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The Michelin puncture-proof and airless tyre for 2024.

For almost fifteen years, Michelin's puncture-proof tyre has been proudly displayed on their stand at every motor show. A puncture-proof tyre because it has no air.

Never installed on a car on the road, and even less sold.

© Marie Fontaine -

For the time being, puncture-proof tyres were reserved for a few special machines, especially in the agricultural sector.

So it was a pleasant surprise to see the first presentation of the tyre at the IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung) Mobility motor show in Munich, Germany, in September 2021. It was installed on the electric version of the Mini and was highlighted as part of the French carmaker's communication on the future of mobility.

It is no longer possible to ignore the 200 million tyres (or 2 million tonnes) that end up in landfill every year after a puncture.

The environmental benefits are also associated with the absence of a spare wheel on models fitted with these tyres.

These are often barely used and often become obsolete due to the ageing of the rubber.

And there is also the extra consumption associated with the significant weight of the wheel and the associated jack.

This compressed air-free tyre, a new technology that eliminates the risk of punctures, should bring greater peace of mind to motorists while offering "potentially enormous environmental benefits", said Eric Vinesse, Michelin's director of research and development.

Initially called "Movin'On", the concept has been renamed "Uptis" for Unique Puncture-proof Tire System.

Uptis, the Michelin puncture-proof, airless tyre
Uptis, the Michelin puncture-proof, airless tyre

The design is very original: it is not just a tyre, but a wheel and tyre assembly. The aluminium wheel is covered with a supporting structure made of a glass-resin composite material and a tread. This structure deforms as it passes over irregularities, just like the air-filled carcass of current tyres.

Towards a market launch in 2024

Further development will not take place in France, but in the United States: Michelin will test the Uptis tyre in cooperation with General Motors Group.

They have started with an electric Chevrolet Bolt, a city car that will soon be marketed in France under the Opel brand.

Work on the puncture-proof tyre will continue for two years in Las Vegas in real traffic conditions. The promise is that it will be marketed in 2024.

If Uptis still uses classic aluminium rims, Michelin envisages being able to do without them in the future.

Indeed, in 2017, the manufacturer presented "the Vision", a 3D printed wheel concept using biosourced materials.

The tread could be 3D re-printed after wear and tear, ensuring the wheel's durability.

Here is the video:


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