Bridgestone Turanza EV Tires
Do Electric Vehicles Really Need Special Tires?
Contributor Reed Berry takes on PCH in a Tesla outfitted with Bridgestone tires made specially for Electric Vehicles.
By Reed Berry
Fri, Jun 2, 2023 10:41 AM PST
An EV is not your ordinary vehicle. By that, I mean it is not the gas-powered vehicle we've become accustomed to driving over the last 100+ years. It may look the same and, when you're sitting inside, it may feel the same as any other vehicle, but an EV has unique driving dynamics and attributes that makes it quite different.
Because of these differences, and the way in which an EV operates, electric vehicles are built and equipped differently than gas-powered cars. Obviously, there are huge batteries that power the vehicle, but another consideration on an EV are the tires on which you're riding. To maximize efficiency and performance, an EV should not be equipped with just an ordinary set of tires.
Bridgestone, a recognized leader in tire technology, has introduced their new EV-specific tire, the Turanza EV, during a press conference at Electrify Expo in Long Beach, California. Bridgestone executives are on hand to discuss the design of the tires, and PowerPoint slides are flying by with numbers, charts and graphs. Wow, there's so much about specialty tires I didn't know I didn't know.
The presentation is impressive, and everything sounds good, but I want to see for myself if these new tires live up to the hype. Bridgestone has arranged for me to take a little road test in a sporty Tesla outfitted with Turanza EV tires. My drive will take me from Long Beach to the upscale coastal community of Laguna Beach and back.
Admittedly, this is my first time behind the wheel of a Tesla so a bit of initial orientation is required because of its unique interior design and features but, now that I'm rolling, I can instantly see why the right tire makes such a big difference. The ride is super smooth and VERY quiet. When you think about it, the engine noise in a gas-powered car drowns out some of the road noise from tires, whereas in a quiet EV road noise is much more noticeable. These tires have been engineered to minimize road noise quite effectively.
As I make my way along Pacific Coast Highway, or PCH as it’s more commonly referred to, I am highly impressed by the performance of these tires. The vehicle handles beautifully, and cornering is crisp. Stopping is quick and confident, and the tires are equally responsive as I accelerate from a stop. Bridgestone uses a new polymer technology called PeakLife, which gives the tires lower rolling resistance as well as extending the tread life of the tires.
So, to answer my earlier question, do the Bridgestone Turanza EV tires live up to the hype. Yes! Obviously, on today's relatively short drive I won't get to experience these tires in rainy or slushy conditions, or on a variety of different road surfaces but, based on my road test, I can appreciate the many benefits of a technologically advanced all-season touring tire such as this.
I've driven EVs equipped with regular tires in the past, but they certainly didn't perform as well. Despite the fact that regular tires may fit an EV, they are not designed to carry the extra weight of a battery-heavy vehicle and can even compromise traction, not to mention accelerating tread wear. The right tire makes all the difference, especially on a vehicle such as an EV.
My favorite aspect of the Turanza EV tires is the aforementioned quiet ride. I seem to have encountered some of SoCal's famous traffic (and aggressive drivers) during my road test today, but I don't really mind because of the enjoyable zen-like experience resulting from the smooth, quiet performance of these unique new tires.
Bridgestone is certainly rolling in the right direction. Their global goal is to be 100% carbon neutral and using 100% renewable resources in their tires by 2050. Bridgestone's new ENLITEN technology not only optimizes the performance of their tires, but also allows them to incorporate renewable and recycled materials, such as recycled carbon black from old tires, synthetic rubber made from plastic bags and bottles, rice husk silica and even renewable soybean oil.
Turanza EV Touring Tires will be available in 18 sizes from 18 to 22-inch rim diameters, covering approximately 69% of the EVs in the United States, with five sizes launching this year and 13 more launching in 2024.
More information: Bridgestone Tires
About The Author
Known professionally as "The Traffic Guy," Reed Berry has been a driver safety educator for over 30 years. Reed has conducted traffic school classes and suspended license workshops throughout California, and has served as keynote speaker at safety conferences and corporate events across America. He has appeared on radio and television programs both in the U.S. and internationally to discuss safety-related issues. A contributor to LA Car since 2003, Reed Berry is a member of Motor Press Guild, the Los Angeles Press Club and SAG-AFTRA.