MILAN, Italy — Pirelli Tyre has developed a high-load-index version of its P Zero performance tire line designed primarily for electric vehicles, hybrids and SUVs.
The new tire — capable of supporting 20% more weight than a comparable standard tire and 6% to 9% more than an XL (extra load) tire of the same — already has been selected as the OE fitment for the Lucid Air, a luxury electric-powered sedan from Lucid Motors USA Inc. due on the market later this year.
Pirelli said this fitment represents the first commercial application of HL-designated tires, which the tire maker has been developing primarily for use on electric or hybrid cars and SUVs, which tend to be heavier due to the weight of batteries.
The tire, which features an "HL" marking on the sidewall designating its high-load capabilities, also provides low rolling resistance. The new P Zero version was developed jointly with the car manufacturer
Lucid Motors will fit the Lucid Air with the P Zero in sizes HL245/35R21 99 Y XL on the front axle and HL265/ 35R21 103 Y XL on the rear axle, the company said.
"Lucid Air represents a technological breakthrough in terms of efficiency and performance. The new Pirelli HL tires are integral to achieving such benchmarks," Eric Bach, senior vice president of product and chief engineer at Lucid Motors, said.
"The search for cutting-edge technical solutions has always been at the very heart of Pirelli's business," Pierangelo Misani, Pirelli's senior vice president of research and development and cyber, said.
"The attention we devote to all new forms of sustainable mobility now leads us to technology that is capable of anticipating the future demands of car manufacturers for their new electric and hybrid vehicles, which increasingly require specialized performance from tires."
Pirelli said the HL-designated P Zeros incorporate elements of the company's "Elect" and "PNCS" technologies to help them achieve:
- reduced rolling resistance to increase range;
- lower rolling noise to maximize comfort; and
- a compound engineered for grip to respond to the instant torque demands of the electric transmission, as well as a structure capable of supporting the weight of the battery pack.
To increase interior comfort further, the tire is equipped with sound-absorbing material within the tire cavity, which helps deaden air vibrations that would otherwise be transmitted to the inside of the vehicle.
Casa Grande, Ariz.-based Lucid Motors is projected sales of its EVs in the 100,000 a year range initially with plans to triple that over time. The four-door, five-passenger Lucid Air goes on sale later this year at prices starting at $69,900.