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Pirelli doubles OE approvals on electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles

Pirelli has doubled the total number of tyre approvals on electric and plug-in hybrid cars in 2021, the tyre maker has said.

Since the launch of the ‘Elect’ marking in 2019, car manufacturers are increasingly choosing this technology and have allowed Pirelli to expand the homologation portfolio exceeding 250 total homologations on ‘green’ cars.

The Italian tyre maker said that this year it expects to reach its target for market share in high end EVs of around 1.5 times that of premium internal combustion vehicles – three years ahead of schedule.

Pirelli added that this result confirms the acceleration of the market towards electrified mobility but also how carmakers find its ‘Elect’ tyres to have the most suitable characteristics for their electric vehicles.

The summer, winter and all-season tyres from the P Zero, Scorpion and Cinturato families, developed using Elect technology, have been chosen by leading car manufacturers. Tailor-made P Zero tyres were developed for the Porsche Taycan, for example, including the P Zero Winter.

Pirelli’s engineers also created specific versions of the Cinturato and P Zero for the high-performance variants of Audi’s e-tron range and the Mercedes-Benz EQ family, as well as Scorpions for the latest SUV models. The Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept, which exhibited on the Pirelli stand at the recent The Tire Cologne show in Germany, is fitted with P Zero Elect tyres.

It’s a similar story with Volvo and BMW; the German manufacturer chose Pirelli P Zero tyres for its new iX as well as the X5 xDrive45e Plug-In Hybrid. Specific tyres from the Scorpion range have also been made for electric SUV firm Rivian, from the United States.

Also from America, the Lucid Air is the first car to use new Pirelli P Zero Elect tyres with a high load index, marked with the wording “HL”. A selection of models from Chinese manufacturers Nio and Link & Co also uses P Zero and Scorpion Elect, completing the homologation portfolio.

To meet the technical specifications required by plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles, Pirelli stated that the development of Elect tyres took into consideration the following particular characteristics:

Battery life
The rolling resistance of electric vehicle tyres must be as low as possible, in order to ensure the lowest energy consumption. Pirelli tyres with Elect technology optimise battery life thanks to their low rolling resistance.

Instant torque
Compared to conventional internal combustion engines, electric vehicles transmit immediate torque to the wheels. To transfer this power onto the tyres without excessive wear, Elect tyres have a specific compound that delivers immediate grip.

Weight
The weight of the batteries means that electric vehicles have a unique vertical weight distribution. This places considerable stresses on the tyres during all phases of driving. Elect tyres are specially developed to support this weight thanks to an optimal combination of materials, layout, design and correct deformation of the structure enhancing the control of the performance of the vehicle.

Noise
These vehicles are silent. So the tyres have to complement this attribute to enhance driving comfort. Elect tyres have an optimised tread pattern and structure design to minimise noise when driving along, helping electric cars to move silently.