With so many car manufacturers jumping on the electric vehicle (EV) bandwagon, tire makers are paying attention, and they’re starting to cater to this side of the market with tires that are specifically engineered for EVs.

The question is, do you really need EV tires for your electric vehicle? The short answer is no. Theres’ nothing wrong with using tires that were designed for conventional gas-powered vehicles. However, if you want to get the most from your electric vehicle, then you’ll want to invest in tires that were made with the demands of EVs in mind.

You can think of EV tires for an electric vehicle like a good pair of running shoes for an athlete. While you could technically jog in a pair of cross trainers or basketball sneakers, your performance would get a boost if you were to wear a pair of dedicated running shoes. The same can be said about your EV: Your electric vehicle has certain strengths and needs that conventional gas-powered vehicles don’t, which means it will perform better when wearing EV tires.

Low Rolling Resistance

For starters, range is a big issue for most electric vehicle owners. You only have so much juice in your battery, and you probably want to go as far as possible on a single charge before range anxiety kicks in and you have to pull over to recharge. That’s why EV tires have been engineered to maximize the distance an electric car can travel on a charge.

These tires were designed to minimize rolling resistance. Simply put, a low-rolling resistance tire requires less energy from the battery to continue rolling along the road surface than a “regular” tire.

To better understand the difference a low-rolling resistance tire can make, think of the difference between rolling a marble across a table versus rolling a foam ball. The marble requires a single push (less energy) to keep going, while the foam ball needs to be pushed repeatedly (more energy) in order to keep it moving.

The same can be said for row-rolling resistance tires. They require less energy to keep them rolling, which means you can go further on a charge.

Instant Torque

One of the key differences between conventional vehicles and EVs is the fact that the electric motors in an EV can provide massive amounts of torque instantly. Hitting the gas pedal on some electric vehicles is like flipping the light switch on the wall in your home. Power goes from zero to 100% in a split second, which means that the tires have to be able to absorb all that torque, as well as harness all that power in order to accelerate as quickly as the driver intends.

Tires that have been engineered for electric vehicles have a more robust structure that can handle all that torque, and these tires benefit from compounds that are better able to transfer the torque to the ground without slipping. The result: Each tire is better able to bite into the pavement, allowing your EV to accelerate as quickly as the laws of physics permit.

Road Noise

Anyone who drivers an electric car knows how quiet the interior can be once you shut off the radio and the climate control. This serene atmosphere can be spoiled, however, if the tires are too noisy. That’s why EV tires are designed to be quieter than conventional tires.

This is achieved through the design of the tread, the rubber compound itself, as well as certain noise-absorbing materials that line the interior of some of these tires to cut down the reverberations that are generated during the normal operation of any tire.

Extra Weight

Electric vehicles are heavier than their conventional counterparts. That’s because batteries are heavy. EV tires are engineered to support the extra weight, while still offering a comfortable ride.


Expect to see a growing number of tire makers catering to the EV market. Some have already come out with tires that feature special markings on the sidewall to indicate that they’re designed for EVs.

Pirelli, for example, used “Elect” to distinguish their EV tires from their other products, while Hankook uses “iON” to distinguish theirs. If you’re not sure whether a tire is made specifically for EVs, ask your tire retailer. He will be sure to point you in the right direction.