Exploring the Future of Electric Vehicles: What it Means for Tyre Wear and Tear

Exploring the Future of Electric Vehicles: What it Means for Tyre Wear and Tear

With petrol prices and environmental concerns on the rise, more and more Kiwis are making the move to driving electric vehicles (EVs) or hybrids. If you’re contemplating the pros and cons of going electric, something you may not have considered is what an EV might mean for your choice of tyres and their ongoing wear and tear.

The Impact of Electric Vehicles on Tyres in New Zealand

Some of the characteristics inherent to EVs can significantly impact tyres, including their torque delivery mechanisms and weight distribution. Unlike traditional engine vehicles, EVs deliver instant torque from electric motors, translating to rapid acceleration and deceleration. While this performance can enhance the driving experience, it also places heightened stress on tyres, potentially leading to accelerated wear patterns. Add to this, the concentrated weight distribution of EVs is often attributed to heavy battery packs positioned along the vehicle’s chassis. The extra weight can worsen tyre loading imbalances, contributing to uneven tread wear and reduced durability, particularly on New Zealand’s varied road surfaces.
Navigating New Zealand’s diverse climate can impact tyre performance, particularly in electric vehicles. In colder regions, such as the alpine areas of the South Island, low temperatures can contribute to rubber hardening, diminishing traction and accelerating tyre degradation. Meanwhile, in warmer climates, prolonged exposure to UV radiation weakens tyre integrity, leading to premature cracking and deterioration. Our country’s rugged terrain and unpredictable weather patterns demand tyres capable of withstanding all kinds of conditions, from wet conditions to icy mountain passes to unpaved country roads and more.

Tyre Manufacturing for New Zealand Conditions

With these challenges in mind, tyre manufacturers have the opportunity to innovate and develop solutions that address the unique demands of New Zealand’s EV owners. Customised compounds and tread designs optimised for enhanced grip, durability, and efficiency across varied driving conditions can go some way towards mitigating the impact of torque delivery and weight distribution on tyre wear. Moreover, New Zealanders’ growing eco-consciousness and awareness of the need for sustainability presents a demand for the development of eco-friendly tyre options. Solutions such as low rolling resistance tyres not only optimise fuel efficiency and extend battery range but also help reduce carbon emissions, aligning with New Zealand’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The intersection of EV technology and tyre performance underscores the need for ongoing innovation and adaptation to meet the evolving needs and demands of drivers in New Zealand.

Eco-Friendly Tyre Solutions for Kiwi EV Owners

Along with the desire for a more environmentally friendly mode of transport, when deciding to buy an electric vehicle, it’s also good to know there are eco-friendly tyre options tailored for EVs. Low rolling resistance tyres offer the dual benefits of maximising EV range while reducing the environmental footprint on New Zealand’s roads. Low rolling resistance tyres are engineered with specialised tread compounds and designs that minimise friction between the tyre and the road surface, requiring less energy to propel the vehicle forward. This reduced rolling resistance translates into improved fuel efficiency and extended battery range for hybrids and EVs.
One of the best things we can do to be kind to the planet is to minimise waste. This translates to tyres buying a quality product that is built for purpose and, therefore, less likely to need frequent replacing. More load on tyres increases friction and causes them to wear down faster. The best tyre for your EV will have a stronger construction and more robust rubber components to see you and your tyres go the distance.

Maintenance Tips for Kiwi EV Owners

Regular tyre maintenance is always a good idea, especially for Kiwi EV drivers. With the demands of New Zealand’s roads and climate, it is important to stick to a comprehensive maintenance regimen tailored specifically for EVs. This includes regular tyre rotations to promote even tread wear and extend tyre lifespan, particularly crucial given the additional weight load of an EV. Schedule your tyre rotation based on manufacturer recommendations, typically every 6,000 to 8,000 kilometres or as advised by a qualified technician familiar with local conditions.
Maintaining proper tyre inflation levels is crucial for maximising fuel efficiency, enhancing vehicle handling and prolonging tyre lifespan. Given New Zealand’s fluctuating temperatures and diverse terrains, tyre pressure should be checked regularly, ideally every month or before embarking on a long drive. Making sure your tyres are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure levels (specified in the vehicle’s manual or on the sidewall of the tyre) helps prevent underinflation, which can lead to increased rolling resistance and premature wear, particularly on hilly or uneven roads. Carrying out regular visual inspections for signs of wear, damage, or uneven tread wear can identify potential issues early. Address any issues promptly to preserve your tyres’ integrity and safety.

Looking Ahead: Future Trends in EV Tyre Technology for the New Zealand Market

As electric vehicles become increasingly popular in New Zealand, tyre manufacturers are likely to focus on innovations tailored to our weather and road conditions. These tyres would need to focus on enhanced traction and durability to withstand the demands of both urban commuting and off-road adventures, ensuring optimal performance and safety in all driving conditions.
EV tyre technology should also address New Zealand’s variable weather, including heavy rain, snow, and high UV exposure. Future tyres might incorporate innovative tread patterns and compounds optimised for wet and slippery surfaces, providing drivers with improved handling and braking capabilities. Developments in tyre materials and construction techniques could enhance fuel efficiency and extend the range of electric vehicles, aligning with New Zealand’s commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation. Overall, the future of EV tyre technology in New Zealand holds possibilities for safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly driving.

As technology advances, and more of us experience driving and owning an electric vehicle, it’s evident that their unique characteristics impact tyre durability and performance, and therefore choice of tyre. Factors like weight distribution and torque delivery can impact tyre wear and tear, especially on New Zealand’s diverse roads and climates.
Staying up to date about advancements in EV tyre technology and consulting with a local tyre expert, like Drury Tires, can ensure optimal performance and longevity of your tyres. If you want a hand in selecting the best EV tyres for vehicle efficiency, safety and environmental sustainability, talk to Drury Tires today.