Earlier this week, Hyundai and Michelin announced their official partnership, which will see both companies working together to engineer environmentally friendly EV tires. According to the announcement, joint research between the two companies aims to increase the use of sustainable materials while optimizing tires for EVs.
The partnership will also reportedly encompass a “real-time tire monitoring system for future autonomous vehicles”, and follows Hyundai’s five-year effort (launched in 2017) to develop an exclusive tire for the Hyundai Ioniq 5. In a press release announcing the new partnership, the automaker said this engagement will produce tires for “future premium EV models”, and will address the emerging durability and performance needs of those vehicles.
This is of particular interest to the automotive industry as it continues to shift towards electrification, as the extra weight and substantial torque of EVs places significant stress on tires. Moreover, it is suspected that special tire technology will be required to increase range performance and address road noise that is typically masked by a combustion engine.
From a sustainability standpoint, recent studies have raised suspicions about the micro plastic and particulate emissions associated with EVs and, as such, the industry must make a concerted effort to minimize tire emissions. Will Hyundai and Michelin find a solution to these problems? Time will tell.