Electric Cars and Snow: How Snow Tires Improve Traction
With the increase in electric vehicle sales, many Kiwis are now driving an electric car in winter. Winter driving can be a challenge no matter the type of car you have, but electric vehicles add an extra layer of complexity due to their quiet engines, cold weather limitations and lack of range. Thankfully, if you drive an electric vehicle in New Zealand’s snow-packed roads, you can equip your car with winter tires to ensure improved traction and better handling.
Optimising Traction with Snow Tires
Snow tires are designed to provide improved traction on icy and snowy surfaces by using a rubber compound that remains soft and pliable in cold conditions and excels at gripping loose surfaces such as snow or ice. In addition to this, new technologies such as sipes – tiny slits cut into the tire tread – also help improve grip by allowing for more biting edges for enhanced grip on wintery surfaces.
The increased traction provided by snow tires ensures significantly better road-holding capabilities when driving in slippery conditions. This is especially beneficial for electric cars which tend to be quieter than traditional vehicles; greatly enhancing the driver’s ability to detect grip loss before it happens due to reduced noise disturbances from the tires.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Snow Tires
When purchasing snow tires there are several aspects to consider:
- Tire size: Make sure you purchase the correct tire size for your vehicle; larger tires will put additional strain on your motor while too small tires may not offer optimal performance
- Compound: Most winter tires use a special rubber compound that helps maintain softness in cold environments but consider other compounds like silica for improved wet weather performance and durability.
In addition to this, factors such as tire weight, design, price-point and manufacturer should also be taken into account when selecting a suitable tire for your vehicle.
FAQs About Winter Tires
Do I need all four wheels equipped with snow tires?
Yes, snow tires should always be installed on all four wheels of your vehicle for optimal performance.
Do I need special rims?
No, most snow tires will fit the standard wheels used on cars – just make sure they are properly balanced before installation.
What kind of maintenance do I need?
It is recommended that you check your snow tires regularly throughout winter for wear and verify their pressure is up to standard.
If you’re looking for improved safety while driving an electric car during winter, investing in a set of quality snow tires is one of the best investments you can make. Not only will these specialised tyres maximise traction on icy roads, they will also help improve handling and prevent possible accidents due to slippery surfaces.