Today I’m back again to answer the question: Why do you need to equip your EV with tires that are designed specifically for EVs?
It’s one thing to simply explain the benefits of EV tires, but it’s another to truly experience them and why they’re so important to your ride. So, today we’re going to Los Angeles, California, to get that experience for ourselves, courtesy of a Tesla Model 3 spec’d with Sailun Tire’s ERange EV tire.
Now, if you aren’t familiar with Sailun Tire, you aren’t alone – they aren’t the most common tire manufacturer, especially here in the States, but given what we learned during this ride and drive, it seems that they have a great strategy to gain some ground. So, what you really need to know is, with the debut of the ERange EV tire, they really want to be a mover and shaker in the EV tire space. They make a variety of traditional PLT and TBR tires too, of course, but they think that they really have something special here to make them stand out in the EV tire space. They really want people to understand what the benefits are, and they want to be a really strong player in this space. So, they invited me and a few other journalists from the automotive media out to experience the ERange EV tire for ourselves.
Now, the streets of Los Angeles were the perfect place to test these tires – first of all, it was an opportunity to do some real-world driving, taking real-world routes that drivers on the west coast might be taking every day. This wasn’t a track with a controlled atmosphere, you know?
Also, there were a variety of roads to drive on – we took a lot of city roads as we drove through downtown Beverly Hills, but we also had a chance to take some of the winding, mountain roads as we checked out some of the multi-million-dollar homes of Hollywood’s elite, and then also State Routes 101 and 1, which, 1 runs along the California coastline and was just beautiful. That meant we got everything from bumper-to-bumper traffic to tight, winding turns and merging onto crowded highways.
So, as we rode on these ERange tires, especially through some of those hairpin turns in the Hollywood Hills, the first thing we noticed was the grip these tires had with the road – and we weren’t taking these turns lightly, either. We were pretty aggressive, you know, really putting our lives on the line for this stuff.
Now, of course, part of that feeling of being attached to the road came from just the weight of the vehicle, I mean the Model 3 is right around 4,000 pounds, whereas a comparable car like a BMW 320i weighs in at only around 3,300 pounds – but Sailun designed this tire with that in mind, so basically, the crisp handling and cornering comes in part from the tire’s increased load-bearing capacity. So, when we were making those tight turns at higher speeds, you just never heard the tires squeal at all.
In fact, you didn’t even get much road noise either, which is impressive, because the Model 3, being totally silent and, of course, without an internal combustion engine, just lets all that road noise coming from your tires into the cabin, but in this case, it didn’t really seem outside of the norm. That comes straight from what Sailun calls its “SilentTread” technology, combined with a variable pitch sequence in the tread.
Another thing about this tire that you don’t so much feel as you see – the company says that according to its third-party testing, thanks to the ERange EV tire’s low rolling resistance compound, EV drivers should get 7% more battery life per charge over other tire brands when equipped on an EV. On the Model 3 specifically, that’s about 22 more miles per charge, which is not an insignificant number when you think about the difference that can make when your range anxiety starts running high.
Now, Sailun Tire says that reduced rolling resistance, that road grip and even expectations of long-lasting tire life are all due to a proprietary rubber compound the company calls “EcoPoint3,” as well as the way that compound is made, which Sailun refers to as “liquid phase mixing.” Essentially the way this works is that, well, Sailun says its engineering team was able to figure out a way to more evenly distribute silica through the compound. That’s what Sailun says is giving this tire the edge in this category.
If you’re interested in this particular EV tire, the ERange EV tire should be available from a tire dealer near you starting in mid-November of this year, and they’re being manufactured in 32 sizes, from 15 inches all the way up to 22.
And, I’d be curious to know what your experience with EV tires is and what your thoughts are. Did you see a major difference there? Do you recommend them?