Electric Car Tyre Care Guide
There’s no doubt that electric cars are going to be the vehicles of the future. At the moment, they’re still pretty new to most of us, but day by day we’re seeing more electric cars on the roads as more people decide to make the switch to a greener, cleaner mode of transport. Under the bonnet, there’s a huge difference between your standard petrol or diesel car and an electric one, but there are some other differences that are not quite so obvious and one of those is the effect that driving an electric vehicle has on the tyres. You’d certainly be forgiven for thinking that the tyre requirements would be the same. Simply buy a decent premium tyre and all will be well, but that’s just not the case. It’s strongly recommended to fit tyres that are specifically designed for electric vehicles.
Advantages of having electric car tyres
By ensuring you have the right type of tyres on your electric vehicle, you’re making sure your car is safe. Tyres for electric cars are far more durable than standard tyres, so they can withstand the extra burden placed on them by the electric car. Of course all tyres wear over time, but if you used a standard tyre on an electric vehicle, you’d find the tread wearing down much faster than you’re used to. If you were to not check the tread depth more regularly, you could find you’re driving with tyres that are not actually road legal. Even if you did check them more often, you’d certainly be replacing them more frequently, so although electric tyres do cost more than standard tyres, you’ll save money in the long run as they will last far longer.
Additionally, when you opt for electric car tyres, you’ll find them much quieter than standard tyres. Electric cars are obviously very quiet by nature, so it’s nice to keep that peace by fitting the correct tyres. It also enables you to hear noise outside when you need to, such as emergency service sirens and suchlike.
Why are electric vehicles more damaging to tyres?
The issue with electric cars is that the battery is very heavy. An electric car battery weighs much more than that a standard petrol or diesel engine and so overall, an electric vehicle weighs around 20 - 30% more than its non-electric equivalent. This extra weight puts a constant strain on the tyres. With all that extra pressure, you need extra-durable tyres.
Common problems with electric car tyres
As we’ve already mentioned, electric cars are heavy, so the tyres are under greater pressure when they take that extra strain. That heavier weight means longer braking distances, so it’s important to have tyres that will help to counteract that and keep you safe, particularly if the road is wet or icy. Electric car tyres need to have extra grip. The instant acceleration of the electric vehicle is excellent, but it also has an adverse effect on the tyres by placing them under even more strain.
How to take care of electric car tyres
Looking after your tyres, and keeping a close eye on them for signs of damage will save you money in the long run and will ensure your tyres are safe.
Choosing the right tyres for your particular model and size of vehicle is important so do your research or ask a supplier that you trust. With electric cars, there’s a tendency for the inside edge of the tyres to wear down faster, so keep an eye on that and make sure your wheels are properly aligned. Good alignment should increase the lifespan of your tyres, so checking them regularly is a good habit to get into. Keep an eye on your tyre pressures too, as all that extra weight can cause the pressure to decrease more rapidly than you may be used to with a non-electric vehicle.
Adapting your driving style can really make a difference to how long your tyres last. With instant torque in an electric vehicle, it’s easy to accelerate fast and it can be tempting to do so, but that abrupt acceleration can cause havoc with your tyres, wearing them down prematurely. A slow and steady rate of acceleration, as well as limiting hard cornering will all help to preserve your tyres.
With so much extra weight on electric car tyres, there’s a great deal of extra pressure on them and so they’re more likely to have a puncture. Check your tyres regularly and if you spot anything such as a small piece of gravel stuck in the tread, remove it now and you could be saving yourself from a puncture later.
A key benefit to Original Equipment (OE) tyres - they are purpose built for your vehicle and will be better at maintaining tyre pressure. It's vital to accurately inflate your tyres to the correct pressure, not over or above, to ensure efficient driving and safe breaking distances. With your tyres consistently at the right pressure, you drive more efficiently, and so you’ll get more miles from that battery. Which brings us nicely to our last point.
If you choose a tyre designed for electric vehicles you will also find the rolling resistance of the tyre is much less than a generic or budget tyre. The tyre will use less energy to rotate, meaning less watt hours per mile (Wh/mi), saving battery for mileage.
If in doubt get in touch...
If you're in doubt, please get in touch. Several members of our team have already switched to electric vehicles and love nothing more than to chat about them...