Brussels — Goodyear is launching later this year the second generation of its EfficientGrip Performance electric-vehicle tire line, promising the new version will deliver 50% longer life than the first generation, which launched in 2018.
Goodyear was planning to promote the launch this week at the Geneva International Motor Show, but that event was cancelled after the Swiss government banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people as a measure to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Instead, Goodyear held a video press conference from its European headquarters office in Brussels to launch the EfficientGrip Performance 2 and unveiled its latest concept design, the Goodyear Recharge, which features a self-regenerating tread.
The upgraded EfficientGrip Performance offers 20% more tread life than the "next best tested" competitor, while outperforming the competition wet and dry braking, according to Mike Rytokoski, chief marketing officer, consumer Europe.
Goodyear cited new tread elasticity compounding technology for the longer tread life but did not provide details.
On the braking front, Goodyear cited "lower compound stiffness" in the tread blocks that facilitate "block bending," which allows more water to be evacuated.
Rytokoski said half of all the new tires Goodyear has designed now are for electric vehicles, which require EV tires because they are heavier, due to weight of the batteries, and deliver extra torque.
As a result, EVs consume tires up to 30% faster than traditional internal-combustion engine vehicles, he said.
The company did not, at this time, provide sizing or pricing details on the new tire.
As for future generations of EV tires, Goodyear said industry figures show 57% of all passenger vehicle sales, and over 30% of the global passenger vehicle fleet, will be electric by 2040.
Goodyear's vision of a next-generation tire for EVs is the "Recharge," a non-pneumatic design that features a self-regenerating tread based on the use of biodegradable liquid.
The tall and narrow Recharge consists of a flat tread platform atop a polymer-based wheel that incorporates tubes that connect the tire's hub to each individual tread element.
To regenerate the tread, the vehicle owner inserts a capsule containing the liquid into the hub, where it mates up with the tubes.
The centrifugal force of the rolling tire/wheel distributes the liquid up to the base of the tread elements, Goodyear showed in a video.
The tread compound also would be reinforced with fibres inspired by spider silk, Goodyear said.
The tire maker did not elaborate on what materials it envisions for the Recharge's wheel or how the tread elements would renew if supplied with a liquid from underneath.
The company did, however, say that it envisions the liquid could be engineered to allow the vehicle owner to customise the tire tread to climatic or environmental changes.