Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Innovation on the road


Michelin X One® XDA® Energy Tire

From cosmetics to building supplies, food products to electronics — business depends on big wheels to get products to store shelves on time and on budget.

And in one small Nova Scotia town, the production of big tires for those “big wheels” is helping to revolutionize the international trucking industry — helping to reduce global shipping costs and carbon emissions in the process.

It’s all part of the new Michelin X One™ story, an innovative wide single truck tire, one million of which are being used by major commercial trucking fleets across North America.

According to David Griffin, Michelin Waterville plant manager, the new tire design delivers significant advantages to the international commercial trucking industry ... and the planet.

“By replacing dual tires with the one, wider tire, 18-wheel tractor-trailer rigs are thereby converted to 10-wheelers,” David explains. “The wider Michelin X One ™ offers optimum performance in both the drive position, which pulls the weight, and the semi-trailer position, which supports the weight. And when used in both positions, with full loads, it can save up to 10 per cent in fuel.” 

In fact, David says that since its introduction in 2000, the new tire has helped save more than 72 million gallons of fuel — which translates into a savings of more than 730,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

To put it another way, fitting the new X One™ tires on a fleet of 1,000 trucks can lead to a potential savings of more than 15,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.

That’s equal to the emissions from 3,000 cars!

According to David, the investment from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency under the Atlantic Innovation Fund helped Michelin leverage other funding and ensure the assignment of the revolutionary tire production to one of their three Nova-Scotia based production plants. Once production was on a roll, it also helped them expand.

“The ACOA investment in our Waterville tire plant, which has produced over 30 million different tires since its opening in 1982, is a testament to the skills of our local people — it’s helping to ensure long-term competitiveness, future employment and continued economic support for our community,” he explains.

“We’ve recently added a new building, new equipment, an important research and development component, not to mention 75 technical and manufacturing employees to support production of the new Michelin X One™ tire.”

With that kind of local dedication to greener, more efficient transportation, this is one made-in-the Maritimes product that promises to keep those big wheels turning.

Published April 8, 2011.