Why your next car may not have a spare wheel

Chevrolet has chosen to remove the spare wheel from one of its US models, opting instead to include a puncture repair kit, just as Michelin announces a tire that can't puncture - does this mean the end of the spare wheel?

A long-held fixture in today's cars, spare wheels are little thought about but often essential, especially when a long distance from home. Statistics suggest European drivers suffer a puncture every 75,000 kilometers on European roads, although the number falls to every 3,000 km on some roads in Asia.

Buyers of the new Chevrolet Cruze Eco, however, will be among the first modern motorists who need not think about the spare, as the automaker has opted to include an "inflator kit" rather than a full tire to reduce the weight on the ultra-efficient model.

Chevrolet says that on-board tire pressure monitors, which are widely fitted on newer cars, have made spare tires unnecessary, as most problems can be detected well in advance.

So it announced last week that it's opted to do away with the heavy spare tire, opting instead for an electronic tire inflator and a sealant which can temporarily patch holes up to a quarter of an inch in diameter.

It says that the new solution should be enough to repressurize the tire and coax the car to a dealer for a proper repair, although in a serious situation customers can hit an emergency assistance button to summon roadside help.

It's a neat idea, and one which could catch on quickly - although at last week's Challenge Bibendum event in Germany Michelin unveiled an innovation which could make punctures themselves extinct.

It seems that the French tire manufacturer may finally have nailed the key to a 'flat-free tire', using an interior material capable of plugging the tire as soon as a hole appears.

Michelin says that it's filed 15 patents for the "unprecedented technological breakthrough," which reports suggest could be in use as early as 2014 with considerable environmental benefits including reduced rubber usage and reduced fuel consumption.

http://www.gm.com

http://www.michelinman.com

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    DT & Science Technician

    £65 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Randstad Education are looking ...

    Sustainability Assessor

    Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Sustainability Assessor...

    Music Teacher

    £110 - £150 per day + Mileage and Expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: We are l...

    A Level Chemistry Teacher

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Part-time A Level Chemist...

    Day In a Page

    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
    Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

    What is the appeal of Twitch?

    Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
    Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

    How bosses are making us work harder

    As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
    Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

    Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

    As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
    Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

    A tale of two writers

    Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
    Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

    Should pupils get a lie in?

    Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
    Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

    Prepare for Jewish jokes...

    ... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
    SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

    A dream come true for SJ Watson

    Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
    10 best cycling bags for commuters

    10 best cycling bags for commuters

    Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
    Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

    Paul Scholes column

    Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?