The Upcoming Lucid Air Sedan Will Ride on High-Tech Pirelli Tires Designed for EVs

The Upcoming Lucid Air Sedan Will Ride on High-Tech Pirelli Tires Designed for EVs

Author: Eric Walz   

The forthcoming Lucid Air sedan from luxury electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors will be one of the world's most advanced electric vehicles, right down to the tires its will ride on.

The Air sedan will come with a set of high-tech tires developed by Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli. The Pirelli P ZERO tires are made specifically for electric and hybrid vehicles, with extra load capacity to support the additional weight of the vehicle's battery pack and low rolling resistance that help increase range.

The tires for the Lucid Air have been jointly developed by Perilli and Lucid Motors to fully meet the required performance standards. To identify the specific design for Lucid Motors the tires will be marked "LM1" on the sidewalls.

The Lucid Air will be the very first car to use the new Pirelli HL tyres. The Pirelli P ZERO for this model will be available in two sizes, 245/35R21 99 Y XL for the front axle and HL 265/ 35R21 103 Y XL on the rear axle. 

"Lucid Air represents a technological breakthrough in terms of efficiency and performance. The new Pirelli HL tyres are integral to achieving such benchmarks," said Eric Bach, SVP of Product and Chief Engineer at Lucid Motors.


The Lucid Air sedan.

All passenger car tires sold are rated for traction, temperature, wear and load. These ratings are specified by the manufacturer and vary significantly from vehicle to vehicle. For example a Porsche sports car might require a high performance tire with a higher speed rating that the company's engineers chose to offer increased traction and handling in turns.

However electric vehicles can weigh more than twice that of a gas-powered model. The Tesla Model S weighs over 4,900 lbs, whereas a gas-powered sedan like the 2021 Toyota Camry weighs up to 3,572 lbs. So matching the correct load rating is important for safety. It's known as the "tire load index" and is typically represented by a numerical designation between 70 and 126. 

A load index of 70 can safely support 739 lbs, while a tire with a load index of 126 is designed to support 3,748 lbs. A common load index of 99 indicates that each tire can safely support 1,709 lbs. These are considered to be extra load (XL) tires and are designed for vehicles that can carry more weight. 

Pirelli's new EV and hybrid vehicle tire will features the HL (high load) marking on the sidewall as an indication of its ability to safely support 20% more weight compared to a standard tire and 6-9% more weight than an extra load XL tire of the same size.

SUVs and pickups designed to carry more weight typically come with XL tires. These tires have stiffer sidewalls than normal tires, which allows the tires to support the additional weight of heavier vehicles and payload.

"The search for cutting-edge technical solutions has always been at the very heart of Pirelli's business. The attention we devote to all new forms of sustainable mobility now leads us to technology that is capable of anticipating the future demands of car manufacturers for their new electric and hybrid vehicles, which increasingly require specialized performance from tires," said Pierangelo Misani, Pirelli's Senior Vice President of R&D and Cyber.

The P ZEROs tire for the Lucid Air will also include Pirelli Elect and Pirelli Noise Cancelling System (PNCS) technologies, which were also included on the Pirelli tires for the Porsche Taycan sedan. 

Pirelli Elect offers low rolling resistance to increase range, reduced rolling and noise to maximize comfort, while at the same time offering increased grip for the instant torque produced by an electric powertrain.

Electric vehicles with their nearly silent powertrains can also transfer noise from the tires to the cabin, so Pirelli added sound-deadening materials to the inside of the tire, which is what Tesla has done for its vehicles.

The PNCS noise reducing technology helps deaden air vibrations that would otherwise be transmitted to the inside of the vehicle. The benefits of this system can be felt both inside and outside the car, according to Pirelli. 

For an ultra- luxury electric car like the Lucid Air, increasing the comfort of passengers is important.

The first Lucid Air models will be delivered to reservation holders later this year.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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