The rise of electric vehicles, continuing to set a good pace of growth in UK and European markets despite the difficulties facing new car sales over the last 18 months, is one of the central pillars of mobility’s dominant megatrend, sustainability. Given the UK’s growing demand for the various forms of electric-powered cars – battery electric (BEV), hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and mild hybrid electric (MHEV) – it is clear that servicing this section of the market will be vital in the long-term to tyre fitters. At the same time numbers remain relatively small in comparison to the level of interest they generate, though the growth is impressive.
The European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) recently participated in the European Commission (EC) “access to in-vehicle data” workshop. Thanking the EC for the chance to contribute to such a strategic topic for the automotive industry, the ETRMA called on the EC to publish “an ambitious legislative proposal on access to in-vehicle data” in the first quarter of 2022.
Bridgestone has developed a broad range of technologies and partnerships designed to address the coming wave of electric vehicles. The tyre manufacturer has said its tyre range for electric vehicles will make up one-fifth of its original equipment range by 2024. These tyres contain several technologies that Bridgestone has been developing over the last few years. It worked with BMW to develop dedicated tyres for the i3, i3s and i8 EVs, with its proprietary ologic technology. Ologic offers rolling resistance and aerodynamics benefits. Bridgestone’s Enliten technology meanwhile helps to reduce the weight of tyres by 10 per cent without compromising on wear life – rolling resistance can be reduced by up to 20 per cent, according to the company.
Electric Vehicle (EV) tyres currently represent 11 per cent of Bridgestone EMIA’s total passenger car OE tyre line-up – almost three-times what it was in 2019. Now the company says that figure will reach 20 per cent by 2024. According to the company, Bridgestone is developing a growing number of original tyre fitments specifically engineered for EVs. EV tyres may currently represent 11 per cent of Bridgestone EMIA’s total original equipment (OE) line-up for passenger cars (up from just 4 per cent in 2019), but the company says this figure will be over 20 per cent in 2024.
Bridgestone has announced a new long-term partnership with electric vehicle charging solutions supplier EVBox. The partnership aims to expand Europe’s charging infrastructure with the installation of up to 3,500 new charging ports across Bridgestone’s European retail and service network – including Bridgestone’s retail brands like Speedy and First Stop – in a five-year project. Bridgestone calls the partnership the latest part of its commitment to help shape a sustainable future of mobility, supporting the adoption of EVs. The project will begin in France and Italy and expand into the UK, Germany, Poland, Spain, and other European countries.
Michelin has partnered with Stratford-upon-Avon deluxe coffee house and motoring destination Caffeine&Machine on the venues first ever dedicated electric vehicle weekend (25-26 September, 2021). The event will focus on electric vehicles and will welcome visitors who want to view the next wave of automotive innovation, regardless of their current motors.
Royal Mail is embarking on six- to nine-month trial of Enso Tyres’ electric van-orientated tyres. The trial, a partnership between Royal Mail, Transport for London (TfL) and Enso, aims to make “Electric Vehicles (EVs) even cleaner to further improve air quality”, according to the stakeholders. According, to Tyres & Accessories’s 2021 survey of public tyre fleets, Royal Mail is the second-largest fleet in the UK.
TyreSafe is advising owners of electric vehicles (EVs) to “pay close attention to the tyres they choose when the originals need replacing” because “increasingly, the tyres fitted are specifically designed for use on EVs and can be significantly different to the ‘normal’ tyres…”. Specifically, TyreSafe is warning EV owners that fitting the wrong type of tyre could result in “loss of range, extra noise, accelerated wear and the risk of failing while being driven, which could result in a serious incident”.
Goodyear’s venture capital arm, Goodyear Ventures, has added AmpUp to its investment portfolio. The electric vehicle (EV) charging firm operates an advanced charging network and software solutions with operations across North America. AmpUp aims to make charging accessible and seamless for every EV driver. Goodyear Ventures focuses on future of mobility investments and partnerships with seed-to-growth-stage startups in emerging technologies.
The EV6 is Kia’s first dedicated electric vehicle. Based on Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the EV6 offers a range of up to 316 miles and rapid charging – when using the State of Charge (SOC) mode, the car can charge from 10 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes. Nexen Tire reports it is supplying two tyres as original equipment.
The UK light commercial vehicle tyre market had a relatively dynamic year in 2020, with value and volume changes in certain sub-segments driven by an increase in higher rim diameter tyre sizes, as well as increased demand for all-season – and even winter – performance. According to GfK panelmarket data, which tracks points of sale, comparing the calendar year 2020 to 2019, these growth subsegments supported a 2020 light commercial vehicle tyre market value change across all rim sizes of 0 per cent, while volume was down only -2 per cent. While LCV operators were not entirely immune to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and its attendant lockdowns, these figures show how the essential services supported by van operators, such as last mile delivery resulting from booming e-commerce, allowed LCV tyres to achieve results within touching distance of pre-pandemic norms.
Trolleybuses may be long gone from our roads, but the concept behind them is once again being evaluated, this time for HGVs: Although numerous governments and major truck manufacturers are exploring liquid fuel cell technology as a means of reducing CO2 emissions in road freight transportation, Germany is additionally considering an entirely different approach, with a government advisory body recommending railway-style overhead lines along 2,500 miles of its autobahn network. It is still uncertain whether the country will greenlight this unique solution, but automotive systems firm and tyre maker Continental shares that it’s already working to develop pantographs for the system.
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.
During the pandemic year 2020, connected and intelligent car solutions reached a value of 1.8 billion euros. A third of the market is represented by ADAS systems (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, equating to 600 million euros). The largest segment is constituted by so-called solutions for the connected car, which in 2020 slowed down to 1.18 billion euros (-2%), after having grown in double figures during both 2018 (+ 31%) and in 2019 (+ 14%). Similar trends can be seen across Western countries, which oscillate between -5 per cent and + 5 per cent.