Sumitomo Rubber Industries will launch FALKEN e. ZIEX as a new line of replacement tires for electric vehicles (EV) in Europe, where the market for EV has been growing rapidly. Featuring the highest level of fuel (energy) efficiency of any tire that the company has offered to date, e. ZIEX is Sumitomo’s second line of replacement tires designed for EVs, joining the DUNLOP e. SPORT MAXX, launched in China last year.
Low rolling resistance is an essential performance requirement of EV tires, as lower rolling resistance means better energy efficiency, which in turn contributes to how far an EV can travel on a single charge. At the same time, batteries add considerable weight to EV, which means that EV tires also have to bear much greater loads. In addition, EV engines run silently, which makes noise from the road and tires all the more noticeable.
In order to fully respond to the distinctive needs of EVs, e. ZIEX takes full advantage of an innovative new rubber compound developed using Sumitomo’s proprietary Advanced 4D Nano Design Material Development Technology to achieve simultaneous improvements in fuel (energy) efficiency and grip strength.
In addition, Sumitomo optimized the tire profile by reducing the tread width in the shoulder section (near the sidewall), thereby improving the uniformity of contact pressure for greater load resistance.
In addition, e. ZIEX also incorporates proprietary Silent Core (Specialized Noise Absorbing Sponge Technology) to provide a quieter all-around ride.
The Sumitomo Rubber Group recently unveiled a New Midterm Plan, in which it commits to redoubling efforts to develop and produce EV tires and other advanced products to respond to the evolving needs of CASE as well as the sustainable societies of the future. Toward this end, the company set targets of reducing rolling resistance by 30% and overall tire weight by 20% (compared with 2019 levels) by the year 2027 and is already working to develop the next-generation of EV tires to achieve these targets.