EV drivers warned that wrong tyres could ruin their range

Safety charity warns of risks of fitting wrong tyres to modern cars

Monday, 23rd August 2021, 8:42 am

Owners of electric cars have been urged to make sure they fit the right tyres for their car or risk everything from loss of range to tyre failure.

Safety charity Tyresafe has warned that due to the different specifications and performance of EVs it is important that drivers ensure they chose the right rubber when it’s time to replace their car’s tyres.

As well as a loss of range and the potential for failure, the group says that fitting the wrong tyres can affect a car’s refinement and lead to accelerated wear that will hit owners in the pocket.

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Everything from weight and speed rating to rolling resistance affects a tyre’s suitability for use on EV

According to the charity, modern tyres are increasingly developed for specific uses, including for EVs, which tend to be heavier than equivalent petrol or diesel models and deliver their power differently.

EVs owners need to make sure any replacement tyre has the correct weight and speed rating for their models or risk additional wear and potential damage to the tyre which could, in extreme circumstances, result in a tyre failure.

The instant availability of an electric motor’s torque also means tyres need to be developed with specific structures and compounds to cope with this without wearing out too quickly, meaning it’s important to choose a tyre designed for use on EVs.

A tyre’s rolling resistance also plays a large part in the development and choice for an EV. To help maximise the car’s range tyres need to have the least rolling resistance possible while still offering a suitable level of grip for handling and braking and manufacturers take these requirements into consideration when selecting the original tyres.

Tyres with the wrong rolling resistance will damage an EV’s maximum range, leaving owners with higher bills for charging.

Stuart Jackson, chair of TyreSafe, said: “Tyres are an extremely sophisticated piece of technology, which we all too commonly take for granted. However, drivers of electric vehicles must be aware of how different they could be to those on other cars, and when it’s time to replace the original tyres, owners need to ensure they are buying the right specification. Choosing a like-for-like tyre will allow EV owners to enjoy the full benefit of the electric car revolution and reduce the risks of an incident.”

The charity also warned that choosing the wrong tyre could affect the comfort of the car, with the wrong specification leading to increased noise from the road and tyre - all the more noticeable due to the quiet operation of an EV’s motor.