What Are EV Tires, and Do I Need Them?

EVs (electric vehicles) are a relatively new automotive category. So if you just bought one, you likely have plenty of questions, including if you need special EV tires for your vehicle or if regular tires work just fine. EVs are very much like traditional vehicles in many ways. Still, one of the most significant ways they differ from conventional cars is that they require electric car tires if you want to get optimal performance from your ride.

Your new EV performs a bit differently than other vehicles you’ve driven. There’s usually a significant difference in the weight of an EV compared to a non-EV model. EVs also require higher amounts of torque on acceleration. Electric vehicle tires are specially designed to fulfill these specific requirements that a traditional tire cannot.

Luckily, the knowledgeable, well-trained pros at Caliber Auto Care are up-to-date on EV maintenance and can help you choose the right EV tires for your car. There is a broad range of tires for electric vehicles available on today’s market, each designed to manage the added torque requirements and weight of your EV while reducing your EV’s’ noise load and increasing its range.

What Are EV Tires?

EV tires are manufactured for the unique needs of electric or hybrid vehicles. These high-tech tires are designed to handle the extra weight of the EV’s battery and the added torque required by the EV itself for instant acceleration. EV tires are built using unique materials that make them durable enough to tolerate being used on an EV.

Are EV Tires Different Than Regular Tires?

Although they look a lot alike, EV tires differ from regular tires in several ways that make them capable of handling the special needs of electric vehicles. Primarily, EV tires:

  • Can handle the weight of your EV. The battery in your EV is the main reason it weighs more than a conventional vehicle. Your EV battery can easily weigh 1,000 pounds— yes, a half-ton — which is a significant amount of added weight for regular tires. The EV tire has enhanced support throughout its structure, allowing it to handle the weight.
  • Can handle the added torque required by your EV. Quick acceleration is a hallmark of EVs, but this enhanced ability to take off quickly requires extra torque compared to traditional vehicles. EV tires have extra traction by design to avoid slippage on acceleration. Usually, this means that the tire has a wider central rib design so that it doesn’t lose its grip despite various conditions in the weather.
  • May increase your EV’s range. EV tires and standard tires have different shapes. EV tires are usually narrower and taller than traditional tires. This reduces roll resistance, increasing the EV’s range, so you go longer distances without charging your EV.
  • Aren’t as noisy as conventional tires. Most tires for electric vehicles are made with a foam layer that absorbs sound. In a regular car, you don’t hear the sound your tires make because the engine noise blocks it out.
  • Are more durable than conventional tires. The aforementioned stress (added weight from the EV’s battery and the necessary increase in torque) on regular tires, when used on an EV, dramatically increases the wear and tear the tires endure. EV tires are made with materials that prevent premature breakdown and make them more durable, including high-load resin.

Are EV Tires Necessary?

Do you really need EV tires, or can you get by with standard tires for your EV? The short answer is that you do need EV tires for your EV. Because EV tires are designed with the added torque requirements and weight of electric vehicles in mind, they are made differently than regular tires. And although it’s possible to use regular tires on your EV, manufacturers (and smart mechanics) don’t suggest it. There’s no safety concern with using standard tires on your electric vehicle, but you will not get the same performance from your EV, and conventional tires will wear out more quickly. The non-EV tire, if used on an EV, will also slightly lose its shape, which can result in problems with handling. For these reasons, using regular tires on your EV is not practical.

Are EV Tires More Expensive Than Regular Tires?

Unfortunately, EV tires are more expensive than regular tires, partly because these tires are made for a market segment that’s not as large as the traditional car market. They also cost more than regular tires because of the unique materials needed to make them and the more complex construction required. However, the benefits EV tires provide for your EV negate the added expense. Simply put, these tires are worth the added cost because they’re engineered specifically for the EV's needs and help increase its performance.

Need EV Tires?

Caliber Auto Care is your local go-to source for tires of all types, including EV tires. Stop by Caliber today to discuss your tire needs and find the right tires for your electric vehicle.