There are more and more electric vehicles on the road every day, and those EV’s are going to wear through their tires just like every other vehicle since the Model T days. And like every other vehicle, EV tires have the same priorities of long treadwear, low rolling resistance, consistent all season traction, low noise, comfortable ride quality, good handling and road manners.
EV tires do have some special considerations, though. Since the batteries in EV’s weigh more than the engine and transmission in internal combustion engine (we’re going to shorten that to ICE) vehicles, the tires for EV’s need to have stiffer sidewalls and higher load capacities. Rolling resistance is also a bigger concern, since it’s important to wring the most miles possible out of every charge.
Let’s do a quick roundup of some of the best tire options for EV’s; tires that match or exceed OEM tires and deliver the kind of performance that’s best suited for electric vehicles.
We’re thinking here of vehicles from Tesla, Jaguar, BMW and Mercedes. These vehicles are bigger and heavier and will need tires that have better grip, higher load range and the kind of road manners, ride and cornering ability that their drivers expect.
- Continental Control Contact Sport A/S: This Continental model features their proprietary Comfort Band technology for a forgiving ride and low noise, as well as EcoPlus(™) technology for low rolling resistance and an advanced traction-oriented tread compound. The Continental Control Contact Sport A/S is a touring tire that delivers sporty handling and response along with a silky ride and an 80,000 mile warranty.
- Michelin Pilot Sport PS2: The Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 is a summer performance tire that can offer precise handling thanks to its tread design and rubber formulation. This race-inspired UHP tire is a great choice for high-performance EV’s but its softer, stickier tread compound will harden in colder weather. Like other summer UHP tires, the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 shouldn’t be used when temperatures are below 40-45 degrees F.
- Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus: This touring tire presents the best of all possible worlds, with solid all season traction, touring tire comfort, low noise and responsive handling and cornering. It features four longitudinal grooves and a network of lateral grooves to boost wet traction, and an advanced tread compound that lowers rolling resistance for greater efficiency. Oh, and a 70,000 mile treadwear warranty, which is a pretty strong selling point by itself.
- Yokohama Advan Sport A/S: Yokohama tires are already OEM on a lot of upscale vehicles, and the Advan Sport A/S strives for true all season traction and performance. It boasts the innovative Streaming Z-Grooves and serpentine inboard grooves for traction in light snow, with advanced polymers in the tread formulation to keep it pliable at low temperatures. Extra large shoulder blocks boost dry traction and cornering ability, while circumferential grooves and sipes are designed for safe wet-weather traction. The Advan Sport A/S is also covered by a 55,000 mile treadwear warranty.
We’re going to consider “commuter vehicles” to be smaller, lighter-weight EV’s that generally have a low to medium range. For these vehicles, rolling resistance, low cost and reinforced sidewalls are going to be big considerations:
- BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport: This all season tire is designed with a more robust contact patch and BFG’s ETEC system and 3D sipes for top-notch wet weather traction as well as a sidewall that’s robust enough for a higher load rating, but flexible for spirited driving. The BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport is covered by a 70,000 mile treadwear warranty (60,000 miles for H or V speed ratings).
- Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max: Like the name suggests, the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max is purpose-built for low rolling resistance; internal tests at Goodyear showed enough fuel savings (with an ICE vehicle) for 2500 extra miles over the service life of the tires. The Assurance Fuel Max features inboard and outboard tread zones for dry handling, a central “wet tread” zone and Dual Aquachannel grooves to boost wet traction. The Assurance Fuel Max is backed by a 65,000 mile treadwear warranty.
- Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus: The Ecopia EP422 Plus is another tire that puts a real premium on efficiency and low rolling resistance. It features Bridgestone’s Fuel Saver(™) sidewall and a tread pattern designed to cut highway noise and provide excellent wet or dry traction. The engineers at Bridgestone didn’t miss a trick with this tire, from its big contact patch to its circumferential grooves and sipe pattern; the Ecopia EP422 Plus is covered by a 70,000 mile treadwear warranty.
- Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus: Pirelli tires are OEM on plenty of high-end vehicles, for good reason; in the case of the P4 Four Seasons Plus, there’s a silica-infused rubber compound that boosts tread life and traction as well as reinforced shoulders, an all season tread pattern and an unbeatable combination of low noise, great road manners and a forgiving ride. The Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus is backed by the best coverage in this roundup, an astonishing 90,000 mile treadwear warranty.
We’re now past the tipping point where EV’s are going to become more and more popular with drivers everywhere, and if there’s an EV in your future (or in your driveway right now), it’s important to be informed as to your best tire choices. We’re pretty confident that this quick synopsis of tire options would all be great for the EV’s on the road right now.