15 Jan 2024
MAN partner CO2OPT provides fleet operators with recommendations for the best tyres for their trucks or buses with the aid of vehicle data and other external data. This can save them up to ten per cent in fuel.
When Benjamin Bartsch is asked to explain the idea behind the startup, CO2OPT, he likes to reach for comparisons: “You don’t wear high heels to the beach or flip-flops to the mountains. And just like shoes, commercial vehicles should also have the right tyres for the job they are doing.” Bartsch knows his stuff. He used to work for tyre manufacturer Continental, where he learned that in practice, tyres are often not suitable for day-to-day use on trucks and buses. It’s not really a surprise: the range of tyres on offer is enormous and not transparent. That’s why no fleet operator has a chance of picking the perfect choice for each individual vehicle in its fleet from the thousands of models available.
That’s exactly what Bartsch and his two co-founders Frank Seeger and Siddhant Tibrewal want to change. CO2OPT was founded in 2022 and offers fleet operators a data-based platform for tyre management. The idea behind it is that with the aid of real telematics data from the vehicles, provided by the RIO Box for example, the startup can work out the individual movement profile of each bus in the fleet. To do this, software analyses up to 21,000 data points per day and after just a few months can classify the vehicle in a specific category. On the basis of this information, CO2OPT then makes a recommendation to its customers on the right tyres for each individual vehicle in the fleet. “It’s like Tinder for tyres,” says Bartsch, making his next comparison. It relies on a database of more than 5,000 different products.
“With the right tyres for each route, a diesel bus can save up to ten per cent in fuel and avoid a correspondingly high level of CO2 emissions. On top of that, wear is also reduced,” says Bartsch. “It also prolongs the life of the tyres, which also helps to reduce the TCO.” Lastly, the CO2OPT software also provides the fleet operator with support when it comes to retreading and recutting tyres. For electric buses, the costs and CO2 emissions are not so much at the forefront. “What’s more important here is the 30 or 40 kilometres of extra range thanks to optimum rolling resistance,” says Bartsch. “The tyres could actually make the decision as to whether a line can be electrified or not.”
CO2OPT has been working with MAN’s bus division since 2022. “We met at the IAA and very quickly got to know one another,” explains Bartsch. “Recently, we exhibited together at Busworld.” MAN customers can book the startup’s service easily on the RIO marketplace under the name “MAN Tire Service powered by CO2OPT”. It takes just a few clicks to create a link between their telematics provider and the CO2OPT database, after which data such as speed, acceleration and braking, fuel consumption and current location will be automatically captured.
CO2OPT also adds extra information like height profile, road types, weather conditions and tyre specifications. On the basis of this, profile depth predictions and recommendations for the next tyre model can be calculated. Customers can inform CO2OPT of a change of tyres in several ways: via their tyre service provider, through the startup’s workshop app or by providing their own service report.
Logistics companies can also benefit from this innovative offering: according to CO2OPT, tyres affect more than 40 per cent of the total cost of ownership (TCO) for haulage firms, especially diesel costs. The company’s software can also divide trucks into categories such as “long haul” or “distribution” on the basis of telemetry data. Then a recommendation can be made for the optimum tyre. “Even if the optimum tyres are a little more expensive to buy, the investment pays off over their lifetime,” says Bartsch. They also help to protect the climate, as around 60 per cent of CO2 emissions from road freight are generated by medium and heavy goods vehicles.
In the future, CO2OPT wants to automatically send its customers warnings – for instance when tyres have insufficient tread depth – and at the same time to offer the ideal replacement tyres to purchase from a marketplace. “We will, however, remain neutral and always recommend the best product,” stresses Bartsch. They’re also planning something else new for 2024: CO2OPT wants to provide its customers with CO2 emission savings certification according to DIN standards. “The tyres are the only point of contact between the vehicle and the road,” says Bartsch in summary. “That’s why making the best choice is so important. One thing we want to make clear to fleet operators is that a tyre is much more than just something black and round.”
Text: Christian Buck