Electric vehicles ask a lot of their tires—here’s why

Pirelli recently introduced a high load (HL) version of its P Zero performance tire, designed to cope with the greater mass of an electric vehicle.

Enlarge / Pirelli recently introduced a high load (HL) version of its P Zero performance tire, designed to cope with the greater mass of an electric vehicle. (credit: Pirelli)

In the past, we’ve looked at the technology that goes into winter tires—and even what makes a good racing tire. But considering that the majority of our auto coverage at Ars focuses on electric vehicles, it’s time to dig into the specialized tires those EVs have to wear.

“We like to design [the tire] as the car is being designed,” explained Ian Coke, director of quality at Pirelli. That means getting started with the OEM several years before the car is due on sale, when it’s still just a concept being developed. “Or if you’re Tesla, six weeks, because they work in a different way,” he laughed.

“We’re getting to know [Tesla] very well now,” he said, as the Italian tire company develops rubber for the automaker.

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