Tires for electric cars: what should be considered when buying tires?

More and more manufacturers are bringing tires onto the market that have been specially developed for electric cars. Basically, e-cars do not need special tires, they can also be equipped with conventional wheels. So why special tire lines? The focus here is on lower power consumption. AUTO BILD explains the most important points! (All current summer tire tests at a glance!)

Tires for e-cars: lower rolling resistance increases range

Electric cars should achieve the greatest possible range. A low rolling resistance helps. The optimized tires therefore often have large diameters with narrow treads.

tires for electric cars

The rolling resistance can also be reduced via the rubber compound or the substructure. A conventional summer tire has a rolling resistance of between 7 and 9 kg/t. Eco and low-friction tires achieve values ​​of 6.5 kg/t and less.

What range gain is possible with this? “If the rolling resistance value is reduced by 1 kg/t, we expect a range gain of three to four percent,” says Burkhard Wies, Head of Development at Continental.

With a Renault Zoe with a range of around 240 kilometers, that would be around ten kilometers more, a Tesla Model S with a range of around 500 kilometers would do around 20 kilometers more.

Robust treads against premature tire wear on e-cars

Electric cars weigh a lot and have a high torque right from the start. Both can lead to tires on e-cars wearing out more quickly than on petrol or diesel engines – bad for the environment and for the driver’s wallet.
However, you have to differentiate: “The faster tire wear plays a greater role in a car weighing more than two tons and with a high engine performance than in a Renault Zoe,” explains Stefan Küster from tire manufacturer Kumho. “In addition, the driver’s driving style is also a major factor in wear and tear.” How resistant a tire is to abrasion depends to a large extent on the rubber compound used.

Electric car weight requires high load capacity tires

Electric cars weigh around 200 to 300 kilograms more than comparable combustion engines. Your tires therefore need a higher load capacity. When buying tyres, it is therefore essential to pay attention to the correct load index: It is in Part I of the registration certificate or can be requested from the vehicle dealer.

The specified tire pressure must also be observed and checked regularly, as it affects the load capacity of the tyre. A pressure that is only slightly too low also increases rolling resistance and wear!

Low tire rolling noise for more driving comfort in the e-car

Because the electric motor is quieter than a combustion engine, tire noises inside the vehicle are more noticeable in the electric car. Low-noise running surfaces are therefore an important factor for driving comfort.

Vibrations in the tire cavity, which are transmitted to the vehicle interior, play a particularly important role in noise development.

Germany's best summer tire part 2

EU tire label: information on fuel efficiency on the left, wet grip on the right. However, real test results are more meaningful than the label.

Foam inserts on the inside of the tire tread can absorb these vibrations. Such polyurethane sponges are now used by some tire manufacturers. Pirelli, for example, calls this solution the “Noise Canceling System”, while Continental calls it “ContiSilent”.

Safety despite the low rolling resistance of e-car tires

Can a tire that is optimized for rolling resistance also be top when it comes to safety? “From a technical point of view, there is a difference between low rolling resistance and optimal Grip a conflict of goals,” explains Burkhard Wies. “When developing tires, a good compromise must be reached between the two properties, which is very successful thanks to advances in rubber compounds.”

Stefan Küster agrees: “In the last two decades, a great deal has happened in terms of rubber compounds. As a result, it is now possible to produce an energy-efficient tire that also ensures very good grip.”

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