Electric Vehicle Tyres
Electric vehicle tyres are designed to complement the characteristics of electric motors and improve range and handling.
With the dramatic increase in sustainable transportation in recent years, sales in electric vehicles (EV) have skyrocketed – now accounting for a quarter of all new registrations. Alongside this increase, then, comes an increase in demand for the right tyres to match the different characteristics of these greener vehicles.
Electric vehicle tyres at your local Kwik Fit centre
Your local Kwik Fit stocks a wide range of tyres for all vehicle types. What’s more, most models that aren’t immediately available can be ordered to the centre within a day.
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Why do electric vehicles need different tyres?
While a number of electric vehicles look identical to their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts, EVs are on average 20-30% heavier. This is because of the large lithium ion battery banks that are necessary to store the power that runs the motor.
This extra weight is borne primarily by the tyres.
What differences are needed for EV tyres?
Accounting for extra weight creates a fine line to tread between making the tyres themselves as lightweight as possible while maintaining strength and integrity, and making their rolling resistance as low as possible while also ensuring crucial grip.
The weight of the tyres impacts the total weight of the vehicle and, because the motor is turning the wheels primarily, having weightier tyres increases the startup force needed to get them moving. But, at the same time, it’s important to have enough physical rubber there to withstand an extra load – that’s why 4x4 tyres and motorhome tyres tend to be so bulky.
EV tyres also usually come with noise reduction technology for a quieter ride. Without the noise from a standard combustion engine to drown out road noise, the tyres on an EV would be noticeably louder if they did not employ sound dampening technology in the form of a foam layer bonded to the inside of the tyre. This layer of sponge absorbs vibrations from the road so that they do not pass through to the cabin.
The other main factor of the tyres, the rolling resistance, is crucial for maintaining grip on the road – but the more that the tyres grip the road, the less the range of the vehicle can be.
Compare it to an ICE vehicle: if you have tyres that grip the road more, you’ll need to use more fuel to keep the car going – but you’ll want tyres that have enough grip to come safely to a stop when you need to. With an ICE vehicle, the extra fuel use can be counterbalanced by the safety benefits and the fact that you can refuel in a matter of minutes.
With an EV, tyre manufacturers must account for the inconvenience that frequent, en-route charging causes – with a full recharge still taking hours.
Can I fit non-EV tyres to my EV?
While you certainly can fit non-EV tyres to your EV vehicle, manufacturer research results suggest that doing so could be decreasing a vehicle’s range by up to 20%!
At Kwik Fit, we recommend replacing EV tyres with a like-for-like tyre; that is, the same tyre that your vehicle was fitted with from new or one which is specified by your vehicle manufacturer as Original Equipment (or OE) or as close as possible in specification for the vehicle.