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.
Hankook Introduces EV Bus Tyre Range
Hankook Tire announced the launch of the Smart iON AU06+, the first Truck and Bus Radial (TBR) tyre in its ‘iON (pronounced as /ai’on/)’ product portfolio, for premium electric vehicles (EVs) in the Korean market
Hankook Tire Launches Truck & Bus Tyre Smart iON AU06+
The Smart iON AU06+ is the most recent addition to its iON tyre family, which includes summer and winter tyres for passenger EVs.
The Smart iON AU06+ incorporates Hankook’s innovative EV tyre technology for improved fuel efficiency, fast torque response and high load support. It is a re-branded and upgraded version of Hankook’s Smart City AU06, the first ever tyre exclusively for electric buses that was previously launched by the company in 2020. To counter characteristics such as the higher vehicle weight of electric buses – caused by the considerable weight of the drive batteries - and high instant torque delivered to the wheels, Hankook strengthened grip on wet roads by about 10 per cent compared to the previous Smart City AU06 model. The load-carrying capacity is increased to eight tonnes, accommodating a stable driving experience even with heavy loads.
Hankook employed an abrasion resistant tread compound for improved tread life and fuel efficiency. The specially designed compound of the Smart iON AU06+ allows for uniform pressure distribution, considerably extending the vehicle’s mileage in comparison to conventional truck and bus tyres. In specifics, when mounted on an electric bus, tests had shown that Hankook’s Smart iON AU06+ increased the vehicle’s mileage by 25 per cent compared to when the vehicle was fitted with the company’s regular bus tyres.
Another development goal for the Smart iON AU06+ was to improve ride quality through optimal ride comfort and low noise. In consideration of the aerodynamic aspect of the electric bus, the Smart iON AU06+ features a specifically designed tread pattern distributed along the sidewall to reduce noise. In addition, the Smart iON AU06+ features a cooling system to overcome complications such as overheating to ensure a safer drive.
With the launch of the Smart iON AU06+, Hankook Tire plans to establish an extensive electric TBR tyre portfolio to include a range of tyres for different styles of driving. Currently, development plans for two different electric TBR tyres are in the pipelines, including the Hankook iON CITY that is designed for urban driving and Hankook iON FLEX for mid to long distance travel. Upon completion, these two new products are to be supplied in the European market. They would be available in other global markets sequentially as further market expansion are being planned.