Bridgestone Reveals New EV Tire
Tires play a crucial role in the efficiency and overall performance of electric vehicles, and also vehicles in general. They are the only point of contact between the vehicle and the road, and hence, their design and quality have a significant impact on various aspects of driving.
One of the key factors is energy efficiency. Tires can directly affect the energy consumption of a vehicle. In the case of EVs, having low-rolling-resistance tires can help reduce energy consumption and extend the vehicle’s range. The rolling resistance is the force required to keep a tire moving at a constant speed on a flat surface. Lower rolling resistance means that the vehicle consumes less energy to maintain its speed, which is particularly important for maximizing the battery life of an EV.
In addition to energy efficiency, the design and quality of tires have a direct impact on the handling, acceleration, and braking performance of a vehicle. High-quality tires with appropriate tread patterns and materials can provide better grip and traction, ensuring a smoother and safer driving experience. This is especially important for electric vehicles, which often have instant torque and quicker acceleration compared to traditional combustion engine vehicles.
Safety is another area where tires play a critical role. They are essential for maintaining vehicle stability and control during different driving conditions, such as wet or slippery roads. Properly inflated and well-maintained tires can reduce the risk of accidents by providing better grip, shorter stopping distances, and improved handling. Moreover, modern tires often incorporate advanced technologies, such as run-flat features and tire pressure monitoring systems, which further enhance safety.
Tires can also influence the comfort and noise levels inside a vehicle. EVs are known for their quiet operation due to the absence of a combustion engine. However, road noise can still be an issue. High-quality tires with optimized tread patterns and materials can help absorb road vibrations and reduce noise, providing a more comfortable and quieter ride.
Lastly, using eco-friendly tires that are made from sustainable materials can help reduce the environmental impact of vehicles. Fuel-efficient tires can contribute to lower CO2 emissions in traditional vehicles and extend the range of electric vehicles, further minimizing their environmental footprint.
With all of these important factors in mind, it should be no surprise that major tire manufacturers are trying to optimize their offerings for EVs. And a recent announcement from Bridgestone shows us that progress is being made.
Several days ago, Bridgestone introduced its new Turanza EV grand touring tire to the world, marking the company’s inaugural replacement tire specifically crafted for premium electric vehicles and incorporating Bridgestone ENLITEN technology. The Bridgestone Turanza EV grand touring tire is now available at national tire retailers and has been deliberately engineered to accommodate the distinct vehicle dynamics of electric vehicles, offering exceptional tread life, reduced noise during rides, and providing reliable wet handling that enhances the electric vehicle experience.
Developed and produced in North America, the initial five sizes are compatible with Tesla Model 3, Model S, Model X, Model Y, and Ford Mustang Mach-E. An additional 13 sizes are scheduled for release in early 2024.
The next-generation tread compound is designed for enhanced wear life and all-season performance, including improved wet handling. New structural components contribute to balanced ride comfort, exceptional steering feel, and controlled noise levels. The tire’s efficiency is increased for both internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric vehicle (EV) platforms through the optimization of rolling resistance and wear. Additionally, the tire supports a greater use of renewable and recycled materials. These materials include recycled carbon black obtained from end-of-life tires, synthetic rubber derived from recycled plastic bags and bottles, renewable soybean oil, and rice husk silica extracted from rice husks, thereby repurposing a typically discarded byproduct of rice harvesting.
Bridgestone intends to expand and develop ENLITEN technology and design features for incorporation into its entire product range in the future. The Bridgestone Turanza EV introduces a new ENLITEN technology called PeakLife, which is a next-generation polymer technology designed to increase tread resistance to wear, thereby contributing to a longer tire lifespan.
The PeakLife polymer was developed by Bridgestone engineers and scientists at the company’s Americas Technology Center in Akron, Ohio. In less than two years, this polymer transitioned from the research and development phase to being integrated into the Turanza EV, emphasizing a significant enhancement in the tire’s wear capabilities. The innovative polymer forms a comprehensive network of unique bonds with reinforcing particles, enabling the tread on tires featuring PeakLife technology to last longer.
This helps reduce the demand for new tires and decreases the consumption of raw materials within the mobility ecosystem. Bridgestone’s PeakLife technology prioritizes improved wear resistance, which can contribute to extended tread life and is designed to offer lower levels of rolling resistance, thereby increasing vehicle fuel efficiency.
“With the accelerated progress toward an electrified vehicle fleet, we’re thrilled to launch a tire that is designed to help drivers get the best overall experience from their electric vehicles, including ride comfort, all-season driving performance and excellent wear life,” said Riccardo Cichi, President and Chief Sales Officer, Bridgestone Americas. “We are also excited to introduce ENLITEN, which marks a major pivot in how we approach tire technology and design to deliver both exceptional dynamic performance and increased use of renewable and recycled materials.”
The Bridgestone Turanza EV grand touring tire boasts several key engineering features. Firstly, it aims to preserve a lengthy mileage range per charge without compromising tread life or premium performance, facilitated by Bridgestone’s ENLITEN tire technology that results in low rolling resistance. Secondly, the new Bridgestone Turanza EV tire offers impressive sustainable longevity with a 50,000-mile limited warranty due to its next-generation tread compound containing the new PeakLife polymer technology. This innovation enhances tread wear, overcoming the load and torque challenges that have historically led to premature wear in electric vehicles.
Moreover, the Bridgestone Turanza EV tire incorporates QuietTrack technology in its tread design, reducing road noise and ensuring a quiet, comfortable ride. Lastly, the tire provides wet braking and handling comparable to selected leading original equipment (OE) touring tires. Drivers of electric vehicles equipped with Bridgestone Turanza EV tires can experience confident control on wet roads from a tire that also delivers excellent tread wear.
In line with Bridgestone’s sustainability goals, which involve utilizing 100% renewable and recycled materials by 2050, the Turanza EV tire contains 50% renewable and recycled materials. The tire is produced using synthetic rubber associated with recycled plastic, contributing to a reduction in used plastics entering landfills and the environment.
The new Turanza EV tire is manufactured at Bridgestone’s passenger car tire production facilities in Wilson, North Carolina, and Monterrey, Mexico. To accommodate the use of ENLITEN technology, significant new investments were made in these facilities, including the addition of new rubber mixing and tire construction tools and technologies.
But, this is all according to Bridgestone. To really see how this tire will perform, we’re going to need to see how it works for real EV drivers in the real world.
Featured image provided by Bridgestone.
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