Thanks to their eco-friendly nature and stylish aesthetics, electric cars are rapidly gaining popularity. However, despite the shiny finish and premium performance, it’s easy to overlook the basic maintenance needs of electric vehicles. And out of all the components you’ll need to care for, tyres make no exception.
What’s the difference when it comes to EV tyres?
In short, the batteries under the bonnet mean that electric cars are considerably heavier than those with internal combustion engines.
Tyres designed for electric vehicles are generally tougher and more hard-wearing than standard car tyres, which enables them to withstand the extra weight.
If you used an ordinary tyre with your electric vehicle, it’s likely that the tread would wear down much quicker than you’d expect it to.
And if you failed to check your tyres frequently enough, you could risk running tyres close to or exceeding the minimum legal tyre tread depth. If you’re caught by the police with unsafe tyres, you could be fined up to £10,000 and get points on your licence too.
How to care for your electric vehicle tyres effectively
Rotate your tyres
While it might seem like an archaic practice, tyre rotation is more important for electric models than for any other type of car. As often as recommended by your manufacturer – which is usually every few months – you should set a reminder to get your tyres swapped around.
This process is important because you should expect your tyres to wear unevenly, regardless of their brand or quality. Rather than replacing them before you need to, you can save money by simply rotating them and redistributing the weight and wear across the set.
Inspect your tyres regularly
A visual inspection helps you to keep tabs on the condition of your tyres. Without the need to send your car to the garage for regular oil changes, mechanics won’t be working on your car as frequently as they might be for an internal combustion engine vehicle.
Check and feel the outside and the inside shoulder of your tyres. Where tread depth is concerned, cars in the UK must have a minimum of 1.6mm. Try to check this around every two weeks – many motorists use a 20p coin for this.
The outer edge of the coin is around 2mm deep – so if you can’t see the outer rim when you place the coin inside your tread, you’re good to go. But if you can see the entire coin, it’s time to look into getting new tyres specifically designed for your vehicle.
Maintain optimal tyre pressure
Try to make sure that the pressure in your tyres is consistently at the levels recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. As an EV driver you should check your tyre pressure at least monthly, and preferably even more regularly than this.
Keeping your tyres sufficiently inflated should give you more benefits than just safe driving. Along with helping you make the most our of your car battery’s range, sufficiently inflated tyres may also keep tyre noise to a minimum.
Since your EV is already likely to be very quiet when it’s running, the slightest tyre noise is even more noticeable.
Lastly, the way you drive has a profound impact on the lifespan of your tyres. Even if it might be tempting to accelerate quickly with so much power under the bonnet, harsh acceleration will increase the friction between your tyres and the road.
Along with extending the lifespan of your tyres, driving sensibly is ultimately the safest option for you, for pedestrians, and for other road users around you. With a carefully maintained vehicle, you’re doing your bit as a responsible motorist – and saving money in the process.