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Ankit Pandey, PCT Product Manager, Europe at Apollo Vredestein
With just over seven years until the ban of new petrol and diesel vehicle sales, manufacturers are adapting quickly to cater for a new era of electrification, investing heavily in R&D to roll out new electric vehicles (EV) for the European market. With this shift comes the increased requirement of specific tyres designed for the unique features of an EV, to ensure safety and performance in a wide range of conditions.
Many EVs on the market today have a much higher acceleration due to instant power from the electric motor. The vast majority of mainstream EVs, which make no claim to being high-performance, can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under six seconds – half of what might be typical for an equivalent model with an internal combustion engine. Tyres used on an EV must deal with the deployment of higher torque, as well as the potential for high-speed cornering.
In addition, EVs are typically much heavier than conventional alternatives due to the large battery. For example, a petrol Volkswagen Golf weighs approximately 1,200kg, compared to 1,813kg for a the similarly sized Volkswagen ID3.
The company has implemented a major research and development programme for a brand-new, all-season EV-specific Vredestein tyre—the Quatrac Pro EV—which will be launched later this year. As a European leader in the all-season market with its Vredestein premium product brand, Apollo Tyres is innovating with new compounds and constructions to ensure its EV customers can experience superior levels of safety, efficiency, and performance.
"Tyres used on an EV must deal with the deployment of higher torque, high-speed cornering as well as higher load dues to the large battery."
The new EV tyre has been benchmarked against the current range of award-winning Vredestein all-season tyres. Apollo Tyres’ computer simulations and real-world test programme confirms that the new EV tyre delivers superior levels of grip, facilitates increased driving range thanks to its lower rolling resistance and lighter construction, has a lower environmental impact, produces less noise, delivers a quieter and more comfortable ride, and reduces braking distances.
Extensive experience in creating award-winning performance-centric tyres has also helped in this R&D programme. Prior to the arrival of its first EV tyre, the Vredesteinhigh-performance tyre range includes the UltracVorti+ and Vorti R+ for summer, the Quatrac Pro for all-season, and the Wintrac Pro for winter.
All tyre sizes across the existing UltracVorti+ and UltracVorti R+ range are rated ‘Y’, which indicates suitability for travelling at more than 300 km per hour. Many of the performance oriented Vredestein tyres engineered for adverse weather conditions, such as the Quatrac Pro and Wintrac Pro, are also Y rated.
Among the ‘firsts’ for the Quatrac Pro EV are an optimised blend of fourth-generation polymers and ‘smart’ silica in the tread, which maximise wet-surface grip while also delivering low levels of rolling resistance. To reduce energy consumption in use, the construction of the tyre is significantly lighter, thanks to its thinner sidewalls, lower apex and lighter belt material.
The new Vredestein EV tyre will be the first dedicated all-season EV tyre on the market. The premium tyre brand has been at the forefront of the all-season market since its inception in the early 1990s, and Apollo Tyres is drawing upon its knowledge of all-season, winter and summer tyres to produce award-winning products that retain year-round performance versatility whatever the conditions.