With an estimated 2.8 million electric vehicles to be registered worldwide by 2020, the new Conti.eContact introduces pioneering tire dimensions for this growing market.
Upcoming reductions in the CO2 budget per inhabitant create a clear need and incentive to produce more fuel-efficient tires that complement new vehicle design. Continental aims to lead this development of automotive megatrends with the introduction of Conti.eContact.
Developed in co-operation with Europe’s leading car manufacturers, Conti.eContact introduces new tire dimensions with a larger outer diameter, such as 195/55R20 instead of the common 205/55R16. This concept is claimed to result in substantially reduced rolling resistance. A more flexible sidewall of the tire helps result in less energy loss when deflecting or rebounding.
Continental’s tire engineers had to start with a new approach to the Conti.eContact whilst still ensuring that the tire excelled at wet braking. Wide circumferential grooves, optimized tread depth, a flat contour and smooth off-shoulder design result in an extremely efficient and durable tire for the electric vehicle market.
Unique sidewall lettering will also feature on the tire. The ‘BLUECO’ denotes a series of innovative tire technologies especially designed for the needs of electric vehicles.
The Conti.eContact will be available in sizes 125/80R13 and 145/40R13 from this year. It’s not been confirmed whether it will be fitted to BMW’s forthcoming i models (see VDI, Annual Showcase 2012).