Although electric cars are evolving rapidly, driving range is still a hot topic. Especially in the winter, low temperatures and additional consumers such as heating, cost additional valuable kilometres. Fortunately, with proper tyre pressure, e-car owners can regain some ground and reduce their energy consumption. “Automatic tyre pressure monitoring systems, which have been mandatory for new cars in Germany since November 2014, can be easily retrofitted to older cars which is a great help,” explains Sven Müller, Sales Manager from Schrader, the world’s leading supplier of TPMS sensors. Until now, around one third of all motorists in Germany are travelling with low tyre pressure – mostly in ignorance due to a lack of manual controls.
The reduced pressure does not only have an impact on driving safety, but also on energy consumption and driving range: if there is not enough air in the tyre, then surface contact and rolling resistance increase. As the ADAC and various car magazines found out, the consumption increases even with a minimum error of 0.2 bar by 1-2%, so that correspondingly fewer kilometres can be covered. With a particularly low tyre inflation pressure, it can be even 10% or more without being noticed in the driving behaviour. For gasoline and diesel, this is more of a cost than reach issue, as refuelling is quick and easy. The situation is different with electric cars, which may be out of action for several hours depending on the model and charging station.
In addition to the reduced driving range, the environmental performance of electric cars is also reduced due to the increased consumption of electric cars, which are known to be purchased mostly for environmental reasons. Another point in this context is the increased tyre wear: If the set point in the tyre pressure drops below 0.4 bar, the life of the tyres decreases by 25-30%, which equates to a significant waste of resources. In summary, TPMS sensors make a small but nevertheless important part of making electric cars even more efficient, cheaper and more user-friendly.
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