Hyundai has announced news of a new deal with major tyre manufacturer, Michelin, signing a new joint research deal to hopefully find a major breakthrough for the next generation of premium electric vehicle tyres.
Officially, the two have signed a three-year memorandum of understanding for the research and development of eco-friendly tyres that can accommodate the added weight of porky electric vehicles with their large battery packs.
The most recent signing actually comes as a follow-up from a five-year partnership first signed in 2017 that saw Michelin and Hyundai develop a new and exclusive tyre for the IONIQ 5. The two say securing superior tyre performance with a range of sustainable materials are key goals for the new partnership.
Rather than a typical tyre pressure monitoring system, the next goal is to create a system that monitors the health and performance of the rubber in real-time. Hyundai says it would tie in perfectly with its new autonomous driving technologies.
Hyundai says that as driving range figures increase, so too will the weight of its vehicles, which is why increasing the durability and energy efficiency of the rubber deployed under heavy loads is a key concern.
In terms of the sustainability angle, the two say that they are aiming to increase the use of eco-friendly materials in tyre construction up from 20 per cent currently, to a goal of “about 50 per cent” of the total tyre weight. Vice president and head of the chassis development center at Hyundai, Bong-soo Kim, said:
“This partnership with Michelin will result in real innovations in tyre technology… By fully leveraging our mobility technology and Michelin’s tyre expertise, we are confident in our ability to achieve ground-breaking innovations in tyre performance enhancement and create synergies in this organic collaboration.”
Michelin’s Georges Levy said that collaboration is “founded on the same vision and a shared passion for excellence, performance and innovation”.