Electric cars are continuously becoming a common sight not just in individual mobility, but also in freight and local public transportation. Continental is currently working with leading technology companies and car manufacturers to provide tire solutions for these sectors.
The company is carrying out test drives in Germany in collaboration with Futuricum – a specialist for electric commercial vehicles. The test drives are being done using a 19-ton truck that houses the largest truck battery on board. The power unit provides a range of 472 miles (760 km) without freight.
The main aim of the test is to increase efficiency. The focus is to extend range and reduce rolling resistance. The original Conti EfficientPro, new Continental tires, and prototypes are being put to use in direct comparison. The former has proven to be an asset when it comes to long-distance transportation and in improving fuel efficiency.
One of the biggest technical demands that the company faces is balancing mileage, handling performance, and braking. These conflicting goals put the engineers in a race against time as the e-mobility segment continues to rapidly develop.
“As with all electric drives, the tires for the Futuricum truck are exposed to higher torque during start off and acceleration,” explains Hinnerk Kaiser, Head of Tyre Development Bus and Truck Tyres at Continental.
“At the same time, the weight and weight distribution of the tractor are increased by the particularly powerful battery. Therefore, the tires must not only have a low rolling resistance but also withstand heavier loads than tires for comparable vehicles with internal combustion engines. At the same time, they should last just as long and meet the same safety requirements as truck tires for conventional drives.”