A single model of tyre can encompass many derivatives. We’re not just talking about size differences - as we’ve discussed before, bespoke OE versions of tyres can vary wildly compared to their off-the-shelf counterparts. And now, thanks to the rise of the electric vehicle, there are specific versions of existing boots built especially cars that eschew internal combustion.
As explained by Jon Benson in a new and typically insightful Tyre Reviews video, there are many reasons for this. As a kick-off, EVs tend to be much heavier than cars powered by internal combustion. Then we have to consider the instant torque delivery of electric motors, which puts additional strain on the boots. A lack of engine noise means tyre ‘roar’ is more noticeable, so steps need to be taken to reduce this, and finally, rolling resistance must be taken into account in a bid to eke out as much range as possible.
For the EV version of the Hankook Ventus S1 Evo 3 SUV tyre and other EV-specific hoops, these characteristics lead to myriad changes. For example, since the extra weight of the vehicle aids water displacement, the lateral grooves can be spaced further apart, yielding a reduction in tread noise. Also helping keep things quieter on the move is an acoustic foam lining inside the tyre. Finally, the overall construction is stiffer.
To see what these tweaks amount to IRL, Benson tested two sets of Evo 3s - one aftermarket and one EV-specific - on an Audi E-Tron. Using his own testing plus some additional data from Hankook, the conclusion was clear - yes, proper EV tyres are worth having.
We’d recommend watching the video through for the detailed results, but to sum up, the EV tyre is noticeably more quiet, increases the range, brings the car to a stop in a shorter distance, and improves the handling. So, when you need a new set of tyres for your electric car, it’s definitely worth going to the boots designed for the job.