What EV owners need to know about tire wear and maintenance
Those who drive electric vehicles know that getting around in an EV comes with some changes to driving and maintenance habits. Now that more and more drivers have hit the 100,000 km+ mark on their odometers, they’re also realizing that EV’s wear tires a little differently too.
What do EV owners need to know about their tires? Our tire experts share how EV’s affect tire wear and what you can do to help promote a longer tire life.
Do tires wear faster on an EV?
The battery in an electric vehicle is significantly heavier than in a standard, gas-powered vehicle, with average electric vehicle batteries weighing close to 450 kilograms. EV batteries need to be oversized to get you a few hundred kilometres on a road trip until your next charge. Long-range high-end models boast ranges of nearly 650 km, and those batteries are even heavier.
Not only are EV’s heavier, but they also accelerate a lot more quickly. Those higher surges of instant torque, plus the added overall vehicle weight does increase tire wear.
Another factor that accelerates tire wear is that EV tires are designed to roll lightly so they take less energy to move your vehicle forward. However, the rubber compound in tires with low rolling resistance favours reduced energy over longevity.
Fortunately, there are ways to promote longer tread life even if you’re driving an EV.
How can you make your EV tires last longer?
1. Start with the right tires on your EV
Since EV’s weigh so much more, it’s critical that your tires can handle the load of the vehicle. Make sure your tire’s load index meets or exceeds the original equipment specifications. Driving on tires that can support the heavier load will last longer.
One way to make sure your EV tires can support the extra load is by opting for ‘XL’ tires, which can support a higher load rating, and you’ll notice the ‘XL’ mark on the sidewall. Nokian just came out with a studded winter tire for EV’s, so even in winter, you’ve got just the right tire.
2. Maintain your tires
A little tire maintenance will go a long way toward extending the life of your tires on an EV.
- Check your pressure frequently to ensure you’re always running at the optimal air pressure level. Find that recommended pressure on your door jam or in your owner’s manual.
- Rotate your tires frequently, as recommended. Even if you have front-wheel drive, it’s still the dominant axle and seasonal rotations will promote even wear.
Get wheel alignments performed on your EV to help ensure there’s no misalignment causing additional drag. This reduces tire life and will cost you more at the pump. Perform wheel alignments on your EV to ensure there’s no misalignment causing additional drag, which reduces tire life and will cost you more at the pump.
3. Drive smoothly
The way you drive really does dictate how your tires will wear, especially on an EV. With all that torque, it might be tempting to rip around corners, but it will quickly show on your tires and they need all the help they can get to last a little longer.
Accelerating so much faster also means you might often find you need to brake faster, and with the vehicle being heavier, your braking distance—and tire wear—can increase. Braking slow and steady will be much better for the health and life of your tires.