Nokian is making the first winter tire optimized for electric cars such as the BMW i3. It combines extremely low rolling resistance, excellent grip, and exceptional driving comfort, the company says. It is the first winter tire with an A energy rating and can reduce rolling resistance as much as 30%.
In the good old days of motoring, if a car needed more performance, a manufacturer could just add more cubic inches or raise the compression ratio. Today, range is more important to drivers of electric vehicles than outright performance. It becomes even more of a concern in winter, when cold temperatures have a negative impact on battery power.
“Every mile counts, so when it comes to tires, low rolling resistance is a must,” says Graham Heeps, editor of Tire Technology International magazine, which named the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 the Tire Technology of the Year recently. “We are really thankful for this significant award. This is also an excellent opening shot for the 80th anniversary year of Hakkapeliittas,” says Juha Pirhonen, vice president of R&D for Nokian Tires.
“We are proud to be able to offer more winter grip, more peace of mind and, in particular, more range to the ever-increasing number of electric car owners with our top class Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 winter tyre. Making transport safer and greener is a leading principle for our product development,” says Pirhonen. The R2 is currently available only in the 155/70R19 84Q size, which is perfectly matched to the needs of the BMW i3.
Nokian is based in Finland, where drivers know a thing or two about winter driving and every driver over the age of 14 is a master of the “Scandinavian Flick.” Its winter tires are born, bred, and tested at the company’s testing facility located in Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle. The Nokian Hakkapeliitta is one of the best known winter tire brands in the world.