Electric drives are not only becoming increasingly attractive in the area of individual mobility, but are also experiencing a dynamic development in demand in local public transport and freight transportation. Together with leading vehicle manufacturers and technology companies, Continental is working on tyre solutions for these special requirements.
In particular, the premium tyre manufacturer is currently performing test drives in Germany with an electric truck produced by specialist for electric commercial vehicles, Futuricum. The 19-ton truck is equipped with the largest truck battery in Europe on board, which allows a range of up to 760 kilometres without freight.
The current test series are about increasing efficiency even further. In particular, the focus is on extending the range by reducing rolling resistance. In addition to the original tyres, the Conti EfficientPro and brand-new prototypes are used in direct comparison. The Conti EfficientPro is a proven product that was developed in particular for long-distance transportation and emphasizes fuel efficiency.
Balancing the conflicting goals, especially mileage, braking and handling performance, at an ever-higher level is technically demanding. At the same time, in view of the rapid development of the e-mobility segment, the engineers are in a race against time.
“As with all electric drives, the tyres for the Futuricum truck are exposed to higher torque during start off and acceleration,” explains Hinnerk Kaiser, Head of Tyre Development Bus and Truck Tyres at Continental. “At the same time, the weight and weight distribution of the tractor are increased by the particularly powerful battery. Therefore, the tyres must not only have a low rolling resistance, but also withstand heavier loads than tyres for comparable vehicles with internal combustion engines. At the same time, they should last just as long and meet the same safety requirements as truck tyres for conventional drives.”