Continental is searching for the best possible solution and time is a key factor as demand for suitable tires is growing fast.
The company is already offering optimized tires for EV buses, the Conti Urban HA3 315/60 R22.5, but as the segment expands, there is a constant need to improve.
Actually, the requirements for EV tires are greater than for combustion engine vehicles. Electric buses bring a specific set of requirements and challenges, on top of delivering the same mileage and meeting the same safety standards.
The vehicles are heavier, require low rolling resistance (to increase the precious range) and low noise (because the entire vehicle is quiet), while the high and instant torque might cause additional strain. On top of that, the regenerative braking might additionally affect tires on the drive axle.
According to Continental, the prototypes deliver impressive wet handling on the Contidrom proving grounds:
"Right now, the tires on the VDL vehicles at the Contidrom are still running on tires built by the Prototyping department in Hanover-Stöcken with hand-carved tread patterns. As a rule, the tire development cycle from initial prototype to volume production takes three to five years. For the e-bus tires the aim is to shorten that cycle."
Ben Hudson, Automotive Engineer at Continental Truck Tires said:
“When developing this concept tire, we’re not restricted by what has gone before in previous generations of tires. “hat gives us the freedom to try out entirely new concepts and ideas. If these prove successful, we’ll put them into practice very quickly and feed them into the development of the next line of tires.”