The Smart iON AU06+ has been unveiled by Hankook, the first truck and bus radial (TBR) in the company’s iON tire portfolio.
Designed for application to premium electric vehicles (EVs) within the Korean market, the Smart iON AU06+ uses the tire maker’s EV tire technology to deliver better fuel efficiency, faster torque response and additional support for the heavier loads of EVs.
To combat the greater weight of electric buses, partially caused by the weight of the vehicle’s battery packs, the tire’s load-carrying capacity has been increased to eight tons. Furthermore, wet grip has been increased by approximately 10% compared with the previous Smart City AU06 model, to deal with the high instantaneous torque levels of electric buses.
An abrasion-resistant tread compound has been used to extend the tire’s tread life and increase fuel efficiency. The compound of the Smart iON AU06+ has been designed to enable even pressure distribution across the contact patch to extend mileage compared with conventionally used truck and bus tires. Following tests on an electric bus, Hankook’s latest tire was shown to increase mileage by 25% compared with standard bus tires.
During development, Hankook sought to improve the tire’s ride quality and noise levels. The tire maker’s engineers and developers considered the aerodynamic aspect of electric buses and designed a tread pattern for the Smart iON AU06+’s sidewall to reduce noise levels. A cooling system was also added to prevent overheating and increase safety when driving.
Following the launch of the Smart iON AU06+, Hankook aims to release an electric TBR tire portfolio with an array of products for different driving styles. Two electric TBR tires are already in development: the Hankook iON City designed for urban areas, and the Hankook iON Flex for mid- to long-distance journeys.