Detroit, Michigan – Michelin has unveiled a new prototype tire designed specifically for battery-powered electric vehicles, providing automakers with benefits including increased range or the ability to reduce the battery size to optimize interior space.
The company said its electric vehicle (EV) prototype achieves high performance levels of energy efficiency, maximum grip and long wear life, plus a quiet ride that is ideally suited to a power source that is relatively noise-free. The design includes new silica compounds, a new tire profile designed specifically for urban use, and a specific tread design optimizing the surface of rubber in contact with the road.
Tests on the EV concept tire show that it is possible to reduce the level of rolling resistance compared to traditional passenger car tires by 15 per cent. The company said its current Michelin Energy Saver A/S passenger tire is already 30 per cent better in rolling resistance than the market average.
The EV prototype tire has a long diameter and is relatively narrow, reducing energy consumption through less front rubber in the contact patch. The long diameter and low profile also means that the tire turns fewer times when covering a given distance, with less deformation and heat buildup that results in additional energy savings, but with more rubber in the tread, the tire increases total mileage and reduces overall operating costs.