- Original equipment approvals for six of the ten highest-volume manufacturers
- Eight of the 15 most popular electric cars and vans from Europe with approvals for Continental tires
- Trust in technological competence: Continental is the original equipment manufacturer for electric cars from Tesla, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and many more
Continental is expanding its market share in the tire segment for fully electric vehicles. In 2020, six of the ten largest-volume manufacturers of electric vehicles worldwide relied on the high level of technological expertise of the premium tire manufacturer for original equipment. These included Tesla with its Model 3 and Model S as well as the Volkswagen with the ID.3. But Asian manufacturers, such as BYD, one of the largest automobile manufacturers in China, also rely on tires from Continental for the original equipment of their electric vehicles. This underlines the product strategy and quality of the company’s products in the electromobility segment:
“Fully electric models are now available from almost all car segments, the selection ranges from cabin scooters, small and medium-sized cars to SUVs and high-performance sports cars. Individual tire configurations are necessary for each type of vehicle, ”says Andreas Schlenke, tire developer at Continental Tire ratings. “Accordingly, there is no one tire for all fully electric vehicles. We have therefore been working for more than a decade to further develop our existing portfolio in such a way that it meets the requirements of all electric vehicles and at the same time is also able to sustainably reduce emissions from combustion vehicles. In the meantime, almost our entire portfolio has been optimized for all types of drive and the majority of our products can be found on electric vehicles ”. For electric vehicles that are not already factory-fitted with Continental tires, the manufacturer now has summer, winter and all-season tires in its portfolio for almost every model.
Tires from the entire Continental product portfolio in use
According to studies by Continental, the tires are responsible for up to 20 percent of the total resistance of a vehicle. Accordingly, customers can gain additional range with tires with optimized rolling resistance. Accordingly, low rolling resistance is particularly in demand for electric cars where efficient driving is paramount.
In this case, many manufacturers rely on the EcoContact 6, in which Continental uses the Green Chili 2.0 rubber compound. The special mixture of natural rubber and other components shows a significantly improved behavior in the event of mechanical deformation. This leads to a lower rolling resistance and thus to a lower energy consumption. When developing the EcoContact 6, Continental was able to reduce rolling resistance by 15 percent compared to its predecessor.
Suppliers of medium and high-priced vehicles have different demands on the choice of tires. Handling, steering precision and safety at high speeds play a greater role here. Corresponding manufacturers decided on tires from the PremiumContact or SportContact series. With the PremiumContact 6, Continental offers a middle ground between efficiency, sportiness and comfort. The SportContact 6 is a tire for the high-performance segment with a focus on handling and steering precision. Due to its stability and braking performance, it is designed for safety at high speeds.
“The development of tires always involves a technical conflict of objectives,” explains Schlenke. “A high rolling resistance can, for example, bring greater safety, but it can also lead to higher energy consumption. The ability of our engineers is to improve both dimensions at the same time. “
Due to the fact that the engine noise is no longer present, electric car drivers place greater value on low rolling noise. High-priced vehicles that require extra comfort therefore also rely on ContiSilent technology when choosing tires. A special foam layer catches the vibrations of the road and thus reduces the transmission of noises into the interior. This is particularly important in the case of electric vehicles, since the engine noise is largely eliminated.