Getting To Grips With Electric Vehicle Tyres: A Buyer’s Guide

The technology behind electric vehicle tyres are continuing to evolve and EV owners need to understand why they are different to other car tyres. They have certain characteristics which separate them from tyres for petrol and diesel cars. To help keep you safe, Elite Garages have compiled this handy guide on getting to grips with electric vehicle tyres. 

Designing More Efficient Electric Vehicle Tyres

First and foremost, EV tyres are designed for greater vehicle range and that means using some of the most advanced technologies available today. They must be strong, lightweight, efficient, affordable, durable and quiet while offering a comfortable ride. Electric vehicle tyres are quite expensive as they are specially designed for the added weight and instant torque of electric vehicles. Manufacturers design EV tyres with more than 200 variables in mind, including the following:

  • Rubber compounds
  • Construction methods
  • Sidewall design
  • Belt arrangements
  • The tread design and groove width

The Difference Between Electric Vehicle Tyres And Normal Car Tyres

Considering companies spend a huge amount of time and development in manufacturing EV tyres, it’s understandable why they cost a little more than conventional car tyres. Not only that but electric vehicle tyres also last longer and offer a quieter ride. This is largely due to the meticulous design of the sidewall and tyre tread to handle the heavier weight of EVs.

Since there is no noisy internal combustion engine, EV tyres significantly reduce road noise thanks to the special tread pattern. With many EVs performing at a higher level than conventional cars, electric vehicle tyres also offer enhanced lateral stiffness for better handling even when driving at high speeds. 

Lower Friction Electric Tyres

A tyre’s rolling resistance is even more important for electric cars as lower resistance means increased electric range and higher efficiency. It will also contribute to the vehicle’s overall sustainability which can save you money in the long run. EV tyres need to have the perfect balance between tyre size and component distribution. High-tech compounds provide robust connections between the silica and the rubber allowing optimal performance on varying road conditions. 

To stop rolling resistance and excess energy consumption, some electric vehicle tyres have a ‘reinforced sidewall’. They often operate at a higher pressure than conventional car tyres. By reinforcing the sidewall, the tyre will more readily keep its shape and stiffness but you still need to keep it at the correct tyre pressure.

Improved Braking Distance And Electric Drive Technology

Compared to combustion cars, electric vehicles weigh more and that means longer braking distances. Fitting the right electric vehicle tyres can help improve braking performance while electric drive technology lowers external noise, emissions, maintenance and running costs. The torque of electric cars is amazing as it provides instant acceleration but this also places additional strain on the tyres. That’s why electric vehicle tyres are made from stronger, more robust rubber compounds for optimal grip.  

Sidewall And EV Tyre Markings

The sidewall is easily identified as it contains all the markings of the tyre manufacturer, type, size and date of manufacture. EV owners need to choose the correct tyre by paying close attention to tyre markings. After tyre size, the next check is the load index displayed as either two or three digits (for example, 95 or 108). The higher the number, the more weight the tyre can safely carry. 

Equally important is the speed rating which is displayed as a letter, like ‘Y’ for example. This determines the maximum speed for optimal performance while supporting the permitted loads. The load index and speed rating are shown next to each other and close to the size marking. It should look something like 225/45 R18 95Y.

Related: How To Read Your Tyre Labels

EV Tyre Care Tips

Just like conventional tyres, EV tyres also wear so remember to monitor tyre wear regularly and that includes checking for cuts, bulges and cracks. The same tread depth legal limit of 1.6 mm applies regardless of the type of tyre. Here are a few more care tips for electric vehicle tyres you should keep in mind.

  • Make sure you keep them adequately inflated so they last longer and deliver better performance
  • Check that the wheels are balanced appropriately so they can wear evenly
  • Check wheel alignment as it improves fuel efficiency, tyre performance, tyre wear, vehicle handling and manoeuvrability. 
  • Rotate your tyres correctly
  • Always do a like-for-like replacement of EV tyres for added safety, performance and cost-saving

If you have front-wheel drive, the front tyres will often wear faster than the rear. To save money in the long-term and increase longevity, switch the front and back wheels.

Which Electric Vehicle Tyres Should I Buy?

As more electric cars take to the road, the greater the demand for replacement tyres that perform similarly well. If you are looking to buy EV tyres, here are some names to look out for:

The Future Of EV Tyres

Currently, the design of EV wheel and tyre depends on the size of the brake system and wheel arch of petrol or diesel equivalent vehicles. A question on everyone’s mind is the longer-term consideration of how tyres will adapt to cars being designed as EVs from the start rather than versions of petrol or diesel counterparts. 

With all that in mind, future designers will likely create a larger and narrower wheel and tyre combination. Whatever happens with designing electric vehicle tyres Elite Garages will keep you updated on all the important changes. 

If you need a tyre change, petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric vehicle service, MOT, wheel alignment or free vehicle safety check, look no further than Elite Garages. Our country-wide locations offer top quality workmanship and a wide range of services. For more information on electric vehicle tyres, or if you have any questions, contact us today.