EV owners are shocked that tires wear out

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/03/28/ev-owners-are-shocked-that-tires-wear-out.html


The main reason tires are wearing out faster on EVs isn’t how fast they’re driving, it’s that the large batteries mean the vehicles are heavier than similarly-sized gasoline-powered cars.

This also means that EVs put more wear and tear on roads than their traditional counterparts, making it even more critical that we find a more reliable long-term source of funding for road maintenence than gasoline taxes. [Discussed here previously]


You can get that down to about $300/tire with the Cooper Dicoverer II, but the better option is to cut down on the launch control blitzes and tank turns…



Folks who choose to drive the super-heavy, excessively large vehicles that chew through tires that quickly probably do deserve to pay a little bit extra to make up for the extra wear and tear on the roads, although it would certainly be better if that money was going towards road maintenance rather that tire manufacturers. The R1T weighs over 7,100 lbs empty, up to 8,500 lbs loaded. The Hummer H2 is a gargantuan vehicle that epitomized excessive SUVs but it still weighs about 500 lbs less than the Rivian. Even the flippin’ Cybertruck weighs less than the Rivian.


If you’ve ever driven behind a Rivian you would have seen how it “bounces” because of its weight. I’ve yet to drive in one but it seems like that motion would be very annoying after a time and can’t be great for the tires.

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tires rated for higher speeds are more expensive and generally last much shorter distances than tires made for passenger cars

Umm - so passenger vehicles do not go at higher speeds? Seems like a rather random conflation.


Our EV is three years old and still on the original tires…


Not only that, but I don’t see how the claim in the headline of EV owners being “shocked” is supported in the body. All it says is that tire wear differs and they can be more expensive. Nothing about how shocked people are.


Yes, they should have looked at the Chevy Volt, which ought to use very similar tires to the Chevy Cruze or similar grocery getter.
I do recall that the Prius I got new in 2006 went through tires twice as fast as the Saturn it replaced. They were special eco-labeled tires. Fortunately the dealer had a special offer of free tires for several years, which made this less painful.


Your tyre mileage may vary.


Besides the extra weight of most EVs, they have tons and tons of low end torque. People aren’t used to that, and that acceleration, used too often, makes for faster tire wear.



If I didn’t know beforehand, I’d be shocked by this:

Bernie Sanders GIF


My other concern is the increase in old worn out tires that will need to be recycled with the increase of EVs on the road


Other than this factor, I would expect Rivians and other EVs that send torque to all 4 tires to have better tire wear characteristics than front- or rear-wheel drive vehicles without limited slip differentials. The BMW 335i is the poster child for this, going through (very expensive run-flat Bridgestones) right rear tires like crazy due to pushing 300+ ft.lbs through one tire.


Pft! You want me to undergo training before I drive my 3-ton, 3-second road hog?!?!


As a Chevy Bolt owner, it was fun to never have to go to a gas station, oil change or other mechanical issue shop visit. We went almost five years on the original tires, but they were super bald by the time I noticed and had them replaced. My brother complains about his Tesla S eating tires (Chicago in the winter probably also a factor?) Good to know the Rivian details as I see them more and more in our area and I like what I’m seeing (would never buy a vehicle from Elmo). Probably a Kia or Hyundai in my future or maybe V2H will become ubiquitous and there will be more choices.

We spent all that saved maintenance, feeling, lube time charging outside the house. Finally bought a higher amp extension cord and now charge via level 1 and it works out just fine. Will get L2 and a bi-directional car and house panel for next vehicle. We live in nCA and the power outage thing is real (f u PG&E, f’ing bastards)


I think the “EVs weigh so much more” thing is overblown. If EVs weight 10%-15% more than ICEs on average then that’s not going to make a huge difference. There are also plenty of outliers on the ICE side of things with a Volvo XC90 coming in at over 4600lb. Compare that to a Tesla Y at just over 4400lb and I’d only expect higher wear from the EV due to driving characteristics.

I expect that if the tires aren’t lasting on your new EV, it has more to do with how you’re driving it than the curb weight.


Our Model 3 is still on the original tires after nearly five years of mostly Chicago-area driving.


That’s why I mentioned the low end torque (which, even without wheel spin, encourages brisker takeoffs and more tire wear). It’s certainly true that the extra weight is going to make for more wear, but the thing with torque is… well, for the vast majority of drivers, they’ve never ever driven anything with that much low end torque. Even powerful cars typically didn’t have that kind of power right from idle (or zero in the case of an EV). So they likely don’t even realize they’re overworking their tires.