Demand for winter tyres on the increase as the climate changes

As the climate changes, extreme weather conditions and weather phenomena are becoming more and more common. Both Finland and Central Europe have experienced many snowstorms and very snowy winters in recent years. As a result, the demand for winter tyres has increased in many Central European countries. Their use is important from both a safety and mobility perspective, and traffic jams are to be expected as vehicles skid along on tyres that are unsuitable for wintry weather. In many countries, various options for remedying the situation are being discussed. Making the use of winter tyres compulsory through legislation would be one such alternative.

Climate change is affecting tyre development in many ways – on one hand, companies must respond to the challenges created by climate change, and on the other hand, they feel the need to make their tyres as environmentally friendly as possible. Tyre developers must also take into consideration that winter tyre needs vary from one market to another.

The European Union has reacted to the challenges generated by climate change through vehicle taxation and usage fees, for example. Last autumn, the EU introduced a compulsory tyre label, which provides information about the tyre’s rolling resistance, noise level, and grip in wet conditions. The rolling resistance category helps consumers to slow down climate change through their choice of tyres. Another way individuals can make an impact is through maintaining the correct tyre pressures in their vehicles.

Studs the safer option on ice

Winter tyre sales have experienced a boost in recent years, both in Europe and elsewhere, and particularly in areas where snowy winters have become a common phenomenon. In the so-called Snow Belt in North America, for example, the demand for winter tyres has increased as people have found that proper winter tyres have greater benefits than the so-called all-season tyres, which have generally been used all year round.

As the standard of living has increased in Russia and people have started to invest more in their vehicles, the Russians have also realised the benefits of winter tyres. Twenty years ago, less than 50% of drivers in Russia considered it necessary to use winter tyres; today, over 90% know that one cannot negotiate wintry roads without them.

In some places, the use of studded tyres has been prohibited despite slippery weather conditions. In this case, studless winter tyres, often known as friction tyres, are used instead. Over the years, Nordic friction tyres have become so good that, in many situations, their properties match those of studded tyres. Nevertheless, studded tyres are superior in icy conditions. In Central Europe, however, friction tyres are designed primarily for use on asphalt, and their grip on ice is not sufficient for the Nordic winter. Therefore one should be careful when buying friction tyres for freezing weather conditions from an international online tyre store, for example.

Studded tyres also have hidden benefits. In spring,  studded tyres are replaced with summer ones, whereas friction tyres may be left on year-round. And in summer, friction tyres are as useful as winter boots in July.




  1. Life Assurance Quotes says:

    Definitely due to climate change our winters have become much colder and we all have to adapt to these changes. I have been using studded tyres for years now and find them fantastic. I have yet to be convinced about the friction tyre.

  2. Todd says:

    I love my new Nokian winter tires, however the winters are milder if anything and I do hope we get a good snow year this year in Western Canada so we can go skiing and sledding, and enjoy the winter driving confidently.
    As for climate change that is just a bunch of BS, which Al Gore dreamt up. There is no scientific proof and frankly I am sick of hearing re this bogus concept that suddenly the world weather systems are changing. Every year is different, it’s what makes life interesting, it’s not some new phenomenon.

    • Nokian Tyres' bloggers says:

      Thanks for the feedback Todd. Let’s hope for the perfect winter weather so you get to enjoy all the great winter fun.

  3. Serge Vivier says:

    I dont think this is the place to comment about climate changes. You are not exposed to what is happening with the weather in eastern Canada and Atlantic Canada. I am 65 years old and my father is 85. We have noticed a change.

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