No matter how much EVs have become commonplace in society, there is still confusion about the tires required for electric vehicles. Unlike gas-powered vehicles, EVs need tires that are strong, lightweight, durable, and efficient, all while also reducing road noise. This post hopes to explain what makes a good EV tire, the differences from standard tires, and what to consider when purchasing EV-specific tires.
Written by Burhan Osman
EV tires are different from regular tires due to the added weight of the vehicle and the need to reduce road noise. EV tires have unique construction, featuring thicker sidewalls and robust compounds, to support the weight of the vehicle and handle the increased load from acceleration and braking. They also have noise-canceling features like specialized tread patterns and sound-absorbing materials. EV tires require strong traction to handle the instant torque and acceleration of the vehicle. They also have reduced rolling resistance for improved battery efficiency and longer range.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Tires
When choosing EV tires, consider factors such as
- your EV model
- the load index
- tire grip
- regional seasons and weather conditions
The load index tells how much weight a tire can support and may need to be an extra load or heavy load tire for EVs. Tire grip is essential for cornering and high-speed driving, so choose a tire with the right rubber compounds and low rolling resistance (especially if you plan on taking your EV to the racetrack!). Naturally, the model of your EV and weather conditions will also impact the type of tire you need. Low rolling resistance tires improve battery life and reduce road noise for a quiet and comfortable ride.
EVs’ instant acceleration puts extra stress on tires, requiring them to have improved stability and handling. The heavy battery weight of EVs demands tires that can support the weight at high speeds.
Cost of EV-specific Tires
EV specialty tires tend to cost 20-30% more than traditional tires, due to the focus on reducing rolling resistance and minimizing noise. This necessitates the use of unique materials by manufacturers.
But Do You Need Them?
Naturally, the question that arises is: Do you need a special set of tires for your EV?
According to Consumer Reports, there are a variety of reasons for owning a specialized set of tires. Reasons such as the aforementioned heavier load, lower rolling resistance and torque of EVs are just some of the reasons why it is beneficial to have EV-specific tires. To address these demands, leading tire manufacturers have developed specialized EV tires to enhance driving performance and provide optimal results.
If you decide to purchase new tires, make sure they are approved for EVs, as some tires are specifically designed for these vehicles, featuring better grip and low rolling resistance.
When shopping for tires, it’s important to consider all factors such as rolling resistance, grip, and size, to ensure you find the best tires for your EV. If you are in the market for a used EV, we highly recommend using EVFriendly’s Inspection Guidebook and Inspection Checklist. These are free, comprehensive resources to help consumers stay informed and make the most of their used EV purchase.