The weekend’s unseasonable cold has once again given rise to thoughts of how well electric cars perform in the cold. Gas2 readers may remember a number of solutions for maintaining battery power and improving range in the bitter cold, but there’s another way to help EVs in icy winter conditions: winter tires.
Finnish tire manufacturer Nokian Tyres has both a wide array of tires for cold northern conditions and a prototype electric sports car on which to test them. Their most recent combination of the two yielded an unexpected and totally awesome result – the world record for driving fast on top of ice.
Slippery? No Problem!
The electric sports car in question is the E-RA, which stands for Electric Race About, and it was built by students in central Finland 2010. Nokian slapped some of their Hakkapeliitta studded tires on it for the test (225/40R18, if you’re curious). Then they took it north, put test driver Janne Laitinen at the wheel, and told him to go really really fast.
Laitinen pushed the car up to 252.09km/h (or 156.64mph), on top of slippery ice – and that’s not exactly slow on pavement (unless you’re in some sort of race car). Laitinen was also presumably not killed from the car spinning out of control, making the tire test a massive success.
Nokian employee Matti Morri was rather laconic about the test results, in typical Scandinavian fashion (at least as far as I can tell from Response.jp’s transcription):
“Our test this time was indispensable to further development of our winter tires. The rolling resistance of the tires has a great deal of impact on the range of an electric vehicle, and we’ve got a lot of valuable data from this experiment.”
Despite studded tires not being allowed on the roads in most parts of the civilized world (they damage the surface), this does mean that Scandinavians at least have one less excuse not to drive an electric car in winter.
Thoughts or comments? Let us know below.
Source | Image: Response.jp