What’s The Difference Between Regular Tires and EV Tires?

November 07, 2023
Mike Dull
Mike Dull

Your choice of tires is pivotal in determining your car’s performance, and choosing the right tire is essential for a smooth ride. Regular vs EV tires; this distinction is key.


Special EV tires are engineered to enhance the efficiency of electric vehicles (EVs) and support their unique mechanics. They play a significant role as EVs continue to gain ground in the automotive industry.


tire collection EVU


In this article, you will find a comprehensive comparison between regular tires vs EV tires. From noise reduction and durability, to grip, rolling resistance, and cost, I list down ten main factors that set EV tires apart from regular ones. Additionally, the post also includes a buying guide to help you pick the best tires for EV available in the market.


Regular Tires vs EV Tires: 10 Key Differences

Here are the 10 key differences between regular and EV tires:


Special Tread Design

Everything that sets EV tires apart from regular tires is attributed to tread design and material quality.


While all EV tires have unique tread patterns, here are some common characteristics in designs of regular tires vs EV tires:


  • Shallow grooves: Compared to regular tires, EV tires have thinner and shallower grooves that reduce friction during the ride.
  • Solid shoulder blocks: While regular shoulder blocks are open to improve grip and handling, they are solid in EV to minimize air turbulence.
  • A higher number of sipes: EV tires have more sipes for better traction on slippery surfaces.
  • Ribbed center section: The center section in EV tires is considerably ribbed as compared to regular tires, which reduces rolling resistance.
  • Asymmetrical tread pattern: EV tires offer you a better grip on electric vehicles with an asymmetrical tread.
  • Reinforced sidewalls: EV tires have extra materials to strengthen their sidewalls, which provide essential support to the weight of the EV.


Durable Materials

EV tires require significantly less maintenance and replacement than regular tires placed on an EV. Read that again- I’m not saying you will replace your tires less often with an EV, usually it will be more frequently, just EV tires are better suited for EVs than regular tires on an EV.  Here’s what contributes to making the material durable:


  • Premium rubber: EV tires use high-quality rubber that doesn’t easily wear out.
  • Silica compounds: Silica is often incorporated into the rubber of an EV tire for enhanced grip.
  • Polymers and other low-rolling resistance materials: Energy efficiency is a critical defining factor of a tire’s quality. Electric vehicles have polymers that protect them against resistance-induced damage by decreasing rolling friction.
  • Nylon or Aramid: An ideal EV tire has enough structural stability to support the vehicle’s weight while also having materials like nylon and aramid that reduce tire weight to minimize strain and power consumption.
  • Heat-resistant components: EV tires also have heat-resistant components that are vital to maximizing energy efficiency.
  • Internal foam: Many tires for EVs come with internal foam for sound insulation.  Most new Teslas come with these types of tires.


One of the key distinctions between regular tires vs EV tires is that the former is more robust, and is better suited to the mechanics of traditional vehicles only.


Lower Rolling Resistance

Rolling resistance is a friction force that opposes a tire’s motion as it rolls on the road.


Higher rolling resistance understandably demands more energy to keep your car moving, and this increased power consumption negatively impacts your EV’s overall efficiency. Lower efficiency equals a shorter driving distance, I think you can see where we are going here.


As rolling resistance increases, it significantly reduces the driving range on a single charge and also affects the speed of the vehicle by introducing an opposing force.


kia niro ev autumn EVU


Wear and tear of a tire primarily cause rolling resistance. Manufacturers use premium quality rubber, specific design patterns, and tire profiles to produce EV tires, providing you with the thrill of a smooth EV ride.


Traction Control

EVs are significantly distinct in mechanics when compared to traditional vehicles. Your electric car is designed to deliver direct, high torque to the wheels. To prevent slipping, EV engineering demands efficient grip and better traction, which only the special tread design and materials of EV tires provide.


Noise Reduction

Since an electric car carries no engine, it runs silent. To complement this, you need a tire that also produces minimal road noise.


EV tires feature a special design with smaller tread blocks, and relatively shallow grooves that reduce vibrations, as well as the air turbulence and wind sound. Additionally, the premium rubber used to manufacture these tires has noise-absorbing compounds and internally can include foam to insulate sound further.


The material quality also optimizes the tire’s contact patch, i.e., it ensures an even distribution of pressure on the tire. This protects against wear and thus dampens noise otherwise generated through deformation.


In summary, EV tires have the following characteristics that enable noise reduction:


  • Special tread design that decreases vibrations and regulates air turbulence
  • Premium rubber that does not wear easily
  • Layered noise-absorbing structures


Weight-Bearing Capacity

Heavy batteries add significant weight to electric vehicles, a load that regular tires aren’t designed to support. Manufacturers produce EV tires with high-quality, special components tailored to bear the car’s weight while also offering long-lasting durability.


Range Efficiency

Range efficiency in electric vehicles measures the car’s effectiveness in using its battery energy over a certain distance. Put simply, it’s the distance the car can travel on one full charge.


One key goal of an EV tire is to maximize range efficiency by reducing the car’s rolling resistance and optimizing its aerodynamics.


Provide Grip For Regenerative Braking

Electric vehicles feature regenerative braking, which actively converts the energy usually lost as heat during braking back into electricity. This conversion happens when the built-in electric motor operates in reverse as the brakes are applied, thereby transforming some of the kinetic energy into electrical energy.


The role of EV tires here is to provide enough traction and grip to support smooth deceleration during regenerative braking.


This regenerative braking compatibility in EV tires extends your driving range, as well as the overall performance of the vehicle.


Heat Resistance

In electrical vehicles, the term “heat resistance” describes how well a system tolerates high temperatures, protecting engines, brakes, exhaust systems, and other electrical components from damage.


Electrical vehicles generate and absorb heat through internal combustion, braking, exhaust systems, and tire friction. They come equipped with effective cooling systems and features that enhance durability. Moreover, manufacturers apply a special coating of heat-resistant materials to EV tires, providing additional, essential protection.


Eco-friendly Material

Eco-friendliness is one of the key reasons behind the rapid popularity of EVs. Thus, it is reasonable to expect that a good EV tire will embody this principle.


EV tires are designed to minimize rolling resistance and noise pollution. This increases durability and reduces the need for frequent charging. Each of these factors contributes to energy efficiency and lower carbon emissions.


Moreover, certain EV tire manufacturers are turning to recycled materials or sustainable rubber compounds. This approach lessens the environmental impact of tire production.


Regular Tires vs EV Tires: A Cost Analysis

Now that you understand the importance of preferring EV tires for electric vehicles, consider the million-dollar question: Do EV tires cost more than regular tires?


While the prices vary for different EV tires, they cost around $150 to $200 on average, which is significantly higher than regular tires.


However, in my experience, when it comes to overall cost, EV tires are a necessary evil.  They cost more than a regular tire and typically don’t last as long you are probably used to on a gas vehicle but you should use them just expect to pay a bit more and replace them more frequently.


A good quality EV tire is energy efficient, durable, and lasts as long as possible. Being heat-resistant, it can deliver way better range than conventional tires, thus delivering better performance in less bucks.


In summary, EV tires may be more costly upfront, but their long-term cost efficiency is high.


How To Select the Best Tires For EV?

One of the upsides of electric vehicles is that they practically need no maintenance. However, for this cost efficiency, it is paramount to choose only high-quality EV tires for your car.


porsche taycan wheels EVU


Here’s a basic buying guide to help you select the best tires for your EV:


  • Tire Size and Compatibility: EVs weigh considerably more than regular cars. It is essential to choose an EV tire that is compatible with your vehicle in its size and weight-bearing capacity.
  • Range: Each tire has a different estimated range before it wears out. Make sure to buy an EV tire that offers the maximum range in your budget. Note that a lot of factory tires are better in quality, and therefore, the actual range of the product might be slightly less than advertised.
  • Noise: Being virtually silent is one of the best things about electric vehicles. Ideally, you should go for an EV tire that dampens environmental sounds as well as vibrations to enhance the driving experience.
  • Cost and Value: EV tires range in price, and have unique features. Always set a budget, and then go for a tire that has a good tread design, range, wearing capacity, as well as warranty.


Bottom Line

That’s all on the features and cost aspects of EV tires. Keep in mind, EV tires are built to cut down on rolling resistance and noise, using eco-friendly materials. This boosts your car’s performance and its environmental friendliness.


So when looking for the best tires for EVs, go through the post, or contact our experts, buy a good one in your budget, and buckle up for a smooth ride!


More on EV Universe:

  • Explore More EVs: Check out our comprehensive listings page for detailed information on top electric vehicles.
  • Shop EV Parts: We’re more than just a source of information. Browse our extensive marketplace for a variety of EV parts and products.
  • Insights & Updates: Stay updated in the world of electric vehicles with our insights section. Dive into our in-depth reviews, educational pieces, and the latest news.
  • Find Your Perfect EV: Harness our EV Matchmaker tool to explore a diverse range of electric vehicles, filter by your preferences, and discover hidden gems that perfectly match your driving style and budget.
Auto BlogElectric Cars 101

Plug in for more