Major tyre brand, Bridgestone, has announced it has launched what it claims is its most innovative and sustainable light commercial tyre,  which it is calling the Duravis Van.

The company says the Druavis Van tyre utilises its Enliten technology for the first time in a replacement specification tyre for the Australian and New Zealand market.

Bridgestone says  Enliten is its base technology for product design, and claims it enables the  ultimate customisation in safety, sustainability, and performance.

the company says its Enliten technology provides low-rolling resistance, durability and excellent wet and dry braking performance –  which it says helps to maximise efficiency by minimising downtime and lowering the total cost of ownership.

Bridgestone says  that the Duravis Van  tyre has been engineered with the ‘evolving needs of the last-mile delivery market as the centre of its development’.

It says that  the Duravis Van tyre  is EV-ready and has been designed, developed, and produced in Europe  which it claims  ensures its suitability for the popular European-built light commercial vehicle models.

Director of sales at Bridgestone Australia, Claudio Sodano, said the introduction of Duravis Van is significant because of Enliten technology, and the evolution of the light commercial sector.

“There’s no doubt that the light commercial space is undergoing considerable change. Not only is this part of the market growing, but the emergence of electric vans changes the operational requirements – and that’s why the launch of Duravis Van is so significant,” Sodano said.

“Duravis Van is a really exciting product for us, because it’s not only our most advanced light commercial vehicle tyre ever, but it’s also Australia’s introduction to our Enliten technology – which is a design philosophy that will underpin our future product developments across all segments.”

The company claims  that the Enliten Technology focusses on three key areas in the development of a new tyre including safety, sustainability, and performance, Bridgestone  says it is using the technology to support decarbonisation efforts in production and the product life cycle through emission reduction, resource efficiency and material circularity, without compromising on safety and performance.

It says the durability of Enliten technology has already been proven on Australian roads through the recent Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, which Bridgestone uses as a platform to challenge its sustainable tyre technology in  what it describes as a “mobile lab”. It says that nearly all teams competing in the 2023 event utilised specially developed Enliten equipped tyres for maximum efficiency and durability.

Bridgestone  says that with its Enliten technology, it remains committed to ensuring ‘the highest levels of safety in both dry and wet conditions, while also delivering outstanding performance in the focus area of each product, delivering on the key criteria for the customer’.

“Each product development has specific objectives for performance. For Duravis Van, these were to maximise the efficiency for light commercial vehicle operators, be durable and have great braking capabilities, while also being a more sustainable choice,” Claudio Sodano added.

Duravis Van is being offered in the Australian market in seven sizes ranging from 195/70R15C to 225/55R17C, covering the majority of European built and designed vans including Ford Transit and E Transit Custom, Mercedes-Benz Vito/eVito and Viano/V-Class, VW Transporter, Renault Master, and LDV V80, eDeliver and Deliver 9. The introduction of the Duravis Van also sees Bridgestone offer a solution in the 205/65R15C and 225/55R17C sizes, closing a gap in the light commercial vehicle range.

Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand managing director, Heath Barclay, believes that the Duravis Van is the solution to the emerging challenges in the light commercial vehicle sector.

“Fleets face many challenges in lowering their costs, maximising efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions, and overcoming the complexities of the last-mile delivery model. The launch of the Bridgestone Duravis Van tyre is the answer to all of these through lower fuel or energy use, and reduced downtime because of its durability,” Barclay said.

This innovative tyre has achieved the balance between rolling resistance, performance and durability through the use of its Nano Pro-Tech equipped compound, advanced mixing methods, design of the tread pattern and construction of the tyre.

Bridgestone claims that compared to its Duravis R660, Duravis Van boasts up to 21 per cent improvement in rolling resistance1, delivering excellent fuel economy for ICE vehicles and energy efficiency for electric vehicles, contributing to reduced operating expenses through fuel savings or extended range and increased productivity.

The optimised crown shape of the tyre maximises contact with the road to deliver strong dry braking performance. The advanced symmetrical tread pattern helps reduce road noise while also supporting reduced irregular wear thanks to its rib stiffness. The tyre’s sipe design and longitudinal grooves provide excellent water evacuation for wet handling and braking performance.

The sidewall design also features rim protection through an additional 0.8mm circumferential rubber layer to minimise damage caused by curb impacts and help to improve overall wear performance.

Duravis Van’s construction also meets the demands of electric vehicles with a high wear tolerance to counter the increased weight and higher torque of EVs, while the low-rolling resistance supports efficient mileage.

As a sustainable solutions company, Bridgestone  says its is constantly evolving its R&D process to become more efficient and sustainable. Bridgestone  said that the Duravis Van was developed using its Virtual Tyre Development technology.

the company says this means a digital version of an in-development tyre can be created and tested, helping Bridgestone to predict how a tyre will perform in different conditions before physically building prototypes. In the development phase, this sustainable approach led to a saving of 38% of raw materials and CO2 emissions, while cutting 20,000 kilometres and 4.2 tonnes of CO2 from outdoor testing.

Bridgestone says that such innovations are all part of its vision to provide customer and social value as a sustainable solutions company, saying that at the heart of this is the Bridgestone E8 Commitment, its broad, global corporate commitment that says  clearly defines the value the company is promising to deliver to society, customers, and future generations in eight focus areas.

Bridgestone specifically says that the Duravis Van embodies  energy, efficiency, ecology, ease and economy.

The company says that Duravis Van is a key product in its fleet solutions offering as well as being available through the national network of Bridgestone Select Tyre and Auto and Bridgestone Service Centre stores, and its network of  tyre retailers.