Battery-electric cars (BEV) are gradually starting to play a prominent role in the automotive scene. Environmental concerns shared by an increasing number of drivers are pushing both car and tyre manufacturers to focus their efforts to develop this part of their offer. If you have opted for a green vehicle, discover all the specific tyre characteristics. Find about how to choose a tyre and all the latest technological advances in this field.
Electric car: specific tyre needs
Safety comes first
An electric or hybrid vehicle is a car that has at least one battery-powered engines. Like with any type of vehicle, a driver needs to feel safe when driving. Tyres should deliver good grip and optimum dry and wet braking performance.
Characteristics of an electric car
An electric car or hybrid is quite different from a combustion engine vehicle. The effects on tyres are various:
- Noise: The motor of an electric vehicle (EV) is very quiet. This characteristic provides high acoustic comfort. In order to maintain this quality for passengers and people outside, tyres designed for electric models must have a very low level of rolling noise. You can easily check the rolling noise on the EU tyre label.
- Electric car range: Once charged, the electric car consumes electric energy for autonomous and eco-friendly driving. Known as an green vehicle since it does not emit CO2, it needs tyres with a low rolling resistance to be able to economise as much energy as possible. Reducing the rolling resistance means increasing the vehicle autonomy. Rubber compound, tread design and tyre size have a significant influence on rolling resistance.
- Tyre Wear: When pulling away and when accelerating, the electric car has a very fast response due to its instant torque. This makes them highly efficient but can cause tyres to wear quickly. It therefore needs resistant tyres, suitable for use in urban environments.
An important fact: For an electric motor, the energy consumption due to tyres can be as much as 30%. Tyres determine the efficiency and performance of an EV car. So you better chose them carefully in order to reduce the all over costs of your e-car and make the most of your tyres.
E-car tyre market based on innovation
The electric car market is booming. For car and tyre manufacturers, the aim is to meet electric vehicle requirements. Tyre makers must constantly adapt to technological constraints. By proposing innovative compounds which evolve with the latest advances in the automotive industry and environmental issues, manufacturers wring out every last performance of e-cars.
Specific tyres exist, mostly in the form of project or concept tyres, dedicated to autonomous vehicles. This technical research on tyre design aims to improve the product in general, and anticipate hypothetical needs for future mobility.
A few concept tyres
Goodyear Aero: airless, this tyre has been designed to be driven on the road or for flying cars.
Goodyear Oxygene: created from old recycled tyres and with a unique structure that features living moss, this tyre has been designed to recycle polluted air.
Hankook i-Flex: produced from recyclable materials, very light and with a futuristic design, this concept tyre wants to reinvent the tyre by replacing the rubber and the rim with an all-in-one wheel and tyre unit.
Vision: with this concept, Michelin proposes an airless, recyclable and connected tyre, with a rechargeable 3D printed tread.
Other tyre manufactures have applied their products to new technical concepts with the intention of adapting them to the needs of electric vehicles.
This is the case of Bridgestone which has added Ologic technology to some of its tyres available on the market, particularly the Ecopia range. The large tyre diameter associated with the narrow tread improves the tyre’s aerodynamics and grip while reducing C02 emissions thanks to a lower rolling resistance.
Best tyres for an electric car
Little by little, tyre models designed exclusively for electric vehicles.
Michelin Energy E-V: with a 20% lower rolling resistance, this tyre meets the energy saving needs of an electric car and allows it to increase its range by almost 6%.
Continental e-Contact: this tyre has aerodynamic sidewalls with a golf-ball inspired structure and a 30% lower rolling resistance than a standard passenger car tyre, which guarantees the electric car a longer range.
Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance: features the “Electric Drive” technology which offers a higher mileage thanks to an innovative tread pattern, an extended range and a “high load carrying capacity”.