There’s one particular aspect of electric vehicles that many owners tend to overlook – its tyres. It’s a fact that EVs, while they still have four wheels and a method of propulsion (like any ICE car), they’re an entirely different animal. EVs are torquier and heavier than regular ICE-powered cars. Moreover, EVs are, by virtue of using batteries, must optimise heavily to eke out as much range as possible.
Hence, why most tyre brands, like Bridgestone, have spent a lot of time, money, and energy with the goal of building tyres specifically made for electric vehicles. These tyres can bring out the best in any EV, and mark a huge step forward in tyre technology. Yet, despite all this effort, a majority of people don’t seem to understand the enormous differences between regular and EV-specific tyres.
Regular Tyres VS EV Tyres
In fact, Bridgestone had recently commissioned YouGov to question 2,000 motorists about EVs. This survey showed that 47% of motorists are keen to switch to EVs due to high fuel prices. Meanwhile, 56% of them wanted to make the transition owing to the environmental benefits that electric cars bring. Shockingly though, just 8% of them could differentiate between regular and EV-focused tyres.
At first, you might think that this is trivial… “It’s just tyres – what difference could they make?” Well, just know that using the wrong tyre isn’t just making your EV worse off to drive and experience. But, it’s also costing you more money. Bridgestone, therefore, is more than happy to explain just how the roughly 477,000 EV owners across the UK can make life just that bit easier with the right tyre.
This whole situation was aptly explained by Andrea Manenti, Vice President of Bridgestone’s North Region, who said:
What’s clear from our survey is that very few motorists are aware that there are tyres specifically designed for electric vehicles and even fewer know the benefits of them. While 47% want to change to save on fuel, many of them run the risk of eating into these savings by making more trips to the garage replace their tyres over a longer term.
In summary, EVs are heavier than ICE cars. With all that weight bearing down on the tyres, using a set of non-EV-specific tyres (basically, just normal rubber) on an electric vehicle is destined to wear them down a lot quicker. Custom EV tyres, on the other hand, have been engineered specifically to compensate for an EV’s added mass. Thus, it’s why those tyres last longer, despite an increased load.
Big Plans Ahead
There’s also the subject of maximising an electric vehicle’s range, which regular tyres can’t do. For example, Bridgestone’s ENLITEN tyre technology has a very low rolling resistance. On ICE vehicles, this means that ENLITEN helps with reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. With EVs, this would instead yield you extended range, not to mention putting less strain on the battery.
If that doesn’t sound good enough for you, consider that Bridgestone is also putting more thought into making these ENLITEN tyres, in the first place. They’re more sustainably designed, with fewer raw materials used in their construction. Summarising it, Mr Manenti continued:
All tyres might be black and round, but there are huge differences that very few motorists are aware of, particularly when it comes to EVs. Bridgestone is developing a growing number of original tyre fitments specifically engineered for this purpose.
Right now, the EV tyre business represents a fairly small part of Bridgestone’s bottom line. Just 11% of its EMIA original equipment (OE) fitment are EV-specific tyres. However, this would likely go even higher once EVs gain further mainstream attraction. To complement this, Bridgestone then unveiled that they’ll be working to install up to 3,500 new EV charging points across Europe and the UK.