Owners of electric vehicles (EVs) maybe in for a shock if they don’t pay close attention to the tyres they choose when the originals need replacing. Increasingly, the tyres fitted are specifically designed for use on EVs and can be significantly different to the ‘normal’ tyres motorists are familiar with. TyreSafe is warning EV owners that fitting the wrong type of tyre could result in loss of range, extra noise, accelerated wear and the risk of failing while being driven, which could result in a serious incident.
TyreSafe has released detailed advice for EV owners in the ‘About Tyres’ section of tyresafe.org and advises drivers to familiarise themselves with the technology.
There are a wide range of factors which are important to choosing the right tyre, which the vehicle manufacturer has already taken into account when fitting the originals at the factory. The vehicle’s weight is just one as it influences the amount of air pressure required to keep a tyre in its optimal shape along with the stiffness of its sidewall and even its centre section. EVs are well-known for being heavier than their petrol or diesel equivalents, so an owner must be aware of their tyre’s load rating when a replacement is needed as well as maintaining the recommended tyre pressure at all times.
Another consideration is the impact tyre choice can have on an EV’s range, due to its ‘rolling resistance’. A tyre should have the least rolling resistance as possible, however, as always, a balance needs to be struck as grip is essential for safety when it comes to braking. Minimising rolling resistance while providing adequate grip seems like a contradictory requirement but this is a key performance characteristic for EVs to ensure maximum range.
The tyre also needs to be robust as EVs produce maximum power from standing. This places high demands on the rubber compound, which needs to be of the right mixture of components and have the appropriate tread pattern to provide a lifespan comparable with petrol or diesel vehicles.
The amount of noise the tyre produces as it travels over a road surface is yet another example of the possible adaptations which could make tyres for EVs different to those of a petrol or diesel vehicle. As EV motors produce very little noise, the quiet cabin environment is one of the big attractions of these cars, which could easily be ruined by the wrong choice of tyre.
Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe, Chair, said: “Tyres are an extremely sophisticated piece of technology, which we all too commonly take for granted. However, drivers of electric vehicles must be aware of how different they could be to those on other cars, and when it’s time to replace the original tyres, owners need to ensure they are buying the right specification. Choosing a like-for-like tyre will allow EV owners to enjoy the full benefit of the electric car revolution and reduce the risks of an incident.”
Full details and explanation of the differences between tyres for EVs and combustion-engined cars can be found at tyresafe.org in the ‘About Tyres’ section.