The Volkswagen ID.3 electric car sports special tires to help extend its range.
The Turanza Eco tires were specially engineered for the hatchback, and feature lower rolling resistance and lower weight than previous rubber, according to manufacturer Bridgestone. Their rolling resistance is 30% lower than standard premium summer tires, a Bridgestone press release said.
Low rolling resistance is key to maximizing range in electric cars, as recent tests have shown.
One test of the ID.3’s predecessor—the Volkswagen e-Golf—showed a nearly 20% decrease in range when the stock low-rolling resistance tires were swapped for stickier performance tires.
Also, with electric cars typically offering a different, more even weight distribution, and a rear-wheel-drive bias, they need different tires than the typical small hatchback.
The ID.3 will be available with 18-inch, 19-inch, and 20-inch tires. The 19-inch and 20-inch tires are run flats that can temporarily reseal around punctures.
Volkswagen ID 3
Bridgestone also said the ID.3 tires are about 20% lighter than comparable standard tires. That reduced weight not only helps increase range, but also equates to almost 4.5 pounds less raw material for production, reducing the overall environmental impact of the tires.
That’s something the company has tried to address. Bridgestone last year showed that for future eco-friendly tires, it might be using recovered carbon black.
Tire particulate emissions may also be a major missing piece of the emissions puzzle. A recent study found these emissions could be higher than tailpipe emissions.
As for the car riding on the tires, the ID.3 is the first model based on VW’s MEB platform for compact electric cars. VW announced the start of production in November 2019, but the start of deliveries was delayed from mid-2020 to September 2020.
The ID.3 isn’t coming to the United States, which will get the ID.4 crossover based on the same MEB platform instead. Presumably the ID.4 will get similar, efficiency-focused tires.