how your choice of tyres can affect an electric car’s range

The Lucid Air Dream Edition travels up to 520 miles (836km) on a charge, more than any electric vehicle on the market by a wide margin. If a buyer chooses the larger, 21-inch wheels, however, 39 of those miles (62km) vanish — a 7.5% range penalty.

To be fair, the bigger shoes do look cool, and they’ll still take you nonstop from New York to Cleveland. But when it comes to wheels and tires — where the rubber literally meets the road on electric vehicle range — there’s an escalating battle between physics and aesthetics.

More often than not, the latter is winning, as the people who buy EVs (and the people who make them) choose bigger, stickier, “spokier” options that prize looks and performance over efficiency.

“Everything is about range, so the slipperier you make it, that’s great,” says Richard Scheer, exterior design director at Chevrolet. “But even in the EV world, people will trade off range for cool wheels.”

how your choice of tyres can affect an electric car’s range

The physical recipe for an ultra-efficient tire is pretty simple: skinny (so it blocks less air), small circumference (so it takes less energy to turn), a compound that doesn’t stick overly much, and a hub cap that is mostly covered (to cut down on air turbulence inside the wheel).

But auto executives and engineers must layer in a dizzyingly complex series of compromises when outfitting a car in reality. For every bit of size and/or stickiness, the vehicle sacrifices mileage and efficiency.

That’s also true for gas-burning machines, but electric cars are typically far heavier than similar-sized internal-combustion cars, meaning their tires have to withstand more pressure and wear. They are also far quieter, so tire engineers agonize over noise — going so far as to pump acoustic foam into the rubber cavity.

“You get into a complicated balance,” said David Van Emburg, executive vice president of automotive original equipment global sales at Michelin.

In short, a tire built for range looks a lot like the one that comes standard on the Chevrolet Bolt — a Michelin Energy Saver on a 17-inch wheel with a swirly center of spokes — and nothing like the massive, knobby tires on the GMC Hummer EV that Scheer helped design.

“Those are just cool wheels,” he explains. “We’re showing that when you get to EV, you can still have fun products.”

how your choice of tyres can affect an electric car’s range

The North Star for tire efficiency is something called rolling resistance, which is exactly what it sounds like — a measure of how much the circle sticks to the ground (picture a bowling ball and a medicine ball racing across a gym floor).

An increase in tire size can actually lower resistance, as it spreads the weight of the car more widely and “squishes” less, but supersizing presents another, often greater problem: The increased mass requires more energy to get going.

The BMW i4 M50, for example, a souped-up version of the marque’s newest electric sedan, travels 271 miles (436km) on a full charge with its standard 19-inch performance tires. On high-performance 20-inch wheels, however, it makes only 227 miles (365km) — a 16% handicap.

Ford likewise concedes that its Mustang Mach-E would go slightly farther if it chose tires that didn’t corner as well, and its F-150 Lightning could stretch a few more miles on rubber less suited for off-road driving.

“Those big tread patterns squabble — they move around — and don’t return all the energy you give them,” says Chris Allard, chief engineer of Ford’s underbody systems engineering. “You’re making a conscious trade-off there.”

how your choice of tyres can affect an electric car’s range

For now at least, the no-compromise strategy is what car buyers want, particularly as the EV market transitions from early adopters to the mass market.

Across Lucid’s spectrum of models, customers generally opt for the bigger wheels, shortening their time between charges by up to 9%. Four out of five customers for Hyundai’s hot new Ioniq 5 opt for the larger wheel.

Similarly, 40% of folks sliding into Volkswagen’s ID4 choose the 20-inch rims over the 19. At Polestar, only about one-third of buyers opt for the standard 19-inch wheel with a summer tire; the rest check the box for a 20-inch wheel that sacrifices about 5% of the car’s range.

“It’s kind of a look,” says Polestar engineer Glenn Parker. “We’ve seen tires get bigger and bigger and bigger over the years. …And as a performance brand you can’t just say ‘What’s the most efficient tire we can put on the car?’”

how your choice of tyres can affect an electric car’s range

Tire longevity isn’t entirely out of drivers’ hands. Ford’s Allard says it’s important to pay attention to the tire monitoring gauge and keep tires filled to the right air pressure. “If you’re a cheap guy like me, you keep that screen up,” he says.

But Big Tire is also hustling to make larger, stickier tires stretch a little farther on the road. In the past 20 years, Michelin has managed to improve tire efficiency by 20% without sacrificing stickiness and performance, according to Emburg.

To get there, its engineers tinkered with tread patterns, the thickness and chemical composition of the rubber and the patterns of steel belts holding the whole package together.

“I’ve been in the game 34 years and we’re still looking at major steps in technology,” he says. “We’ll optimize every part of the tire for its mission.”

Car companies are iterating, too. At the moment, the hub of the Polestar 2 wheel looks a little bit like a four-leaf clover, but it has been reworked for next year’s model.

The new version has far less open space, with five triangles poking toward the center like pieces of aluminum pie. The result: an extra two or three miles of range, even on the 20-inch wheels.

Keyword: How your choice of tyres can affect an electric car’s range

CAR'S NEWS RELATED

Best cars for a 'Love Bug' remake

Tennessee’s Yard Art The Thorndyke Special The Hot Rod The Hippie Van Jim’s Lamborghini Growing up, it’s safe to say my absolute favorite movie was Disney’s “The Love Bug.” As a kid living in a world before Pixar’s “Cars,” it was pretty much the best car movie. I loved ...

View more: Best cars for a 'Love Bug' remake

Audi timing belt tensioner prompts Utah bomb squad visit

An aftermarket timing belt tensioner found in a Salt Lake City apartment prompted a visit from the bomb squad this week after it was mistaken for a potential explosive device. Police partially evacuated the apartment complex in which it was found “out of an abundance of caution” and called ...

View more: Audi timing belt tensioner prompts Utah bomb squad visit

2023 GMC Sierra HD 2500 and 3500 will get more expensive

GMC Sierra HD pickups are about to get more expensive again after recently becoming more expensive, according to GM Authority. In July, GMC and Buick raised the prices on certain vehicles in their lineups anywhere from $975 to $1,675 by making the previously optional OnStar a standard feature. Next ...

View more: 2023 GMC Sierra HD 2500 and 3500 will get more expensive

Our week with EVs: Recapping the diverse collection of electric cars we tested

Mercedes-Benz EQB First Drive Review: Next electric Benz is a little different 2022 Chevy Bolt EV Road Test Review: Time to play EV, gas or airplane 2023 Genesis GV60 Road Test Review: The third of Hyundai Group’s E-GMP EVs is the fastest, but softest It may be hard to ...

View more: Our week with EVs: Recapping the diverse collection of electric cars we tested

Europe car sales lowest since 1996 after 12-month decline

BERLIN – Europe registered the lowest number of new passenger cars in the month of June this year since 1996 at just over 1.06 million vehicles, with some carmakers seeing sales drop by nearly 50%, data from Europe’s automobile association showed on Friday. Volkswagen Group was the hardest-hit major ...

View more: Europe car sales lowest since 1996 after 12-month decline

More Than Just A Carmaker: Toyota Motor PH Launches Toyota Mobility Solutions

Automotive industry leader, Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMP) inaugurated today Toyota Mobility Solutions Philippines, Inc. (TMSPH), a wholly owned subsidiary that will be a provider of mobility-related services. TMSPH ventures into the development and offering of a range of ‘new mobility solutions’ that will enhance Toyota as a brand ...

View more: More Than Just A Carmaker: Toyota Motor PH Launches Toyota Mobility Solutions

'F1 22' feels fast and familiar | Gaming Roundup

‘F1 22’ impressions ‘Construction Simulator’ is launching Sept. 20 Autoblog may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change. This week in racing game news: ‘F1 22’ impressions At its core, “F1 22,” the latest installment in the F1 ...

View more: 'F1 22' feels fast and familiar | Gaming Roundup

Watch a single-engine plane crash-land on 91 Freeway in California

A single-engine Piper Cherokee airplane was forced to crash land on the 91 Freeway in California after losing power about 45 minutes outside of Los Angeles. Yes, that means this was a very busy highway, practically bursting at the seams with traffic. No, amazingly nobody died, either in the ...

View more: Watch a single-engine plane crash-land on 91 Freeway in California

Ford files 'Mustang Dark Horse' trademark application

Make adventures more comfortable with high-quality Jeep grab handles

New Lucid Air variant to debut & Stealth Look to be on display during Monetary Car Week

Chevy offers incentives to prevent Corvette Z06 flipping

Average U.S. gas price falls below $4/gallon

German court: SUV driver must pay more than a car for running red light

Australian vehicle crash tests to include underwater performance

Toyota C-HR rumored to get revamp next year and an EV version

Geely's electric Zeekr 009 is an EV Alphard we never had; 700 km, 542 PS, top speed 190 km/h

A Newey, Brawn and Anderson row that shows F1 doesn’t change

Sorry, EV buyers, you won't get to pick your own pedestrian safety sounds

There won't be enough copper to meet climate goals, study indicates

OTHER CAR NEWS

;
Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network TopCarNews France | Actualités et Salons Automobiles, Fiches Techniques, Photos et Magazine Auto TopCarNews Deutschland | News, Tests, Kaufberatung, Oldtimer, Motorrad & Wohnmobil