Low rolling resistance (LRR) tires are specially designed tires that aim to reduce the energy lost as a tire roll, thus improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. They help vehicles consume less energy, which is particularly important for electric vehicles (EVs) in extending their range.
Low rolling resistance is achieved by optimizing tire design, materials, and construction. Key features of LRR tires include:
- Tread compound: LRR tires use advanced rubber compounds that minimize energy loss by reducing internal friction and deformation. Silica and other advanced materials are often added to the rubber compound to improve rolling resistance without compromising other important properties such as grip and durability.
- Tire shape: The design of the tire’s shape can also impact rolling resistance. A more streamlined, rounder profile helps to distribute the tire’s contact patch more evenly, reducing rolling resistance.
- Tread pattern: LRR tires often have optimized tread patterns that create less friction between the tire and the road surface. This can involve using more shallow and narrow grooves, as well as reducing the number of tread blocks.
- Construction: LRR tires may be constructed with lighter materials or have thinner sidewalls, which can reduce overall tire weight and improve rolling resistance.
While LRR tires can provide significant benefits in terms of fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction, they may have trade-offs in other aspects, such as wet and dry grip, road noise, or tire wear. However, advancements in tire technology have been closing the gap, making LRR tires more competitive in these areas.