The automobile industry is moving very fast towards electric solutions. Some countries like India and Iran have banned the supply and sale of traditional vehicles and other countries will catch up soon in a decade or two. The paradigm shift is mainly because of the sustainability concerns.
While EVs are being sold in large amounts across the world, the trucking industry is still in the process of shifting towards electrification. Many newcomers are bringing new ideas for diesel-to-electric conversion. Many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have started developing electric trucks that will transport large amounts of loads.
While the cost and other factors may also play an important role, reducing carbon and other types of emissions for sustainability is the main reason why most companies have started pilot programs for electric trucks. Research and studies performed by Emissions Analytics, an emissions testing firm, show that emissions from a vehicle’s combustion engine are not as harmful to the environment as the particulate matter emissions from tyres and brakes.
As indicated by studies conducted by Emissions Analytics, particulate matter emissions from tyre and brake wear are 1000 times more harmful than carbon emissions from combustion engines. The rolling resistance of a truck accounts for one-third of its total energy consumption and this puts the tyres in the spotlight. Studies indicate the need for better inflated and responsive truck tyres that are not subjected to wear as easily as the tyres of traditional trucks.
How electrification impacts truck tyres?
Reducing wear and ultimately emissions, increasing load-bearing capabilities, reducing costs, and increasing efficiency are the different factors that drive the need for better tyres for trucks. EVs react to acceleration very quickly and translate it into instant torque which might feel exhilarating but it takes a toll on the tyres. This is why traditional tyres are consumed 30% faster on electric trucks than diesel trucks.
Truck manufacturers are experimenting with different tread patterns and tread thicknesses to increase rubber on tyres so that they can handle the torque well. Moreover, they are constantly trying out new and improved compounds for tyres that can lower the rolling resistance.
Noise is another problem that needs special consideration. Compared to traditional trucks, the motors of electric trucks produce very little or no sound which makes the noise from the tyres a problem. To ensure smooth and comfortable drives for truck drivers, tyre manufacturers are trying out different tread designs to minimize groove vibration. They are also adding foam to the tyre for noise reduction.
Once new and improved electric truck tyres make it to the market, maintenance and inventory costs will be decreased and sustainability and performance will be improved.