Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by Rose Morah
Are low rolling resistance tires worth it?
It depends on what you want to achieve with the tires. This is because every type of tire is a compromise, something that we going to discuss in this article.
To help you decide whether to get low rolling resistance tires or not, we are going to cover the following:
- What are low rolling resistant tires?
- Are low rolling resistant tires reliable on EVs?
- The pros and cons of low rolling resistance tires.
What are low rolling resistant tires?
Today there is a lot of hype around the low rolling resistance tires in tire adverts, the EV industry, and tire manufacturers who will constantly mention it.
But what is a low rolling resistance tire?
Low rolling resistant tires are tires that are designed to roll down the road more easily than regular tires while using little energy from the vehicle.
This means that an EV or a hybrid vehicle with low rolling resistance tires will have an improved range, and likewise, an Internal Combustion Engine vehicle will have a better fuel economy because it will not use much energy to keep it in motion.
NOTE: You cannot tell low rolling resistant tires by just looking at them (physically). This is because the difference between the regular and the low rolling resistant tires is in the rubber compounds that produce the tires.
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Are low rolling resistant tires reliable on EVs?
According to data from an online survey conducted on EV owners to determine the reliability of rolling resistance tires, 80% of the respondents saw an improvement in range after switching from regular to low-rolling-resistance tires.
However, the rest of the EV owners noticed no difference in range or experienced range loss after installing the low rolling resistant tires.
- Since most people install new sets of tires when they want to do away with the old ones that have no tread and grip left, they tend to think that the big improvement in range and performance was due to the new tires. However, they forget that they are comparing an old tire with a new set of tires.
- The tire brands matter. Based on the findings, not all tire brands that sell low rolling resistance tires guarantee a better range.
Some tire brands/manufacturers have less effective low rolling resistance tires compared to others. This explains why some people experienced an improvement in range with low rolling resistance tires while some experienced the opposite.
- There are many factors that will affect the range of an EV, including how you drive. Therefore, most EV owners will get different results in the range, which may not be due to the tires but other factors.
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The pros and cons of low rolling resistance tires
Pros of low rolling resistance tires
- You may get a better range or better fuel economy on your vehicle.
- The low rolling resistant tires tend to last longer.
However, you should note that you will still need to do proper tire maintenance by making sure you are riding on proper air pressure, rotating the tires as recommended, and keeping them aligned.
See also: Best Tires For Nissan Leaf.
Cons of low rolling resistance tires
- You may need to sacrifice one benefit over the other
This means that before you get low rolling resistance tires you may need to figure out what you will be willing to sacrifice over range/better fuel economy.
This could be:
- Long tread life
- Braking ability
- Or low noise
From the survey, most people who bought low rolling resistant tires had to give up better traction and grip.
Some people reported that after switching from low rolling resistance tires to regular tires, they noticed a great difference in wet and dry traction and stability on the regular tires.
However, they noticed range drops on their EV, though not significant drops.
If a tire offers good grip it means that you will be giving up the tread life.
If a tire offers great handling then you may need to sacrifice comfort.
- You can get super cheap regular tires, but that’s not the case with low rolling resistance tires
Most of the best low-rolling-resistance tires in the market will cost you more than regular tires.
Are low rolling resistance tires worth it?
If you want a tire that will give you a better fuel economy and range, getting low-resistance tires makes sense. But if all you want is better traction and grip, then the low rolling resistance tire may not be worth it.
And again, when it comes to the price, are you willing to pay more for a better range that will have a 5% increase in efficiency? Is the 5% worth it?
All the best.