Goodyear presented a prototype of a new tire design optimized for EVs at the recent Geneva International Motor Show. The EfficientGrip Performance with Electric Drive Technology is to go on sale in Europe by 2019.
Goodyear’s testing has revealed that traditional tires can wear out up to 30% faster on EVs, due to the powerful instant torque of electric motors and the additional weight of heavy battery packs. Automakers are also pressing for lower rolling resistance on EVs as a result of consumer demand for increased range. Ride noise and comfort resulting from tires is another consideration, as EVs generate as little as half the amount of noise as traditional vehicles at lower speeds.
Goodyear’s new tire design offers improved performance in all of these areas through three main design features. First, extended mileage is achieved through the use of thinner sipes (small channels), which allow more rubber to contact the road surface than traditional radial grooves do. The tread design also prevents sound waves from entering its grooves, reducing interior and exterior tire noise.
Second, the tire cavity shape has been altered to support the increased weight of EVs. Lastly, the material properties of the tread compound have been tuned for ultra-low rolling resistance to extend vehicle range while coping with high levels of torque. Also, the sidewall has been redesigned to reduce aerodynamic drag, and the profile yields less rotating mass, resulting in reduced energy consumption.