It’s no secret that low-rolling-resistance tires help automakers achieve better fuel economy in electric cars and plug-in hybrids. The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV is no outlier to that fact and comes equipped with a set of Michelin Energy Saver A/S Selfseal Green X tires.
But, what happens when an owner swaps out the standard rubber for something more enthusiast-oriented? More fun, less efficiency, to put it bluntly. Green Car Reports detailed the changes with a Bolt EV in a report published last Thursday. One owner changed out the original low-rolling-resistance tires for a set of Riken Raptors—considerably more aggressive and grippier.
While the fun factor shot up, since the tires could now better handle the 266 pound-feet of instant torque, range fell. The owner reported back after installing the tires and said range dropped about 7 percent, or to around 220 miles. The Bolt EV is rated at 238 miles of range, per the EPA. But, overall, the tire swap was positive.
Others have attempted to swap the tires out with more negatives. Road noise increases and worse ride quality accompanied more aggressive tires.
It leaves us at a conclusion: electric cars and plug-in hybrids desperately need greater tire technology. If, indeed, the future is electric, we can count on some performance-oriented EVs. They’ll need better tires without suffering from the negative attributes present today.