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Everything You Need to Know About Electric Vehicle Tires

It’s no doubt electric vehicles are rapidly becoming the new wave in the auto industry. They are not only low-cost to operate, but they are also environmentally friendly. These vehicles' low emissions also make them a popular choice for drivers who want a low carbon footprint.

Everything You Need to Know About Electric Vehicle Tires

It’s no doubt electric vehicles are rapidly becoming the new wave in the auto industry. They are not only low-cost to operate, but they are also environmentally friendly. These vehicles' low emissions also make them a popular choice for drivers who want a low carbon footprint. 

However, there is still a lot of confusion about the tires that are required for EVs. Electric vehicles have different tire requirements than gas-powered vehicles. Their tires must be strong but lightweight and durable, as well as efficient but convenient. Because EV tires have no engine noises, adjustments must be made to the tires to ensure they remain quiet on the road.

This article will help you learn everything you need to know about what makes a good EV tire, how they differ from regular tires, and what to look for when buying EV tires. We've also compiled a list of capable EV tires on the market to assist you in selecting the best ones for your vehicle.

How do EV tires differ from regular tires: Why do EVs need special tires?

Electric vehicles have lower engine noise, emissions, maintenance, and operating costs than ICEs. These advantages are, however, offset by a significant increase in weight. Batteries are heavy, and their weight puts additional strain on the tires of electric vehicles. This, combined with EVs' instant torque and acceleration, necessitates the use of specialized tires.

To meet electric vehicle performance, EV specialized tires  have;

  1. Unique Construction

EVs are powered by batteries, which can add up to 40% more weight to the vehicle than ICE counterparts. Electric vehicles require tires with strong compounds to withstand this weight. To support the weight of the battery and car components, EV tires have thicker sidewalls and more robust compounds (Nylon or heavier).

Electric vehicle tires must be able to withstand not only the additional weight but also the inertia and momentum associated with braking and cornering with extra weight. To handle the increased load in acceleration, braking, and steering, they have a double-layer carcass made of strong polymers, silicon, or silica.

  1. Noise-Canceling Features

The only noise you can perceive from an electric vehicle is that produced by its tires and the aerodynamic rustle. One of the most important requirements for EV tires is to reduce road noise as much as possible to maintain the ride's quietness. Noise reduction is accomplished through the use of specialized tread patterns, sound-absorbing foam, and rubber compounds.

  1. Strong Traction

The instant torque and acceleration provided by EVs is one of their main selling points. This instantaneous torque, however, puts excessive pressure on the tires. Tires must have stiffer tread patterns with wide center ribs to reduce potential slippage and abnormal abrasions. Furthermore, the tread pattern's interlocking grooves prevent hydroplaning and compensate for the increased torque.

  1. Reduced Rolling Resistance

Lower rolling resistance affects the range of electric vehicles. Range refers to the distance an electric vehicle can travel before the battery needs to be recharged. Simply put, lower resistance leads to less energy loss, which increases battery efficiency. 

Tire design techniques such as using rigid design patterns, tire profiles, and structural work in conjunction with the type of rubber compounds used help to achieve lower rolling resistance.

Considerations for Choosing EV Tires

Tires are necessary for the vehicle's proper handling, stability, and efficiency. To ensure the best driving experience, choose tires that are compatible with your EV's specifications.

As with standard tires, not all EV tires are suitable for all vehicle types.  Some of the factors that will influence your purchase decision include:

  1. Load index

The load index or capacity tells the driver how much weight a tire can support. For EVs, you'll need a tire that can handle the extra weight. A standard extra load tire can do it, but in some cases, heavy load (HL) tires may be required. The index also varies depending on whether your EV is a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler. 

  1. Tire Grip

Due to the high torque and inertia of an EV, the optimal grip of a tire is critical for cornering and driving at high speeds. The increased weight also means longer braking distances. 

A good tire can compensate for this, so choose one with the right rubber compounds and low rolling resistance to reduce wear.

  1. Your EV Model

The model of your EV also impacts the type of tires you need, as well as the life of those tires. Drivers of sportier EV models, for example, may be required to install studier tires that can withstand the increased acceleration.

  1. Range

The type of tire you use can influence how fast the battery will be depleted based on their rolling resistance.

Low rolling resistance tires reduce the work of energy your car will use on a road surface. This therefore means a more extended battery life as less power will be consumed by the vehicle. Low rolling resistance tires also help tune road noises for a quiet, comfortable ride.

  1. Seasons and Weather Conditions

It is also essential to factor in the weather conditions you drive in when purchasing tires for your electric vehicle.

If you drive in extreme winter weather or on icy roads, you should get tires designed for winter. This also means you will need an extra set of tires to switch to when the temperatures begin to rise. People in mild winter conditions can keep one set of tires all year long. 

Most popular EV Tires Brands

EVs have better acceleration, which demands tires with greater stability and handling capabilities. Their heavy batteries call for the use of tires capable of supporting the weight at high speeds. As a result, major tire manufacturers are now developing specialized EV tires that aid in proper driving and provide optimal performance.

Some of the leading tire manufacturers with EV-specific tires include:

  1. Michelin

Michelin tires have a better steering response and shorter braking distances, which helps the vehicle maintain its acceleration. They are the original equipment manufacturer for Tesla electric vehicles and carry the following models;

  • Michelin Pilot Sport EV

  • Pilot Sport 4s

  • Primacy MXM4

  • Latitude Sport 3

  • Pilot Sport All-season

Michelin's smallest EV tire is 17 inches in diameter, while the largest is 22 inches (to be first featured in the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq).

  1. Pirelli

Pirelli prioritizes low rolling resistance, noise, and static grip to complement the natural characteristics of electric vehicles.

The P Zero All Season Plus Elect is one of Pirelli’s EV-specific tires. It is crafted with a new compound that provides improved traction as the EV delivers maximum instant torque as well as improved wet drip and handling. The tire has a sound-absorbing material on the inside circumferential wall that reduces cabin noise by 5% when compared to competitors.

Other Pirelli EV tires include:

  • Pirelli Scorpion Winter- Performance winter

  • Cinturato P7 Blue- Ultra-high performance summer

  • Pirelli P Zero- Max performance summer

  1. Bridgestone

Bridgestone tires optimize efficiency and environmental friendliness. The company plan is for EV tires to account for 90% of all new automotive tires by 2030. They create tires with noise reduction capabilities and uniform contact with the road.

The Turanza QuietTrack EV tire is one of the quietest on the market and is ideal for Chevy Bolt, Hyundai Ioniq, Tesla Model Y, and Kia Niro drivers.

We also recommend:

  • Bridgestone Potenza Sport- Max summer performance

  • Alenza AS Ultra- crossover/SUV touring all-season

  • Blizzak LM005- Performance winter

  • Ecopia EP500- Grand touring all-season

  • Ecopia EP600- Grand touring summer

  1. Goodyear

Goodyear's primary focus is to create tires with strong compounds that have a larger contact area with the road. 

The ElectricDrive GT from Goodyear is a high-performance, all-season tire that is designed to last and provide a quiet ride. The tire has a 40,000-mile tread life warranty and a speed rating of W.

Other Goodyear EV tires include:

  • Goodyear Eagle Touring- Grand touring all-season

  • Goodyear EfficientGrip- Performance all-season

  1. Continental

Continental EV tires are designed to provide maximum grip, minimal noise, and a smoother, more energy-efficient low-impact ride. 

Continental's EcoContact 6 EV tire addresses issues raised by the increased weight of EVs by balancing the need for low rolling resistance, high grip, and sturdiness.

We also recommend:

  • ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus- Ultra-high performance all-season

  • PremiumContact 6- Grand touring summer

  • ProContact RX- Grand touring all-season

Cost of Electric Vehicle tires

EV specialty tires are typically 20–30% more expensive than regular tires. This difference can be attributed to the emphasis on lower rolling resistance and noise reduction, which requires the use of unique materials by manufacturers. 

The cost of an EV tire is determined by the EV model, just as it is with gas-powered vehicles. The Nissan Leaf, for example, has less expensive tires, whereas a luxury vehicle like the Audi RS E-Tron GT will require a more expensive set.

Do you really need different tires for electric vehicles?

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular. Many people are looking into buying them as their next car. But do you really need to have a different set of tires for your electric vehicle?

The answer to that question is: it depends. If you have a regular gasoline-powered car and you switch to an electric vehicle, you will definitely need to get a new set of tires. Electric vehicles run much smoother and quieter than gasoline cars, so you will want to get tires that are made for quieter rides.

If you are already driving an electric vehicle, you can probably keep using the same tires. However, if you do decide to switch to a new set of tires, make sure they are approved for electric vehicles.

Some tires are specifically designed for electric vehicles and have a higher rating for efficiency, using these tires can help improve your car's overall performance. So if you're thinking of making the switch to electric, it might be worth looking into a new set of tires specifically designed for electric cars.

What Tires should you really get for your Electric Vehicle?

There are many factors to consider when purchasing tires for an electric vehicle. The main priorities are finding tires that have low rolling resistance and good grip.

One option is to use a specific type of tire designed for electric vehicles. These tires are often made of low-resistance materials and come in a variety of sizes to fit a range of vehicles.

Another option is to use regular tires that have been modified for low rolling resistance. There are many products on the market that can do this, and the process is fairly simple. All you need to do is purchase a special sealant and add it to your tires. This sealant will help reduce the amount of energy needed to roll the tires, which will save you money and help preserve your battery life.

No matter which option you choose, it’s important to make sure your tires have good grip. Electric vehicles can reach high speeds quickly, so you’ll want tires that can handle curves and turns without slipping.

When shopping for tires, be sure to compare the rolling resistance, grip, and size of each option. This will help you find the best set of tires for your electric vehicle.

Electric Vehicle Tires FAQs

  1. Do EVs need special tires?

No, not always. While EVs can drive on standard ICE tires, they cannot drive on any tires. EVs require tires with thicker sidewalls to support the additional weight and lower rolling resistance for efficiency.

  1. Why do the tires on electric vehicles wear out faster?

They wear out faster due to the extra weight and instant torque. 

  1.  Does tire inflation affect the range of EVs?

Yes, the EV range is affected by tire inflation. Because EVs have a much more efficient powertrain, any less induced by under-inflated tires reduces the vehicle's energy efficiency and thus the battery's range.

  1. Do electric vehicles need seasonal tire changes?

Yes. EV tires, like regular tires, cannot be used in all weather or road conditions. The seven-degree Celsius rule remains in effect. When the temperature consistently falls below 7o C, you should replace your summer/all-season tires with winter tires.

  1. How long do EV tires last?

EV tires have a tread life between 30,000 to 40,000 miles. The added weight and high torque makes tires wear more quickly on electric vehicles. 

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