Tires remain a critical element to any vehicle, but electric cars have their own challenges. Without an engine humming along, cabin noise often increases and the instant torque from electric motors is often far too much for typical tires to handle.
Goodyear thinks it has a solution to better meet electric cars’ needs and introduced the “EfficientGrip Performance prototype tire with Electric Drive Technology” at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
The tire makes a lot of promises. Goodyear said the tread’s smaller sipes allows more rubber to contact the road, which handles the large amounts of torque better. The smaller channels don’t compromise wet-weather performance, either. The tread design should also quiet down exterior and interior road noise.
Yet another challenge for electric-car tires is extra weight. Electric cars’ battery packs put more strain on tires, and Goodyear said tires often wear out 30 percent quicker due to the extra weight onboard. The EfficientGrip Performance tires will support additional vehicle weight.
Finally, the tires have been tuned for ultra-low rolling resistance, which will equate to better range. Goodyear also said the sidewall has been designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and the profile yields less rotating mass. Translation: less energy consumed as the tires work.
The company plans to roll the tire out for production in 2019 with Europe as its initial launch market. Hopefully, the U.S. isn’t too far behind because the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV could really use a new pair of shoes.