Michelin will include competition and testing of commercial vehicles for the first time at this year’s “Challenge Bibendum,” to be held September 23-25 in California.
“Testing of commercial vehicles is new and much more complex” within Challenge Bibendum, which has previously focused primarily on passenger cars, noted Ellis Johnson, manager, OE engineering.
Heavy-duty competition will be broken into several classes based on GVW: Class 6-7, P&D vehicles, Class 8 trucks, Buses (city transit and highway) and Other (including military and those not fitting elsewhere).
Each class will be evaluated in four categories: emissions, noise (external), fuel economy and acceleration. Johnson said Michelin will also measure fuel use during overnight idling of Class 8 trucks to attempt to incorporate this issue into the reported outcome.
The overall goal of the Challenge, Johnson added, is “not to pick one superior vehicle but allow drivers and fleets to compare current state-of-the-art to baseline performance among a variety of technologies in several weight categories. Customers must decide for themselves what choice is best for them.”
The challenge is named after the “Michelin Man,” whose official name is “Bibendum,” and was launched five years ago to celebrate his 100th birthday by saluting environmental advances in the automotive realm.