As technology advances, more and more drivers are switching to electric vehicles. That’s because driving an electric vehicle (EV) comes with many benefits. For one, the efficient electric motors in these vehicles make for excellent performance. In addition, EV drivers can skip the gas station trips altogether and charge their vehicles from home. If you have an EV, you can also save money on maintenance and repairs.
While there are many notable differences between EVs and gas-powered vehicles, one of the primary differences is tires. EV tires need to be more durable and high-load to keep up with the weight and acceleration of an electric car. While the battery and motor require little to no maintenance, you’ll still have to replace your tires when necessary. Read on to explore everything you need to know about EV tires.
What Kind of Tires Do Electric Cars Use?
Pile of used tires by Robert Laursoo is licensed with Unspalsh License
If you have an EV, it’s vital to get the right tires for it. Electric cars use special tires with the following essential qualities:
EVs are heavier on average than their gas-powered counterparts. For example, the 2022 Kia Niro EV EX has a minimum curb weight of 3,854 pounds and a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,916 pounds. In contrast, the 2023 Kia Seltos LX has a maximum weight of 3,185 pounds.
Because of this heaviness, EVs require strong, durable tires. After all, tires bear the weight of a car and enable it to cruise smoothly over roads and other, more rugged conditions. If you own an EV, you’ll probably need high-load (HL) capacity tires. As the name implies, these tires can carry heavier loads than can traditional tires, all at the same tire pressure.
EVs can accelerate much faster than gas-powered vehicles. This is because EVs, powered by an electric motor and battery, use energy much more efficiently. To provide an example, the Kia Seltos has a powerful engine with 146 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. However, the Kia Niro EV boasts even more power with 201 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque.
It’s important that EV tires are durable enough to handle high levels of friction and force during initial, quick acceleration. Tires with firm constructions, made with robust rubber compounds, can handle greater levels of wear and tear that instant torque may cause. By using reliable EV tires, you can accelerate, turn, and brake easily and safely, even during inclement conditions.
Tires With Optimal Grip
Heavier vehicles have longer braking distances. This means if you’re driving a heavy vehicle, like a truck, it takes a few more seconds to come to a complete stop by braking than it does when you’re driving a lighter car. As said before, EV tires with an optimal grip can manage quick acceleration. They can also grip the road better and improve your brake system, allowing you to brake as soon as possible, even with a heavy car.
Tires With Minimal Rolling Resistance
Rolling resistance is the friction caused when a tire rotates on the road. The more friction or rolling resistance, the more energy a vehicle has to use to travel across distances. As electric cars are heavy and have high instant torque, it’s important they use tires with minimal rolling resistance. This allows EVs to have a greater range and a smoother, more energy-efficient ride.
You may have heard that electric vehicles are much quieter than gas-powered ones. This is because they lack noisy internal combustion systems that make sounds when cylinder pressure changes. To contribute even more to a quiet, peaceful EV driving experience, it’s helpful when EV tires are designed to minimize noise.