HANOVER, Germany — Continental A.G. is working with a Swiss developer of electric vehicles (EV) on tire solutions for commercial vehicles used for local public transport and freight transportation.
Conti is testing the concept tires at its Contidrom proving grounds with an electric truck made by Designwerk Products A.G. under the brand name Futuricum.
The vehicle has been in use since March by DPD Switzerland — a private express and parcel service provider — and is rolling on a combination of Conti EcoRegional HS3 and HD3 tires.
While the tires enable "high mileage and extremely low rolling resistance," Conti said it is running test series to increase efficiency "even further."
The focus, Conti said, is in particular on extending the range by reducing rolling resistance.
In addition to the EcoRegional tires, Conti is conducting comparison testing with its "EfficientPro" line and other custom-made prototypes to gather comparison data.
The EfficientPro, Conti said, has been developed for long-distance transportation and emphasizes fuel efficiency, thus making it suitable for commercial EVs.
The prototypes being tested were manufactured at Conti's Hanover-Stöcken factory "in a robot-carving process and refined by tire carvers."
The Futuricum truck is based on a Volvo FH, which has been converted to an electric drive by Designwerk Products of Winterthur, Switzerland.
The 19-metric ton truck is rated at 680 hp and, with a capacity of 680 kilowatt hours, has the largest truck battery in Europe on board, Conti said, providing a range of up to 470 miles without freight.
"As with all electric drives, the tires for the Futuricum Logistics 18E are exposed to higher torque during start off and acceleration," Hinnerk Kaiser head of tire development bus and truck tires at Continental, said.
At the same time, the weight and weight distribution of the tractor are increased by the particularly powerful battery.
"Therefore, the tires must not only have a low rolling resistance, but also withstand heavier loads than tires for comparable vehicles with internal combustion engines," he added.