Michelin said its prototype tire for electric vehicles will meet performance demands while delivering maximum grip and long tread life.
Electric vehicles require tires designed to handle the higher low-end torque that electric motors generate, Michelin said. At the same time, they need to be lighter and quieter.
To cut rolling resistance, Michelin's EV concept tire has a comparatively large rim diameter and is relatively narrow, reducing energy consumption because there is less front rubber in the contact patch. Michelin, which showed the prototype at the Detroit auto show in January, didn't disclose the tire's dimensions.
The larger diameter combined with a low profile helps reduce energy consumption because the tire turns fewer times when covering a given distance, Michelin said. That results in less deformation and heat, which leads to more energy savings.
Michelin claims the EV concept tire has up to 15 percent less rolling resistance than its best conventional tire.
At the same time, the company said, the larger diameter means more rubber in the tread, which increases total mileage and reduces overall operating costs.
Even aerodynamics play a role in extending the range of an electric vehicle without compromising handling or safety, Michelin said, because the size and shape of the tire-wheel assembly must be taken into account.
To achieve the desired performance qualities, Michelin said, its engineers employed the latest silica-based tread compounds, a new tire profile designed specifically for urban use and a tread design optimizing the surface of rubber in contact with the road.