Goodyear recently showed off a brand new tire at the Geneva Motor Show, the likes of which we've never seen before. It's known as the EfficientGrip Performance with Electric Drive Technology. If that seems like a really long name for a tire, it's not without merit since it's designed for high-tech electric cars that churn out more torque than gasoline-powered cars. 

goodyear efficient grip with electric drive technology tire side view full

Because electric cars generate instant torque and have their center of gravity much lower than other vehicles due to the location of the heavy battery, electric cars wear their tires out at a faster rate. At this year’s 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Goodyear unveiled a prototype tire that’s dedicated to electric car usage. Goodyear's own testing shows that tires wear out 30% faster than on gas powered vehicles, a substantial figure that warrants special tire technology. 

“The combination of increasing regulations to reduce emissions, the desire to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and rapid gains in battery technology is creating an ideal environment for electric vehicles,” stated Chris Delaney, President of Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We are working with automakers to introduce our Electric Drive Technology next year designed to address the unique performance requirements of this growing vehicle segment.”

telsa model s burnout
The Tesla Model S P100D can shred its rubber with 792 lb-ft of electric-driven torque.

Another challenge presented is the need for better range, hence decreased rolling resistance. Range is vital now because of the lack of electric charging infrastructure, so electric cars need the ability to travel greater distances without charging. Tires also need to provide low noise and a comfortable ride, two challenges that contradict the use of harder materials, which would increase tire life. Goodyear certainly had its share of challenges. 

goodyear efficient grip with electric drive technology tire 34 view

The EfficientGrip Performance prototype with Electric Drive Technology met these challenges in the following ways (directly from Goodyear):

  • Extended Mileage from Innovative Tread Design: The tread’s thinner sipes (small channels) allow for a larger rubber contact patch on the road surface than traditional radial grooves. With more rubber on the road, the tire can better cope with high levels of torque while maintaining high performance in wet conditions. The tread design also prevents sound waves from entering its grooves, reducing interior and exterior tire noise.
  • High-Load-Carrying Construction: The tire cavity shape has been optimized to support the additional vehicle weight from batteries while maintaining an optimal tread footprint for high performance.
  • Extended Driving Range: The material properties of the tread compound have been tuned for ultra-low rolling resistance to extend the vehicle range while coping with high levels of torque. In addition, the sidewall has been designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and the profile yields less rotating mass, resulting in reduced energy consumption.
koenigsegg regera red rear 34 driving
The Koenigsegg Regera hybrid hypercar puts down 1,475 lb-ft of torque and could use the new tire.

Goodyear states that the tire will be on European roads in 2019, and we're guessing they'll also make it to the states with the increased prevalence of electric cars. It's smart move for the tire manufacturer and one that the likes of Pirelli, Continental, Michelin, Yokohoma, et al will surely jump on.