- The hike in vehicle ownership cost due to faster tyre wear for heavy electrical vehicles has caused concern among both consumers and companies.
- Electric vehicles put the performance of tyres to the test, making tyre quality even more important.
- During a test day for media representatives Michelin clarified its notion of EV-suitable tyres and the importance of low rolling resistance combined with maintained safety.
- Michelin demonstrated that tyres can be produced to meet new demands and be EV-suitable from the beginning.
In a recent report, the Boston Consulting Group predicts that by the year 2035, electric vehicles will constitute 60% of new vehicle sales worldwide.* This will have an important impact on tyres, as electric vehicles put the performance of tyres to the test, making tyre quality even more important. With the instantaneous torque of electric motors and the weight of the battery, tyres wear out up to 20% faster on EVs than on internal combustion vehicles. EVs are also quieter, with the result that the tyres, rather than the engine, are the main source of the noise. Given the challenge of battery range, rolling resistance and the tyres aerodynamic performance are even more decisive for energy consumption and range.
Michelin has long anticipated the EV transformation. With an annual spend of 650M Euros on R&D to optimize its products based on customer needs, the company’s product development has for several years focused on the specific challenges that EV cars pose such as car weight, rolling resistance, torque, and acoustics.
“For Michelin, these challenges do not come as a surprise. Our long-standing participation in Formula E is proof of our commitment to develop tyres with performances required for electric vehicles”, says Marika Hofflund, Managing Director of Michelin Nordic, who participated in the tests. “Yet we can now read in the media about extreme cost hikes for owners of EV cars when they use traditional tyres, not suitable for the new reality. It should not be so. Tyres must be tailored for this new breed of cars without compromising safety. This is exactly what our premium tyres are developed to do, making them EV-suitable.“
To maximize battery life and range, electric vehicles need low rolling resistance tyres, an area where Michelin is renowned as the pioneer and expert. An example is the e.Primacy, which, thanks to its design, offers an up to 7% increase in range.
To counter the issue of added car weight wearing out the tyres too fast, Michelin supplies tires with a bigger diameter or the same dimension but with a higher load capacity.
Finally, MICHELIN® Acoustic Technology effectively reduces vibrations caused by the road resulting in a significant reduction of interior noise by approximately 20%*. A custom-designed polyurethane foam solution muffles noise resonance which allows the drivers and passengers to benefit fully from hands-free communication devices.
During the full-day test at Gotland Ring media representatives from several countries in northern Europe were able to drive both a modest EV and a high-performance EV sportscar on both new and old tyres for comparison, as well as witness a range test and a sound laboratory.
“We are proud of our long history of innovating tyres suitable for the new age of mobility. But this is a journey we make together. It is important that we have a common understanding of what the challenge consists of. The more knowledge and experiences we share with each other, the more constructively we can take on the challenge.”, concludes Marika Hofflund, Managing Director of Michelin Nordic.