Hankook Tire America launched the company’s first tires specifically designed for electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. The iON evo AS and iON evo AS SUV are built with Hankook’s “EVolution” technology, which focuses on tread wear, noise reduction and unique grip performance for EVs, said the company.
Rob Williams, senior vice president of North America sales, said now is the right time to introduce Hankook EV tires to the US market because of the push from car manufacturers to exclusively produce EVs by 2030.
“The North American EV segment is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the automotive industry,” said Williams. In fact, according to the recent Hankook Tire Gauge Index, a survey of Americans’ driving habits, nearly half (46%) of Americans now plan to purchase or lease an EV within the next five years.
“We know that if they [consumers] experience the Hankook iON evo all-season product that it will catch on,” Williams said. “We’ve really identified every key category of what an EV vehicle needs on our iON evo tires.”
Hankook says the new tires are designed to meet the demands of EVs in all seasons, with noise-proof technology, even tread wear, enhanced mileage and increased grip and rigidity.
Williams said that though Hankook has released EV products in Europe, rigorous testing was done on the iON evo AS and iON evo AS SUV to ensure the tires are ready for American roadways. Hankook put the tires to the test at its new test track in South Korea, which Hankook has billed as Asia’s largest test track.
The new tires are built with Hankook’s “EVolution” technology, a compound composed of a high-concentration of silica and eco-friendly materials that are designed to evenly spread road pressure to extend tire life and provide healthier tire conditions. The tread pattern and belt were also enhanced to ensure the tires will not only wear better but also provide noise reduction.
“[Hankook has] a high degree of confidence in the way this tire was built,” Williams added. “It can perform not only from a mileage standpoint but also from the noise reduction that you get with an electric vehicle. Obviously, the torque and the takeoff, and the way the battery is positioned, require a tire with very low rolling resistance. The fact of the matter is when you own an electric vehicle, you want the tire and the vehicle to perform. That’s exactly what this tire is built for.”
To bear the extra EV weight, Hankook said iON evo AS and iON evo AS SUV are built with its EV Contour Technology to increase lateral and cornering rigidity, advancing grip performance, said the company.
Hankook’s EV tire technology is also being developed at the pinnacle of electric motorsport: the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, where the Hankook iON race tire makes its debut in race conditions in January 2023.
“A lot of the technology that went into building the tires for the Formula E tire are technologies we used in the iON evo tire as well,” Williams said. “That is part of the adaptation for us to sponsor the Formula E, as well as have Hankook’s iON EV tire rollout roughly at the same time.”
The Hankook iON evo AS SUV is available in 20 sizes ranging from 18 to 22 inches, while the iON evo AS is available in six sizes ranging from 18 to 21 inches. Both tires come with a 50,000-mileage warranty.
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