Electric vehicles account for a growing proportion of the UK car parc and will continue to do so in the years to come. This move from combustion power is a thrown gauntlet that garages and vehicle servicing firms need to pick up sooner rather than later, and also a transition that requires a visible investment in charging capabilities.
Hankook Tire confirms that its tyres will be original equipment on Volkswagen’s first all-electric SUV, the ID.4. The tyre maker will supply its Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 ev in numerous sizes from the vehicle’s market launch. OEM fitment on the ID.4 follows the pairing of prototype Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 ev tyres with the VW study ID. Crozz, the design of which the new ID.4 is based on.
Falken has announced that its Ziex ZE310A Ecorun AO tyre has been approved as factory fitment on the Audi A3 TFSI e hybrid, in size 205/55 R16 V XL. The tyre’s ability to bear high loads, together with good traction and rolling resistance characteristics makes it ideal for today’s electric and hybrid vehicles, says Falken.
When Lucid Motors brings the Air to market in the second half of 2021, this inaugural model from the EV start-up will wear Pirelli’s very first high load index tyre – a new type of tyre dedicated primarily to electric or hybrid cars and SUVs. This original equipment arrangement initially pertains to Lucid Air models sold in the USA and sees Pirelli supply its P Zero to Lucid in size HL 245/35R21 99 Y XL for the front axle and HL 265/ 35R21 103 Y XL for the rear.
In order to meet increasing local demand for high-tech and premium tyres and in response to national and regional market share gains, Bridgestone is investing in its manufacturing facility in Camaçari, Brazil. The more than R$700 million (£101.7 million) investment will go towards modernising the plant and increasing production capacity by more than 20 per cent. The project will begin by the fourth quarter of 2021.
Pirelli is working with energy sector company Enel X to set up electric vehicle recharging infrastructure in selected Pirelli ‘Driver’ tyre centre outlets. The two companies signed an agreement to this effect at this year’s socially distanced version of the Milano – Monza Motor Show, which began yesterday in the centre of Milan. They will begin by setting up charging facilities at Driver centres in Italy before rolling out charging infrastructures at sites in Spain and then other countries where Pirelli is active with Driver Tyres and Service.
Hankook will act as main sponsor of the 2021 BBC Top Gear Global Electric Vehicle Awards, which recognise the best EVs across 12 different award categories, including EV of the Year, Best Hatchback, SUV, Estate, and Hypercar. This arrangement builds upon other EV-related engagements, such as Hankook Tire’s upcoming tyre supply to the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the world’s first and only all-electric street racing Formula series.
Continental reports that its share of the tyre market for fully electric vehicles is growing, with six of the ten global highest-volume manufacturers of electric vehicles selecting the brand as original equipment in 2020. This includes fitment on key electric models like the Tesla Model 3 and Model S, and Volkswagen’s ID.3, as well as with manufacturers aiming to gain a foothold in the European electric vehicle market, such as BYD, one of China’s largest car producers.
European nations are leading the way in new Electric Vehicle (EV) sales despite the emergence of Mainland China as the biggest market for EVs. According to data presented by TradingPlatforms.com, 15 European countries had the highest share of plug-in EVs in new passenger car sales in 2020 – Norway had the highest at 75 per cent.
Michelin will supply replacement tyres to the all-inclusive electric car subscription service Onto. Speaking about the decision to fit Michelin tyres, Onto states that it wants to ensure users can access dedicated electric vehicle (EV) tyres. Rob Jolly, co-founder and CEO of Onto said the company wanted a tyre partner that “truly understands EVs” and the “huge impact” tyres can have on EVs’ performance. The company wants its tyres to support extended battery range, low noise and long-lasting safety throughout their life. Chris Smith, managing director of Michelin UK, added that the deal demonstrates both brands’ commitment to sustainable mobility.
The performance stats of recently-launched electric cars highlight that the move to electrification not only eliminates emissions, but also raises the bar in regards to sheer acceleration and instant performance. Electric saloons from manufacturers such as Audi and Porsche can hit 60 mph faster than many traditional supercars. Goodyear says this brings exciting new challenges for tyre design and development.
Surging demand for new hybrid cars is also being reflected in the used market, with the online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk reporting its highest-ever proportion of hybrid customers. But a gap is emerging between brands when it comes to the popularity of hybrid as a consumer choice over diesel or petrol, BuyaCar analysts say.
Two key agendas influenced Bridgestone’s decision to get involved with the World Solar Challenge (WSC). Alongside a desire to promote sustainability, the tyre maker viewed the event as an opportunity to make contact with young innovators. One such innovator was Lex Hoefsloot, whose team from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands achieved WSC class wins with their Stella solar vehicles on four occasions. These victories became the starting point of a relationship between Hoefsloot and Bridgestone that continues to this day and will see Bridgestone Turanza Eco tyres fitted to the world’s first commercially available long-range solar electric vehicle later this year.
Groupe Michelin’s Capital Markets Day presentation, conducted via webcast on 8 April, set out its agenda for the next decade, putting its plans in front of leading global banks and financial firms. Circling around a central theme of sustainability, the group executive committee, led by managing chairman Florent Menegaux and general manager and chief financial officer Yves Chapot, showed how Michelin intends to “diversify while strengthening” in order to achieve its key economic and ecological targets. Chapot and Menegaux stated that expanding “non-tyre revenue” up to more than one-fifth of the group’s turnover by 2030 would make the group more agile and robust in the face of future crises. The current global health crisis has been instructive in this regard; the committee credited the development of the group’s non-tyre portfolio with assisting in its resilience over the difficulties of 2020, and now intends to continue the acceleration of its diversification. Its digital and materials innovations will simultaneously “deliver new growth,” while contributing to the overall strength of the group: a leitmotif of the committee’s presentation.
Audi is once again turning to Goodyear to equip one of its flagship electric vehicles. Audi e-tron SUVs have been fitted with Goodyear tyres as original equipment since 2019, and now Audi is equipping its new generation gran turismo, the Audi e-tron GT, with 21-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 tyres.