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Hankook launches tyres for electric buses­ ­ ­ ­

Hankook launches tyres for electric buses­ ­ ­ ­

Hankook has launched the SmartCity AU04+, its first tyre specification for electric buses.  As these vehicles are generally heavier than conventional buses due to their energy storage units, the tyres also have an increased load index. To keep battery energy loss to a minimum, the SmartCity AU04+ also stands out on account of its very low rolling resistance. The tread of the AU04+, which has been designed as an all-year tyre, is suitable for all wintry conditions without restriction and bears the snowflake symbol (3PMSF). It goes without saying that the new city bus tyre size is equally suitable for use on city buses with conventional drive concepts.

For the first time, Hankook is supplying a city bus tyre in the size 315/60 R 22.5 optimised for electromotive use. On account of the increased vehicle weight resulting from the battery weight, the tyre not only has a stable carcass but also an increased load capacity of 154/148J (156/152F) which corresponds to a weight of eight tonnes per axle. The standard load-bearing capacity is usually seven tonnes per axle for this size.

Klaus Krause, head of the European Research and Development Centre, said: “Unlike conventional combustion engines, an electric motor is able to deliver the full torque immediately. This means the vehicle and the tyres respond faster to speed or the changing road conditions. Consequently, more demands are made on tyres for electric-powered vehicles. The high grip level avoids irregular tyre wear without having to do without optimum mileage. For this reason, we have adapted the shoulder width and design for the SmartCity AU04+ to the increased requirements, thus guaranteeing more even wear. The improved molecular structure of the new tread compound makes the tyre much more heat-resistant and is a further contributing factor to a longer service life. The reinforced sidewall is particularly important for the protection of electric bus tyres since they accelerate much more quickly on account of the system and also build up a more aggressive contact to curbstones.”

The SmartCity AU04+ also has a further reinforced sidewall. This protects the tyre from damage following the often unavoidable contact with the curb in city traffic, the company said.

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