Michelin CrossClimate all-season tyres on electric car

Can you fit winter or all-season tyres to electric vehicles?

Can you fit winter or all-season tyres to electric vehicles?

Michelin CrossClimate all-season tyre on electric car

It’s getting colder out there and if you’re an EV driver you may be wondering if you can fit winter or all-season tyres to an electric vehicle. In this article we look at the pro’s and con’s of fitting tyres designed for snow & ice to an electric vehicle.

What tyres do electric vehicles need?

Electric vehicles do have unique requirements when it comes to EV tyres. This is because they’re not only heavier than a standard vehicle but also have more torque which is a combination that puts a fair amount of additional strain on the tyres. Coupled with them being so quiet to drive (thanks to the lack of engine noise) you need a tyre that delivers on grip, strength & low noise levels.

When choosing tyres for electric vehicles, you also need to be aware of the “rolling resistance”. Details of this can be found on the EU tyre label, a low rolling resistance will maximise the EV range whereas a high rolling resistance score will reduce the miles you can get on a single charge.

Most EV owners are already conscious of range performance and having a tyre that helps your car achieve as greater range as possible is key to getting the most out of electric motoring. 

Can I fit winter tyres to an electric vehicle?

You can fit winter or all-season tyres to an electric vehicle, providing the tyres are the correct size and have the same load & speed ratings as the original tyres fitted by the manufacturer. Winter tyres should always be fitted in sets of 4.

In snow & ice, the technology in winter tyres will give an electric car more grip and improve handling. However, be aware that this will impact some attributes of the EV:

  • As winter tyres contain more silica (which helps them stay softer in temperatures under 7 degrees Celsius) they do tend to wear more rapidly than standard summer car tyres. When fitted to an EV, with the extra weight & torque, the softer compound of winter tyres will wear more quickly.
  • As winter tyres provide more grip, they will have a higher rolling-resistance rating. This will affect your electric vehicle range. The extra grip you’ll get from a winter tyre will also increase rolling resistance which will mean less EV range.
  • Winter tyres tend to have a higher noise rating than standard tyres. As an EV has no engine noise to distract from this, it will be noticeable when you’re driving.
  • As many electric vehicles have powerful acceleration and are heavier than standard vehicles, it’s important that you only use winter tyres in temperatures below 7C. Having winter tyres fitted throughout the year will impact wet & dry grip and vehicle safety in the warmer months, so you must swap to your summer tyres when the conditions change.

To summarise, if you fit winter tyres to an EV:

  • You’ll have more grip in snow & ice
  • The tread may wear more quickly
  • You’ll hear more tyre noise when driving
  • Your EV range is likely to decrease

All-season tyres for electric vehicles

All-season tyres do have several advantages over winter tyres when fitted to an electric car. All-season (sometimes known as all-weather tyres) provide high levels of grip in cold temperatures and better handling in wintery conditions. Reports indicate that, due to their slightly lower rolling resistance, they improve EV range in comparison to winter tyres.

All-season tyres have the advantage of being suitable to use throughout the year so you’ll only need one set of tyres.

As the popularity of electric vehicles increases, there’s likely to be more options on all-season tyres for EV’s. Tyre manufacturer Vredestein announced plans to make a specialist EV all-season tyre earlier this year and car giant Volvo also pledged to fit “recharge” all-season tyres to 100% of their all-electric cars.

Benefits of all-season tyres for electric vehicles

The benefits of fitting all-season tyres to an electric vehicle are numerous, with the main one being increased safety in wintery conditions. Although your EV range may decrease slightly with all-season tyres, the reduction won’t be as drastic as with winter tyres which makes all-season tyres a great compromise.