Tires for electric vehicles offer intelligence, technology
DETROIT – The upcoming GMC Hummer EV weighs over 9,000 pounds and can hit 60 mph in about 3 seconds.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E GT’s dual electric motors produce more torque than a diesel-powered Ford F-150 and can propel the vehicle from 4,500 pounds to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.
Tesla’s Model S Plaid can hit 200mph and reach 60mph in under 2 seconds.
All three offer torque values typically associated with high-output diesel trucks, and they’re all shod with tires created specifically for electric vehicles (EVs).
In the age of electric vehicles, almost no part of the automobile will remain unchanged, including the tires. With more than 100 electric models slated for launch in the next few years, tire manufacturers are under pressure as they grapple with conflicting demands for a new generation of tires.
In the age of electric vehicles, tires must offer much more than safe traction and handling in all weather conditions, experts said. To help vehicles use energy efficiently and deliver a refined drive, next-generation tires will need to be:
- Able to withstand the instantaneous and massive torque of electric motors;
- Lightweight to improve range between charges;
- Designed to provide very low rolling resistance to save energy;
- Able to run quietly as there is no traditional motor to mask the noises;
- Capable of containing sensors to help autonomous vehicles react faster to changes in road surface; and
- Affordable, durable and reliable.
According to those familiar with the matter, these new tires need to be stronger to support the increased vehicle weight and significantly more torque created by electric motors, while being as light as possible to help EVs drive farther. between charges.
They will also need to provide better grip to keep the vehicle stable under strong acceleration, but the tread will need to be quieter and generate less friction or rolling resistance.
In addition to handling higher torque and higher loads of electric powertrains, the tires of vehicles with certain autonomous driving features will also collect and transmit information.
“What you start to see is intelligence coming in. So think of a tire that senses something and either tells the car or tells you on your app,” said Steve Rohweder, vice president of technological development at Goodyear.
“Maybe it’s simple things, like whether to inflate, but maybe it’s more detailed information, like the tire is worn out. Must know how to operate in the safest conditions.” , did he declare.
“We’re working on it a lot with sensors and integration with the vehicle. As you start to evolve into an autonomous vehicle, where there are no humans and no steering wheel, these systems have to handle what the human used to do. “
The French group Michelin goes beyond tires and has developed the Twelve, an integrated airless tire-wheel hybrid that could one day replace the traditional rubber tire.