EVs Are Changing the Automotive World in Many Ways, Even Tires
Despite the current small footprint (roughly 1% of the carpark), Battery Electric Vehicles (known simply as EVs) are profoundly impacting the automotive world in several ways. Dealers are being asked to upfit to handle supercharging and collision repairers are investing in training on safely disconnecting the ultra-high voltage batteries and addressing damaged batteries.
One area that hasn’t received a lot of focus is the type of tires that will be needed for these vehicles.
You may think, ‘what’s so special about an EV tire?’ Let’s look at two examples of EVs: the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT and the Tesla Model S Plaid. In the Mach-E GT, the twin electric motors will generate more torque than a diesel-powered Ford F-150 and can launch the 4,500-pound vehicle to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. Tesla’s Model S Plaid can reach a top speed of 200 mph and hit 60 mph in less than 2 seconds!
With both vehicles delivering this kind of torque — numbers usually associated with high-output diesel-powered trucks — tires created specifically for electric vehicles (EVs) are required. These newly developed tires with a specific rubber compound and reinforced sidewalls won’t be cheap. They will be developed by specific companies with exacting engineering for the vehicles they were created for.
Let’s fast forward: the EVs mentioned are now on their second or third owner. In need of tires, the owner may seek out a conventional tire at an independent tire store. If not fully aware of the implications, the replacement tires might not be engineered to ensure safe performance. This could result in a catastrophic tire failure and cause a serious accident.
The takeaway? The transformative effect of EVs will extend all the way to where the rubber meets the road. Safe and proper repair, especially when it comes to EVs will now include tires.
Greg Horn is PartsTrader’s
Chief Innovation Officer.