A car is a car is a car but tyres don’t quite agree with that. Goodyear has found that in its tests, tyres made for conventional fossil-fuel-powered vehicles wear out up to 30% faster on electric vehicles because of the near-instant torque as well as the heavier weight due to the batteries. So at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, Goodyear showed off its prototype tyre catered for electric vehicles – the EfficientGrip Performance with Electric Drive Technology. The company plans to have this tyre on the road by 2019 in Europe.
Besides durability, the makers of electric vehicles are also requiring tyres to have enhanced rolling resistance to maximise driving range. The need to increase driving range is a high priority for consumers due to an underdeveloped electric recharging infrastructure in most countries. Further, the tyres need to be quiet and comfortable, considering that electric vehicles are generally quieter than conventional ones especially at low speeds.
To address these challenges, the EfficientGrip Performance prototype with Electric Drive Technology offers these performance solutions:
- Extended Mileage from Innovative Tread Design: The tread’s thinner sipes (small channels) allow for a larger rubber contact patch on the road surface than traditional radial grooves. With more rubber on the road, the tire can better cope with high levels of torque while maintaining high performance in wet conditions. The tread design also prevents sound waves from entering its grooves, reducing interior and exterior tire noise.
- High-Load- Carrying Construction: The tire cavity shape has been optimized to support the additional vehicle weight from batteries while maintaining an optimal tread footprint for high performance.
- Extended Driving Range: The material properties of the tread compound have been tuned for ultra-low rolling resistance to extend the vehicle range while coping with high levels of torque. In addition, the sidewall has been designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and the profile yields less rotating mass, resulting in reduced energy consumption.
“The combination of increasing regulations to reduce emissions, the desire to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and rapid gains in battery technology is creating an ideal environment for electric vehicles,” said Chris Delaney, President of Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We are working with automakers to introduce our Electric Drive Technology next year designed to address the unique performance requirements of this growing vehicle segment.”
“As a company with a 120-year heritage of delivering innovative products that help change the world of transport, the EfficientGrip Performance prototype with Electric Drive Technology is proof that Goodyear continues to lead on this path of future mobility,” Delaney said.