Electric vehicle tyres – why they matter

Posted On 11 Oct 2022
The electric vehicle revolution is happening, with the environmental and cost of ownership savings there for all to see.

The electric vehicle revolution is happening, with the environmental and cost of ownership savings there for all to see. But the EV tyre technology beneath each vehicle is something that very few motorists know anything about. This feature celebrates EV tyre technology and why it is so vital to fit bespoke EV tyres to EVs.

Millions of motorists know the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs), with demand increasing year-on-year.

But very few people know about EV tyres and what makes them such a crucial part of every electric car out on the road.

For evidence of this claim, see Bridgestone’s recent YouGov survey[1] which revealed that 67% intended to switch to EVs. Of that figure, 47% of motorists would be switching to an EV to save on high fuel costs, with 56% citing the environmental benefits of driving an electric car.

In the same survey, just 8% of motorists knew the differences between electric vehicle tyres and standard tyres

There are more than 400,000 electric cars on UK roads today and by 2030, electric cars will take up a third of the secondhand car market in the UK according to the latest data from the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Trader (SMMT).

Bridgestone Electric Vehicles

What are the differences between EV tyres and normal car tyres?

Specially made EV tyres are now on the market, which save considerable amounts in fuel and time when having to recharge.

EV tyres are lighter and feature clever tread designs to last longer and be kinder on the battery life of an EV car, which is also important.

A low rolling resistance tyre = less throttle needed to move the vehicle = fewer trips to a charging point and a longer battery life= more money saved!

Why do the tread depths on EV tyres look so shallow?

Motorists are commenting that EV tyres have less tread and won’t last as long as a result, but this is a misconception.

EV tyres are developed with original tread depths lower than conventional products to saving on tyre mass and provide exceptional rolling resistance. However, combined with state of the art patterns, hybrid silicas, new mixing techniques, then these tyres can run to much lower remaining tread depths without impacting performance negatively on mileage.

While tread levels might not look as deep to the naked eye, they look this way for a reason.

What are the legal tread depth limits for EV tyres?

The law concerning minimum tread depth remains the same for tyres developed for conventional cars and EVs…1.6mm. Historically, it was recommended that tyres are removed once they reach 3.0mm remaining tread depth, as wet performance was found to decay exponentially after this point. However, on state-of-the-art premium products, (both ICE or EVs), their pattern design is developed to run down to 1.6mm without any detrimental drop off in wet performance. These products are developed with original tread depths much lower than conventional products.

What are the best EV tyres?

Enliten is Bridgestone’s latest breakthrough technology which reduces the rolling resistance of a tyre by up to 30%, and weight by up to 20%.[2] It extends the driving range of EVs and also contributes to reducing environmental impact thanks to improved resource productivity.

This enables tyres with embedded Enliten technology to help reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in combustion vehicles, while also extending battery life and vehicle range in electric vehicles.

Will EV tyres save me money?

Yes, for two simple reasons:

  1. They boast lower rolling resistance technology to get more range from each charge
  2. They are designed to bear the extra load of EVs and last longer as a result

Do I need special tyres for my electric car?

You do, unless you want to make more visits to the garage for more tyre changes.

The added weight of an EV car is carried by the tyres, which wasn’t factored into the design of non-EV tyres, clearly. Conventional tyres will wear much quicker and won’t last as long.

Tyres might all look the same, but the very best tyres are triumphs in engineering in their own right, with years of research and development going into their creation.

If the bespoke technology is there to utilise, then we urge you to make the most of it!


[1] YouGov survey commissioned by Bridgestone in the UK, January 2022, 2000 respondents

[2] Based on Bridgestone internal data comparing Bridgestone premium summer tyres with and without ENLITEN Technology in the same tyre size (92Y 225/40R18 XL).






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