See What Makes the Best Tire for Your Electric Car
See What Makes the Best Tire for Your Electric Car
6:57

See What Makes the Best Tire for Your Electric Car

Electric Vehicles
Speaker 1: Electric cars need different tires. Here's how they're different and what happens if you don't know that? In case you haven't noticed, EVs are different from combustion cars from their big batteries all the way down to their rubber boots. Here are four reasons why [00:00:30] EVs can weigh a thousand pounds more so their tires have to shoulder that while still delivering good tread wear and not folding up in a corner. EVs torque the hell out of tires. A Hummer EV accelerates as fast as a Ferrari Roma while weighing more than two of whatever it is you drive. Now, EVs are shrouded in our neurosis about range, so their tires can't [00:01:00] just be energy sapping marshmallows, they have to have low rolling resistance, and EVs are really quiet when you get rid of engine noise. It's funny. You really start to notice tire noise, so there better be very little of it coming from those tires or if there is it better sound kind of pleasant. Speaker 1: It all adds up to a triangle of grip or performance, rolling resistance or efficiency and range and tread wear or value. These kind of pull against each other. [00:01:30] Now, you can balance all those and say, I want them an equal measure. Or you can say, now, one of those matters a lot more to me than the others, and then you can pull the triangle points where you want them. Conventional tires are the same way to be sure, but with EVs, I think the stakes are higher because if they don't do all three of those well, I think it's very noticeable, more so than with conventional car tires. Speaker 1: Now, tires that go after these three points of the triangle, specifically for electric cars are [00:02:00] pretty rare right now, but they're gonna become a torrent and this is gonna be the biggest change in tires since radials got popular back in the seventies. That's the 1970s, for example. The latest electric car tire as of today's taping is hankook's ion evo as it claims, 25% higher lateral or sidewall stiffness, cleverly interlocking sipes. Those are the cuts in the tread. They're designed to allow it to conform to the road, but not so much that they get all bent out of [00:02:30] shape under all that weight. They say the tread pattern has been tuned in a way to reduce monotonous pattern droning and to shift it to something more pleasant. And inside the tire is a thick ban of this noise reduction material that you really never heard about until electric car tires inspired it. It's really interesting. Speaker 1: Of course, other tire companies have tires with similar attributes. Goodyear has similar techniques in its electric drive tires. Michelin's EV tires are [00:03:00] called pilot sport ev Pelli has electric car tires that save a syllable. They're just called elect. And over at Continental and other big maker, I seem to notice less of an emphasis on electric specific tires and more on tires that can be used really well for electric cars, but are not necessarily sold as just for them. Which brings up an interesting point. If you go to the tire shop with your EV and they say, oh, here's a great tire, and it doesn't screen electric on the side wall, it's okay. [00:03:30] It doesn't mean you're being bamboozled or sold whatever they happen to have. An electric car does not have to have an electric car tire. It's not that stark of a difference, but there is a noticeable one. However, a high performance conventional tire may have all the attributes we're talking about. Save for that interesting band of noise material baked into the casing. That tends to be kind of an EV specific thing, but you may find it. Speaker 1: The tire industry has also adopted a new load rating [00:04:00] on an interesting scale that used to begin with LL for light load SL for standard load, and the big boy used to be XL extra load, but now this new one is called Hhl or high load. It carries a similar high load as the XL tires, but can do so with higher pressure, higher inflation. What's interesting there is it allows a heavy car to sit on that tire and not deform the tread so that it wears unevenly and also to retain more of a stiffness in the casing so [00:04:30] that heavier car can take corners and the whole tire doesn't fold up underneath it. The Lucid Air, for example, uses a Pelli P zero tire from the factory that is hhl rated. I gotta say, for an old purist like me, Pelli P zero and heavy load rating is a combination. It's hard to get together in my head. You never would've imagined that back in the day a P zero is always for a car that was kind of light and spelt and high performance, but now that [00:05:00] also means heavy. Further in the future are exotic ideas for EVs, like Goodyear's recharge concept among other things that lets you regrow where parts of the tire by inserting a cartridge of liquid material that would be selected based on your climate or trip style. Speaker 1: Yeah, not happening tomorrow, but if you have an ev, what I do want you to do tomorrow is think about rotating your tires and get that down to habit, which I know you probably have never done [00:05:30] before. No one really loves to do it, but with an ev it's more important because there's so much more punishment given to each tire as well as the driven tires. Even an all-wheel drive vehicle, some tires are driven more than others and rotating these tires around is important because I believe EVs are gonna chew through tires more quickly when things are starting to go downhill than a conventional car would have. Speaker 1: And finally, a pet theory or a pet thought I have as EV tires become kind [00:06:00] of the only major regular maintenance expense on a car, no oil changes, no tuneups, no spark plugs, no filters, all this nonsense drops away and you end up basically doing tires. Will the tire industry look at that and say, huh, we can raise our prices because they've got a whole lot of additional money they're saving from their old gas engine car, including on gas that they can now spend on tires and well, if prices all go up, they'll do it. This happens [00:06:30] in other areas of automotive when financing is extremely cheap for cars. One of the effects is car prices go up because we can get into those more expensive cars at about the same monthly nut, even though we're buying a car where the MSRP has gone through the roof. I'm not saying it will happen in the tire market, but it's one of the things I'll be watching with a half cynical lie.

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