As part of its commitment to help shape a sustainable future of mobility, Bridgestone is transforming its business to support the adoption of electric vehicles and make electric mobility more efficient and accessible.
While Bridgestone’s entire portfolio of replacement tyres for passenger cars, trucks and buses can also be fitted on hybrid and electric vehicles to support their overall performances, the company has revealed how it’s innovating in its portfolio of premium tyres and tyre technologies to address the electric future’s greatest challenges and help make mobility more environmentally sustainable.
Addressing electric mobility’s greatest challenges
Recent Bridgestone research found that, of the European drivers who would not consider purchasing an EV, 50 per cent cited range anxiety as a reason why. As part of a fully integrated approach, Bridgestone is investing in its tyre development to pioneer premium tyres and tyre technologies that will help EVs achieve optimal performance while addressing range anxiety concerns and a variety of other challenges.
To help save battery life, Bridgestone EMIA has reduced rolling resistance in its replacement tyre portfolio for passenger cars by an average of 15 per cent across four years, representing an increase in range of 8-10 per cent for EVs. The increased weight and torque of EVs compared to combustion engine vehicles presents new safety considerations.
Bridgestone’s portfolio of premium EV tyres and tyre technologies are subsequently engineered to provide excellent handling and control, short braking distances and exceptional grip in all weather conditions. In fact, the latest generation of Bridgestone’s replacement tyres in the touring and sport segments boast the highest wet grip label grade for optimal safety.
Wear is also a challenge for EV tyres, again due to the increased weight and high torque of EVs, which makes higher wear tolerance an important factor in the creation of EV tyres and tyre technologies. In reaction, over the past four years the average wear mileage of Bridgestone’s replacement tyre portfolio for passenger cars has increased by 15 per cent. Another new challenge presented by the growth of EVs is tyre noise: the near non-existence of noise pollution from EVs makes sound generated by the tyres much more apparent. Bridgestone is addressing this issue by creating tyres that minimise EV tyre noise for driver comfort.
Pioneering premium tyres and tyre technologies for EVs
Bridgestone is developing premium tyres that meet specific EV requirements and help deliver optimal performance. Bridgestone’s EV tyres are engineered with optimised contact pressure distribution for increased wet performance and traction, and customised pattern design to ensure optimal wear performance. The usage of new 3D sipes technology in Bridgestone’s EV tyres reduce rolling resistance – improving battery range – and extend tyre life; new generation tread compounds applying the latest mixing technology are used to obtain lower rolling resistance and better wear resistance.
Developed in partnership with the world’s leading EV manufacturers, the tyres Bridgestone custom engineers for EVs are suitable for incorporating the company’s industry-leading, sustainable tyre technologies that meet the challenges of electric mobility: ologic technology to enhance battery range; ‘Techsyn’ for better wear efficiency and reduced rolling resistance while cutting raw material consumption in the long term; B-Silent to minimise tyre noise for driver comfort; and the sustainable and lightweight ‘Enliten Technology’ – reducing tyre rolling resistance by up to 30 per cent and weight by up to 20 per cent to extend EV driving range and reduce environmental impact thanks to improved resource productivity.
Meeting the needs for the future electrification of trucks and buses
The challenges faced in the development of EV-ready passenger tyres – wear, rolling resistance and noise reduction – must also be addressed when designing EV-ready bus and truck tyres. In response to this, Bridgestone U-AP 002 city bus tyre, with a best-in- class B-grade in rolling resistance, and Bridgestone’s fuel-efficient Ecopia range for trucks, which boasts a A-A-A grade in rolling resistance in steer-drive-trailer axle fitting, have been engineered for higher mileage range. The former is also Bridgestone’s quietest bus tyre ever, producing only 69dB.
Increased vehicle weight due to battery mass is also an issue for electric trucks and buses, which is why Bridgestone has implemented increased tyre load index. Bridgestone’s U-AP 002 has been engineered with a Load Index 152/148 to ensure a load capacity of up to eight tonnes per axle. To combat tyre wear due to increased vehicle weight, Bridgestone’s truck and bus tyre portfolio also applies a specific pattern design to cope with different levels of torque and regenerative brake, and to optimise wear resistance.
“Enhancing sustainability across our entire value chain”
Bridgestone is making its EV tyre development process more efficient and sustainable by using its ground-breaking virtual tyre modelling and simulation technologies – cutting development time, raw materials use and CO2 emissions – along with offering greater accuracy and exibility. Thanks to its virtual tyre development capabilities, Bridgestone can simulate rolling resistance in real driving conditions, which means EV tyres can be designed to further optimise rolling resistance – increasing battery range – in real-life conditions.
“Despite the rapid growth of electric mobility, some hurdles still must be overcome. Battery range, vehicle weight, noise – these are challenges that can be directly addressed by the way we approach our tyre development,” said Emilio Tiberio, COO & CTO of Bridgestone EMIA.
“As such, we’re not only ensuring that our tyres are suitable for EVs but that they can also help to make EVs more efficient and accessible. To support the environmental benefits of EVs and reduce CO2 emissions, we are committed to enhancing sustainability across our entire value chain.”