With volumes of information available online and conflicting reports about EV versus non-EV tires, Sailun Tire’s national sales manager David Pulla sets the record straight on what consumers need to know
With spring just around the corner, it’s time for drivers to start thinking about their bi-annual tire change. Canadians from coast-to-coast are preparing to say goodbye to their winter snow tires, but many will find that this year they require a new set of summer tires.
For EV drivers, that experience may look a little different this year. There is an opportunity to consider investing in EV-specific tires, but how do you know which ones are right for you, or, if you even need EV tires at all?
Sailun Tire’s national sales manager David Pulla answers the top questions on EV drivers’ minds as they prepare to make their next tire purchase and evaluate whether or not EV tires are right for them.
Ask Me Anything (about EV tires)
AMA: What is Sailun’s Erange story and how did the company discover there was a market for EV tires?
David: Sailun Tire is a company that prides itself on being tuned into the needs of the changing market. That is where Erange’s story begins.
With Canada at over 10 per cent EV sales in 2022, it’s clear the direction our transportation sector is moving.
So, as more and more vehicle manufacturers offer additional electric and hybrid car, truck and SUV options, the need for tires that enhance EV performance, help increase range and also deliver a quiet and comfortable driver experience has never been greater.
Sailun conducts extensive market research and the Erange line reflects everything we are hearing from customers — or potential customers — about what they need in a tire for their EV or hybrid, specifically.
AMA: How are EV tires different than regular tires?
David: All Sailun Erange EV tires are created with the aim of delivering the highest possible traction, reduced road noise, and a more comfortable, low-impact ride that conserves energy and extending battery range.
We do this through using cutting edge technology, Ecopoint3 liquid phase mixing, that we developed in-house.
Erange tires are made by using an innovative mixing method. The best way to describe it is to ask people to think of making chocolate milk: with powder or the liquid mixture.
Traditional tires use the “dry” or powder method, which can end up with inconsistencies in the mixture — much like it can in the chocolate milk example. With the liquid method the ingredients come together smoothly and with consistency, offering a better tire quality that hits on all of the must-haves I listed before.
AMA: Other than increasing range a bit, are there any other benefits to using EV tires?
David: Using an EV tire for you EV or hybrid is, in Sailun’s opinion, the logical and responsible choice.
You wouldn’t want to squeeze your feet into a too tight pair of shoes and go for a walk or run a marathon in court shoes. As a consumer, you’ve spent this money to invest in a cutting edge piece of transportation technology and you want it to perform for you to the best of its abilities.
Even though it may seem small, getting that last 5-10 per cent of maximum performance can come down to the tires.
In addition to extending battery range by up to seven per cent, Erange EV tires provide consumers with better traction and handling on the road and, especially, in less than ideal driving conditions.
Don’t forget that due to the weight and placement of the battery, EVs sit differently on the road than combustion vehicles. They need a tire that accounts for the differences.
As well, EVs have regenerative braking, which, on traditional tires, causes more wear and tear. Again, the Erange tires are designed to account for the differences in an EV and are more durable against regenerative braking.
Finally, tires actually have a huge impact on cabin sound. Combustion drivers don’t notice it as much — maybe just when they switch between their summer and winter tires — because the sound of the engine is the loudest things they hear. In an EV, the motor is nearly silent so suddenly road noise becomes way more noticeable.
AMA: Do EV tires increase vehicle safety?
David: Yes. By providing the correct load index and speed rating for EV applications, Erange tires do provide more driving stability that, in turn, increases safety.
Specifically the enhanced tire compound ensures the tire is capable of handling the electric vehicle’s performance needs (faster acceleration, regenerative braking, heavier chassis due to the battery, different weight distribution and so on).
AMA: Is it possible to increase the lifespan of an EV tire?
David: Absolutely. At Sailun, we recommend caring for your Erange tires through frequent maintenance, maintaining proper air pressures, doing regular rotations, balances, alignments and suspension checks.
As I mentioned before, Erange EV tires are manufactured with liquid phase mixing EcoPoint3 technology to deliver the right balance of long-lasting tire life without sacrificing grip or traction on various wet and dry road surfaces. But, like with anything, you have to take care of the product and make sure it’s not having undue strain put on it that will cause it to wear out faster than it’s natural life expectancy.
AMA: How quickly is Sailun planning on expanding its EV line up? Is there any information about future products you can provide?
David: Our market prediction is that we — Canadian drivers — will continue to see more electrification and hybrid technology offered in vehicles. The Erange EV products will adapt and advance to continue to meet the unique demands of these vehicles as the technology changes and, likely, improves.
Tire sizes, speed ratings and load index will continue to evolve. Our commitment is that we will ensure our current and future products meet the needs of consumers and vehicles on the road.
AMA: What is the thing you were the most surprised about in term of EV tire performance vs. conventional tire performance?
David: When we first started developing the Erange line we were so hungry for data on performance.
What we found was that the added weight and instant torque of an EV can factor disproportionate premature wear on traditional tires. That was surprising to me.
In response to that, we developed a solution: our proprietary rubber compound and liquid phase mixing technology.
The second thing that surprised me was road noise from tires. Once you get rid of a combustion engine roar, you hear every pebble and pothole.
So, the Erange EV tires also use ‘SilentTread’ technology and a variable pitch sequence for a quiet, comfortable and safe ride. Our lab and road testing shows that this not only meets the highest of standards for performance, but also dramatically improves the ambient road noise in an EV cabin.
AMA: Where do I go to look at and, perhaps, buy EV tires in Canada?
David: The Sailun website provides and easy-to-use search tool to find a retail location where customers can go and see the Erange products in person. Our aim is to have Erange tires be as widely available as possible.
We, of course, know and believe the Erange tire is one of the best EV tires on the market. We hope to be given the opportunity to go retail location by retail location and customer by customer to prove that to the market as well.
AMA: Thanks, David, for some helpful insights into tires for EVs.
David: Happy to chat. And anyone wanting further information about the Erange line can visit ErangeTires.com to learn more.