Hanover, Germany – Continental AG is working with a leading electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer on tire solutions for commercial vehicles used for local public transport and freight transportation.
The German tire manufacturer is currently performing test drives at its Contidrom proving grounds with an electric truck made by Futuricum, a specialist for electric commercial vehicles, said an 8 July statement.
The vehicle has been in use by DPD Switzerland since March and is currently rolling on a combination of Conti EcoRegional HS3 and HD3 tires.
While the tires enable “high mileage and extremely low rolling resistance”, Conti said it is running test series to increase efficiency “even further.”
The focus, Conti said, is in particular on extending the range by reducing rolling resistance.
In addition to the original tires, the Conti EfficientPro and some new prototypes are being tested in direct comparison.
The Conti EfficientPro, said the statement, has been developed in particular for long-distance transportation and emphasises fuel efficiency, and can therefore be suitable for commercial EVs.
Furthermore, Continental said that it is testing custom-made prototypes that have been manufactured in Hanover-Stöcken “in a robot carving process and refined by tire carvers.”
The Futuricum truck is based on a Volvo FH, which has been converted to an electric drive by the Futuricum parent company Designwerk Products AG.
The 19-tonne truck has 680 hp and, with a capacity of 680 kilowatt hours, has the largest truck battery in Europe on board, said Conti. This allows a range of up to 760 kilometers without freight.
“As with all electric drives, the tires for the Futuricum Logistics 18E are exposed to higher torque during start off and acceleration,” explained Hinnerk Kaiser head of tire development bus and truck tires at Continental.
At the same time, the weight and weight distribution of the tractor are increased by the particularly powerful battery.
“Therefore, the tires must not only have a low rolling resistance, but also withstand heavier loads than tires for comparable vehicles with internal combustion engines,” Kaiser added.