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Canadian Motorists Understand Proper Tire Inflation Improves Fuel Economy and Optimizes Electric Vehicle Range as They Navigate Higher Cost of Living: Survey

Toronto, May 1, 2024 – High fuel prices and a growing electric vehicle (EV) market are keeping efficiency and range top of mind for Canadian drivers, according to a new Leger survey for the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC; tracanada.ca).

TRAC commissioned the survey to gauge attitudes and knowledge around the impacts of proper tire inflation on both internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and EVs. Over three quarters (77 per cent) of motorists know that correctly inflated tires improve fuel economy, lessen vehicle emissions, and protect the environment. Sixty-two per cent understand proper tire inflation plays an important role in optimizing EV range.

The survey also found that 36 per cent of drivers are now considering an EV on their next purchase. Among drivers aged 18 to 34 the number of motorists considering an EV rises to 48 per cent. The latest Statistics Canada data shows EVs now account for 10.8 per cent of all new motor vehicle registrations.

The survey also underscores the continuing impact of high fuel prices and the cost-of- living crisis on summer driving plans. Almost six in ten drivers (58 per cent) say financial pressures will likely force them to cancel or limit road trips this summer. That number jumps to 66 per cent among drivers aged 18 to 34, and 62 per cent for motorists aged 35 to 54.

“Canadian motorists are well-aware of the crucial role tire maintenance plays in optimizing efficiency and EV range,” says Carol Hochu, president of TRAC. “However, our findings reveal a pressing need for more education about how to do tire care right. This is especially true among younger drivers, who show a heightened interest in EVs but lack essential tire maintenance knowledge. It’s time to empower all drivers with the know-how to keep their journeys both efficient and safe. Tire maintenance is one of the simplest and fastest car care tasks drivers can perform to keep their vehicles and families safe on the road.”

Key Findings

  • 81 per cent believe today’s financial pressures related to high living costs has made proper tire inflation more important than ever
  • Nearly all (95 per cent) understand proper tire inflation is essential to vehicle safety

However, despite high awareness of the importance of proper tire inflation, the survey found major – and potentially dangerous – gaps in knowledge about how to measure and set the correct tire inflation level, particularly among younger drivers, who are more likely to purchase an EV.

  • Only 24 per cent of drivers check their tire inflation pressures monthly as recommended by tire makers; only 18 per cent among drivers aged 18 to 34.
  • 62 per cent are unaware inflation pressures should only be measured when tires are cold; 69 per cent among drivers aged 18 to 34. (A vehicle should be stationary for at least three hours or not have been driven more than two kilometers prior to checking tire inflation. Measuring pressures when tires are warm gives an inaccurate reading.)
  • 32 per cent improperly refer to the air pressure stamped on the tire’s sidewall when identifying the correct pressure for their tires. (The imprinted sidewall pressure is the maximum pressure a tire can contain under maximum load, not the recommended inflation level. Prolonged driving at this inflation pressure may result in uneven tread wear and reduced traction. The correct inflation pressure for your tires is on the vehicle placard, which is commonly located on the driver’s door jamb.)
  • 12 per cent either rely on visual inspections or do not know how to determine if their tires are properly inflated; 19 per cent among drivers aged 18 to 34. (A tire can be underinflated by 20 per cent or more and look normal.)

Impact of tire pressure on fuel economy

Industry studies show motorists can improve their gas mileage by 0.6 per cent on average – up to 3 per cent in some cases – simply by keeping their tires inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Additionally, underinflated tires can lower gas mileage by about 0.2 per cent for each one PSI drop in the average pressure of all tires. Driving a vehicle with just one tire underinflated by 56 kPa (8 PSI) can increase vehicle fuel consumption by 4 per cent.

Learn more about how drivers can maximize the safety, performance, and longevity of their tires by visiting tracanada.ca/consumers.

Survey methodology

A survey of 1,529 Canadian drivers was completed between March 29 and April 1, 2024, using Leger’s online panel. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada

The Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (tracanada.ca) is the national trade association representing tire makers, rubber products manufacturers and importers as well as rubber recyclers and suppliers of goods and services related to the industry. TRAC helps shape public policy that supports tire and rubber industry innovation, performance, safety, and sustainability including end-of-life tire management.

Media Contact:

Michal Majernik: [email protected]

Tire and Rubber Association of Canada

5409 Eglinton Ave W, Suite 208
Etobicoke, ON M9C 5K6