Fleet managers should be prepared for altered tyre wear rates on electric company cars and vans.
As increasing numbers of fleets move to electric, the balance of SMR spend will alter, argues ATS Euromaster. EVs are expected to cost less to service, thanks in part to fewer moving parts and the absence of requirements such as oil changes, but tyre life expectancy is likely to change compared with traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) fleet vehicles.
The tyre and maintenance provider says a number of factors are at play that may hasten EV tyre wear rates. These include the bulk of the cars – the majority are heavy SUVs, which when combined with the weight of a large battery makes them extremely heavy, along with the exceptional torque offered by EVs, while regenerative braking may also have a role in shortening the tyre replacement cycle.
Mark Holland, operations director at ATS Euromaster, said, “However the greatest influence on the wear rate of tyres is the driver.
“With EVs there does seem to be a tendency for drivers new to electric vehicles to make continued use of the exceptional acceleration offered – at least during the initial phase of the driver’s lifecycle with the vehicle.
“The data is very young at the moment and there’s certainly not enough to draw significant conclusions about tyre wear, but driver behaviour appears to be a significant factor.”
In a recent survey conducted by Michelin, nearly 60% of drivers said they enjoyed the accelerative power of EVs and used it at every opportunity where it was safe to do so or did so during the early phase of vehicle ownership before resorting to more moderate acceleration.
Mark added, “This strongly suggests to us that fleets should prepare for accelerated tyre replacement on EVs, certainly in the first phase of driver use. It seems the novelty of the EV driving experience is having an unexpected effect on tyre wear rates.
“We would also suggest that fleets actively consider driver training before handing over a new EV to a company employee to mitigate these issues, but also as part of a broader duty of care programme.”