New Study Says Tires Impact EV Range
Tire TLC: Get the scoop on tire maintenance
ExxonMobil, Geely Research Institute, and Shanglong Linglong Tire Co. collaborated on the Chinese study, as Green Car Reports’ Bengt Halvorson shares. One of the key findings was that tire pressure fluctuations impact the vehicle’s rolling resistance. This, in turn, can trigger a 4 percent increase in energy use. That might not seem like much energy lost, however, on an annual basis, that’s equivalent to charging your EV one more time each year.
The study also indicated that a tire’s ability to maintain air pressure is another factor that impacts EV fuel economy. Per Halvorson, researchers gave “poor” ratings to 48 percent of the tires they tested, in terms of air retention.
The study’s findings indicate that the industry needs to turn its attention to tweaking tire technology, to maximize EV range and efficiency. Researchers found that improved tire design could boost EV range by as much as 3-7 percent.
Some potential solutions
Some manufacturers are already brainstorming ways to tweak tire technology, as Halvorson points out. For instance, GM recently partnered with Michelin to design new airless tires for the Chevy Bolt EV. And engineers at Sumitomo Rubber Industries have been experimenting with tires that restore energy to the vehicle when it’s in motion.
The study also suggested that the industry turn its attention to improving tires’ inner structure. Per SAE International, the researchers found that the inflation pressure loss rate improved by 33 percent, when the inner-liner composition changed from a 70/30 BIIR/NR composition to 100 BIIR. The IPLR improved by 10 percent when the researchers used thicker tires with a 0.8-millimeter inner liner instead of a 0.7-millimeter one.
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Whitney Russell is a current resident of Dayton, though her spirit can be found beach-bumming in Puerto Rico (the land of her half-Puerto Rican heritage). When not adventuring through the exciting world of car news, she can be found hiking with her husband and their two dogs, motorcycling, visiting nephews and nieces, discovering new memes, thrifting, decorating, crafting, woodburning, researching random things, and escaping into a great movie. See more articles by Whitney.