TYRES and Electric Vehicles – what to consider?
If you are thinking about making the change to an electric vehicle (EV), there are some factors to consider when it comes to tyres.
If the car is new, you will not need to worry about selecting tyres straight away, but what you do need to be aware of is that tyres on EVs will typically not last as long as they did with petrol or diesel vehicles. Obviously how long tyres last depend upon a multitude of factors, such as mileage, driving style, quality of tyre etc but EVs are generally heavier than non EV vehicles and they have instant torque when they pull off from standing, both factors result in more tyre wear than we are generally used to.
The compound for EV specific tyres tends to be softer as well to ensure the rolling resistance is less therefore ensuring the vehicle has more mileage range; the downside of this for EV drivers is that softer tyres wear out quicker! So as part of your calculations when planning to buy electric, do ensure you factor in generally spending more money on your tyres. In addition, tyres that are specific to the EVs themselves do tend to be premium tyres so the more expensive end of the tyre market.
You may be used to buying budget or mid range tyres which may not initially be available in the correct size, so having to buy premium tyres will result in additional tyre expense too.
If you are a new EV driver, keep a closer eye on your tyres condition and tread. Ensure tyre pressures are maintained at the correct level too, tyre pressures are typically higher on EVs as well and each vehicle will have the pressure noted in the handbook or on a plate on the inside of the door surround.
We have seen customers caught out with how quickly the tyres wear so please check tyres regularly or get a local garage to check them for you – we at Bespoke Wheels do these checks for free; call in anytime if you are local.
If you do need new tyres for your EV, there are various factors to consider.
There are the usual considerations such as wet grip, fuel economy and noise that many customers consider when traditionally selecting the best tyre for your needs. As well, for EV there are other factors to consider… The premium tyre brands have been working on EV tyre technology for a while and manufacturing tyres which are specifically for EVs, such as Michelins For the Tesla Model S and Bridgestone Turanza for the VW ID 3s. Often customers will want to stick to the same brand and pattern of tyre as the EV came with, but you can of course go for something else if the size is available in another tyre and you know you want something different to the tyres you’ve been using.
The first thing to assess is what is available in the tyre size you need and then to compare the options available; grip, fuel economy, noise, effect on mileage range, cost. If you want tyres that ensure your mileage range is maximised as much as possible the EV specific tyres are most likely to suit you and what was originally supplied with the car. If on the other hand mileage range is not so important as you do mostly shorter, local trips you may want to consider a tyre with a harder compound that may well last longer.
You may wish to discuss your tyre options where you bought the car from or the manufacturer, especially if it is still under warranty and / or check the lease contract if the car is leased. Dealerships may prefer you to stick with the tyres that were supplied with the vehicle or another EV option approved for your vehicle. Could different tyres affect mid to longer term battery life? These are the kinds of factors that will become clearer over time.
I hope this gives you an idea of some of the factors you can consider when thinking about tyres for EVs.
Anna @ Bespoke