Hankook Tire launched the iON Winter tire in September 2022, the first winter tire in a new product line specifically designed for electric vehicles.
By taking this approach, the company is making a decisive contribution from a tire choice perspective to advance the transition to zero-emission vehicles, even in winter. Following the launch of Hankook’s summer tire iON evo, the new Hankook iON Winter tire is the second member of the new global family of “iON” (pronounced like /ai’on/) tires for premium electric vehicles.
Features of the new tire include reduced rolling resistance, extremely quiet running characteristics and high load carrying capacity. For drivers of electric cars, this means longer range per battery charge and a better driving experience compared to conventional tires. In addition, Hankook’s new iON products are specifically designed for the instantaneous high torque produced by powerful electric vehicles.
A special challenge: winter tires for electric cars
As a winter tire specifically designed to meet the demands of electric cars, the Hankook iON Winter is manufactured with a specially developed tread compound that ensures the lowest possible rolling resistance without sacrificing performance on wet and snowy roads. By using natural oils, it is possible to achieve the necessary grip even at low temperatures. On the one hand, the special flexibility allows the tire to adapt to the road surface and, on the other hand, movement in the profile is reduced to a minimum.
Rolling noise is a particular problem with winter tires due to the larger void space between the tread blocks. In this regard, the new tread design significantly reduces noise emissions through active steering and sound wave reduction. The driving comfort of the Hankook iON Winter tire benefits from the way the blocks are specifically distributed along the tread. The iON products include Hankook Sound AbsorberTM technology, which—in conjunction with the tire’s unique design—significantly reduces the noise level inside the car.
Hankook tires compensate for the increased mass of electric vehicles, which is caused by the considerable weight of the propulsion batteries, with a higher load-bearing capacity. The new tread compound also ensures exemplary durability and very good wear resistance. The high silica content ensures micro grip on wet roads by counteracting the formation of a water film between the road surface and the tires, which can be dangerous.
A special feature of the iON family of tires is its aerodynamic optimization, which allows for greater efficiency and range, while avoiding additional air turbulence. The design of the tires is also designed to reduce air resistance. Likewise, these measures have a positive impact on low-noise development.
“Changing seasonal tires on time prevents premature wear,” says Sooil Lee, CEO of Hankook Tire & Technology. “With our iON Winter tire, we are able to offer the right product for drivers to switch to tires specifically designed for electric vehicles, even during the winter months.”
The Hankook iON Winter tire will be available in Canada in the second quarter of 2023 in sizes ranging from 18 to 22 inches. The Hankook iON evo AS all-season tire will also be available in the second quarter of 2023.