First OE approval for Conti e-tyre
Continental has released further information about its new Conti.e.Contact range of tyres for electric and hybrid vehicles. The tyres are being produced in Continental’s passenger car tyre factory in Korbach, Germany and the manufacturer has received its first original equipment deal – Renault has appointed Continental sole tyre supplier for its Twizy.
With the Conti.eContact, Continental claims rolling resistance levels 30 per cent lower than that of conventional tyres. The German tyre maker says its engineers achieved this reduction by using an unusual tyre dimension, a large diameter, narrow 195/55 R 20. Thanks to the larger tyre diameter, deformation of the tyre is reduced when entering the contact patch – thus lowering rolling resistance considerably. This also means that the same load bearing capacity can be achieved as for conventional tyres. In addition, the tyre’s sidewall has been designed in such a way that less energy is lost when the tyre deflects and rebounds, and the tyre’s weight was further reduced. These measures also lower rolling resistance.
With its combination of four longitudinal grooves, a high number of sipes, the absence of traverse grooves and tread rib rigidity, the Conti.eContact’s tread has been optimised for low rolling resistance and low noise emission. In this way, Continental says its engineers were also able to achieve precise handling properties and safe braking distances on wet surfaces. The very flat tyre contour is said to prevent the tyre’s belt elements from further movement, thus further reducing rolling resistance. The sidewall has also been designed for low energy consumption. Here, the developers did not use the usual edges and design elements in order to keep air resistance as low as possible – properties needed in a tyre for low-noise electric and hybrid cars.