Jack Dreyer | Monday 11th April 2022 10:30am
As more and more electric and hybrid vehicles are seen on Britainís roads, how they compare to regular cars is naturally front of mind for drivers.
Since electric cars are a fairly new phenomenon, we donít all know exactly how they measure up to our petrol-guzzling regular vehicles. Do they last longer? Do they cost more? And do their tyres wear out quicker?
Read on to find out exactly how much life you can expect to get out of your electric car tyres and why.
Tyre wear on regular vehicles
When you buy a new car, the tyre tread depth should be about 8mm deep. Over time, however, this will lessen to about 3mm ó after which it is advised that you replace your tyres to stay safe. Since your carís tyres are the only constant point of contact between you and the road, it is natural that they wear down over time.
However, anything below 1.6mm is not only unsafe but illegal! When tread depth is below 3mm, there is simply not enough groove space to effectively channel surface water away from the path of the vehicle. As a result, aquaplaning may occur as your tyres lose grip and contact with the surface of the road.
In dry conditions, reduced tread depth can also severely elongate stopping distances since there is reduced friction between the tyre and the roadís surface.
How do you check the tread depth on a tyre?
It is recommended that you inspect the quality of your tyres every 2 weeks, especially if you drive long distances. Luckily for you, there are a number of simple ways you can monitor the safety of your tyres.
Firstly, you can use the coveted 20p test. Just insert a 20p into the groove of your tyre and if the outer band is visible, the tread is too low and you need new tyres. Secondly, you could invest in a depth gauge for a more accurate measurement.
Depending on how much you drive, it is advisable to replace your tyres every couple of years (or 20,000 miles if sooner). Tyres older than 10 years should not really be driven on as they can crack with age.
What causes tyre wear on regular vehicles?
One thing to be sure of is that tyre wear on regular combustion-engine cars can be caused by a number of factors.
Uneven tyre wear is caused by incorrect inflation. If your tyres are underinflated, the edges will make more contact with the road and experience excessive wear. Overinflated tyres, on the other hand, can cause the raised section in the middle of the tyre to wear down too.
Excessive braking and reckless driving can also accelerate the rate at which your tyres wear down, as can incorrect wheel alignment. Whatís more, if you experience wear in a concentrated spot, your tyres may not be aligned straight and may be lilting. Most commonly, this affects the inside edge of the tyre.
At this point, we should ask ourselves if electric cars fall victim to the same rates of tyre wear as regular cars.
Tyre wear on electric vehicles
For a start, electric cars are much heavier than regular combustion engine vehicles due to the extra technology under the bonnet. Because of their increased weight, you would think that electric car tyres wear down quicker. But youíd be wrong.
If electric cars were fitted with the same tyres as ordinary vehicles, the rates of wear would be great ó but they arenít. Electric car tyres are built to withstand the pressure of the increased battery weight and electric car manufacturers improved not only the rubber compound and sidewall strength but also the tread and groove design for resilience.
As a result, they are more expensive than regular tyres but due to their strain-absorbing structure, they will wear down less quickly. In fact, according to recent studies, conventional tyres actually wear down 30% quicker than their electric vehicle counterparts.
So, whatís the verdict?
It seems, then, that electric vehicle tyres do actually last longer on paper. But this result comes with a caveat. Not only are electric vehicle tyres much more expensive, but the actual rate of tyre wear has a lot more to do with the driver than the tyre itself.
Excessive braking, mileage, wheel alignment, and tyre monitoring are without a doubt the biggest influence on tyre lifespan ó electric, regular, or otherwise.
If youíre worried about your tyres, need a tyre repair or a replacement, get in touch with the experts at your local Kwik Fit centre who would be happy to help. In the meantime, be sure to book in for a free tyre check today.
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