As electric vehicles become more common in Canada, EV drivers have many options when it comes time to replace the tires. While you don’t need special EV tires or original equipment manufacturer tires, there are unique considerations when shopping for your EV.
What are those unique considerations for EV’s? Here are the three things to know when outfitting your electric vehicle with new tires.
1. EV tire safety: Stopping, grip, and load capacity
The most important consideration when shopping for new tires for your electric vehicle is the tires’ load index (this can usually be found in your owner’s manual or door placard).
Unlike traditional internal combustion-powered vehicles, electric vehicles sport large and heavy battery packs. Take the Hyundai Kona Electric, for example, which weighs about 300kg more than its gas-powered equivalent.
Heavier vehicles take longer to stop, making a tire’s stopping performance even more important, especially in winter-weather conditions. At Kal Tire, our independent tests evaluate a tire’s ability to stop and corner in all weather conditions. When purchasing new EV tires, we recommend selecting tires that score highly in the road conditions you’re likely to encounter.
2. Comfort: Finding a quiet ride
Without the constant hum of an internal combustion engine, electric vehicles pair best with quiet tires. To create a quieter ride, manufacturers such as Pirelli, Continental, Michelin, and Nokian—add a foam liner to the inside of their tires. Innovations in tread patterns are also helping to reduce noise.
With studded winter tires, the need for a quiet ride is even greater. Winter tire experts Nokian created the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 EV tire—studded winter tire designed specifically for your electric vehicle.
3. Range: Low rolling resistance EV tires
As more charging stations appear in small towns and cities across the country, range is a lessening concern. For your EV, tires rated with low rolling resistance can increase the travel time between charges.
What is rolling resistance? One of the reasons your engine consumes fuel is because your vehicle needs energy to move your tires. Rolling resistance is the force that’s needed to move your tires, and every time a tire moves, it bends and stretches as the tread face makes contact with the road, resulting in a loss of energy. Simply put, a tire with low rolling resistance rolls easier and consumes less energy. In Europe, they call this a ‘lightly rolling tire.’ Tires with high rolling resistance take more energy to move forward.
However, when looking at tires with low rolling resistance, it’s important to balance range and traction. The weight and type of vehicle will also affect rolling resistance.
As manufacturers expand their product offerings with tires designed for electric vehicles, the options available to EV drivers will only increase. At Kal Tire, our expert tire technicians can help you find the perfect EV tire for your electric or hybrid car, SUV, or truck.