Tyres are a safety-critical vehicle component and are subject to the increasing demands of multiple international (UNECE) regulations governing many aspects of their functional and environmental performance.
Tyre design must achieve a fine balance between multiple performance criteria. Some of these are antagonistic, for example, increasing wet grip reduces tyre abrasion resistance. As part of the EU plastics strategy, tyre manufacturers are committed to pursuing a robust and representative tyre abrasion test method. It is hoped that this will stimulate the design of more wear-resistant tyres.
However, driving style, road surface and vehicle condition have collectively 10 times more impact on tread wear than tyre design. The influence of driving style is particularly relevant to electric vehicles with their capability of high levels of instantaneous acceleration and resulting increased rate of tyre wear. As we bring forward the transition to an all-electric vehicle fleet, consideration must be given to at least maintaining existing incentives for eco-driving.