A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Michelin and Hyundai Motor Group will facilitate the development of a new generation of tyres optimised for electric vehicles (EVs). The three-year agreement, a follow-up to the partnership of November 2017 that resulted in an exclusive Michelin tyre for the Hyundai Ioniq 5, covers joint work on tyres containing an increased level of eco-friendly materials, tyres optimised for next-generation EVs as well as a real-time tyre monitoring system for autonomous vehicles.
A new Vredestein tyre specifically developed for electric vehicles (EVs) will debut later this year. Sharing a few details about this upcoming all-season product, Apollo Tyres says it is currently evaluating the tyre through computer simulation and at proving grounds around the world following a “major new research and development programme” that includes close collaboration with leading car manufacturers.
For the past two years, Pirelli has supplied vehicle manufacturers with original equipment tyres tailored for electric and plug-in hybrid cars. The tyre maker is now offering Pirelli Elect products as replacement fitments and states that these are “now widely available” for aftermarket customers. Pirelli has integrated Elect into all P Zero, Cinturato and Scorpion lines, thereby offering the technology for summer, winter and all-season ranges.
Hankook Tire is unveiling three products at The Tire Cologne later this month, including its first tyre family designed for electric vehicles. Other newcomers include the latest winter tyre range as well as an airless concept tyre. The tyre maker invites visitors to the show to view these and other products at its booth in Hall 8.1, aisle C040/aisle D049.
Mercedes-Benz AG has selected Bridgestone as the tyre development partner for its Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX. The outcome? Bridgestone engineers collaborated with Mercedes-Benz to create custom-designed tyres to contribute to a real-world range of 1,000km on a single charge. According to Bridgestone, collaboration on this project “sets the stage for the future of EV tyres and is underpinned by a shared EV-ready vision between the companies.”
Sailun Tire Group says it has developed a technology that will “create a rubber revolution in the tyre industry.” Utilising liquid phase mixing, this new proprietary technology is known as EcoPoint³. According to Sailun, EcoPoint³ matches or exceeds tyre performance across the three key functional attributes of rolling resistance, wear resistance and wet grip performance. It will, the tyre maker confidently adds, “change the way that tyres are manufactured.”
Pirelli will supply P Zero Elect tyres to BMW for its iX electric SUV and specifically for the xDrive50 and sportier M60 versions. P Zero Elect tires are available for the BMW iX xDrive50 version in 255/50 R21 109Y XL and 275/40 R22 107Y XL sizes, with the latter size also available for the M60. All these tyres are marked with a star to indicate homologation for BMW. Pirelli’s OE supply range includes a 22-inch BMW iX tyre with even more grip than the other two. This tyre has an “I” on the side, in addition to the star marking.
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.
Pirelli is supplying a specially developed edition of its P Zero tyre for fitment on the new Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV range. Alfa’s first production electric vehicle, which comes in hybrid and plug-in hybrid editions as well as diesel and petrol ICE models, will roll on size 235/40R20 96V XL Pirelli P Zero tyres, the tyre manufacturer’s performance range.
Electric vehicle-specific aftermarket Falken tyres will arrive in Europe next year, says Sumitomo Rubber Industries. The tyre maker reported the planned release of the Falken e.Ziex upon announcing the April 2022 launch in China of a replacement market range aimed at electric vehicles, the Dunlop e.Sport Maxx.
The past two years have given plenty of reason to be optimistic about the speed of the electrification of the car parc. In the UK plug-in electric vehicle sales have grown market share quickly, rising to 18.5 per cent of new car registrations in the UK in 2021, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Add in hybrids, and this figure was over a quarter (27.5 per cent) last year. The new car market has faced severe headwinds with component shortages and other effects of the pandemic, leading to only one percent growth compared to the year of the most severe pandemic restrictions in 2020. Meanwhile EVs have benefitted from favourable consumer perception and government-backed schemes, leading to growth where other segments have faltered. With schemes due to expire and bottlenecking in the rollout of chargepoints, there could be more turbulence for new EV sales coming, yet current projections show that confidence in the EV segment is relatively high.
Hyundai Commercial Vehicle has worked with ZC Rubber in China for some time now, and the tyre maker now reports supplying new patterns and sizes from its truck tyre ranges for various Hyundai long-haul truck models in this market. Models receiving original equipment ZC Rubber tyres include the Hyundai Hongtu EV, a fully electric light truck, and the Hyundai Xcient.
While tyre makers serving the UK and European markets typically cover replacement demand for electric vehicle tyres with energy-efficient products they also aim at ICE-powered cars, in North America Goodyear has introduced a replacement market tyre that’s specifically tuned for EVs. It has launched the Goodyear ElectricDrive GT in size 255/45R19 104W XL and intends to expand the line-up in 2022.
The city bus market is undergoing an unprecedented transformation. Electrification, autonomy and accessibility, including on-demand services, are revolutionising urban mobility. Goodyear has launched a new tyre to provide a solution for operators seeking to maximise the efficiency of their current fleet and prepare for the future; the UrbanMax MCA HL + is an all-position tyre with high-load structure, enabling the 8-tonne axle load capacity required by modern electric or hybrid buses.
London-based company Enso Tyres has won the LA New Mobility Challenge 2021, an event co-hosted by CoMotion LA and Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and supported by the UK Government. The judging panel awarded Enso for tyres that increase electric vehicle range while reducing both air pollution and micro-plastic tyre particulate matter pollution.