Tyres and air go together like beer and hot wings, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t drawbacks to the combination. First and foremost is that air has this tendency to vacate the tyre through even the tiniest of holes, so picking up any nail, screw, or thorn can result in a flat tyre. Michelin has introduced an airless tyre that is said to be a “puncture-proof tyre system.”
Called ‘Uptis’ (Unique Puncture-Proof Tyre System), the airless tyres are being tested on the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The system was unveiled at the Movin’ On Summit in Montreal, and will supposedly provide a similar driving experience to the tyres that we’ve known for the last century. Uptis uses a design that does away with the sidewall seen on traditional tyres.
Rather than air in the tyres, you’ll find a system of resin-embedded fibreglass that look like fins between the tyre’s outer edge and the inner circle. The concept tyres have a maximum speed of 130 miles per hour and a maximum load of 1102 pounds. The life of the tyres may be longer than regular tyres because you won’t have to worry about improper inflation. The airless tyres will always keep their shape regardless of temperature and other conditions.
Though Michelin is only testing the tyres on the Chevrolet Bolt for now, the company expects to have them available commercially as early as 2024.