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Eco tyres: A good Choice for EVs and hybrids?.

Eco tyres: A good choice for EVs and Hybrids?

Every driver knows keeping their tyres in good condition is critical for safety, performance, and fuel economy. But when the time comes to replace our rubber, few of us consider the possibility of buying a completely different type of tyre. A case in point is the ‘eco tyre’ – so called because it causes less friction as it rolls along the road, which in turn reduces fuel or energy consumption. And when it comes to efficiency-focused hybrid and pure-electric vehicles, fitting the most fuel efficient eco tyres makes a lot of sense.

What makes it an eco tyre?

Eco tyres are formed from denser, tighter rubber compounds, which help reduce rolling resistance – resulting in fewer recharges or refuels.

Are eco tyres just a marketing gimmick?

No – these types of tyres can make a noticeable difference to your fuel or energy consumption. It’s estimated that eco tyres could save around £200 every 20,000 miles. And while that’s not an earth-shattering saving, if you consider eco tyres cost about the same as standard tyres – they seem like a logical choice for day-to-day driving, especially if you are looking to get maximum miles out if a charge or refuel.

Do environmentally-friendly tyres limit performance?

While it’s true eco tyres are not designed to get you around the Nürburgring in record time, manufacturers have spent a great deal of time and money ensuring they offer sufficient grip. In short, environmentally friendly tyres give you all the grip you would need for normal day-to-day motoring.

How to read tyre labels

Glancing at a tyre label for the first time can be a perplexing experience. But once you understand how to read tyre labels, you’ll be able to identify things like grip and efficiency – and why some tyres cost so much more than others.

Since 2012 UK and EU tyre labels have been laid out much like that of a washing machine or other appliance. The first letter – which is colour coded – denotes fuel efficiency, and is graded from A to G, with A being the most efficient. Naturally, the most environmentally friendly tyres are rated A.

The same A to G rating is used for gauging the tyre’s wet grip. It goes without saying that tyres with a G rating for either of these are best avoided.

The final figure on the label tells you how noisy the tyre is – eg 72dB (decibels). No driver wants noisy tyres, but if you’ve bought a super-quiet electric car then it makes even more sense to opt for a quieter version.

Most fuel efficient tyres, UK: What’s the best eco tyre?

As the electric car and hybrid market expands, so too will demand for eco tyres. Indeed, many new electric vehicles are already fitted with such tyres. As such, there’s fierce competition among manufacturers to offer quality eco-options for consumers.

If you’re buying eco tyres for the first time – or looking to replace your old ones – which should you opt for? As you might expect, motoring journalists differ on the best fuel efficient eco tyres out there, but the consensus is the same – go for the lowest resistance you can without compromising on grip.

For instance, AutoGuide (link) judged the Pirelli Scorpion Verde, which delivers a “low-resistance tread without sacrificing traction,” to be best; while Parkers (link) suggested the Bridgestone Ecopia EP150, which achieves “low rolling resistance with a new compound while maintaining good grip,” is among the best.

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