What started as a niche market has grown into an interest of the masses, as the number of electric vehicles (EV) bought each year keeps growing globally. With the expanding EV market, tire design is also affected by the electrification of driving. Nokian Tyres has designed and tested tires with electric cars in mind for more than 10 years. As proof of compatibility for EVs, Nokian Tyres introduces a new ELECTRIC FIT™ symbol for its Nokian Tyres® branded premium tires.
To help electric vehicle drivers find compatible tires, Nokian Tyres is introducing the new ELECTRIC FIT™ symbol for its full portfolio of existing and future premium products. The symbol indicates that Nokian Tyres® tires can be equally fitted on internal combustion engine and electric cars providing safe and high-quality product performance regardless of the car’s powertrain.
“For years, we have developed and tested our products to be compatible, premium options that meet the needs of electric car drivers. As the electric vehicle market picks up speed, the new ELECTRIC FIT™ symbol serves as proof of these decade-long efforts,” says Jukka Kasi, Nokian Tyres Senior Vice President of Products & Innovations.
The new ELECTRIC FIT™ symbol will be used globally to communicate that the premium tire range is electric vehicle compatible and distributed in all relevant channels to help tire professionals and consumers identify Nokian Tyres’ products as a high-quality tire fitment for electric cars.
Safe driving no matter what car you drive
Tires for EVs need to carry heavier loads because of the extra weight of the battery. They must also instantly respond to the high-torque power of the vehicle and be reliably controlled in any condition or situation.
“Our starting point is that all our products make driving safe no matter what car you drive. Testing has remained a key to ensure tire performance is seamlessly integrated with electric vehicles. The changing powertrain of the vehicles has not actually greatly changed our focus. In addition to advancing safety, we have always developed other tire properties such as low rolling resistance, durability, and comfort on a high level. With electric cars, these properties have become even more important as drivers become more aware of them,” Kasi says.
In addition to the high-quality premium products suitable for all vehicle powertrains, select Nokian Tyres special EV tires feature the Nokian Tyres SilentDrive® sound absorbing technology, making the interior cabin noise quieter to match the silence of electric cars. They are the top of the line for the most demanding electric car drivers.
Continuous innovation guarantees a seamless fit for EVs
Nokian Tyres invented the world’s first winter tire in 1934. From that day on, the company has been innovating for safer driving in all conditions and seasons – and for all vehicles. The research and development work for EVs started already more than a decade ago.
“Since the early days of electrification, Nokian Tyres has tested its tires and tire prototypes in multiple electric vehicle collaborations and with strong and emerging electric vehicle manufacturers putting them through the most demanding conditions and driving situations to advance tire performance development regardless of the changing vehicle powertrain,” Kasi continues.
As a result of the groundbreaking R&D work, Nokian Tyres launched the world’s first winter tire designed specifically for electric cars, as early as 2014. At the time of the launch, the tire was also the world’s first winter tire with an A energy rating for rolling resistance. In 2012, the same year Tesla introduced the Model S, Nokian Tyres achieved the world record for driving fastest on ice (252.09 km/h (156.64 mph)) with an electric car. In 2020 the company introduced the first studded tire in the world designed for electric cars.
“As the world’s northernmost tire company, it has always been our motivation to enable safe driving throughout the year. This is why we wanted to ensure the first EV drivers had the most advanced, safest winter tires available to them. For us, winter is the perpetual, ultimate challenge, and our learnings in the toughest and rapidly changing forms of winter push the development of the full portfolio forward,” Kasi says.
Nokian Tyres’ R&D’s test car portfolio is constantly updated to stay ahead of the fast-developing car technology and provide drivers with equally advanced tires. Being the pioneers of the tire industry, we are used to being ahead of the curve, and as automotive technology takes leaps, so do our tires.
Soon electric cars will just be cars
Early electric vehicles were purchased by tech enthusiasts and car connoisseurs, but as electric vehicles become more common, a growing number of consumers are drawn to them. Many established car brands are focusing more heavily on EVs as an alternative to internal combustion engines, especially amidst the growth of car brands exclusively devoted to EVs.
“Soon most of new cars sold will be electric. We are moving on from specifying electric cars as electric cars. When we have no alternatives for them, they become just cars again. Norway is a great example of this development with more than 80 percent of the new cars sold already being electric. The Norwegian electric car drivers have shown strong customer satisfaction for our premium tire portfolio for years. This shows that we are fully Electric Fit™, and ready for when the rest of the world catches up with Norway,” says Kasi.
Future tires will be even more sustainable
Electric vehicles are often seen as one of the solutions to lowering the CO2 emissions from driving and mitigating the effects of global warming.
“The focus is expanding from low rolling resistance and energy efficiency to sustainable materials and production. We are building the world’s first zero CO2 emission tire factory in Romania and believe it will set a new standard for the entire tire industry,” says Teppo Huovila, Nokian Tyres Vice President, Quality & Sustainability.
Nokian Tyres has already introduced the Nokian Tyres Green Step concept tire with a 93 percent of its materials being recycled or renewable. The target is that by 2030, 50 percent of all materials used in the company’s products will follow suit.