Electric vehicles (“EVs”) will be a force to reckon with in the next couple of decades. Since they produce zero emissions at the tailpipe, EVs are the perfect vehicle for an economy that prizes sustainable energy and minimizes waste. At the moment, however, they comprise less than 2% of global car sales. Despite the role electric vehicles are projected to play in the future of transportation, the technology is still relatively new. For instance, did you know tire considerations are different when it comes to EVs?
With a traditional gas-powered car, the goal is to find a tire that can support the car’s weight, transmit acceleration and braking energy to the ground, and absorb shock from the road. With an electric car, you also have to think about efficiency. To make an EV as efficient as possible, you want a tire with low friction, good grip, and enough strength to support an EV’s increased weight. Since the electric vehicle industry is poised to play a significant role in transportation, tire manufacturers are also looking to get a foot in the door while the sector is still young.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NASDAQ: GT) recently announced that it will soon launch a tire that is specifically designed for EVs. Dubbed the ElectricDrive GT, the new tire is made for North America’s nascent electric vehicle market. As Goodyear America’s vice president of product development David Reese says, EVs have specific requirements when it comes to torque, load, rolling resistance, noise and overall performance. For starters, electric vehicles are extremely quiet due to the absence of a noisy combustion engine.
This means that sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t hear are much more noticeable, including the tires rolling on the road. As such, Goodyear’s new ElectricDrive GT tires feature the company’s proprietary SoundComfort Technology, a kind of sound barrier that reduces rolling noise. According to Goodyear, the tire also provides enhanced traction during dry and wet conditions thanks to its “asymmetric tread pattern and specialized tread compound.”
Andrew Lau, product marketing manager at Goodyear, says the tire manufacturer saw an opportunity to provide EV drivers with a tire that meets their specific needs without hampering performance. The ElectricDrive GT line of tires will first launch in the American market in 2022 in 255/45R19 XL size. Coincidentally, this size will make them compatible with the two most popular EVs in the country: the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y.
Given the massive interest that electric vehicles are enjoying, it isn’t farfetched to think that whatever model and design of EVs that companies such as Fisker Inc. (NASDAQ: FSR) bring to market over the coming years, there will be a suitable tire made to optimize the performance and comfort of that particular model.
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