Pirelli has announced its very first high load (HL) index tire, a new type of rubber dedicated primarily to electric or hybrid cars and SUVs.

The Italian tire manufacturer says that this type of tire is perfect for heavier vehicles equipped with batteries and it’s designed to provide both low rolling resistance and a “high level of driving comfort.” Featuring the HL (high load) marking on the sidewall, the new tire is able to support 20% more weight compared to a standard tire and 6-9% more weight than an extra load XL tire of the same size.

The first vehicle to be factory equipped with Pirelli’s new HL tire is the Lucid Air. The Pirelli P Zero rubber for the American luxury EV will be available in sizes HL 245/35R21 99 Y XL on the front axle and HL 265/ 35R21 103 Y XL on the rear axle.

These tires have been specifically designed for the new luxury electric sedan that will enter production and go on sale later this year in the United States. Pirelli has worked closely with Lucid Motors to develop the P Zero HL tires for the Air “to fully meet the required performance standards.” As a way of identifying the specific design, the tires fitted to the Lucid Air will be marked “LM1” on the sidewalls.

“The search for cutting-edge technical solutions has always been at the very heart of Pirelli's business. The attention we devote to all new forms of sustainable mobility now leads us to technology that is capable of anticipating the future demands of car manufacturers for their new electric and hybrid vehicles, which increasingly require specialised performance from tyres.”

Pierangelo Misani, Pirelli's Senior Vice President of R&D and Cyber

These bespoke P Zero tires will also benefit from Pirelli Elect and PNCS technologies. The former offers low rolling resistance to increase range, reduced rolling noise to maximize comfort, and a structure capable of supporting the weight of the battery pack. In addition, the compound is engineered for grip to respond to the instant torque demands of the electric transmission.

As for PNCS, it consists of a special sound-absorbing material placed within the tyre to help deaden air vibrations that would otherwise be transmitted to the inside of the vehicle. It sounds promising and fitting of the name Lucid has chosen to give its first production model.  

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