Hankook and Goodyear Reveal New Tyres for Electric Vehicles
While much of the talk around the automotive sector focuses on the new, technologically advanced all-electric vehicles (EV) that will soon become a common feature on our roads, the tyres upon which these vehicles ride are advancing at a pace too.
The extra weight of EVs, the extra torque they have on tap, and the absence of a noisy combustion engine, means tyre manufacturers are developing new products designed to cope with these new variables.
And that is important, as while the hype surrounds the EVs, the clever gadgetry in them, and their often astounding performance, it is easy to forget just how important are the tyres upon which they sit. Those tyres are, after all, the only bit of the vehicle that actually contacts the road surface and they really must be able to cope with the demands that EVs ask of them.
All the major manufacturers have developed, and continue to develop, tyres specifically for electric vehicles, and last month, two of those majors – Hankook and Goodyear – revealed new tyres with EVs in mind.
Korean tyre maker Hankook announced that later this year it is set to launch iON, its first family of tyres specially designed for EVs.
Market launch for the range is set for Europe in May, and iON tyres will initially be available in three designs in sizes between 18 and 22 inches. The company says that characteristics of the new tyre include further reduced rolling resistance, notably lower rolling-noise characteristics, higher load capacity (to cater for the extra weight of an EV’s batteries), high resilience, and a design using ultra-resistant aramid fibres tailored to counteract the deformation forces caused by the high torque produced by electric vehicles. All of this should mean more range per battery charge and a better driving experience.
From May, the Ventus iON S summer tyre pattern will be available, and from September 2022 (for the Northern Hemisphere winter) so will be the Winter i*cept iON. The Ventus iON A tyre will be available as an all-season version for the North American market.
“With the introduction of this new iON tyre family, our company is increasingly acknowledging the rapid growth in demand for electric vehicles and the associated need for suitable tyres, also in terms of the need for replacements,” said Sanghoon Lee, President of Hankook Tire Europe. “With an improved range per battery charge, this new generation of tyres will help to further optimise the efficiency of electric vehicles in everyday use.”
Goodyear also showcased innovative new tyres in March – the Endurance RSA ULT and Fuel Max RSA ULT models. The tyres have been developed with the electric vehicle sector and, more specifically the commercial last-mile delivery sector, in mind.
Compatible with EV and petrol or diesel-powered work vehicles, the Endurance RSA ULT is, Goodyear said, the company’s premium 17.5-inch all-position tyre for last-mile delivery vehicles, pickup trucks and light trucks and is equipped to handle the higher load capacities of EVs. It is the first commercial tyre stamped with Goodyear’s “Electric Drive Ready” designation.
Goodyear has passenger EV tyres in its portfolio too and at the end of 2021 launched the ElectricDrive GT tyre in the US – its first replacement tyre tuned for electric vehicles.
18 April 2022