% per year. For the 8.5 million passenger cars in the Netherlands, this would mean an annual reduction in emissions of 0.37 Mt of CO2.

Additional positive effects of driving with the correct fuel pressure

CE Delft’s brief was to examine current practice in order to obtain a clear picture of the results for motorists. Do they now drive away with the correct tire pressure at a conventional air pump and what is the size of the group that drives away with (unconsciously) reduced tire pressure?

There are also a number of positive aspects not covered in CE Delft’s report. These are important, though, because they show that the social benefits of driving with properly inflated tires go far beyond merely improving the climate.

Additional positive results are

  • Improved road safety. 16% of the cars in the study have at least one tire with a pressure of 1.5 bar or less. These are flat and very empty tires that can cause dangerous situations and blowouts. The users do not notice this and drive off without being warned. A missed opportunity for these motorists.
  • Less emission of nitrogen. Research carried out by TNO in November 2011 shows that driving with the correct tire pressure prevents 0.9% to 1.5% of nitrogen (NOx) emissions.
  • Less emission of particulate matter. Research conducted by RIVM in 2016 shows that tire grindings are a major source of particulate matter (microplastics) in the environment, with 17,300 tons of microparticles annually. TNO showed in 2011 that 3.2% of these emissions can be avoided.
  • An annual cost saving of €60 per car. Milieu Centraal provides information on sustainability and indicates that by driving with the correct tire pressure, a motorist saves €60 in extra costs for fuel and tire wear. For the whole of the Netherlands an annual saving of 510 million euros.
Inflating Car Tires
Inflating a car tire

Our Solution? The Smart Tire Pump tPump X

The problems with conventional air pumps were a thorn in Coolado’s side. We knew: this can be better. So, we got to work on the findings of CE Delft and decided to develop a smart tire pump. A pump that contributes to a better world, is efficient and easy for drivers to use. The tPump X is the result.

We created smart pumps that inflate the tires perfectly with a minimum of effort. You can read the correct tire pressure on the display. This way, you not only contribute to a more sustainable world, but you also save a lot of euros.

The report

View the research of CE Delft here.