The Hyundai Motor Group and French tiremaker Michelin have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop eco-friendly and sustainable tires for a new generation of premium electric vehicles. This latest partnership is the renewal of a five-year collaboration to create exclusive tires for the Ioniq 5, Hyundai’s first all-new EV riding on the brand’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) jointly developed with Kia.
“By fully leveraging our mobility technology and Michelin’s tire expertise, we are confident in our ability to achieve ground-breaking innovations in tire performance enhancement and create synergies in this organic collaboration,” said Bong-soo Kim, Vice President and Head of the Chassis Development Center at Hyundai Motor Group.
Fastracking EV Tire Research
The proliferation of all-electric vehicles has posed a significant challenge for tire makers. Battery-electric vehicles are typically heftier than their gasoline-only counterparts, and EVs require tires with lower rolling resistance to preserve range. Tires with a 20 percent more rolling resistance could reduce the driving range by five to eight percent.
EVs also have torquey electric motors that require tires with more grip. And since electric vehicles are quieter, the tires need to roll silently at any speed while providing a comfier ride and more extended wear. Ask any Tesla (or any modern EV) owner how often they change the tires. The answer is probably “more often than expected,” something Hyundai and Michelin want to solve with their newest R&D agreement.
“The association between Hyundai Motor Group and Michelin is founded on the same vision and a shared passion for excellence, performance, and innovation that have become increasingly essential as we rise to the mobility-related challenges we all face today,” said Georges Levy, Executive Vice President of Automotive Original Equipment at Michelin.
New Tire Innovations
Hyundai and Michelin are looking to develop two primary innovations for future EV tires. The first is to create eco-friendlier tires (with up to 50 percent more sustainable materials) optimized for electric vehicle performance. Next, the group will develop a real-time tire monitoring system that works with the vehicle’s autonomous driving features. Joint research will also analyze tire wear, load, and road friction to help mitigate noise, vibration, and harshness at higher speeds.
“This partnership with Michelin will result in real innovations in tire technology, solidifying Hyundai Motor Group’s position as a leader in the smart mobility industry,” Kim added.