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Technologies & Innovations

Electric mobility


Group of electric cars during charging

Tires for electrified passenger cars

Electric mobility, referring to electric vehicles, is a key component of more climate-friendly and sustainable transportation. We are proud to look back on more than ten years of experience in the development of tires for electric vehicles. In 2022, nine of the ten most successful electric vehicle manufactures worldwide placed their trust in our high level of technological expertise for their original equipment.

For more than ten years now, long before electric vehicles became mainstream, we have been optimizing our tires to achieve ever lower rolling resistance, low rolling noise and long service lives – with zero compromise on safety. All these measures are now proving especially beneficial in vehicles with electric drive systems, too. For these, we offer special tire technology with strengths that are particularly evident in electric vehicles – including high load indices and ContiSilent, our product for significantly reduced rolling noise inside the passenger compartment. 

So, to continuously enhance and refine our existing portfolio, we merge our experience with findings from a variety of practical tests and development partnerships with other renowned manufacturers. 


Our tires meet all requirements regarding electric vehicles

Continental tires are ideal for the demands of electric transportation. Our tires not only fulfill the needs of electric vehicles but also help to reduce combustion engine fuel consumption and emissions. All vehicles – regardless of their drive type – benefit from the technological advances of our tires. 


Range
Range
Interior noise
Interior noise
Load capacity
Load capacity
Mileage
Mileage

We are continuously working to reduce the rolling resistance of our tires and so maximize range.

Many factors influence how far an electric vehicle can drive on one charge. In addition to battery capacity and the energy efficiency of the motor, the tires also play a key role. This improvement in rolling resistance is all thanks to a combination of special design measures and new technology. These include structural measures in the area of the sidewall, reduced material usage and a new and improved rubber compound aimed at reducing abrasion and, above all, heat build-up – the main cause of rolling resistance.

We have developed a technology that reduces annoying and intrusive noises.

Especially when traveling at high speeds, electric vehicles generate noise that, due to the absence of engine noise, is perceived as being more pronounced than is the case in vehicles with combustion engines. Continental has been using ContiSilent technology since 2016. This technology reduces the noise components that are perceived inside the passenger compartment as especially annoying and intrusive by as much as nine decibels.

Electric vehicles are heavier than combustion-engined vehicles,. Therefore, we offer tires that are specially designed for the increased weight.

Due to the batteries installed inside them, electric vehicles are much heavier than conventional vehicles. A small, all-electric modern car (e.g. VW ID.3) weighs 1.8 metric tons. A comparable vehicle with a conventional drive (e.g. VW Golf), however, weighs only around 1.4 metric tons. This is why it is especially important to fit tires that are designed to cope with the heavier weight. Continental has been producing tires with the HL load index code since 2021. These have a load capacity that is up to 10 percent higher than standard tires with an XL rating.

We strive for durability and robust rubber compounds in order to further extend service life even under higher loads and torques.

Electric vehicles pose a particular challenge when it comes to the durability of tires. This is due primarily to their greater average weight and higher torques. But we are no strangers to heavy and high-performance vehicles, regardless of how they are powered. This is why we responded early to these technical challenges in product development. Our products are made of exceptionally abrasion-resistant polymer compounds and feature tread designs capable of counteracting the high traction forces associated with electric vehicles. Our development engineers and material experts are working intensively on modifying both the tire design and the composition of our tire compounds in order to further extend the service life of our tires without compromising on safety.


Expertise that is rewarded


In 2022, nine of the ten most successful electric vehicle manufactures worldwide placed their trust in our high level of technological expertise for their original equipment.


And in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region, we convinced all five most successful manufacturers to place their trust in our expertise.


Icon wit car and global map highlighting America

We also secured OEM approvals of the five most successful manufacturers of battery-powered vehicles in the Americas


In the APAC region, we have secured original equipment approvals from 4 of the top 5 manufacturers.


Our portfolio also encompasses summer, winter and all-season tires for almost every electric vehicle model that does not otherwise come factory-fitted with our tires.


Tires for electrified trucks

Electric truck driving

We have entered into a number of development partnerships with our partners including reputable truck manufacturers, startups and fleet operators. In doing so, we are striving to design our tires in line with the special requirements of e-trucks.

World record for the greatest distance driven

In 2021, and in collaboration with the e-truck brand Futuricum, we achieved the Guinness World Records certified title for the greatest distance driven by an e-truck on a single charge: 1,099 kilometers!

For this record-breaking achievement, our partners used an e-truck operated by DPD Switzerland for regional transportation purposes. A Volvo FH retrofitted with an electric drive system and Continental’s EffiencientPro all-season tires with exceptionally low rolling resistance served as the base vehicle.

The Futuricum truck has been in service since early 2021 on the route between the DPD warehouse in Möhlin near Basel and the distribution center in Buchs near Zürich around 300 kilometers away, suffering zero problems and all officially documented.

So in the logistics sector, sustainable, energy-efficient and cost-effective electric transportation is not merely some future dream but a reality right now on the roads of Europe.

Find out more


Tires for all-electric buses

Electric bus driving


Public transit plays a vital role in the sustainable transportation of tomorrow and is crucial to environmental protection and climate change mitigation. In passenger transportation – and especially local public transit – the number of electric buses is rising all the time. Many cities all over the world already operate all-electric bus fleets.

We are collaborating closely with a range of partners including bus manufacturers and public transit operators to optimize our tires as effectively as possible in line with the requirements of electric buses. Our portfolio already includes a number of suitable tires.

At IAA Transportation 2022, we showcased a concept tire specially designed for electrified city buses and delivery vehicles in urban environments. Already approved for road use, this concept tire has a renewable and recycled materials content of around 50 percent. All the materials used could potentially be deployed right now in series production. When designing the tire, Continental’s tire developers focused their efforts on achieving high energy efficiency and optimizing noise emissions.