NOKIA, Finland—Nokian Tyres P.L.C. has developed a winter tire for electric vehicles that it claims offers up to 30-percent reduced rolling resistance compared to other products on the market.
Designed especially for the BMW i3, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 is said to achieve an A class rating in the European Union's tire label scheme, Nokian said.
The tire—size is155/70R19 84Q—is claimed to allow “safe, economical, and high-performance driving on snow and ice in demanding Nordic winter weather,” Nokian said. It will be available to consumers in January in the Nordic countries and Russia as well as in other markets where true winter conditions prevail.
The reduced rolling resistance is achieved by a technology that makes the tire body firm and stiff, Nokian said, plus new material components to reduce heat generation and internal deformation.
“In the future, we will be using the same technology in our other winter products,” said Jarno Ahvenlammi, Nokian Tyres' product development manager.
Nokian said it is using some “entirely new” types of rubber compounds in the tire, including its “Intelligent eSilica” tread compound, whose molecular chains connect with the silica particles to form strong but flexible links.
“The rubber compound works very well across a wide temperature range, improving winter grip and further reducing rolling resistance, the company said. “The sipes or grooves of the symmetrical tread pattern function actively regardless of the changes in grip level and temperature.
The compound also incorporates canola oil for added tear strength and improved grip on snow and ice. Other features include safety innovations that improve handling, such as the grip particles and pump sipes of the Cryo Crystal concept.
A non-studded Hakkapeliitta R2 (size 215/45R20 95R XL), designed for BMW's i8 hybrid vehicle, will be introduced in February–March, Nokian said.