# Tyre basics

Electric vehicle tyres – Everything you need to know

Best tyres for electric cars and hybrids

Electric vehicles and low emission hybrid cars are driving the transformation of mobility as we know it. This means it’s time to learn more about the high-tech, sustainable tyres that keep them rolling into an emission-free future. While we don’t quite have to reinvent the wheel, we have to rethink many aspects of the tyre as we know it to ensure optimum performance. Find out about changing tyre requirements, our tyre innovations and the latest tyre tech for the electric age.

Electric car being charged

Increased weight means longer braking distance, instant torque means high tyre wear

Compared to combustion cars, electric drive technology lowers engine noise, emissions, maintenance and running costs. However, one consequence of the many electric vehicle benefits is a significant increase in weight. Batteries are heavy and their weight places additional strain on electric car tyres.

Electric car tyre torque also has a positive and negative side. On the one hand, it means instant acceleration. On the other, this instant torque places additional strain on the tyre. 

Tyre performance for electric vehicles

Still have questions?

Learn what our tyre expert Nels explains about the meaning of tyre performance for electric vehicles:

weight torque

Our Continental tyre innovations meet the main challenges posed by electric vehicles in three ways:

  • Tyres for electric vehicles carry a heavier load and have to withstand high instant torque, leading to higher tyre wear, so we need tyres with stronger constructions and more robust rubber compounds.  
  • Greater mass and increased inertia means longer braking distance, so we place a special emphasis on optimal grip.
  • With high instant torque, increased weight, the demand for a long range and lower emissions comes an even greater need for minimal rolling resistance, so tyres for electric cars offer a smoother, more energy-efficient and low-impact ride.

Electric and hybrid car tyre guide

Choosing the right tyres for electric vehicles is essential for an EV‘s efficiency, braking performance and mileage. Here’s what to consider when buying new tyres for electric or hybrid cars:

Buy suitable tyres for electric car use

By purchasing an e-car or hybrid, you’ve already bought into the future of mobility. Round off your cutting-edge car with forward-looking equipment by choosing tyres designed to complement electric vehicle technology. Our premium tyre lines include state-of-the-art tyre technologies, that already meet the tyre requirements for today's electric vehicles.

Check the tyre load index

Buying tyres that can carry the weight of your car is always important. Electric, hybrid, petrol or diesel, the tyre most suited to a vehicle and its owner is not defined by how the car is fuelled. Regardless of your engine type, the correct load is crucial when selecting the right tyre for your vehicle.

Low friction tyres for electric vehicles

A tyre’s rolling resistance takes on an even greater importance for electric cars. Lower rolling resistance means increased electric range and higher efficiency, while also contributing to your car’s overall sustainability. Our EcoContact™ 6 strikes an optimal balance between tyre size and component distribution. A high-tech compound provides robust connections between the silica and the rubber. This allows an optimal adaptation to varying road conditions, which ultimately improves the tyre’s rolling resistance and consumption.

Optimum grip for shorter EV braking distance

More weight also means longer braking distance. A good tyre can make up for that, so it’s important to use the best rubber compound possible. Our EcoContact™ 6, for example, relies on its premium Green Chilli 2.0 compound with grip additives for improved braking performance, even for heavier EVs. 

Low noise tyres for electric vehicles

In the absence of engine sound, low noise tyres contribute to a smooth and silent driving experience by reducing the amount of tyre noise transferred to the passenger cabin. Our tyre technology ContiSilent™ is a tyre noise-reducing technology which is designed to reduce interior noise on all road surfaces and leads to a greater comfort. ContiSilent™ helps reduce interior vehicle noise up to 9 dB(A), depending on the type of vehicle, its speed and the road surface. It is also available for the EcoContact™ 6 and is compatible with all commonly available rims.

Robust compounds to withstand electric car torque

Electric vehicles boast instant torque, meaning they accelerate the second you put the pedal to the metal. However, the high instant torque of electric vehicles can also increase wear and tear. In addition to good grip, the rubber compound used for EV tyres also needs low rolling resistance.

The Heat Press of the tire production in Korbach.

EcoContact™ 6 – our best tyre for electric cars

Continental’s tyre innovation specialists have risen to the challenges of the mobility revolution. For instance, the EcoContact™ 6 addresses the specific issues raised by the increased weight of EVs and hybrids. It helps to balance the need for low rolling resistance, high grip and sturdiness. Also our other premium tyre lines from Continental with their state-of-the-art tyre technologies already meet the tyre requirements that arise for today's electric vehicles.

Product image EcoContact 6

Electric car tyre protection, care and maintenance

To increase EV tyre longevity, maintenance is especially important.  As with other tyres, you should check the air pressure of your electric vehicle tyres regularly and adjust if necessary. Correct wheel alignment will reduce tyre wear and should be checked every 6 months, or sooner if you have hit a curb, pothole or other obstacle. An expert can check excessive wear, especially on the inside edge of the tyre, and will recommend alignment or rotation, as needed.

If possible, replace tyres with original equipment models, which were not only designed for the needs of electric vehicles, but specifically made to fit the precise model you are driving. We have provided original equipment tyres for Tesla and the Volkswagen ID.3.

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