Light weighting is not just reserved for a vehicle’s structure, and with ever increasing pressure on vehicle weight in the EV market, even tires can represent useful savings. For example, Bridgestone has announced it is to supply its Enliten tire technology to Volkswagen’s ID.3 EV.
This technology allows Bridgestone to produce tires with a very low rolling resistance that also use less material than a traditional tire. The ID.3, which is to be equipped with Bridgestone Turanza Eco rubber, will be the first widespread application for this tire construction method.
According to the company, tires using the Enliten approach have a 30% lower rolling resistance than a standard premium summer tire and are up to 20% lighter, resulting in up to a 2kg reduction in the raw materials required to produce each tire. As an additional benefit, Bridgestone said that the materials used to create the tires, coupled with a new compound mixing process, have enhanced wear performance without compromising grip.
The company noted that it leveraged its ‘Virtual Tyre’ development system to speed the design process and ascertain the optimum architecture for the ID.3’s tires, which also reduced the quantity of physical prototype testing needed.
Karsten Schebsdat, head of chassis development at Volkswagen, said, “The ID.3 is our biggest launch since the Golf. We knew that the tires had to be perfect if drivers were going to realize all of the vehicle’s performance and environmental benefits. So we selected Bridgestone and its Enliten technology for the ID.3.
“The significant reduction of rolling resistance allowed by Enliten technology has a huge impact on the ID.3’s battery conservation, which is very important, especially with there being many questions around electric vehicle range today. Enliten technology can go a long way in helping to change perceptions on the viability of e-mobility. It’s a ground-breaking technology for sure.”