Nashville, TN – The market for electric vehicles (EVs) is growing quicker than any other vehicle category; in Europe alone, the increase in 2020 compared to the previous year is around 138 percent. With this, premium tire maker Hankook Tire is also expanding its market share in the EV original equipment sector with tires for the Audi e-tron GT. In 2018, the Audi e-tron GT prototype was presented for the first time, and the enthusiasm continues even after its market launch in 2021. Hankook is fitted on the Audi e-tron GT ex works with its Ventus S1 evo 3 ev, which has been specially developed for the needs of electric vehicles. In size 225/55R19 XL 103Y on the front axle, 275/45R19 XL 108Y on the rear axle, the Ventus S1 evo 3 ev is host to many technical refinements that help to optimally bring the performance of electrically powered sports cars to the road.
“The development of an e-tire is particularly complex,” explains Moonhwa Hong, vice president of the OE Development Department. “Therefore, it is now paying off that we expanded research in this area early. Our company is now represented on several premium models in the electric sports car segment, including the Audi e-tron GT, and has established a very good position in this segment overall.”
For the Audi e-tron GT, the tread pattern of the Ventus S1 evo 3 has been adapted especially for electric vehicles to reduce tire noise by approximately three decibels. This is important, as engine noise in electric vehicles is omitted, so road and tire noise inside the vehicle is perceived as louder. In addition, in order to cope with the high stresses caused by the high performance of electric sports cars, the tire is reinforced with so-called bead-packing technology, as well as a high lateral stiffness for particularly precise handling even at high speeds. In addition to supporting sporty characteristics, Hankook’s EV tire is also an important component for comfort, as Grand Turismos like the Audi e-tron GT are designed to enable comfortable travel even on long journeys.
“Our tire has to bring the very high drive power of the Audi e-tron GT to the road and at the same time deliver the low rolling resistance that is a key factor in electric vehicles, for high efficiency and range,” says Jeongho Park, executive vice president and director of the OE Division, “We can be proud of the result.”
To meet the specific demands on an electric vehicle like the Audi e-tron GT, Hankook’s developers have also optimized the vulcanization process for the tire compound according to the application to ensure the right balance of temperature, timing and pressure. The Ventus S1 evo 3 ev achieves 30 percent more durability compared to a standard tread compound. Abrasion performance has been improved by 5 percent compared to the conventional model and overall rolling resistance has been reduced by 13 percent.