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.
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.
Our tailor-made tyre innovations meet the main challenges posed by electric vehicles in three ways:
Choosing the right tyres for electric vehicles is essential for efficiency, braking performance and mileage. Here’s what to consider when buying new electric or hybrid car tyres:
By purchasing an electric car or hybrid, you’ve already bought into the future of mobility. Further embrace this by choosing tyres designed to perfectly complement electric vehicle technology.
Buying tyres that can carry the weight of your car is always important, but it is crucial when choosing electric car tyres. Effectively, due to the weight of electric vehicles, you need extra-strong tyres with reinforced sidewalls.
The design of tyres for electric vehicles has to be adapted to accommodate stronger sidewalls while ensuring optimal road contact and reducing drag. Our Conti.eContact™ features an aerodynamic sidewall design with golf ball structure, which helps create the right tyre “footprint” by optimising the amount of rubber in direct contact with the road’s surface.
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 Conti.eContact™ tyre relies on its premium Green Chili compound with grip additives for improved braking performance, even for heavier electric vehicles. Innovative HydroSipes diffuse water more efficiently, for wet handling and braking that matches tyre performance in the dry.
A tyre's rolling resistance takes on an even greater importance for electric cars. Lower rolling resistance helps mitigate the increased tyre wear caused by instant torque. Less friction means higher efficiency and increased range, while also contributing to tyre longevity and your car’s overall sustainability. In the absence of engine sound, low noise tyres contribute to a smooth and silent driving experience by reducing the amount of tyre road noise transferred to the passenger cabin.
Electric vehicles boast instant torque, meaning they accelerate the second you put the pedal to the metal. However, the instant tyre torque of electric vehicles can also increase wear and tear. In addition to good grip and low rolling resistance, the rubber compound used for electric car tyres also needs to provide maximum robustness.
Our tyre innovation specialists have risen to the challenges of the mobility revolution. The Conti.eContact™, a special tyre for electric cars, addresses the specific issues raised by the increased weight of electric vehicles and hybrids. It helps balance the need for low rolling resistance, high grip and robustness.
To increase electric vehicle 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. Continental has provided original equipment tyres for Tesla and the new Volkswagen ID.3, but you will also find the right Conti.eContact™ tyre to suit many other types of electric vehicles.