The benefits of buying an EV are appealing to environmentalists, car enthusiasts, and the average Joe alike. Even if you’re not ready to make the jump from petrol to electricity, you have the opportunity to marry the two by bringing home a hybrid.
It’s difficult enough, though, to choose between the two types of car. Things get even more complicated when you have to shop for EV and hybrid-specific tyres.
Most manufacturers have your best interests at heart, which is why the tyres that come with your first alternative-energy vehicle will likely suit you fine. However, if you’re interested in exploring what other tyres for electric and hybrid cars are available on the market, you can find some that are better fitted for your location and needs.
What features, though, should you look for while tyre shopping?
The impact of an electric battery on your tyres
Let’s have a quick refresher. Electric cars rely solely on their electric battery, wall plug-ins, and regenerative braking in varying combinations. Comparatively, hybrid cars will only recharge via regenerative braking. This process can wear on your tyres, which is why many automotive manufacturers are now including a sturdy set of tyres on the EVs and hybrids they sell.
But regenerative braking isn’t the only EV-only feature that threatens to shorten your tyres’ lifespan. Electric vehicles are significantly heavier than petrol-based vehicles. As a result, manufacturers in the automotive industry have been brainstorming ways to make EV tyres that have lifespans to rival those of the tyres of petrol vehicles.
Thus far, they’ve found limited success. Unfortunately, the weight of your electric battery weighs down your car and puts more pressure on your tyres. As a result, an EV’s tyres are going to wear out much faster than a petrol vehicle’s tyres.
Going green with tyres
One of the benefits of driving electric cars that manufacturers have been quick to capitalize on is their inherent eco-friendliness. That’s why tyre and automotive manufacturers have been experimenting with methods through which they can make their EV tyres greener.
At this point in time, the tyres released with a newly-purchased EV or hybrid are not going to be made of algae or include photosynthesizing micro-plants in their hubs. That said, more and more manufacturers are aiming to produce tyres made out of recycled materials.
Goodyear Europe, in particular, is dedicated to committing to the EU’s environmental standards. They reaffirmed this commitment when debuting their Electric Drive Technology, a technology which marries emission reduction with research into ever-improving battery usage. Other manufacturers are in the process of following suit.
Tyre shopping: selecting tyres for petrol, electric and hybrid vehicles
The tyres that suit your petrol vehicle may not work as well with your EV or hybrid. Why? Because EVs and hybrids are heavier than their petrol cousins. You’re going to need a tyre set that can take more weight and, subsequently, more friction to keep you safe while you’re on the road.
What qualities, then, should you look for while shopping for a new pair of tyres? Ideally, your hybrid and EV tyres should have:
The tyres that you can use on petrol vehicles can be of a lighter make and have a lower rubber ratio. While you can use these tyres on an EV or a hybrid for a little while, they’ll wear out much faster than they would equipped to a petrol-powered vehicle.
In the end, they may be less expensive to purchase at first. However, you’ll end up spending more money replacing incorrectly-fitted tyres than you would committing to EV or hybrid-specific tyres in the first place.