By the end of 2024, 40 La Poste vans operating in the Lesquin, Valenciennes and Douai sectors in the Hauts-de-France region will be equipped with Michelin Uptis airless tires, a prototype puncture-proof wheel and tire solution that requires no compressed air.
Under a two-year partnership between Michelin and La Poste, three vehicles have already started operations on the airless tire. Instead of using air, the Uptis utilizes a specially designed structure which is capable of supporting a vehicle’s weight, and which delivers strength, comfort and safety for users and drivers. The tire manufacturer has developed the Uptis prototype for application to light commercial fleets.
As the Uptis is airless, punctures are no longer an issue, enabling La Poste to reduce maintenance and vehicle downtime within its fleet. Furthermore, by negating the issue of punctures and flat tires, environmental credentials are increased as fewer tire replacements are required.
Michelin states that its Uptis tire is the only airless tire globally currently used in real-world scenarios. To date, the tire product has covered nearly 3,000,000km in Europe, Asia and North America.
“The Michelin Uptis tire is a major innovation in the tire sector and is a key step in the development of a fully sustainable tire by 2050. It is the result of some 50 patents in terms of tire structure and high-tech materials. It demonstrates Michelin’s capacity to innovate in favor of a safer mobility that is kinder to the environment,” said Bruno De Feraudy, director of OEM activities, Michelin Group.
“We are particularly happy to collaborate with Michelin, whose know-how and innovations have been serving our mobility for more than a century,” said Philippe Dorge, deputy managing director of the La Poste Group in charge of the Services-Letters-Parcels branch.
“We deliver letters and parcels throughout France, six days a week, with postmen and women who travel the equivalent of 50 times the circumference of the Earth every day. We need reliable vehicles that offer total safety on the road, while limiting our environmental footprint.”