NEU ISENBURG, Germany — Hankook Tire & Technology Co. Ltd. has secured the race tire supply contract for the ABB Formula E World Championship, succeeding Group Michelin as the electric race car series' tire partner starting in the 2022 season.
The switch in tire suppliers will coincide with the debut of Formula E's Gen3 spec race cars, which will be lighter and more powerful, according to the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the series' sanctioning body.
As part of the partnership, Hankook said it will employ "innovative technology and connectivity benefits" to create "bespoke" tires for the series, which races almost exclusively on street courses.
Neither Hankook nor the FIA commented on the length of the contract or its value.
The tires it will develop for the series will offer "very low" rolling resistance to help them raise electric vehicles efficiency, Hankook said, and will feature "bio-sourced materials and sustainable rubber."
Hankook said equipping Formula E will form the core of the company's international campaigns and commitments to sustainability and environmental protection.
"[The selection of] our company coincides with Formula E's move towards sustainable growth and we are excited to be a part of this journey as their Gen3 partner," Hankook Tire Sooil Lee said.
According to Hankook, "leading electric car manufacturers" already use tailor-made Hankook-brand EV-tires for the original equipment of their road cars.
"Now, the company will join in Formula E's pursuit towards creating a better, cleaner world by providing its future-oriented tire technology," the company added.
The Gen3 specs, which will cover three seasons until 2025, call for a vehicle target weight of 1,716 pounds, including the driver, or about 264 pounds lighter than the current Gen2 model. The maximum power of the cars is set to be 470 hp (350 kW) in qualifying mode and "attack mode" during the race, yielding a measurably higher power-to-weight ratio that the tires must cope with.
Michelin has been Formula E's tire supplier and a technical partner since the all-electric racing series was proposed in 2013. The FIA renewed Michelin's tire contract in 2015 through the 2021 season.
Michelin's tire for Formula E — the Pilot Sport EV — is an 18-inch low-profile tire with a tread pattern that's designed to be used in both dry and wet conditions as well as for both practice/qualifying and the race itself.