EVs are so heavy Continental had to invent a new weight rating for its tires.
New ‘HL’ prefix indicates special tire for modern cars loaded with batteries.
BY ALEX REID | 2/1/2021
Modern cars are, as you may know, pretty massive and heavy, and they’re not going to get any smaller or lighter. As we move further and further into electrified vehicles, we’re only going to see curb weights increase.
And like Atlas holding up the world on his back, tire companies are going to have to rise to the occasion to keep these huge vehicles rolling down the road.
That’s why Continental has released a new load index code for its lineup of tires to help shoulder the weight of modern vehicles.
Most medium-sized cars will use an SL rating, while larger vehicles get an XL rating. The new ‘HL’ prefix adds another 25 per cent to SL ratings; and 10 per cent to the XL ratings.
Continental has also managed to maintain regular pressures for the up-rated tires, which makes ownership easier. Project lead Dr. Stefan Habicht also said its patterns and compounds have been optimized to achieve lower rolling resistance, leading to better mileage. On a more technical level, the bead and the contour of the tire were reinforced to reduce road noise.
HL-rated tires will first be sold to EV manufacturers such as Tesla and German luxury brands such as BMW and Audi.
We’re sure it won’t be long before we’re no longer able to use tires made of rubber and filled with air. Some specialty performance cars already have nitrogen-filled tires, as it’s apparently more stable; and there are even tires impregnated with Kevlar to add strength.
The National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada suggests you look into the use of nitrogen for all of your collector cars. Costco uses nitrogen in their normal everyday tire fill-up. You might also inquire at local tire shops in your area. According to experts Nitrogen does not expand with heat buildup and maintains a consistent pressure in the tire. This provides better tire wear and stability.