Preparing for the Age of Electric Commercial Vehicles

Chuck Luther, Northeast Sales Manager for Triangle Tire USA

Think rolling resistance in commercial truck tires is important now? Just wait until electric and hybrid commercial vehicles become more prevalent. And this will happen sooner than you think!

There are various companies in the latter stages of testing and evaluating “all electric” commercial vehicles. For example, Swedish tech start-up Einride recently revealed its T-log autonomous, all-electric logging truck. The truck doesn’t have a driver’s cab but can be remote-controlled by a human operator from hundreds of miles away using Phantom Auto teleoperation safety technology. Removing the cab enables the company to make the truck smaller, increasing loading capacity, adding flexibility, lowering production and operating costs, and optimizing energy consumption.

As battery prices continue to drop, range increases, and charge times drop, many trucking industry experts view Class 3 – Class 8 vehicle electrification as an increasingly viable option. Urban delivery classes 3 through 6 will likely be the early adopters.

Tires Will Play a Significant Role

The demands of the tires on these vehicles will quite possibly differ from standard or even “Smartway” approved tires. There will be increased emphasis on “roll time” and therefore increased emphasis put on reducing tire rolling resistance.

Tires for any vehicle represent 13% of the rolling resistance of a vehicle. To increase the miles driven on a full battery charge, every aspect of drag needs to be looked at very carefully, including the tires. Tread depth, tread compounding, and casing design all play a part in reducing rolling resistance. We quite possibly will see changes in all three, as well as aspect ratios and tire sizing, for these new electric commercial vehicles.

With the eventual onset of electric commercial vehicles, fleets will be interested in receiving as many miles possible between battery charges. The reduction of tire rolling resistance will be of utmost importance.

Triangle is on It

Triangle Tire is putting tremendous R&D resources into improving tire rolling resistance, as well as developing tires that perform well on the open highway and in tough urban environments.

A good example is the SmartWay-verified TRS02 regional all-position tire. It delivers low rolling resistance, but also excellent traction, long tread wear and resistance to curb damage.

Available in 14 sizes and 14 to 20 ply ratings, the TRS02 epitomizes how global tiremakers like Triangle are continually reducing the compromises between fuel efficiency, tread wear and traction.

As electric commercial vehicles become more and more prevalent, you can count on Triangle Tire to develop tires that optimize their performance.