In any discussion about cars, tires are the only means of contact with the road and play a crucial role in driving safety. Their importance becomes even more evident when considering the performance of vehicles. In particular, for sports cars, there are dedicated UHP (Ultra High Performance) tires. When it comes to electric cars, there are additional challenges to address, as these vehicles are heavier and equipped with high-power motors that exert greater pressure on the tires. Additionally, it’s important that electric car tires are quiet to avoid disturbing the typically quiet interior of these vehicles. Finally, to avoid compromising range, these tires need to be highly efficient. Combining all these features into a single tire is a significant challenge.
Since 2019, Pirelli has been addressing these challenges with its Elect technology applied to various tires designed for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, with over 300 approvals from automotive manufacturers to equip their models. The latest step in this direction is the new Pirelli P Zero E tire, specifically designed for electric cars.
The Pirelli P Zero E offers a triple A rating (the highest rating) on all label measurements, which means it has achieved excellent results in wet braking tests, rolling resistance, and noise levels. This tire features a run-flat technology called RunForward, which is an evolution of run-flat systems. These tires have reinforced sidewalls to support the weight of the car even in the event of a puncture. What sets them apart is that the two sidewalls have different levels of stiffness to improve ride comfort. This attention to detail allows these tires to be used on vehicles that are not originally equipped with run-flat systems.
The tread of the Pirelli P Zero E combines two types of compounds: a softer one in the contact patch area to improve grip and a stiffer one in the underlying area to reduce noise. Additionally, the tread pattern has been designed to reduce noise during rolling on asphalt.
This tire uses innovative materials, with at least 55% of components derived from biological sources or recycled materials. For example, rice husk, a byproduct of the food industry, is used instead of sand for the production of silica, an essential material for modern tires. Other bio-based materials include lignin, derived from paper mill cellulose residues, and oils obtained from food industry waste. Furthermore, materials from recycling old tires are also utilized.
The Pirelli P Zero E is available in 17 sizes, with additional additions to the range forthcoming.