With low rolling resistance and plenty of grip.
Now that the electric vehicle industry has reached a point where there's a business case for sports cars, there's also a business case for tire companies to design tires for them. Michelin's Pilot Sport tire range is one of the default go-to tires for many manufacturers and enthusiasts. The tire company is also a founding partner of Formula E and now has six seasons of developing racing tires to draw upon. The convergence point is the Michelin Pilot Sport EV tire, and the first tire explicitly designed for road-going electric sports cars. It's already available in China but will be rolling out in North America as of the third quarter of 2021.
Because electric performance-based cars lean into electric motors' high torque characteristics, Michelin has developed its ElectricGrip Compound. The design uses a harder compound in the center of the tire's tread to provide the grip needed but without excessive wear. Michelin says that the tires take into account the extra weight of electric vehicles and the resulting weight distribution, while the tread design provides optimal grip on dry and wet roads, regardless of the tire's level of wear.
Range is also an ongoing issue with electric cars, and driving hard reduces range dramatically. According to Michelin, it has that covered and claims the tires' low rolling resistance extends range by up to 37 miles.
As electric vehicles have a quiet drivetrain, drivers and passengers notice road noise a lot more. The final claim Michelin makes for the Pilot Sport EV tire is 20 percent less perceptible road noise due to a custom-developed polyurethane foam that reduces the amount of road noise making it into the cabin.
The new tire is a big deal with dedicated high-performance cars like the Porsche Taycan on the market but will also add a new dimension to performance-orientated EVs like the Tesla Model S or Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. As a result, Michelin is initially making the tire in 16 sizes and for 18- to 22-inch rims, 11 of them in original equipment sizes and the other six for the replacement market.