GUELPH, Ontario—Service Manager Mike Doucette has faced customers frustrated with the lack of selection when it's time to replace the tires on their electric vehicles.
At his Guelph, Ontario, dealership, Barry Cullen Chevrolet, Chevrolet Bolt owners generally have little choice but to stick with original equipment.
A Bolt's OE Michelin tires should be good for 25,000 to 37,000 miles before they need replacing, Doucette said.
"I'm going to guess that maybe 85-90 percent (of customers) are putting the Michelin back on."
Customers seeking an alternative will take their business to an aftermarket competitor, Doucette said.
As EVs rack up miles and owners shop for new tires, the selection of EV-specific replacement tires hasn't kept pace, at least in Canada and the U.S. That limits what dealers can offer and often leaves vehicle owners with the option of either buying another set of original-equipment tires or tires not designed for EVs.
Tire makers are addressing the challenge in various ways, including the use of novel compounds and changes to the tire's carcass, tread depth and sipe design.
The goal is to create products that approach the range and quietness of original-equipment tires while improving performance and tread life.
"I think this is where the market is going to," Ian Coke, Pirelli North America's chief technical officer, said. "I think a lot of us are very interested in that."