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

DEC 23 2012 BY STAFF 3

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.

Categories: General, Renault


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3 Comments on "Renault And Michelin Create (Maybe) The Perfect Electric Vehicle Tire"

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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.

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 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… Read more »

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

Any comments or additional info appreciated.