Michelin plans to introduce the Unique Puncture-proof Tire System or Uptis commercially in the next few years, and this could happen at the launch of the next-generation Chevrolet Bolt.
That confirmation, or should we say a wish, came from Alexis Garcin, president of Michelin North America. In an interview with CNN Business, Garcin was quoted saying that Michelin "wants to bring the next generation of the Chevrolet Bolt with airless tires." He also said that it can happen in the next three to five years.
Of note, Chevrolet has refreshed the Bolt in 2021, along with the introduction of its slightly higher version, the Bolt EUV.
Gallery: Michelin Uptis On Chevrolet Bolt
That said, a new generation model as early as 2025 could be possible, but Chevrolet has yet to confirm that timeline nor will it still carry the Bolt nameplate. However, a new Chevy wearing airless tires isn't a reach, considering that Michelin has already used the Bolt as its testbed in 2019.
The Chevy Bolt isn't the only car to have worn the Michelin Uptis tires. Back in 2021, a Mini Cooper SE was driven on public roads while wearing the airless (and sidewall-less) rubber.
The Michelin Uptis airless tires were first officially introduced in 2019, but its development goes way back to a decade, and rightfully so.
As Michelin's Group Technical and Scientific Communication Director Cyrille Roget explained before, the Uptis is made up of belts and spokes, the latter being made of several thin and strong fiberglass to carry the weight of the vehicle. To protect its invention, Michelin apparently filed 50 patents for its development.
The primary advantage of the Uptis airless tire is that it's puncture-proof. Punctures and other factors that cause rapid pressure loss or irregular wear and tear account for a total of 200 million tires that don't finish their intended purposes. The introduction of airless tires could prevent waste in terms of costs, materials, and energy used to make the tires.