The Michelin Uptis airless wheel technology could make the tires ultra-reliable and potentially applicable to electric cars
As you can see in the video, the prototype Uptis tires are tested on the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which hints that EVs could be among the first cars to get such type of tires. In general, electric cars are heavier than ICE cars, which translates to higher requirements/quicker wear of tires and encourages a search for alternatives.
GM says that the first production passenger car with airless wheels could hit the market as early as 2024.
"GM intends to develop this airless wheel assembly with Michelin and aims to introduce it on passenger vehicles as early as 2024."
"Airless technology makes the Uptis Prototype eliminate flats and blowouts. This means Uptis offers significant potential for reducing the use of raw materials and waste, contributing to GM’s vision for a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion as it:
- Reduces the number of punctured or damaged tires that are scrapped before reaching the end of their life cycle.
- Reduces the use of raw materials, energy for production and emissions linked to the manufacture of spare tires and replacement tires that are no longer required.
- Lasts longer by eliminating irregular wear and tear caused by over- or under-inflation.
- Reduces dangers related to flats and blowouts.
More information on the MICHELIN Uptis Prototype can be found here."
Steve Kiefer, senior vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, General Motors said:
“General Motors is excited about the possibilities that Uptis presents, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Michelin on this breakthrough technology. Uptis is an ideal fit for propelling the automotive industry into the future and a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners.”