While battery technology is the main focus for increasing electric car range and performance, tyres also play an important role. Electric car tyres come in many different shapes, rubber compositions, and even colours battery life optimization. Read on to discover what the tyre of the future could look like, and how it has the capacity to extend electric car range.

The Current Generator.

In 2015, Goodyear introduced a concept tyre at the Geneva Autosalon. The theory goes like this:  the tyre supplies a small amount of current to the electric car battery while in motion by converting energy from the tyre’s own compression and the heat generated from road friction and transferring it to the battery via pads on the tyres. Goodyear chose an ultra black colour to absorb more of the sun’s energy too.


Right now the current-producing tyre is merely an interesting concept – it’s not clear how exactly it would work, or how much energy could be recovered.


Leaving future tyre innovations aside for now, there are still some things you can do to extend your electric car range right away. Follow these guidelines to go even further:

1. Check tyre pressure.

Regularly check the air pressure in your tyres. If they’re low on air your car will consume more energy. As a rule, it’s important to remember that the higher the air pressure, the lower the rolling resistance. Why is this important? Rolling resistance can account for up to 30 percent of energy consumption.


But beware: over-inflating your tyres isn’t a good idea either. This is because harder tyres means lower resistance, causing your car to have reduced road contact, compromising safety. This is why hard plastic tyres aren’t used for cars. Always ensure your tyres are inflated to the optimum levels, as recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. You’ll find this information in your car’s operating manual.


Tip: Check the air pressure of your Ampera-e via the integrated infotainment system or the MyOpel app.

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2. The proper tyres for the occasion.

Choose your tyres carefully. Roll-resistant optimized tyres are a good choice if you’re driving an electric car. Also, think carefully when selecting your winter tyres. The type you select is super-important, as you want to be safe in snow, ice and slippery conditions. In warmer temperatures, however, winter tyres consume an unnecessary amount of energy – and can account for up to 2.3-kilowatt hours per 100 kilometres. So when it’s warm outside, change your tyres – your battery will thank you.

Wanted: The Jack-of-All-Trades.

Tyres of tomorrow will have little in common with what’s on our cars today. They will need to roll smoothly, meet the highest safety standards, be winter- and weather proof, and save energy. Developing all-rounders like this is a tall order for tyre manufacturers, no doubt about it. But, one thing is clear: tyres will be a major player in helping electric cars be competitive with internal combustion engine vehicles. 
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The days when electric cars were just for short trips are over:


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