Hankook to launch iON tyres for electric vehicles
Hankook will launch a new line of speciality electric vehicle tyres in May 2022. The line of Hankook iON tyres is developed to offer reduced rolling resistance and therefore an increase in range, lower tyre noise for more comfort, and higher resilience to deal with the higher torque of electric vehicles. The Korean manufacturer said that it is launching the iON line as a contribution to the transition towards zero emission vehicles. The iON line will be available initially in three designs for summer, winter, and all-season applications – the latter in North America, but with European seasonal fitments – in sizes between 18 and 22 inches.
The tyres will respectively be launched as the Hankook Ventus iON S summer tyre pattern, the Hankook Winter i*cept iON (from September 2022), and the Hankook Ventus iON A. In addition to supplying its tyres to EV manufacturers and launching an EV tyre line in its domestic South Korean market, Hankook has recently aligned itself with a range of electric mobility projects, such as its title sponsorship of the inaugural Top Gear EV Awards in 2021. Hankook adds that further specific product designs are in the pipeline.
Sanghoon Lee, president of Hankook Tire Europe, said: “With the introduction of this new iON tyre family, our company is increasingly acknowledging the rapid growth in demand for electric vehicles and the associated need for suitable tyres, also in terms of the need for replacements. With an improved range per battery charge, this new generation of tyres will help to further optimise the efficiency of electric vehicles in everyday use.”
Hankook adds that IHS Markit forecasts show the global share of battery-powered electric automobiles in total vehicle sales will increase by 36.6 per cent annually, from the current 6.4 per cent market share to 29.5 per cent by 2028. The tyre maker says that the lower rolling resistance of Hankook iON tyres can make “a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions from road traffic.”
Electric motorsport technology transfer
Hankook supplies original equipment tyres to manufacturers of electric vehicles from premium car brands, which have helped its engineers to develop expertise in this demanding segment. Original equipment tyres from Hankook that have been optimised for electromobility are already being used by Audi, BMW, Porsche, VW and other leading brands.
From the 2022/2023 season, the premium tyre manufacturer will also be demonstrating the technical expertise it has acquired in the area of sustainability and high-performance mobility, as a supplier in the world of electric motorsport, as appointed by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
Hankook says the new iON tyres meet the demanding everyday requirements for EV tyres thanks to an extensive set of technical measures. Hankook has countered the higher vehicle mass of electric vehicles – caused by the considerable weight of the drive batteries – with a higher load capacity. Among other things, ultra-resistant aramid fibres effectively counteract the deformation forces caused by the especially high torque in electric vehicles. The tread compound, which features a high proportion of natural resin, also ensures exemplary durability and reduced wear. Another special feature of the new compound is its high proportion of natural oils. This not only makes the iON products more sustainable overall, but also has a positive effect on the mileage of the tyres.
Hankook is employing its sound absorber technology in combination with the specific pattern design integrated into the company’s iON products to reduce interior noise significantly.
Klaus Krause, head of the Hankook Tire Europe Technical Center in Hanover, Germany, added: “We are particularly proud that the new Hankook iON summer tyre, for example, has achieved an A/A/A rating on the EU tyre label. This corresponds to the highest performance in terms of rolling resistance, wet grip and tyre noise.”