The shift towards adopting electric mobility is gaining momentum by the day as the government of India has been instrumental in facilitating it. The new electric vehicles have more weight than their fuel-run counterparts. These vehicles also have no noise and offer significantly higher torque.
As the demand and supply of electric vehicles (EVs) are increasing, the tyre companies have started to focus and spend more on their R&D. The idea is to better adapt to the changing automobile landscape and come up with excellent tyres that fit best with the existing as well as the large number of upcoming EVs. According to the industry’s leading experts, the fresh spend of millions of dollars will be made on utilising new materials in the manufacturing of tyres that will help in noise cancellation, controlling wear and tear and giving better rolling resistance.
The major tyre makers have already increased their R&D spending on tyres as they are gearing up to embrace the 2030 electric shift. In a statement, Anant Goenka, MD, CEAT, expressed his views on what the new demands are for the tyre industry. He was of the view that a lot of initial investment will be required to use the new technology and materials in the manufacturing of tyres. He explained as the EVs are heavier, this requires that tyres should have better load capacity. He also focused on the fact that due to the high pickup of EVs it is necessary that the tyre manufacturers should look for ways to minimise tyre wear and tear problems.
Talking about CEAT’s plans, he told that the company is mulling using silica instead of carbon black and utilising recycled rubber to make the product greener and in compliance with the environmental requirements. CEAT is investing in various technologies and testing to make it to the EV transition successfully.
Speaking on the matter, another leading figure from the tyre industry, Satish Sharma, President of Apollo Tyres, also shared his views. Mr. Sharma said that in the last 5 years the Indian tyre industry has seen a massive 300% increase in R&D spending. According to him, the leading factors for this increase are a surge in exports, new regulatory norms in India, improvement in the condition of roads and strict requirements enforced by the vehicle makers. He also said that currently many companies are using ICE platforms to turn them into electric but gradually the electric-only platforms will come into existence. The process of spending on tyres will be staggered.
V K Misra, Technical Director, JK Tyre, said that new technology development is already in full swing with regard to the manufacturing of tyres and making them best suited to the EVs. He reiterated the fact that this new change will take some time and require tyre companies to pour millions of dollars into tyre development for EVs.
To conclude, most analysts agree that the major spending in the current decade would be made on the development and utilisation of new materials by the tyre manufacturers.
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