First Michelin EV Prototype Tyre Unveiled
According to Michelin, a special power train requires a special tyre. And it claims to have embraced this philosophy when designing its first concept tyre for electric vehicles. Known as the EV, the Michelin concept tyre is intended to provide a range of benefits that include increasing the vehicle’s range between charges or reducing battery size to optimise use of interior space. At the same time, the tyre is said to enhance driving safety and deliver superior longevity. Furthermore, says Michelin, the prototype tyre offers a quiet ride that is ideally suited to a relatively noise-free power source.
To attain these results, Michelin states its research and development teams designed a tyre that has been adapted to electric vehicle use through incorporating the latest tread rubber technology and silica compounds, a profile designed specifically for urban use and a specific tread design consisting of long, narrow, directional longitudinal grooves that optimises the area of rubber in contact with the road. According to Michelin, the EV prototype tyre has all the benefits of a traditional Michelin tyre in terms of grip and mileage, but its rolling resistance is significantly reduced in order to maximise the range of an electric vehicle. In fact, it says the work it has done on the EV concept tyre highlights the possibility of reducing the level of rolling resistance compared to traditional passenger car tyres by a further 15 per cent.
In order to minimise rolling resistance, the EV has a long diameter and is relatively narrow, thereby reducing energy consumption since there is less front rubber in the contact patch. Moreover, the long diameter combined with a low profile helps reduce energy consumption because the tyre turns fewer times when covering a given distance. Consequently, there is less deformation and heat build up, resulting in additional energy savings. At the same time, the longer diameter means more rubber in the tread, thereby increasing total mileage and reducing overall operating costs.