Why Electric Vehicles Need Special Electric Vehicle Tires

  • EVs are significantly heavier than internal combustion engine vehicles because of their battery packs. Battery packs add hundreds, or sometimes thousands, of extra pounds.
  • Electric motors can apply maximum torque instantly, while ICEs need time to accelerate.
  • EVs do not generate engine noise that masks road noise. This makes road noise reduction critical to passenger comfort.

The careful selection of tires is important because it can significantly affect vehicle performance. The market is full of tire selections — so much so that it can sometimes get confusing. If you’re unsure which tires are right for you, our tire specialists at Caliber Auto Care can help you choose the best electric vehicle tires.

Electric vehicle tires typically cost more than regular tires. It’s understandable why some owners might consider using regular tires instead. However, it’s essential to understand the necessity of EV tires.

Why Do Electric Vehicles Need Special Tires?

Simply put, the necessity behind special electric vehicle tires stems from the substantial additional weight of EV battery packs and the way electric motors apply torque.

Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Tires Must Carry Greater Weight
Electric Vehicle Tires Must Retain Greater Torque
Electric Vehicle Tires Should Minimize Road Noise

One of the main benefits of electric vehicles is that they do not have any engine noise. However, this makes road noise more noticeable, especially at high speeds. Road noise can impact passenger comfort. EV tires are specially designed to minimize road noise for passenger comfort.

Electric Vehicle Tires Must Have as Little Rolling Resistance as Possible

Rolling resistance refers to the force resisting the rolling motion of a body on a surface. EVs are heavier and therefore have greater rolling resistance. Electric vehicle tires need to have as little rolling resistance as possible to make it easier for the electric motors to move the vehicle. This also means the wheel size on electric vehicle tires can’t be too large; otherwise, it increases rolling resistance.

Considering these factors, it’s easy to see the necessity behind EV-specific tires. As with regular tires, EV tires are meant to achieve a careful balance that allows electric vehicles to operate with optimal efficiency.

How Do Electric Vehicle Tires Differ From Conventional Tires?

EV tires are made using special manufacturing processes and compounds to allow them to address the special characteristics of electric vehicles.

EV Tires Have Reinforced Sidewalls

The main difference between EVs vs. conventional cars is that they are significantly heavier — their battery packs can add up to 40% more weight than their ICE counterparts. Electric vehicle tires have thicker sidewalls and are made from tougher compounds such as nylon.

Not only do EV tires need to handle the added weight, but they must also withstand the extra inertia and momentum from braking and cornering associated with additional weight. For this purpose, EV tires also feature a double-ply construction made of robust polymers or silica.

EV Tires Have Specially-Designed Treads

Tires for electric cars have special tread patterns composed of interlocking grooves to provide enhanced traction and minimize hydroplaning (slipping on wet roads). These special tread patterns help withstand the EV’s instantaneous torque and efficiently translate torque into driving force.

EV Tires are Made From Special Shock-Absorbing Compounds

Electric car tires are designed to reduce road noise through a combination of special tread patterns, rubber compounds, and sound-absorbent foam.

Additionally, the combination of special tread patterns, rubber compounds, internal construction, and tire profiles can help achieve lower rolling resistance. It allows the EV to move efficiently, resulting in the instant acceleration EVs are known for.

Can I Use Regular Tires Instead of Electric Vehicle Tires?

It’s possible to use regular tires on your electric vehicle, but not recommended. You may end up spending more money in the long run, as regular tires will wear out faster and can pose safety issues when used on EVs. Regular tires are designed for lighter vehicles.

Using regular tires on an EV will almost always mean that your vehicle exceeds the maximum carrying capacity of the tires. This increases tire wear because:

  • Regular tires do not have reinforced sidewalls to support the weight of an EV. This increases tire pressure beyond acceptable parameters and even increases the risk of a blowout.
  • Regular tire treads are not optimized to handle instantaneous torque and may slip upon acceleration, causing unnecessary abrasions.
  • Regular tires have greater rolling resistance versus EV tires. Hence, it requires more driving force than an EV tire would to move the vehicle. The greater torque needed to compensate for rolling resistance also increases the rate of slippage. A higher rolling resistance also reduces motor efficiency (in how torque is applied to the road) and, by extension, vehicle range.
Scroll to Top