Your Electric Vehicle Needs Special Tires, According to Consumer Reports

Over the coming years, loads of people will switch from gas-powered cars to electric models. With such a drastic change, questions arise about the maintenance and parts for EVs. Do electric vehicles need special tires? There are a few reasons experts at Consumer Reports recommend buying special tires for your EV. Owners who want their electric vehicle long-term should heed CR’s advice.

Do electric vehicles require special tires?

A Tesla Destination Charger (not a Tesla Supercharger) charging a Tesla Model Y electric vehicle
Tesla Model X | Tesla

According to Consumer Reports‘ tire program leader, Ryan Pszczolkowski, “EVs are heavier vehicles, and the tire industry is starting to adjust to these weight increases. There’s a new load range of tires called HL, which stands for high-load capacity tires. These tires can carry a heavier load at the same tire pressure as traditional tires.”

In addition, CR says the on-demand torque in an EV requires better traction than traditional rubber. Tires grab the road surface and cause more friction during initial acceleration. Special EV tires are designed to have an optimized grip on the road’s surface and reduce the wear on the tires so they last longer. In short, a fast accelerating EV might rip up regular tires much faster than you’d expect.

Chief technical officer at Pirelli North America, Ian Coke, agrees with Consumer Reports: “Developing a tire specifically for electric vehicles requires a number of considerations you do not encounter when working with internal combustion engines. Electric vehicles are heavier, have more powerful and faster acceleration off the line, and require lower rolling resistance.”

Why do electric vehicles need special tires?

Closeup of a Goodyear tire on a Mazda car
Goodyear tire | Tristan Beischel via Unsplash

Besides extra weight and acceleration, there are a few more reasons EVs require special tires. Firstly, as Coke mentioned, is rolling resistance. The term refers to the friction when a tire rotates, directly impacting the electric vehicle’s driving range. Since an EV only uses an electric motor to spin a wheel, it is much more efficient than a traditional car. CR says the resistance accounts for about 16 percent of the energy used, so it is essential to have optimal tires that don’t waste energy.

Next, road noise is another reason your electric vehicle needs special tires. The silence of an EV rolling down the road is well known. EV tires are specifically designed to reduce road noise and silence that electric model. As a result, standard tires on an EV will create a louder cabin. Remember that EVs don’t have engine sounds to muffle tire noise.

Is maintenance the same for electric vehicle tires?

According to Consumer Reports, maintenance remains about the same with EV tires. Moreover, owners should check their tire inflation monthly. Furthermore, cracks, holes, and cuts are still a bad sign, and those tires need replacing. Lastly, CR notes that EVs may wear down tires more quickly due to the extra weight, so regularly look at your tire tread depth.

Consumer Reports: Your electric vehicle needs special tires

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In conclusion, tire experts claim driving an EV requires special tires. These new tires can bear more weight without wearing as quickly as regular ones. Additionally, extra grip for more traction is beneficial for fast EV acceleration. Still, maintenance remains about the same as any gas-powered model’s tires. You’ll want to keep an eye out for damage and tread depth while always keeping the tires inflated appropriately. According to Consumer Reports, those are the main reasons why your electric vehicle needs special tires.

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