Choosing the Right Tires for Your Electric Vehicle (EV)
Electric vehicles (EVs) are everywhere nowadays. These cars, trucks, SUVs, and CUVs don’t have a traditional gas-powered engine. They don’t even have a transmission. Instead, they run on batteries, which results in less noise, no emissions, drastically reduced daily maintenance, as well as lower running costs. However, these vehicles still need tires. Here’s what you need to know about tires for electric vehicles, why it’s important to choose the right tires, and how to meet or exceed the original equipment (OE) specifications for your vehicle.
What is an "EV" Appropriate Tire?
Electric vehicles are heavy. All of those batteries add up to some serious weight. Some cars weigh as much as, if not more, than today’s full-size gas-powered trucks. That weight means owners need tires that carry a heavier load and withstand the increased braking distance.
EV appropriate tires, as well as some tires manufactured for larger SUVs and trucks, can give you that peace of mind. To know if a set of tires is right for your EV, look for the load index and other vital information about the tire on the sidewall. Higher load index tires are built tough to withstand heavier loads and instant torque, while gripping the road for optimal braking — all necessities for today’s EVs. Additionally, tires designed for heavier vehicles help minimize rolling resistance (the power needed to keep your tires rolling) to help maximize range. Finally, tires that meet or exceed your EV’s OE specifications are often designed to minimize road noise and help you enjoy a smooth, quiet ride.
What makes Tires for Electric Vehicles Different?
Tires appropriate for EVs offer a lower rolling resistance to help maximize your overall range. Additionally, tires that work with EVs should withstand the added weight of all those batteries with a higher load index (the maximum safe carrying capacity of a tire when it’s fully inflated), and overall performance thanks to specialized tread and rubber compounds. This same tread, along with a tire foam insert (found in some tires) can also reduce road noise and improve ride comfort. Bottom line, tires that are ideal for electric vehicles are built for safety, speed, and battery economy.
Low rolling resistance tires lose less energy as they roll across the pavement. This reduction can improve fuel and range efficiency.
EVs are heavy. Get a set of tires with a higher load index to bear that added weight.
The range an EV can travel depends on a number of factors, including wind resistance, elevation climb, speed, as well as the rolling resistance of the tires.
Special tread, as well as foam inserts, can impact road noise, making for a quieter, more comfortable ride.
Narrower tires may help increase EV range, as can a thicker sidewall. Both of these tire designs are known to improve or lower rolling resistance.
Are EV Appropriate Tires More Expensive?
The short answer is, not necessarily. As long as your vehicle has standard-size wheels you won’t likely spend much more. However, tires for 19- or 20-inch wheels can cost more for both EV and gas-powered vehicles. See what size tires you need with the Les Schwab tire size calculator.
While the price of specialized tires may not differ much from others, the tires you choose could wear faster depending on the EV vehicle, where you drive, and how you drive. In other words, you may need to buy tires more often for safety and overall performance.
How to Choose Tires for Your EV
Before buying a set of tires for your EV, make a note of your wheel size, vehicle weight, and the performance features you want and need. Then stop by Les Schwab. Our pros can help you pick the right tires for your EV.
Things to consider as you choose a set of EV appropriate tires include:
Tire size and compatibility
The right size tires for your EV help support the weight of your vehicle as well as safety and performance needs.
Maximizing range and efficiency may require a focus on tread patterns and tire sizes.
Traction and Grip
Do you need tires for off-road adventures or just highway trips?
Noise and Comfort
How much do you appreciate quiet and comfort in your trips to the store?
Price and Value
The more features you find in a set of tires, the more they will cost overall. This can include mileage warranty, tread pattern, winter or all-season performance, and more.
Les Schwab Carries Tires for Your EV
You’ll find the tires you need for safety and performance at Les Schwab. That includes all-season tires, off-road options, winter tires, and tires appropriate for e-powered performance.