While all tires are round, even on an electric vehicle, there are significant differences in their construction including the compounds used to make them. These differences make the tire handle differently, changing the conditions in which it performs well.
Electric vehicles, like Tesla and Lucid, have some unique characteristics that change the needs of their tires. Consider these differences and how it changes your driving experience, along with how MTS Express can easily help you get new tires on your electric car.
Electric Vehicles Have More Mass
One of the most significant differences between a standard gas-powered vehicle and an electric car is the vehicle’s mass. You’d think that removing the engine would reduce the vehicle’s weight. However, those massive batteries used to power the vehicle outweighs the engine, often making the car weigh up to 25% more than a similarly sized gas car.
What does the vehicle’s weight have to do with the tires? Each tire is rated to handle a certain amount of weight, including passengers and other cargo. When you add an average of 750 lbs to the gross weight of the empty vehicle, you effectively reduce the capacity of the vehicle by an average family of four. To give the car back its capacity, the tires have to withstand greater capacity.
Rolling Resistance Affects Electric Vehicle Range
Another major issue for EVs is the rolling resistance of the tire, which is the resistance to forward movement. A major contributor to rolling resistance is how much the tire flattens against the road while it’s traveling down the road. With the increased weight of an electric car, the same tires flatten more.
This is an important consideration for tires on your electric vehicle because of the range. EVs are already more limited in range compared to their gas-powered cousins. When you experience increased rolling resistance, the vehicle expends more energy driving down the road, further reducing the range.
No one wants to be in a loud vehicle, and part of the attraction of an electric car is the lack of engine noise. However, that reduction of engine noise means you’ll hear more of the road noise from the tires.
Most Tesla, Lucid and Rivian cars are luxury vehicles, and most owners don’t want excessive road noise. The challenge for tire manufacturers is creating a performance tire that is also nearly silent.
What Happens When You Install Regular Tires?
Sure, you’ve seen some tires marketed as being specifically designed for electric cars, but are they worth the money? Let’s take a brief look at what happens when you install regular tires on your Tesla or Lucid.
As we’ve discussed, electric vehicles are notably heavier than standard vehicles. This extra weight starts pushing the weight limits of standard tires, resulting in faster wear of the tire. This leads to replacing tires about 30% more frequently than with internal combustion engine vehicles.
We also mentioned the extra rolling resistance on EVs, and how this leads to a shorter range. In fact, increasing the rolling resistance by 20% reduces the range by 5-8%.
How Electric Vehicle Tires Differ
Properly designed EV tires, like the ones Pirelli manufactures, tackle all of these issues. First, EV tires have strengthened sidewall construction to help prevent the flattening due to the extra weight. They also use more synthetic textiles to improve the tire’s shape retention. To help reduce rolling resistance, EV tires use higher content silica than standard tires.
Finally, electric cars often have greater acceleration due to high initial output. This means the tires must have stronger traction, braking, and steering performance than standard tires.
When it’s time to replace your electric car’s tries, don’t waste your time trying to go to a brick-and-mortar tire shop. MTS Express will make sure we have the right tires for your car, then complete the installation at your home or office.
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