What are EV tires and why is this company betting big on you to buy these?2 min read . Updated: 21 Sep 2021, 01:39 PM IST
The majority of Bridgestone's 50 automotive tyre factories would be transformed into EV tyre plants in this decade.
With the rise of electric vehicles around the world, automotive suppliers too are trying to cope up with the change. Tyre manufactures are no different. Bridgestone, one of the largest global tyre manufacturers has revealed its future plan.
The company aims to introduce EV tyres.
A report by Asia Nikkei claims Bridgestone will switch its focus to the electric vehicle segment. The tyre manufacturer is planning to have EV tyres account for 90% of all its new automotive tyres by 2030.
The company aims to convert its European assembly lines to produce EV tyres. It will end the production of low-end tyres for fossil fuel vehicles in Europe this year. Similar steps are expected to be taken for US, Japan and Latin American plants as well. Overall, the majority of Bridgestone's 50 automotive tyre factories would be transformed into EV tyre plants.
The global tyre market was estimated at $167 billion in 2019. Bridgestone grabbed a 14.6% share of it, right behind industry leader Michelin's 15%.
How are EV tyres different?
Electric vehicle tyres might look similar to the ones used in fossil fuel vehicles. However, they are different in terms of components used for manufacturing. Electric vehicle tyres are 20% lighter compared to fossil fuel vehicle tyres. This is because EV tyres use less rubber and other raw materials.
The EV tyres usually face lesser rolling resistance, amounting to around 30%. This results in the EV tyres having a longer operational life compared to their conventional counterparts. Bridgestone claims the EV tyres come with deep treads and special designs compared to their conventional counterparts.
Electric vehicles are usually heavier than their fossil fuel-powered cousins. The batteries increase the weight of EVs substantially. According to a study, EVs would have to weigh 60% more than a conventional vehicle to achieve the same range.
Bridgestone betting big on EV tyres
Bridgestone aims to grab a large chunk of the tyre market when the global auto industry shifts to all-electric vehicles. With several countries tightening their emission norms, concerns around global warming and vehicular emissions, automakers are increasing their focus on EVs. Hence, major tyre brands like Bridgestone too aims to leverage this trend.
Currently, some electric vehicles such as Volkswagen ID cars use Bridgestone's EV tyres. From 2023, the Japanese tyre company aims to increase its supplies to European automakers. Apart from that, it would also supply tyres for US EV startup Fiscar's electric SUV that is set to enter production in November 2022.
Plans for Europe also include installing about 3,500 EV charging stations at directly run dealerships by 2026 in a bid to appeal to environmentally conscious drivers.
Interestingly, Bridgestone is not alone in aiming at the EV segment. Michelin too offers tyres for electric cars in markets such as Europe and China.