As the conventional powertrain is being replaced by batteries and motors that make significantly less noise compared to an internal combustion engine, the torque output is also much higher and instantaneous, calling for more robust tyres that are able to handle this differentiated driving characteristic of EVs.
- EV-specific tyres to have reduced noise and improved rolling resistance
- Bridgestone already sells EV-specific tyres in Europe, Japan and US
Requirements of EV-specific tyres
According to Parag Satpute, MD, Bridgestone India, “Significantly higher torque output in EVs is driving the need for better wear resistance in tyres, especially in passenger vehicles.”
Speaking to Autocar India, he further mentioned that not just durability and low rolling resistance coefficient (RRC), but low noise is also one of the key criteria for EV tyres as engine noise is completely eliminated from a battery-electric vehicle system. “Therefore, what technology we deploy to reduce this noise will play a huge role in tyre selection by OEMs in the coming future. We are closely working on all these parameters to bring a tyre that is ideally suited to the Indian market,” Satpute said.
While Bridgestone has already introduced such EV-specific tyres in markets like Europe, Japan and the US, Satpute said, “We are well on our way to launch these tyres in India as well.”
The company, which recently launched its new Sturdo range of passenger vehicle tyres in India in the 14-17-inch tyre size category, continues to witness bulk of the demand in the mass-market 14-15-inch-diameter size categories, even as sales of SUVs and luxury cars that come equipped with larger tyres is on the rise.
With its two plants – Pune and Indore – Bridgestone India says as much as 95 percent of its product portfolio in the market is locally produced in India, and it manufactures tyres up to 19-inch-diameter sizes at its domestic facilities in the country. The company claims its localisation levels were always high even before the government put a blanket ban on tyre imports in India in June 2020.
“Soon, we will also be able to manufacture up to 20-inch diameter tyre sizes in the country and while we are still allowed to import some of the high-end tyres – including run-flat tyres that are fitted on luxury cars – from our manufacturing bases overseas, we are localising at a record pace in India,” Satpute remarked.