New data from UK-based fleet management company epyx’ 1link Service Network platform shows that tires fitted to electric vehicles (EVs) are lasting, on average, 6,350 fewer miles than those fitted to gasoline or diesel cars.
The first tire change for electric cars is taking place at an average of 17,985 miles and 551 days old, compared to 24,641 miles and 585 days for hybrids, and 24,335 and 670 days for gasoline and diesel cars.
Previous information epyx released in March also suggested that EV tires are both bigger and more expensive than gasoline or diesel equivalents. The average replacement tire fitted to an EV was 18.59 inches and cost £207 (US$253) while, for gasoline and diesel cars, the corresponding figures were 17.40 inches and £130 ($159).
We’ve explained before that our data in this area needs to be approached with a degree of caution because of the samples involved. Most EVs operated by fleets tend to be at least the size of a family hatchback with comparatively few smaller vehicles yet available, so the electric cars on our platform tend to skew towards larger models.
However, even bearing that in mind, both the new data and the figures we have released previously do seem to suggest that EV tires are wearing faster and are more expensive to replace. There is no denying that 6,350 miles and £77 are quite significant gaps, and EV tires are undoubtedly costing fleets more money in real world terms at the moment.—Tim Meadows, Chief Commercial Officer
The wider question, Meadows said, was whether this was an inherent characteristic of EVs or just a reflection of the types of EVs being operated by fleets.
There are conflicting arguments being made in the fleet sector at the moment, with some believing that the weight of EVs and the tires being specified for them will inevitably mean faster wear, while others are saying that the picture is similar to gasoline and diesel cars.
We will find out the answer to this question over time as our sample improves. This is a complex area, with not just the vehicles themselves to consider. Specialist EV tires often have characteristics such as different compounds, reduced tread depth and reinforced sidewalls, all of which could ultimately impact on the speed of wear and propensity for damage, before we even look at pricing.—Tim Meadows