Continental Tyres has been named an Excellent Development Partner by Tesla Motors, the California-based electric vehicle manufacturer. The accolade from Tesla was awarded as a result of Continental’s collaboration and development of specialty tyres for Tesla’s Model S electric vehicle.
For Model S, Continental supplies tyres that safely transfer the high output of the electric powertrain to the road, ensuring precise handling, short stopping distances and offering low rolling resistance. This is particularly important for electric vehicles because it helps save energy and can substantially extend the range of the vehicle between charges.
For the Tesla Model S, newly launched in right hand drive for the UK, Continental developed a special XL rated version of its ContiSportContact 5 summer tyre in size 245/35 R 21 XL 96 W. The Tesla Model S is the world’s first electrically powered luxury vehicle to offer a range of up to 310 miles. The car can seat up to seven occupants. The powertrain delivers up to 416 hp making for a top speed of 124mph.
“We are delighted to receive this award and look forward to our ongoing cooperation with Tesla,” said Rachna Naik, Senior Account Manager at Continental Tyres the Americas, who received the award from Tesla’s co-founder and CEO Elon Musk. “As we developed the tyre for Tesla we faced the challenge of creating tyres with low rolling resistance for a luxury model with very demanding handling characteristics – and doing so in a very short time frame. In the process we had to resolve a series of conflicting objectives and we’re delighted that we’ve been able to meet Tesla’s high expectations of us as an original equipment supplier.”
The Continental portfolio also includes a special line of tyres for electric cars: the Conti.eContact summer tyre and the Conti.eContact Winter. Maximum range is achieved with the unusual tyre size 195/55 R 20, which offers a reduction in rolling resistance of up to 30 percent compared to standard tyres. Approvals from Renault for the Conti.eContact in sizes 125/80 R 13 and 145/80 R 13 for the brand’s agile urban two-seater the Twizzy, document Continental’s ability to respond very flexibly to specific customer wishes with tailored-to-fit original equipment solutions.