Choose a language



WINTER TIRE GUIDE FOR HYBRID AND ELECTRIC CARS

Do Electric Cars Need Winter Tires?

The specificities of Electric Vehicles (EV) should always be taken into account when choosing tires. But does this apply to winter tires? Are winter tires compulsory with this type of car? Do electric cars need special winter tires? What are the best winter tires for electric cars? What Michelin tires guarantee safety, eco-friendliness, and comfort in winter for EV? Read on to get all the answers to your questions about winter tires for electric cars.

What’s the difference between tires for electric cars and tires for non-electric cars?

When designing EV tires we must consider the differences between electric and non-electric vehicles (ICE - Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle). Depending on the vehicle type, driving behavior, environment and road conditions, the performance of the tire may differ from an EV and a non-EV vehicle.
Electric cars are weighed down by their batteries, so they need tires which can carry extra weight. While the battery of an electric car stores the energy, it’s the electric motor that provides the instant torque… and the silence! With an electric vehicle, as soon as you press the accelerator, you are immediately at 100% of the vehicle’s power. This means the weight transfers are sharper, a lot more intense than with an internal combustion engine vehicle, which impacts the wear and tear of the tires.

Another factor that requires tires for electric cars to differ from tires for non-electric cars is noise. Without the noise of a combustion engine, the sound of the tires on the road surface is much more noticeable in an electric car. So, tire manufacturers have to create tires that are far quieter. Thus, perceived interior noise is reduced.

However, there are existing tires that can be used on both vehicles, EV and non-EV. 

Close up of MICHELIN X-ICE NORTH 4 winter tires.

Winter Driving: Carl Nadeau Explains the Difference Between ICE Vehicles & Electric Vehicles

You can find out more information on this topic as professional racecar driver Carl Nadeau explains the difference between ICE and EV in winter conditions.

Do electric cars need winter tires?

Although there are differences between EV and non-EV, the need for winter tires is the same and should be considered when the temperature falls below 7 degrees Celsius and starts to stay there consistently. What’s more is that the need for winter tires should be considered for the safety of you and your passengers as the best winter tires for electric cars maintain flexibility and could decrease your stopping distance.

The MICHELIN® X-Ice® SNOW tire is one of our best MICHELIN winter tires for electric cars as it offers long-lasting ice and snow performance. In addition, it was engineered to have low rolling resistance, which helps increase the range of an electric vehicle, even in winter conditions.
Although most winter tires are considered noisier than their summer and/or all-season counterparts, the MICHELIN® X-Ice® SNOW tires are designed to keep the same low level of noise as the previous winter offer it replaced. It also provides excellence in longevity and lasts up to one additional winter than the average of leading competitors1, making it an ideal choice for electric vehicles.

In the most slippery winter conditions involving icy roads, the studded winter tire MICHELIN® X-Ice® NORTH 4 is an excellent option with the benefits of ultimate control on ice as this tire line stud technologies feature improved braking performance and grip on ice, and it was designed for excellent braking and acceleration on snow and better rolling resistance than its previous generation tire2. In addition, due to the mathematical algorithm used to establish the tire’s stud placement, its noise levels have been optimized3. Still, if noise level and comfort is a concern, a non-studded winter tire may be a better option.

Close up of MICHELIN X-ICE NORTH 4 winter tires with snow

Why choose MICHELIN winter tires for electric cars?

Michelin designs winter tires with the highest standards for all vehicles. EVs can be more demanding of tire performance in 3 key areas: wear, range, noise; and Michelin has a winter tire offer designed to address these specific needs while providing winter mobility.

Wear. Michelin winter tires have been engineered to provide long lasting performance over the life of the tire. As electric vehicles tend to be heavier, Michelin has that covered as many winter tire sizes come in extra load to help cover the extra battery weight.

Range. Michelin has been a pioneer in low rolling resistance technology for over 3 decades. MICHELIN GreenX, the pioneer energy saving tire, was introduced in 1992. Since then, Michelin has continuously worked at reducing rolling resistance in its tires. This includes the MICHELIN X-Ice Snow tire, whose rolling resistance was reduced by 9% compared to the previous generation tire4.

Noise MICHELIN winter tirelines are tuned with Michelin-developed Acoustic Piano technology for minimum tread pattern noise which aids in achieving maximum vehicle cabin comfort. Michelin winter tirelines; Michelin X-Ice Snow, Michelin X-Ice North 4, Michelin Pilot Alpin, Michelin Latitude Alpin are tuned with Michelin-developed Acoustic Piano technology for minimum tread pattern noise which aids in achieving maximum vehicle cabin comfort, making them the ideal choices for electric vehicles.

In summary, Michelin currently has a strong winter tire portfolio to address today’s electric vehicles and consumer needs. 

Performance Winter Tires for Electric Cars

Why Choose Michelin Winter Tires for your Electric Car with Carl Nadeau

For more information, take a look at driving expert and former racecar driver Carl Nadeau explaining the benefits of using Michelin tires for electric cars.

How to choose the right winter tire for electric cars?

Choosing the best winter tires for electric cars is the same as choosing a winter tire for a non-electric vehicle. You need to consider the tire’s performance on snow and ice (ie. traction, braking), tire availability, tire warranty, pricing, etc. There are additional factors that you will want to consider when choosing a winter tire for your electric vehicle: range, weight, torque and noise, as mentioned above.

If you are an electric vehicle driver that is concerned with the overall range of the vehicle, then choosing low rolling resistance winter tires for electric cars like the MICHELIN X-Ice Snow tire is a great option for you. Electric vehicles are heavier than non-electric vehicles, which means you will need to choose a tire that can safely carry the extra load of the vehicle. You can find this information in your vehicle owner’s manual or on the tire information sticker found on the driver’s side door of your vehicle. In addition, electric vehicles tend to have greater torque, more acceleration power, than a non-electric vehicle, which can increase the wear of your tires. If you want to enjoy your tires' winter performance for many seasons, choose one of Michelin’s winter tires that offer long lasting performance for your EV. Like the MICHELIN X-Ice Snow tire that was developed to provide winter mobility and safety; not just when it is new, but for seasons to come.

Tires have considerable impact on the way vehicles behave, that is why it's important to have the best winter tires for electric cars. Driving in winter is tricky regardless which vehicle you drive, therefore choosing a premium winter tire that provides excellent winter performance, safety and mobility is necessary. Winter tires are designed to perform better in a wide range of winter conditions such as wet roads, slush, snow, and ice. They also improve your vehicle's grip and performance in these conditions, and they shorten your braking distances for better safety. In summary, the right winter tires for an electric vehicle can be the same winter tires for a non-electric vehicle.

How do I protect the tires on my electric car?

As for any other tires, there are two main ways you can protect your electric car tires and thereby optimize their lifetime: maintenance and driving style.

Electric car tires maintenance involves monitoring the pressure, alignment, and wear.
The pressure of your electric car winter tires is a significant factor that affects the average distance an electric car can go. Driving with under-inflated winter tires will result in unnecessary electricity consumption, as the tires require more energy to roll. Not to mention that incorrectly inflated winter tires can lead to premature wear and tear. Keep in mind that vehicles get a sticker from the manufacturer which indicates the recommended pressure for specific sizes of car tires. There are also recommendations according to whether the car is loaded or not for you to check the pressure.

Eco-driving is an expression we hear more and more these days, and with good reason. With the objective of reducing energy consumption, the right driving style not only maximizes the range of an electric vehicle, it also optimizes electric car tires quality and performance.

In summary, driving style is particularly important. Use moderate acceleration and gentle, regenerative braking. Take corners carefully. That’s the best way to extend the battery range, and the longevity of your electric car tires.

Are there driving recommendations for driving in winter with an electric car?

The first thing to take into consideration is that electric vehicles are usually heavier than regular vehicles due to the battery packs. Driving on the same road using the same tires, the heavier car will most often take longer to slow down. This is especially true when driving on wintry roads that may be covered in ice and snow. Drivers of electric vehicles should increase distances between the car in front of them and give themselves a longer distance and more time to stop. Of course, driving on one of our best winter tires for electric cars, like the MICHELIN® X-Ice® SNOW tire, which are designed to improve stopping distances, should help.

Electric vehicles also have a lot of torque, so it’s easy to spin the tires. Accelerating smoothly and managing the steering wheel smoothly will help you keep the car under control. Aggressive movements will increase the chances of your tires sliding. To maintain or even elevate your confidence in driving EV vehicles in the winter, you should practice and master smooth acceleration and steering.

Most of the time, electric cars have different regenerative braking (regen) possibilities. When you lift the accelerator, it can slow down more quickly and the battery will recharge faster, or slow down more smoothly and the battery will not recharge as quickly. When you choose the more aggressive regen mode, it acts a little like the brakes. When the conditions are slippery, this could cause a loss of control if you slow down too abruptly. This is especially important to consider when you’re going around a bend or corner. You should always slow down gradually and do this while you are driving in a straight line. Please read and view our safe driving winter tips for more details about breaking in a turn. 

View of snow covered road surrounded by trees.

Electric Vehicle Winter Driving Tips with Driving Expert Carl Nadeau

For more winter driving tips with an electric vehicle, take a look at this video with professional driver Carl Nadeau.

Where to go to service your winter tires for electric cars?

It is recommended that you contact your tire dealer to ensure that they have technicians that are EV experts and have the right equipment. Any Michelin dealer or the dealership where you have purchased your EV vehicle can all be viable options.

dl winter 1
FIND A DEALER
Motorcycle
  • Car
  • Motorcycle
Motorcycle
  • Car
  • Motorcycle
Locate me

Legal Mentions

(1) Based on third-party longevity tests, in North Finland between October 2019 and January 2020, on a Volkswagen® Golf 1.5 TSI comparing the MICHELIN® X-Ice® SNOW tire versus BRIDGESTONE® Blizzak WS-90, CONTINENTAL® Viking Contact 7, NOKIAN® Hakkappeliitta R3, GOODYEAR® UltraGrip Ice 2, Pirelli® Ice Zero FR in tire size 205/55R16 94H XL. 7,500 miles (12,000 kilometers) driven per winter is estimated from annual average mileage (kilometers) driven in Canada per vehicle by Desrosiers Automotive Consultants. A winter season is defined as six months.

(2) Based on internal studies done in Ladoux technology center (Clermont-Ferrand) by Michelin between August 2016 and November 2017, on 205/55R16 X-Ice® North 3 and 205/55R16 X-Ice® North 4 tires.

(3) Subjective noise test and objective noise test on black asphalt roads, conducted by TÜV in Germany, on Michelin’s request, in January 2018, on dimension 205/55R16 91V on Volkswagen® Golf VII 1.5 TSI, comparing MICHELIN® X-Ice® North 4 versus NOKIAN® Hakkappeliitta 9 and PIRELLI® Ice Zero competitors. Average of 3 speed conditions (50 - 80 - 110 km/h).

(4) 9% reduction of rolling resistance based on internal studies conducted at the Ladoux Technology Center (in Clermont-Ferrand, France) between August 2019 and January 2020, comparing the MICHELIN X-Ice SNOW tyre versus MICHELIN X-ICE Xi3 in tyre size 195/65R15 using method ISO 28580 at 50 mi/h (80km/h).

You are using an unsupported web browser
You are using a website browser that is not supported by this website. This means that some functionnality may not work as intented. This may result in strange behaviors when browsing round. Use or updgrade/install one of the following browsers to take full advantage of this website