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