We have entered a new world of electro-mobility but the rubber still meets the road. Here's what you need to know about tyres for electric vehicles. TL;DR - There's a right way and wrong way so pay attention!
We were recently asked the question “Do I need to worry about Tyres on Electric Vehicles”
The short answer is “Yes” but only if you don’t understand the role they play on an Electric Vehicle (EVs) and “No” if you do, and plan accordingly.
Heres what you need to know.
Although servicing costs are lower on EV's than traditional cars due to fewer parts, regenerative braking, no oil changes, etc, tyres remain as important as they ever did.
Here's the ‘technical’ bit - the design of EV tyres is specific to the running characteristics of an electric vehicles. They carry greater weights (those batteries are heavy), have to withstand faster accelerations (the acceleration is literally flicking a switch) and have to run quietly. To support all this they differ in design, size and even tread depths (6mm rather than the traditional 8mm) than a traditional car tyre.
Well two things that you need to consider.
Fit the wrong tyre on an electric car and you’ll get increased wear rates, louder tyre noise and reduced battery ranges (potentially up to 20% of the distance travelled on a charge) all of which will cost you more money than it should.
You’ll need to plan when you get them changed more carefully…. Why?
Well, a typical fast fit branch holds about 2,000 tyres (not many people know that) which will satisfy 70% of the customers who turn up at the branch. Of these customers turning up at branches less than 0.01% of them will require a tyre for an Electric vehicle (even less know that!). In addition to this, unlike traditional cars, for EVs the ‘one size fits all approach does not really work given the all the technical reasons mentioned before.
Net result - the chance of your local branch holding the right tyre for you is very, very low indeed.
So what should you do? Well, tyres don’t wear out overnight. Check your tyre regularly (A good rule of thumb, use a 20p and if you can see the raised edge your tyre is illegal) and pre-book your tyre visit and specialist tyre. The tyre will then be changed at your convenience and you’ll get in and out of the fast-fit centre quickly and not have to risk your vehicle being un-drivable while a tyre is sourced.
Now you know this you DON’T have to worry about tyres on an Electric Vehicle - just make sure you have 20p handy and check them regularly.