Goodyear Develops New Tire Technology Designed to Advance the Performance of EVs
In its 120 year history, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co has produced automotive tires for the wooden-spoked wheels on the Ford Model T, all the way to tires for today's high-performance sports cars. Now, the company has developed a new tire designed specifically for electric vehicles.
This week at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, the company is offered a sneak peek of its new, EfficientGrip Performance with Electric Drive Technology, a prototype tire for the growing electric vehicle market.
Goodyear testing reveals that traditional tires can wear out up to 30% faster on electric vehicles due to the powerful, instant torque produced by electric motors and the additional vehicle weight from the heavy battery packs.
"The combination of increasing regulations to reduce emissions, the desire to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and rapid gains in battery technology is creating an ideal environment for electric vehicles," said Chris Delaney, President of Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa. "We are working with automakers to introduce our Electric Drive Technology next year designed to address the unique performance requirements of this growing vehicle segment."
In addition to tire durability requirements, automakers are pushing for enhanced rolling resistance on electric vehicles to increase range. Increasing range is a high priority for consumers due to an underdeveloped EV charging infrastructure in most countries. Quiet and comfort from tires is another consideration as well.
Without a internal combustion engine, electric vehicles generate as little as half the amount of noise as traditional vehicles and excessive noise produced by tires is easily noticeable, which can be a distraction to vehicle occupants.
To address these challenges, the EfficientGrip Performance prototype with Electric Drive Technology offers several performance solutions.
The tread's thinner sipes (small channels) allow for a larger rubber contact patch on the road surface than traditional radial grooves. With more rubber on the road, the tire can better cope with high levels of torque while maintaining high performance in wet conditions. Another unique feature is that the tread design also prevents sound waves from entering its grooves, reducing interior and exterior tire noise.
In addition, The tire cavity shape has been optimized to support higher-loads from the weight of heavy EV batteries while maintaining an optimal tread footprint for high performance.
The material properties of the tread compound have been tuned for ultra-low rolling resistance to extend the vehicle range while coping with the higher levels of instant torque produced by electric motors. In addition, the sidewall has been designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and the profile yields less rotating mass, resulting in reduced energy consumption.
"As a company with a 120-year heritage of delivering innovative products that help change the world of transport, the EfficientGrip Performance prototype with Electric Drive Technology is proof that Goodyear continues to lead on this path of future mobility," Delaney said.
Goodyear says that its new tire will be on the road by 2019 in Europe.
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