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Yokohama Tire Corporation’s Orange Oil Tire Technology Now on Display at the Museum of Science, Boston

Exhibit spotlights BluEarth-1™, Yokohama’s orange oil-infused tire that reduces petroleum use in tire manufacturing

October 04, 2011

FULLERTON, CA (Oct. 4, 2011) – Yokohama Tire Corporation’s eco-tire technology is now officially on display at the Museum of Science, Boston. The two-year exhibit, which opened today,showcases Yokohama’s BluEarth-1™, the company’s latest orange oil-infused passenger car tire, as well as the ultra-thin AIRTEX™ Advanced Liner, which helps consumers cut fuel costs by keeping their tires properly inflated.

“Yokohama is the first – and only – tire manufacturer in the world to employ orange oil technology,” said Yasushi Tanaka, Yokohama president and CEO. “It’s very rewarding to see it highlighted in a leading educational and cultural institution like the Museum of Science, Boston. The exhibit validates our commitment to advanced technologies that will protect earth.”

The Museum, founded in 1830, attracts about 1.5 million visitors a year via its programs and 700 interactive exhibits.

The “Making a Greener Tire” interactive display, in the museum’s Transportation, Renewable Energy and Nanotechnology area, utilizes tactile, visual and video elements to explain BluEarth-1’s technology, which combines oil extracted from orange peels with fine silica and a blend polymer to form a nano-blend compound. This BluEarth-first technology, initially utilized in Yokohama’s revolutionary dB Super E-spec™ tire, eliminates a significant amount of the petroleum-based products normally used in tire manufacturing.

Nano-blend compounding allows for less petroleum use during the manufacturing process and conserves fuel by reducing rolling resistance up to 20 percent – minimizing the energy wasted (as heat) as the tire rolls down the road.

Besides orange oil, BluEarth-1 features the AIRTEX™ Advanced Liner designed to reduce the amount of air seeping from the tire. Maintaining appropriate inflation levels is crucial because under-inflated tires require more power, thus using more fuel.

“Yokohama’s display is especially timely because it shows an innovative, green approach to manufacturing,” said Paul Fontaine, the Museum’s vice president of education. “We welcome the opportunity to bring this cutting-edge technology to our visitors. The BluEarth exhibit reflects the Museum’s commitment to highlighting environmental issues and enhancing technological literacy.”

“Technologies such as orange oil and the AIRTEX Advanced Inner Liner are part of Yokohama’s global mandate to protect the environment,” Tanaka said. “Our new overall global environmental initiative is called ‘BluEarth,’ which includes the BluEarth-1 tire. We thank the museum for presenting it to the public via this special exhibit.”

BluEarth-1, available now in Japan and Europe, will launch in the U.S. in 2012 in three sizes for hybrids and other vehicles, including the Toyota Prius, MINI Cooper, and VW Golf and Jetta.

About Yokohama Tire Corporation
Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company’s complete product line includes the dB Super E-spec™ – the world’s first tire to use orange oil to reduce petroleum – as well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama’s extensive product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.

Connect with Yokohama Tire Corporation:
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www.twitter.com/yokohamatc
www.youtube.com/user/yokohamamotorsports

Yokohama is a strong supporter of the tire care and safety guidelines established by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Details can be found at the “Tire Safety” section at www.yokohamatire.com.

About the Museum of Science, Boston
The Museum takes a hands-on approach to science, engineering and technology, attracting about 1.5 million visitors a year via its programs and 700 interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include the Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 3-D Digital Cinema and Butterfly Garden. Reaching 25,000 teens a year worldwide via the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, the Museum also leads a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. The Museum's "Science Is an Activity" exhibit plan has been awarded many NSF grants and influenced science centers worldwide. Its National Center for Technological Literacy® aims to enhance knowledge of engineering and technology for people of all ages and inspire the next generation of engineers, inventors, and scientists. Visit http://www.mos.org. Follow the Museum on Twitter at @museumofscience, and become a fan of the Museum on Facebook at www.facebook.com/museumofscience.