Goodyear develops new tire technology to optimize EV performance; also introduces Oxygene concept with moss
Goodyear offered a preview during the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show of its EfficientGrip Performance with Electric Drive Technology, a prototype tire for the growing electric vehicle market that will be on the road by 2019 in Europe.
Goodyear testing reveals that traditional tires can wear out up to 30% faster on electric vehicles due to the powerful, instant torque from electric motors and the additional vehicle weight from heavy battery packs.
In addition to tire durability requirements, automakers are pressing for enhanced rolling resistance on electric vehicles. Increasing range is a high priority for consumers due to an underdeveloped electric recharging infrastructure in most countries. Quiet and comfort from tires is another consideration as, at low speeds, electric vehicles generate as little as half the amount of noise as traditional vehicles.
To address these challenges, the EfficientGrip Performance prototype with Electric Drive Technology offers these performance solutions:
Extended Mileage from Innovative Tread Design: The tread’s thinner sipes (small channels) allow for a larger rubber contact patch on the road surface than traditional radial grooves. With more rubber on the road, the tire can better cope with high levels of torque while maintaining high performance in wet conditions. The tread design also prevents sound waves from entering its grooves, reducing interior and exterior tire noise.
High-Load-Carrying Construction: The tire cavity shape has been optimized to support the additional vehicle weight from batteries while maintaining an optimal tread footprint for high performance.
Extended Driving Range: The material properties of the tread compound have been tuned for ultra-low rolling resistance to extend the vehicle range while coping with high levels of torque. In addition, the sidewall has been designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and the profile yields less rotating mass, resulting in reduced energy consumption.
Oxygene concept tire with moss. Also at the Geneva show, Goodyear introduced the Oxygene concept tire. The concept has a unique structure that features living moss growing within the sidewall. This open structure and the tire’s smart tread design absorb and circulate moisture and water from the road surface, allowing photosynthesis to occur and therefore releasing oxygen into the air.
Inspired by the principles of the circular economy, with emphasis on reducing material waste, emissions, and energy loss, Goodyear’s Oxygene concept is designed to integrate seamlessly into future cityscapes, featuring several performance solutions:
Cleaning the Air We Breathe: Oxygene absorbs moisture from the road through its unique tread and inhales CO2 from the air to feed the moss in its sidewall and release oxygen via photosynthesis. In a city similar in size to greater Paris with about 2.5 million vehicles, this would mean generating nearly 3,000 tons of oxygen and absorbing more than 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Recycling Worn Tires: Oxygene features a non-pneumatic construction that is 3D-printed with rubber powder from recycled tires. The lightweight, shock-absorbing structure provides a long-lasting, puncture-free solution intended to extend the life of the tire and minimize service issues, delivering worry-free mobility. Additional safety is ensured by the tire’s open structure, which improves wet grip by helping absorb water from the tread.
Generating its Own Electricity: Oxygene harvests the energy generated during photosynthesis to power its embedded electronics, including onboard sensors, an artificial intelligence processing unit, and a customizable light strip in the tire’s sidewall that switches colors, warning both road users and pedestrians of upcoming maneuvers, such as lane changes or braking.
Communicating at the Speed of Light: Oxygene uses a visible light communications system, or LiFi, for high-capacity mobile connectivity at the speed of light. LiFi enables the tire to connect to the Internet of Things, allowing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) data exchange, which is critical to smart mobility management systems.