Volvo Cars announced that all of its pure electric models in Northern and Central Europe will be equipped with Recharge tires for use all year round as standard (instead of summer tires).
The company explains that the all-year-round tires are now good enough to handle mild winters in many markets. The plan is to simplify customers’ lives by avoiding the bi-annual hassle of tire changes. On top of that, there are some environmental advantages.
According to Volvo, its low rolling resistance Recharge tires (produced by an undisclosed manufacturer) are the first tires for year-round use to achieve A-class energy efficiency. They are up to 8% more efficient than winter tires (there is no info on what the difference is compared to summer tires though).
"Driving a pure electric Volvo XC40 on Recharge tyres can reduce energy consumption by up to 8 per cent and extend the average driving range, compared with driving on winter tyres*.
As more customers use just one set of tyres all year round, aluminium wheel production can be reduced, bringing an additional climate impact benefit."
It sounds like a move in the right direction as the universal tires are becoming really good these days. Surely, they will never beat the specialized tires, envisioned for a narrower range of temperatures/conditions, but they provide enough performance for an average driver.
Here is an important part:
"Volvo Cars safety experts have identified that it is less safe to use traditional summer or winter tyres when conditions are dry or wet with temperatures around zero degrees. In these conditions, the Recharge tyres are the safest option."
This is all about the balance between safety, performance and cost. To be perfectly safe even the summer/winter tires would not be enough, because four changes - summer/all year round/winter/all year round - would be even better.
Customers who think they really need summer/winter tires can always order a set as an option.
The change concerns Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden and Ukraine.