Nokian says Europe has become the first region in the world to start using an ice grip symbol for tyres.

A snow grip symbol and QR code leading to a database have also been added to the tyres.

The new symbols help consumers compare different alternatives and choose safe tyres which reduce emissions.

Tyre labels are being renewed across the entire EU. New labels are required on tyres manufactured after 1 May, 2021.

All-season, summer and non-studded winter tyres sold within the EU received the first EU labels in 2012. The labelling requirement only applied to tyres for passenger cars, SUVs and vans and required information has included rolling resistance, wet grip and external rolling noise.

The labels have now changed: information must also cover grip on snow and ice and a QR code has been added to the label. The requirements do not apply to studded winter tyres.

”In practice, wet grip is the opposite of ice grip: developing one usually reduces the other,” said Nokian Tyres Technical Customer Service manager, Matti Morri.

“Tyres designed for Central Europe emphasise the characteristics required on bare roads, whereas the ice grip symbol indicates the tyre genuinely works and remains safe in the challenging Nordic winter conditions.

“The snow grip symbol, for its part, indicates the tyre meets the EU’s official requirements for grip on snow; this is especially significant in Germany, Italy and the Nordic countries. We do not recommend using tyres designed for Central Europe under conditions they are not intended for.

“Consumers are ordering more and more products online. It is a significant advantage for them they can check the symbols and order the best possible tyres for their own usage conditions. Expert assistance is available at tyre retailers; but online, there is no one there to personally assist you with choosing safe tyres.”

The QR code is a new item on the tyre label, which will guide consumers to a database that accumulates information on all tyres available on the European market. The product information is standardised.

”In the future, tyre labels will be expanded further, as they will also report abrasion, or wear and the mileage or the tyre’s service life on the road,” added Nokian Tyres SRA manager, Jarmo Sunnari.

“The decision has already been made but producing the test methods will take years.”

New tyre labels: 

  • Rolling resistance refers to fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Tyres in the best category can save 0.6 litres of fuel per 100km when compared to the lowest category
  • Wet grip indicates the braking distance. On wet asphalt, the best tyres need nearly 20 metres less to stop when travelling at a speed of 80 km/h than tyres in the weakest category
  • The external rolling noise value indicates noise levels outside of the vehicle. Using quieter tyres will reduce noise pollution in the environment
  • The snow grip symbol indicates the tyre meets the official requirements and works reliably on snow
  • The ice grip symbol means the tyre has passed the ice grip test and is suited for Nordic winter conditions. The symbol is currently only used on passenger car tyres