Five key differences between EV-specific tyres and normal car tyres: Explained

Monthly EV sales in India surpassed 150,000 units for the first-time in May 2023, giving a clear indication of the pace at which car buyers are adapting to the age of electrification. There are several important aspects in our car ownership experience and one such aspect is tyres, which need replacement periodically and are a significant investment. Some may not realise but many electric cars or two-wheelers use EV-specific tyres, that are different from normal road tyres used in petrol or diesel vehicles. While EVs and conventional cars share many similarities, there are crucial factors that require distinct tyre designs for the two mobility formats. Here are five key differences between an EV-specific tyre and regular car tyres.

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1. Rolling Resistance:
One of the primary difference between an EV-specific tyre and regular car tyres is their optimised rolling resistance. Electric vehicles rely solely on electric power for propulsion, making energy efficiency a top priority. EV-specific tyres are engineered to have minimum rolling resistance, reducing the amount of energy required to move the vehicle. These tyres typically feature advanced tread patterns, specialized rubber compounds, and lower sidewall stiffness, allowing EVs to achieve maximum range and extend battery life.
2. Weight Distribution:
Electric vehicles tend to have a different weight distribution compared to traditional combustion engine cars due to the placement of heavy battery packs that generally sit in the floorboard area. EV-specific tyres are designed to accommodate this unique weight distribution, providing enhanced traction, stability, and handling. The tread patterns and sidewall construction are optimised to evenly distribute the vehicle’s weight and maintain consistent grip on the road surface, especially during cornering and braking maneuvers.
3. Tyre Noise:
Another important consideration for EV manufacturers is minimising cabin noise or Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) levels, as electric vehicles lack the typical engine noise associated with internal combustion engines. EV-specific tyres are engineered to reduce rolling noise and provide a quieter driving experience. Manufacturers employ innovative tread block designs and noise-absorbing materials to mitigate vibrations and dampen noise levels, contributing to a more comfortable and serene ride.
4. Load-Bearing Capacity:
Due to the weight of the battery packs, electric vehicles are often heavier than their conventional counterparts. EV-specific tyres are designed to handle these increased loads, offering higher load-bearing capacities than regular car tyres. This ensures that the tyres can safely support the weight of the vehicle, preventing premature wear, overheating, and other potential safety hazards.
5. Regenerative Braking Considerations:
EVs commonly employ regenerative braking systems to recapture and convert kinetic energy into electrical energy, which is then stored in the battery. EV-specific tyres are tailored to enhance the effectiveness of regenerative braking by offering improved grip and traction. The rubber compounds and tread patterns are optimised to provide excellent braking performance, allowing EVs to utilise regenerative braking to its fullest potential.

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EV-specific tyres are specially designed to cater to the unique requirements of an electric vehicle, ensuring optimal energy efficiency, improved handling, reduced noise levels, and increased safety. These tyres address the challenges posed by the weight distribution, rolling resistance, and regenerative braking systems specific to new-age EVs. As electric vehicles continue to gain prominence, it is crucial for EV owners to understand the benefits of using EV-specific tyres and make informed decisions to maximise the performance and efficiency of their electric vehicles.

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