Tires are a critical component of the driving experience, and electric cars bring their own challenges. Battery-electric vehicles weigh more, produce greater torque than traditional vehicles from a stop, and usually require low rolling resistance. Goodyear has a future tire solution in development that addresses these issues.
Goodyear calls it the "EfficientGrip Performance prototype tire with Electric Drive Technology." The company designed the tire to handle vast amounts of torque, improve electric driving range, support heavier vehicle weights, and deliver quieter operation.
The prototype tire's tread features smaller sipes that allow more rubber to make contact with the road. Thus, the tire should handle torque delivery in a more efficient manner. Goodyear claims the sipes don't compromise wet-weather performance, and they also make for an even quieter ride.
The design also features stiffer sidewalls to accommodates increased vehicle weight from battery packs and electric motors. Goodyear research indicated that electric-car tires can wear down 30 percent quicker due to added weight and extra torque; the EfficientGrip tire should remedy this. In addition to all of this, engineers managed to lower the tire's rolling resistance and create a more aerodynamic sidewall to increase vehicle range.
Goodyear promises a lot with the prototype EfficientGrip tire, but electric cars are certainly in need of more dedicated tire choices. The company plans to roll out the tire (pun intended) across Europe in 2019. It's unclear when the tire could reach the U.S.