How to make the most of your tyres on an electric vehicle
An electric vehicle or a hybrid is a good choice for drivers who value fuel efficiency and eco-friendliness. The right tyre choice can extend the car’s range, emphasise the best features of the electric vehicle and improve safety. A well maintained tyre will offer power and safety mile after mile with an even 50% longer lifespan.
Quality tyres are the best match for electric vehicles - remember to monitor tyre wear
High powered electric cars steer precisely and accelerate quickly, so you should choose a high quality tyre that brings out these features.
Electric motors require less maintenance than combustion engines, and choosing high quality tyres will mean fewer service stops in general. However, this does not mean that you can simply fit and then forget your tyres: you should regularly check them for uneven wear, cuts or cracks even on electric vehicles.
Unlike vehicles with traditional combustion engines, electric vehicles immediately offer their maximum torque. This means that depending on your driving style, driving tyres can be subjected to higher than normal levels of stress. Rotating tyres from front to rear every 5,000-8,000km is necessary in order to maximise their service life. This can prolong their life up to 50%, said Matti Morri, Technical Customer Service Manager for Nokian Tyres.
When fitting tyres on an electric vehicle, you should also bear in mind a practical tip that will help to maximise the service life of the tyres.
Avoid strong acceleration during the first 24 hours following a tyre change in order to allow the fitting grease to dry out between the tyre and the rim. This will prevent the tyre from moving in relation to the rim, Morri said.
Low rolling resistance and correct inflation pressure are good for the environment
In order to extend your range, pay attention to the tyre’s fuel efficiency. Rolling resistance is at its core: a tyre with lower rolling resistance requires less energy to rotate. Fuel efficiency is indicated as letters on the EU tyre label: a class A tyre has the lowest rolling resistance and, thereby, consumes the least energy. The environmental impacts of using a class A tyre are also smaller than in the other classes.
As well as choosing a class A tyre, drivers of electric vehicles should pay attention to the inflation pressure. Electric cars and hybrids have battery packs that commonly make them heavier than cars with combustion engines, which further emphasises the importance of tyre pressures.
An underinflated tyre will increase rolling resistance and consume more energy than a correctly inflated one. You should check your inflation pressures regularly, as they also affect driving feel and comfort as well as braking distance, Morri said.
Safety and sufficient tread depth are paramount also for electric vehicle tyres
High quality tyres and their condition become even more important especially on slippery and wet surfaces and in unexpected situations.
On wet surfaces, sufficient tread depth is also very important for electric vehicles. The legal allowable minimum is 1.6mm. However, this is already dangerously low, as the tyre’s aquaplaning characteristics will collapse once tread depth falls below 4mm. That is why I recommend purchasing new summer tyres for your electric car when the tread depth approaches four millimetres, Morri said.
Nokian Tyres offers high performance, high quality tyres also for electric cars and hybrids
Nokian Tyres’ comprehensive range of more than 400 products offers high quality tyres for electric summer driving. We offer products for all popular electric car models, such as Tesla’s Model 3, Model S and Model X, Nissan Leaf, Opel Ampera-e and BMW i3.
Tips for greener electric driving:
1. Choose high quality tyres with Class A fuel efficiency. They may be more expensive, but you will get the difference back in terms of service life and energy savings.
2. Pay attention to tyre wear and rotate the tyres from front to rear. Rotating tyres from one axle to another ensures even tyre wear and maximises service life.
3. Check the inflation pressure. Excessively low tyre pressure and heavy loads will increase the tyre’s rolling resistance as well as electricity consumption. You can always keep your tyre pressure 0.2 bar above the car manufacturer’s recommendation.
4. Plan your trip. Plan your route, combine several errands and set up carpools.
5. Maintain your tyres and store them correctly. Storing tyres away from sunlight in a temperature-regulated room, monitoring the tyres under the vehicle and removing any rocks from the grooves will extend the service life of the tyres and reduce waste.