Electric buses are increasingly common in cities across Europe, though they tend to be heavier, and have different power delivery characteristics compared to their traditional counterparts. These differences require a fresh approach to tires, which manufacturer Continental says it has provided for with the updated Conti Urban HA3.
To bring the tire into line with the requirements of modern electric buses, Continental says it now has a higher load index, increased from 154/148J to 156/150J, giving the 315/60 R22.5 in single-tire configuration a maximum load-carrying capacity of eight metric tons per axle. The company states that this higher load index means the tire can handle the requirements imposed by the various charging technologies and heavy batteries now found in buses.
Additionally, electric drive systems, both in deployment and energy recuperation, put added strain on the drive axle tires. To accommodate this, the tire features a high-strength casing and a particularly robust tread strip with a high proportion of natural rubber. This is said to reduce wear and render the tire more resistant to chips and cuts, cracks and bulges.
The tire also has a wide contact patch, and the company notes that a special contour helps to improve cornering stability, while densely set interlocking sipes deliver grip and aid lane-keeping. Furthermore, the sipes are staggered, making for lower tire/road noise with the resultant increase in passenger comfort. There will also be both hot and cold retread version available.