Renault And Michelin Create (Maybe) The Perfect Electric Vehicle Tire

5 years ago by Inside EVs Staff 3

Over-Enthusiastic French Execs Get Over-Enthused About Tires

Customer Deliveries For The Renault Zoe Begin In January

The Renault Zoe, which is coming to market very shortly in Europe, has a much greater range than that of its distant cousin, the (current gen) Nissan LEAF.  Renault credits this “real world” driving range of up to 150 kms (93 miles) to three things :

  • a highly efficient regenerative braking system
  • a “clever” heat pump that minimises energy losses
  • the tires

It should be noted the Zoe has also been advertised with a homologated range of 210 kms (130 miles); a number that no one is likely to get in the real world.

At the forefront of the Zoe’s greater efficiency, Renault points to the tire.  Tires account for “as much as 30%” of the energy consumed by an electric power train, so manufacturing a tire to reduce energy consumption is paramount.

“Jointly developed by Michelin and Renault specifically for ZOE, the Energy E-V tyres are possibly the most energy efficient tyres in the world, combining a low rolling resistance for a longer range at the same time as maintaining high levels of safety, especially when it comes to wet weather grip. The Energy E-V tyre is the result of a four-year development programme and is based on more than two decades of research into energy saving techniques.”

Michelin's Vincent Rousset-Rouvière Gets His Picture In This Article Only Because Of His "Rockstar" Walk And Point PR Moment

New construction techniques, special compounds and a unique tread pattern mean grip in the wet or dry is exemplary, increasing road-holding and performance under braking and acceleration at the same time as reducing road noise.

We would also like to mention (and not noted by Renault) that the dimensions of the tire itself probably still play the largest factor in determining the range efficiency of the tire itself.    ie) when you opt for the larger/fatter tires on the Model S, you get this disclaimer from the company – “21-inch wheels with low-profile performance tires reduce battery range compared to 19-inch wheels with all season tires”

To find out more, watch Renault’s Customer Specifications EV Director Bernard Dumondel take a ride in a Renault Zoe while talking to Vincent Rousset-Rouvière from Michelin.

Tags: , , ,

3 responses to "Renault And Michelin Create (Maybe) The Perfect Electric Vehicle Tire"

  1. vdiv says:

    Can’t wait for these tires to be available in other sizes.

    Just a small note, a 93-mile range is not “a much greater range” than the 73-mile Leaf. A much greater range would be, say a 150-mile range, or a 300-mile range 🙂

    Small steps.

  2. James says:

    When researching LRR tires for my Prius I ended up with Bridgestone’s latest Ecopia
    tires as opposed to the first gen ones. They were sold out everywhere as I guess
    Priuschat.com and others flooded the interwebs with data that supported my purchase.

    In the end, my research of a few months ago resulted in Michelin Energy’s as a far
    superior choice than Goodyear’s Assurance LRR tires developed for Volt, as many
    testers got more miles per for the Michelins which were also by far the quietest tire
    which is crucial in EVs, EREVs and PHEVs. Problem is, the Michelins are pricey and
    the Bridgestones ( standard on LEAFs ) perform almost as well AER-wise with a
    nod to Michelin for quiet ride.

    Hopefully, the trend towards higher tech tires continues at a fast pace and LRR
    won’t mean “narrow, hard, tiny and funky” in the tire world any longer. Buyers
    have to prioritize their preferences and decide if a lower stance with better
    handling works better for them than all-out long distance AER and mileage.
    From my experience, the second gen Ecopias provide improved handling over
    the OEM Prius tires, with just a scosche better mileage. I use mild hypermiling
    techniques and found only a 2-4 mile improvement overall year-round in my
    old best mileage numbers – not bad, but could be better. Before, I tried a
    little overinflating and that’s not so great as I live in Washington State with
    all our rain, and max traction is a must here. Also, why overinflate to get more
    mileage or AER and then lose the savings because you wear your tires out
    faster? Just some food for thought.

    Common sense tells us a wider tire blocks more airflow and thus causes more
    drag and lowers mileage, esp. at highway speeds. When I bought my Prius
    in 2007, I bought the “Touring” editon with 16″ tires over the stock tiny
    go-cart 15″s you see all around in standard Prii. Yes, I was thinking asthetics
    over pure function and Consumer Reports estimated a Touring Prius with
    the larger tires would see a 3-5 mile decrease in mileage ( for one inch ht. and
    1/2 inch width increase! ). I wanted to compensate by lowering my car a tiny
    bit but that never happened. Instead I use driving techniques.

    One last comment: I wanted Goodyear tires on my Volt due to being an American
    company – yet I wanted THE BEST LRR TIRE AVAILABLE which turned out
    to be a Michelin. It’s just me and I don’t want to post a political rant, but I make
    it a point to NOT buy French products whenever possible due to my
    distaste for some of their government’s positions, especially their
    criticisms and accusations of American “war-mongering” when they themselves
    were in talks with Saddam prior to Gulf War II along with Russia and Germany
    to re-engineer and rebuild Saddam’s Iraqi oil infrastructure after
    sanctions were to be dropped. Of course, when the USA stepped in and
    deposed Saddam those deals went bye-bye and those countrys began
    an international campaign to call us brutal pigs and warriors! Indeed,
    all the fuss was ( of course ), about oil and oil monies. I also got tired
    of arguing with the French about this while sending them photos of
    war cemetaries filled with 1000s of American soldiers who climbed the cliffs
    of Normandy in the face of death to hand back ( for free ) their country
    to them from the Nazis. How soon a generation or two forgets
    to be grateful, and instead becomes bitter critics!

    OK, I ranted a bit – pls forgive me. 🙂

    America steppe

  3. I wrote up a detailed analysis on the effects of wheel & tyre choice on the Zoe range a while back:

    http://myrenaultzoe.com/index.php/zoe-description/wheels-tyres-and-range/

    Any comments or additional info appreciated.

    Trevor
    MyRenaultZoe.com