4 Ways Special EV Tires Improve Driving Range

One of the most important specs to look for when shopping for an EV is the range number. Electric cars with a higher driving range can help alleviate an owner’s range anxiety. That said, automakers are aware that shoppers care about range, so many brands have taken steps to get the most range out of their EVs as possible. That’s why many manufacturers put special tires on their electric vehicles. These special EV tires can improve the car’s driving range in four ways. 

1. EV tires come with low-resistance patterns that are more efficient

According to Green Car Reports, EV automakers have decided to make a trade-off with these special tires. Compared to the tires of a regular car, special EV tires have low-resistance patterns, and this hurts the car’s grip. Due to that, these tires also make the car handle worse. In exchange, low-resistance tires significantly improve the car’s fuel economy. 

These low-resistance tires can improve an EV’s range by about 53 miles during a 200-mile drive. That said, these tires can also improve the fuel economy of a normal car, but they’ll provide the same drawbacks as well. 

2. Some EV makers use wheel caps and covers for better aerodynamics

EV tires
A wheel on a Tesla EV | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Another way some EV makers have improved the efficiency of their cars is by making the wheels more aerodynamic. Tesla is the best-known automaker that does this, and the company’s aero wheels do make a noticeable impact on the EV’s range. That said, this range impact isn’t huge, but it adds about 10 miles of range. 

3. EV tires are designed to be small and round

In addition, EV tires are designed to be aerodynamic in other ways. A regular car tire is typically wide because the extra width can help the car handle better. But that extra width is not good for the car’s aerodynamics because wider tires will add more drag, reducing efficiency. That said, though wider tires are less efficient, it’s not a huge difference overall. A lot of EVs still use thinner wheels to get as much range as possible, though.

Many tires are also large in diameter, and while some owners want their tires large, they’re not good for a car’s efficiency. In fact, a tire’s diameter has a big impact on the car’s efficiency. For example, Green Car Reports says that a Tesla Model 3 cruising on 20-inch wheels gets 40 miles less range than a Model 3 with 18-inch wheels. The range difference varies depending upon the car, but smaller wheels are the best for range overall.

4. EV tires are also designed to stay inflated longer

Just as with regular cars, a properly inflated tire is essential for efficiency and fuel economy. That’s why every driver should routinely check their car’s tire pressure. An underinflated tire can lead to a less efficient vehicle and, thus, money out of your pocket thanks to higher gas usage. EV owners don’t have to pay for gas, but they still have to deal with this issue. 

That’s why EV tires tend to be durable, as they need to handle the fact that EVs are heavy due to their batteries and can get instant torque from their motors. These durable tires can also stay inflated despite the heavier weight of the average EV. That said, these special tires are still tires, so they’ll eventually lose pressure. That’s why EV owners should still routinely check their car’s tire pressure.

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