Do Electric Cars Need Special Tyres?

While our roads may not yet be dominated by electric cars, they are proving more popular than ever. In an effort to reduce air pollution, many manufacturers are now producing electric cars or at least hybrid versions.

In many ways, electric cars feel the same as normal cars day-to-day, but they are clearly not the same under the bonnet and there are additional considerations needed when it comes to electric car tyres, too.

Do electric cars damage the tyres more?

The biggest thing for electric cars, when compared to normal cars, is weight. Emissions can be lowered through an electric car but because of the requirement for a larger, heavier battery, there is more wear on electric car tyres. The pressure of the increased load means an ordinary tyre on an electric car won’t last quite as long or stand up to the demands of the vehicle while out on the road.

The difference between electric car tyres and normal tyres

So what is different on an electric car tyre when compared with a normal one?

Electric vehicle tyres

They’re relatively expensive – these tyres are specifically designed to withstand the weight and instant torque of an electric vehicle. Engineers manufactures these tyres with more than 200 variables in mind, including:

  • Rubber compounds
  • Construction methods
  • Side wall design
  • Belt arrangements
  • Tread design
  • Groove width

As a considerable amount of time and development goes into manufacturing these specific tyres, they come with a slightly more expensive price tag than conventional tyres which are fitted to normal cars with an internal combustion engine.

They last longer – in comparison to conventional tyres, EV tyres are considerably more durable. Due to their increased weight, electric cars need tyres which can safely accommodate this. With the meticulous design of the side wall and tyre tread, electric car tyres are specifically manufactured to withstand the extra weight, and absorb the strain which would have otherwise been put on conventional tyres.

They’re quiet – electric vehicles don’t run on an internal combustion engine, which can be considerably loud. Therefore, they remain exceptionally quiet, even in transit. However, with cheaper, conventional tyres, you may experience more road noise. For a more peaceful ride, opt for electric vehicle tyres. They’re specifically designed to bear the weight of electric vehicles, resulting in less noise when they come into contact with the road.

More outside noise will be heard – a normal car, comprised of an internal combustion engine, is considerably louder than an electric vehicle, even when stationary. However, even when exceptionally quiet tyres have been fitted, the noise from the engine will dull the sounds coming from outside your vehicle, such as sirens from emergency service vehicles or music coming from surrounding cars. However, being able to hear what’s going around you will make drivers more alert and aware while out on the roads.

Conventional tyres

Wear 30% quicker than EV tyres – when fitted to electric vehicles, conventional tyres will wear considerably faster than those specifically designed for electric vehicles. Due to the extra weight carried by an electric car, conventional tyres won’t be able to handle their torque, and therefore won’t last as long. It would be better to invest in specially designed electric vehicle tyres for peace of mind and longevity.

They’re louder – When placed on electric vehicles, they find it difficult to cope with the extra weight and instant torque, resulting in the application of increased pressure. In turn, this makes them louder when being driven out on the road, therefore, surrounding sounds from outside the vehicle will be harder to distinguish. It may also mean that your radio has to be turned up louder or adjusting accordingly in order to achieve the desired sound.

Less outside noise will be heard – where this may be considered an advantage, dulling out sounds from outside can have a negative effect. It can mean that certain noises won’t be heard by the driver, such as sirens from emergency service vehicles, which could make you a hazard to other road users. For peace of mind, invest in a set of electric car tyres for your electric vehicle.

They’re cheaper than EV tyres – as these haven’t been specifically designed for use on an electric vehicle, they would have been designed and manufactured as standard, meaning they’ll be far less costly than electric car tyres. However, they won’t last as long on an electric vehicle and so would have to be replaced, costing you more in the long run. Instead, buy a set of electric car tyres for extra durability.

Advantages of having electric car tyres

There are many ways in which having electric car tyres fitted to your electric vehicle can be beneficial. As most of these have already been touched upon when comparing both conventional tyres and electric car tyres, we’ve provided a brief overview:

Benefits of electric car tyres:

  • Impressively quiet
  • Incredibly durable
  • Ideal investment option, saving you money in the long run
  • You’ll be more aware of your surroundings with quiet tyres

How to protect electric car tyres

There are many things you can do to elongate the life of your electric car tyres, including:

Monitor tyre wear – electric car tyres will wear just the same as conventional ones, so it’s important that you check them on a regular basis. It’s illegal to have a tread depth which is less than 1.6mm, regardless of the type of tyres you have fitted. They should also be checked for cuts and cracks and replaced when required.

Ensure they’re adequately inflated – to make sure your electric car tyres last as long as possible, and to also get the most out of your vehicle’s performance, it’s important that your tyres are properly inflated.

Check for proper wheel balancing – this will ensure that your tyres wear evenly. It means that weight will be distributed evenly over all four of your electric car tyres. Over time, your wheels can lose their balance, resulting in a bumpy ride. To mitigate this, check the wheels are balanced appropriately.

Wheels should be properly aligned – wheel alignment improves fuel efficiency, tyre performance, tyre wear, vehicle handling and manoeuvrability. It can also affect the vehicle’s steering response, so ensure they’re adequately aligned to get the most from your tyres.

Rotate your tyres – if your car is a front wheel drive, then you may find that the wheels at the front will wear quicker than the ones at the back. To save money and buy you some more time, switch the front and back wheels around.

If you need one or more of your tyres changing, if your vehicle needs servicing or if it needs an MOT, then look no further than Auto Exhausts and Tyres. We offer high-quality workmanship and a wide range of services to help you get back on the road. For more information, get in touch with us today – we’re always happy to help.