It’s a bad surprise. While the electric vehicle holds the promise of lower maintenance costs, owners are aware that other costs are emerging. According to a study by Opteven, an insurance company that specializes in mobility services, it appears that apart from a manufacturer’s repair, tire change is the main reason for maintenance intervention.
According to the study, more help is sought in the issue of tires (+5 points compared to internal combustion vehicles). In addition, a third of electric car owners have their tires serviced within 18 months of their purchase. They even have to change it by 17%. On thermal car tires, the change occurs on average after three years (with an annual mileage of 12,000 km).
The problem is that changing tires is expensive. Up to several hundred euros per tire, excluding labor. In the end, only 45% of study participants believe that an electric vehicle is less expensive to maintain. They’re only 37% of used electric car buyers.
Too heavy, too strong
Tire manufacturers estimate that the wear of conventional tires in an electric vehicle is 20% faster. The weight of the batteries makes these vehicles heavier, but you also have to rely on more torque for acceleration. Torque is also stronger when idling because electric cars recover energy.
On the other hand, if the tire became the first reason for the intervention, then this is also due to the disappearance of other maintenance stations (the entire traction chain and its equipment).
For tire manufacturers, the stakes are enormous. In addition to the fact that an electric car involves changing tires more often, they will seek to provide more performance for electric cars, especially sports ones. At Michelin, e-Primacy tires for electric cars provide an additional range of up to 50 km, mainly by reducing rolling resistance. Manufacturers are more attentive to the noise created by friction on the ground because electric cars are silent. Therefore, it contains foam for better sound insulation. Each luxury tire manufacturer now has its own line of tires for electric vehicles: the Elect at Pirelli, the Ecopia EP500 at Bridgestone, and the Eagle F1 for Goodyear.
For these tire manufacturers, there is an opportunity to create a new segment with high added value. Especially since the electric vehicle will represent a third of the new market in 2025 and possibly more than half in 2030 in Europe. It’s also, for them, a good way to keep entry-level tires at bay, especially those made in China.