Pimp your ride: A tire inflator gizmo that saves truck fuel

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Remember that whole debate over how much fuel could be saved by keeping tires inflated during the Presidential race in 2008? That week was probably one of the only times in history when this topic took a national stage. But for a startup called Aperia Technologies, tire inflation and fuel savings is at top of mind and is the premise for their gizmo called the Halo Tire Inflator.

The gadget is a ring-shaped device that mounts onto the wheel hub of trucks and commercial vehicles and uses the wheel’s rotational motion to pump air into the tire and keep it inflated at the optimal level at all times. The company says it takes 10 minutes to install on a vehicle and one of the devices can work for a dual-wheel set on those big trucks.

The device is meant for commercial fleet owners, not really for everyday folks. But for companies that own a lot of vehicles, the savings could be significant.

Aperia says using its devices on a truck can increase fuel efficiency by up to 1 percent (or a savings of $425 in fuel costs per truck per year), can extend tire life by 10 to 13 percent (saving $220 per truck per year in tire costs), reduce maintenance time for inflating tires (which costs about $325 per truck per year) and helps to eliminate tire blow outs. The company says the total savings for a truck per year can be $1,260, and the payback on the gadget is “sub-one-year.”

Aperia, based in San Francisco, raised a seed round of funding last year, and Aperia CEO Joshua Carter presented at the Wall Street Journal Eco:nomics event last week.

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