Continental White Paper on Future Mobility

Continental White Paper

Vehicle manufacturers and suppliers and the entire mobility and automotive industry are working to make mobility and the value chain as a whole more sustainable in the future.

Continental White Paper on Electric Mobility and Tyres

Electric vehicles are the key to future-proof and greener mobility, which is why Continental wants to focus its tyre development work on the new requirements of alternative driving systems. As a result, it has unveiled a tyre specially adapted to the electric and hybrid vehicle market in 2011 with the presentation of Conti.eContact at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show.

Now, the company is bringing its tyre development expertise, together with the findings from various tests and collaborations, to ensure that its entire tyre portfolio is also tailored to the specific requirements of electric-powered propulsion systems. The new white paper Electric Mobility and Tyres offers a quick and solid introduction to the topic of tyre development for electric vehicles.

It collects relevant facts and figures, makes interesting claims, and offers stimulating ideas for research topics, all accompanied by attractive photos. The 30-page white paper is divided into chapters covering the trend of electric mobility, tyre development, and finally pilot projects as well as collaborations. Each chapter begins with an infographic that provides a brief summary.

The Same, but with a Difference: Tyres for Electric Vehicles

“Tyres for electric vehicles and those for conventionally powered vehicles are essentially the same. However, electrification significantly changes the conditions in which the tyres have to work,” explains Annika Lorenz, Director Fleet Solutions at Continental. There are already 10 million electric cars on the world's roads. However, most vehicles will continue to run on internal combustion engines for some time. “In the fleet business, in particular, the focus on electric vehicles will gain further momentum,” continues Lorenz.

When it comes to tyres, essentially the same applies to a high-efficiency electric vehicle as for a vehicle with a low-emission combustion engine: the focus is on lower energy consumption, regardless of the type of drive system. In the case of electric cars, a higher load capacity, an optimised rolling resistance and a low noise level are particularly relevant criteria for tyre development. The requirements for commercial vehicles are even more stringent, mainly as a result of the EU's "Clean Vehicle Directive" and the VECTO tool, which seeks to reduce CO2 emissions.

Conflicting Goals and Shifting Focus

Electric mobility is changing the approach to tyre development. The challenge is to find an optimal balance between the different requirements, i.e., the need to achieve high levels of safety, handling, and comfort at the same time. Electric vehicles are heavier than their internal combustion engine counterparts, so their tyres must be designed to withstand higher loads. To satisfy all these requirements, both the tyre structure and the compounds are being developed along these lines. This gives rise to some conflicting goals that need to be resolved at a high level. The three main points are rolling resistance, tyre noise, and tyre life. Continental's new concepts and products, such as the digital solutions it offers for commercial vehicles, point the way towards predictive maintenance and demonstrate the potential of new materials to make vehicle use efficient, safe, and sustainable.

Valuable Real-World Experience: Extreme E, MOIA, and Futuricum

Continental is channelling its experience gained from numerous development collaborations and alliances, for example with Extreme E, MOIA and Futuricum, directly into the development of next-generation tyres.

Continental developers, both on the passenger car and commercial vehicle side, have joined forces with manufacturers and customers to work on new concepts and investigate which requirement profiles work best in practice. The white paper “Electric Mobility and Tyres” uses eight examples to illustrate the various aspects that are at the forefront of the development of electric vehicles, trucks, and buses. The book offers a series of comprehensible materials to provide the reader with context and a general understanding of the topic.

About the author

Ewan has been editor of Retreading Business since 2006 and of Tyre & Rubber Recycling since the magazine was founded. During this period he has become an expert on the global tyre recycling sector. He has many years' experience as an automotive journalist including a period at Tyres & Accessories.

Make sure you keep up to date with the truck and bus tyre market

Click here to receive our regular e-newsletter.