Electric Vehicles have hit the market by a storm, as more and more car manufacturers are chasing the success seen by Tesla, and stronger demand for more variety by consumers. This wave of interest in the electronic car has been prompted by the heightened concern of combustion engines’ carbon footprint, as well as the rising cost of keeping them on the road with fuel prices soaring over the last few years. A classic EV, such as a Tesla, Nissan Leaf or even the new Jaguar I-Pace has no fuel tank, and runs completely on electricity from their large battery which is re-charged by plugging into a power source.
However, there are some EV’s that do have a combustion engine, but are simultaneously powered by an electronic motor in their early rev range. These electric vehicles are known as ‘hybrids’ and they do not need to be plugged in, rather, they are charged from the energy created when driving and braking. A very common example of a hybrid electric vehicle is a Toyota Prius.
The two main components which are associated with EV’s are the electric motor, and the lithium-iron battery which powers the car. However, another very important component which can be often forgotten about when talking about electric vehicles are their tyres. A very common conception about EV’s are their noisy cabins created by loud tyre sound, and their driving range, or lack of. Throughout this article we will explore the importance of electronic vehicles tyre’s, and how they can impact a customers overall satisfaction with their battery powered vehicle.
How are tyres for electric vehicles different from commercial vehicles?
Below is a list of the characteristics of EV tyres, and how they differ to normal ones.
- Noise Reduction: Since EVs don’t have an engine, they create virtually no noise when driven. Therefore, one of the most important requirements of an EV tyre is that it reduces as much road noise as possible in order to maintain the quietness of the ride. Noise reduction can be achieved through design and manufacturing techniques such as specialised tread patterns, sound-absorbing foam and rubber compounds.
- Withstands Heavy Weight: EV tyres are built to withstand the heavier weight of EV’s, which are generally 10-20% greater than that of their ICE (internal combustion engine) counterparts. If an EV drove on regular tyres, they would wear more quickly as EV-specific tyres are built to withstand the heavier load, making them essential for optimal performance.
- Strong Traction: Since EVs have strong initial acceleration and high output from the moment a driver steps on the pedal, EV tyres must also have stronger traction, steering and braking performance. To provide this necessary grip, EV tyres are designed with specific stiff and wide center rib patterns to reduce potential slippage and abnormal abrasions, in addition to interlocking grooves in the tread pattern to prevent hydroplaning and compensate for the increase in torque.
- Enhanced Durability: Specific tyre compounds are also necessary to support the unique driving experience of an EV. Compounds that contain raw materials such as high-loading resin and silica extracted natural resources are key components to developing EV-specific tyre products. With inherent durability improvements, the stronger and more durable compound better assists the power delivery and driving characteristics of an EV over conventional compounds.
- Reduced Rolling Resistance: Another important factor in the development of EV tyres is reducing rolling resistance. Essentially, lower rolling resistance leads to less energy loss, in turn, increasing battery efficiency. During the manufacturing process, a number of different techniques can be used to achieve low rolling resistance, such as the type of rubber compound used and applying rigid design patterns, tyre profiles and structures.
Why should I use special EV tyres for my EV?
As mentioned above, there are at least 5 key differences which make EV tyres unique to EV cars. These can also be 5 reasons as to why you should use them for your EV. You will find a variety of improvements to your EV driving experience such as greater traction, longer durability, getting more out of your vehicles battery range, as well as being able to carry a heavier load safely. This now begs the question of – can you use normal Tyres for your EV? Although EV tyres are recommended for optimal performance, range and overall safety, the simple answer is yes – you can use ‘normal’ tyres on your EV car. EV’s are ‘normal’ cares, that happen to be fitted with electronic engines.
Do EV Tyres wear out faster?
Inherently, electric vehicles wear down tyres faster than internal combustion powered cars due to their high amounts of torque and heavy nature creating a lot of stress and tension on the surface of the tyre. Due to this, EV Tyres are manufactured using raw materials such as high-loading resin and silica which are better suited to the driving characteristics of an electric vehicle. EV tyres on a modern electric car will wear down similar, if not slightly slower than standard tyres on an internal combustion car.
Which electric car tyres are the best? And how do I tell the difference between tyres suitable for EVs?
Bridgestone Turanza Eco
Award-winning EV tyre from one of the most recognised brands in the market, the Turanza Eco introduced a label to help motorists pick it out from non-ICE tyres.
Conti’s SportContact 5 Silent model is Tesla’s ‘manufacturer’s choice’ so hopes are high for the Conti.eContact electric-only car tyres. Sitting between the price of Pirellis (slightly cheaper) and Michelin (way more expensive), these summer tyres are proving themselves to be great… provided you only use them in summer.
Hankook Ventus S1 eco 3 ev
Selected by VW Group to furnish the ID. 3, ID. 4 and Porsche Taycan, Hankook is also the tyre manufacturer for the all-electric racing series, Formula E.
Michelin Pilot Sport EV
Previously the provider for six seasons of the Formula E, Michelin has proven its capability for creating reliable EV tyres. Michelins don’t come cheap though. The Michelin Energy EVs have been around for longer, having been fitted to new Renault Zoes.
Pirelli P Zero Elect
Picked by BMW for the IX, Pirelli says its tyres are suited to electric SUVs or hatchbacks. Given how important tyres are to safety and enjoyment of the drive, and that Pirellis tend to be more competitively priced performance tyres, these tyres may be the pick of the lot.
Mobile Tyre Shop has the best range of EV tyres, so check out the full range today. We can get them delivered and fitted to you anytime, anywhere, 7 days a week. We service the following metro areas:
VIC – Melbourne
SA – Adelaide
WA – Perth