Large, powerful cars and SUVs with electric or hybrid drives are substantially heavier than conventional ICE-powered vehicles and thus need tyres that can handle greater loads. The solution is to fit tyres with a higher load index. The gold standard here is HL, and Continental has announced the arrival of the first passenger tyres with the new HL load index code.
Expanding its competencies with investments in the composites field, reinforcement leader Kordsa will supply British company TRB Lightweight Structures with carbon fibre fabrics for TRB’s mass production of EV battery enclosures.
Dr Andy Palmer, former CEO of Aston Martin, and non-executive vice chairman of InoBat Auto, a European electric vehicle battery producer, is calling on the UK Government to stimulate investment into domestic EV Battery Production.
Falken owner Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd has begun supplying Falken Azenis FK510 tyres to Toyota Motor Corporation for use as factory standard tyres on its new model Mirai, a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), which went on sale this December.
Electric car sales have reached their highest ever level in the used market, according to the online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk. After languishing for most of the year at around one in every hundred sales, December has seen them taking a 15 per cent share of the used market.
Continental AG is aiming to be completely carbon-neutral by 2050. One of the earliest landmarks in the plans sees Continental move to being carbon-neutral in some areas within two years. Specifically, from 2022 Continental will make its global business for emission-free cars, buses, trains and other vehicles carbon-neutral. The programme covers the company’s production processes as well as their upstream stages and recycling at the end of use. In this way, the technology company is helping the industry make emission-free mobility completely carbon-neutral.
Pirelli launched the Elect marking at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and is designed to be available as original equipment for “the most modern cars on the road”. Now Pirelli is highlighting that the Porsche Taycan is the first car to use Pirelli Elect-marked tyres.
Advanced battery technology investor Britishvolt has announced its plans to make the Mira Technology Park Campus near Coventry the home of its 5000sqm global headquarters. The company wants its new HQ to be fully operational by 2022. The news follows the UK government’s decision to bring forward its ban on the production of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. Britishvolt said the facility, in the traditional heartland of the country’s automotive industry, will spearhead the development of battery technologies for future electrified vehicles. Britishvolt adds that it wants to expand the site further to “bring highly skilled and specialist jobs to the West Midlands.” The company wants to build the UK’s first battery gigaplant, supporting the vehicle parc’s transition to electric engines. It is targeting the fourth quarter of 2023 to begin production, having signed an MoU with the Welsh government in 2020.
With electric vehicles soon to be a large part of the overall vehicle parc Ateq – a company best known in the tyre business for its TPMS products – has launched an industrial scale battery management tool. Designed for both electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV), the battery module balancer is called the EVB 5100. The unit is designed for rework stations in battery manufacturing or electric vehicle production plants. According to the company, it uses “the most efficient and precise technologies to equalize voltage differences between modules to maximize battery performance”.
Continental is currently testing prototype tyres for electric buses at its Contidrom proving ground in northern Germany. These prototypes, developed built by the tyre maker’s Prototyping department in Hanover-Stöcken and featuring hand-carved tread patterns, are the fruit of joint work with vehicle manufacturer VDL Bus & Coach. The partners’ aim is to reduce the time taken to complete the tyre development cycle, which currently takes three to five years from initial prototype to volume production.
The UK will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, a decade earlier than planned. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out the plans as part of a wider 10 point plan for a so-called for a “green industrial revolution”. However, the sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive “a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe” will remain until 2035.
Restore plc, the group that specialises in providing office support services, including records management and document destruction among others, has announced that it is joining EV100; a global initiative to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles (EVs).
It isn’t news to say that the tyre and autocentre sector is becoming an increasingly technological business. However, two recent trends confirm the need for garages to be properly equipped – increasing electric vehicle take-up and, in the short term, booming MOT demand.
In January 2019, we predicted a 5 per cent increase in MOTs during the course of the year. One calculation suggested this would work out as 2.6 million extra MOT tests during 2019, which equates to something like 50 extra MOTs per site per month. The latest DVSA numbers suggest that MOTs actually went up by an estimated 6.2 per cent last year, rising from 29.560 million in 2018 to 31.405 million last year. So far DVSA have only released data relating to the first nine months of 2019, so the final figure could go down, but in all likelihood it now looks like 5 per cent was a conservative estimate.
MOIA has selected Continental to look after its tyre service requirements. Continental will provide the ridesharing firm’s fleet of electric vehicles with tyres and support in line with a Conti360° Fleet Solutions mileage contract, with the Continental VanContact 4Season the preferred tyre of choice.
Electric vehicle start-up Rivian’s R1T pickup, which begins production in June 2021, and its R1S electric SUV will roll off production lines on Pirelli’s Scorpion range. The premium tyre manufacturer has developed special versions of its Scorpion Verde All Season, Scorpion Zero All Season and Scorpion All Terrain tyres to meet the OEM’s specifications. The OE fitments follow its “Pirelli Perfect Fit” strategy – all Pirelli tyres developed for Rivian have a special marking on the shoulder: RIV and Elect. The latter denotes Pirelli’s development of tyres for electric vehicles, which play a crucial role in key EV performance goals; safety, performance, and range optimisation.