Bridgestone tyres

What makes electric car tyres different?

If you own an EV you may be wondering which tyres are best for electric vehicles. As the electric and hybrid market continue to grow, more and more tyre manufacturers are launching specialist EV tyres but are they really necessary and do you need them?

Here we’re going to take a look at why tyres for the EV market have been adapted and how they affect the performance on an electric vehicle.

Tyres designed for electric cars

Electric cars have some very different characteristics to a petrol or diesel fuelled vehicle. They are heavier, have more torque and no engine noise – all of which need to be taken into consideration when choosing the best tyres for your electric vehicle. The combination of an electric vehicle being heavier and more powerful puts increased strain on tyres. Choosing tyres that have been specifically designed to cope with these EV characteristics will ensure you get a tyre that grips and lasts.

The final important factor to consider is choosing a tyre that maximises your electric car range. Specialist EV tyres are designed to be very energy efficient (known as having a low rolling resistance) which means they help extend your range.

EV tyres for extra weight

Electric cars are much heavier than traditional combustion engine vehicles thanks to the extra weight of the electric battery which is around 25 times heavier than a normal car battery.

When designing suitable tyres for electric cars tyre manufacturers have had to take this extra weight into account. Specialist EV tyres with reinforced sidewalls have been developed and have a designated “HL” mark on the tyre sidewall. HL on a tyre stands for heavy load and is typically at least three load indexes higher than a standard Extra Load (XL) tyre that would be fitted to a car or van.

It’s important to consider that the heavier a vehicle is, the longer it will take to stop. This is why EV tyres have also been developed to deliver increased traction and grip to help shorten stopping distances.

Electric vehicle tyres HL marking
Electric vehicle tyres increase range

EV tyres to maximise range

Another challenge tyre manufacturers have had in developing electric vehicle tyres is ensuring they maximise range. To do this, they need EV tyres to have a low rolling resistance – which means they’re energy efficient, rolling without too much friction on the road surface and therefore maximising range.

Some electric vehicle tyres are said to extend vehicle range by as much as 10% meaning less time charging and more time driving.

The challenge with EV tyres is that they also need to deliver very high levels of grip, which is something that can increase rolling resistance. Specialist EV tyres have the advanced technology needed to deliver high levels of grip and have a low rolling resistance.

Electric vehicle tyres are quieter

Part of the pleasure in driving an EV is the almost silent cabin. As there is no engine noise, the tyres fitted need to be very quiet on the road. Tyre manufacturers design EV tyres to be as quiet as possible. They do this by adapting the tread design, rubber compound and by including a noise reducing foam inlay within the tyre. They all have different names for the “acoustic technology” in their EV tyres but look out for:

Electric vehicle tyres with noise reduction technology