Electric trucks may not re-invent the wheel but it’s definitely going to change for the better.
There is only so much you can change in a tire, but for the most part, they will always remain round and in most cases black. But due to the changes in battery-electric drivetrains as well as heavy batteries, tires will need to be adapted for electric trucks.
BEV drive tires will need to provide good traction, low rolling resistance and long-distance travel before removal. They will also need to withstand high torque loads, whereas the steer tires, will need to be able to handle higher vertical loads than normal tires.
Torque loads will increase in electric motors due to the higher output as well as the impact of regenerative braking and its additional torsional forces on tires, in the opposite direction. This will affect tire wear and sidewalls and even more, wear and tear will occur in high stop and go driving situations.
Minimize wear, improve performance
“While rolling resistance is a factor for diesel-powered vehicles for fuel efficiency, for electric trucks it relates to the range of miles the vehicle can travel before it needs to be recharged,” notes Michelin field engineer, Mike Steiner. “Rolling resistance may take on an even higher level of importance in order to meet the range needs of the fleets operating the electric trucks.”
The search for lower rolling resistance could lead us into strange new lands of technology. Continental has been experimenting with a new “tall and narrow’ tire to reduce rolling resistance. The hand-built prototype 205/65R22 tire has been successful in improving rolling resistance, but the size and shape still need to be adopted and approved by truck manufacturers before they can start production.
Repositioning and retreading
Battery-electric-vehicle tires are still new to the market and need a lot of research done still, so you don’t need to worry about repositioning your tires to trailer positions or even retreading your tires. Both repositioning and retreading will be key elements for manufacturers when designing new BEV tires while keeping the traditional tire size the same.
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