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Bridgestone Turanza EV tire designed for performance, sustainability

Jun 09, 2023

Turanza EV is the tire maker's first-ever replacement tire offering that is designed especially for electric vehicles in the North American market.

LONG BEACH, Calif.—Big ideas roll out of innovation and technical centers all the time.

This, though, isn't your everyday product launch.

For Bridgstone North Americas Inc., Turanza EV is bigger than that. It is proof that the tire maker intends to keep its promises—the kind built around sustainability, performance and innovation.

Moreover, Turanza EV is the tire maker's first-ever replacement tire offering that is designed especially for electric vehicles in the North American market. It brings together all the attributes that EVs need—comfortable, quiet rides; all-season performance; range optimization and the kind of durability that handles the weight, torque and regenerative braking of the battery-powered vehicles.

Yes, Bridgestone said, Turanza EV does all of that.

And it does so more sustainably than ever before, because the new tire is an amalgamation of proven expertise and brand-new breakthroughs.

"I think one of the interesting things is, when we developed the Turanza EV, we took elements from our performance tires and our touring tires," Dale Harrigle, Bridgestone Americas' chief engineer of replacement tires, told Rubber News. "Basically, that is because the premium EVs—which we are focused on with the Turanza EV—combine performance, acceleration and a great driving feel (that also) needs of an everyday tire feel."

And speaking of breakthroughs, Bridgestone would like you to meet PeakLife—a technology Harrigle calls a game-changer.

"One of the key (aspects) for the Turanza EV is our PeakLife polymer," Harrigle said. "It allows us to stretch the strain … to create better wear life and not give up any other performance attributes of the tire."

With PeakLife, Bridgestone is able to pull greater performance from its polymers. It's that ability that allows Turanza EV tire to go further, longer.

And that is all thanks to science.

The typical bonding of synthetic polymers and silica is around 20 percent. But with PeakLife, that bonding improves to 50 percent. It's a huge difference, Harrigle said. The kind of difference that gives tires better abrasion resistance and better rolling resistance.

It allows for sustainability and product value to be rolled into a single package. The kind North American drivers want.

"I think the North American consumer is very much focused on wear life, and very much focused—in terms of EVs—on rolling resistance," Harrigle said.

PeakLife, Harrigle said, is an achievement on which Bridgestone looks to expand. And it is just one of the important technologies that make-up Bridgestone's Enliten Technology suite.

Enliten, afterall, is a tool box of sorts, designed to help Bridgestone build the most sustainable tires possible using most sustainable materials available. And Bridgestone has leaned into its Enliten expertise for product development in the past.

But, remember, Turanza EV is not your everyday product launch.

It is the first passenger tire that bears the Enliten signature on its sidewall. And that, too, is significant.

The Turanza EV is the first passenger car tire to bear the Enliten logo. Additionally, PeakLife allows Bridgestone to achieve that trio simultaneously elusive tire performance properties of abrasion resistance, rolling resistance and wet grip.

Turanza EV also is pivotal because it signals the kind of product performance that can be reached when material science bonds with virtual R&D.

"We use simulation extensively now in all of our new tire developments, and the Turanza EV is no exception," Harrigle said. "We have actually leaned into simulating wear life. With some of the modeling that we are capable of doing, we can take a look at very small tread pattern details and how those details impact wear life of the tire."

That kind of attention to detail can help redefine just how far a tire can go. Literally, of course, but also ecologically. Because greater resistance to tire abrasion has immediate environmental benefits—fewer TRWPs, for instance, isn't bad.

And that impact only grows over time, especially, Harrigle said, when you consider longer-lasting tires mean fewer tires sold and made. And fewer tires made means a reduction in raw materials usage as well as scrap tires produced.

So PeakLife does more than allow Bridgestone to stretch the strain and balance those previously elusive tire performance properties of abrasion, rolling resistance and wet grip. In the end, it also allows the company to stretch its contribution to sustainability and enables consumers to stretch the value of their investment.

"It's a good thing for the consumer," Harrigle said. "They're buying fewer tires."

Yes, he said, selling fewer tires is a good thing. Because for Bridgestone, the consumer and the environment have to take precedence, too.

"One of the focuses for Bridgestone, going forward, is to be a sustainable solutions company," Harrigle said. "And so, sustainability is becoming a key message in everything we do."


Including the Turanza EV.

It's made with what Harrigle calls "significant" amounts of sustainable and recyclable materials, including recycled carbon black, synthetic rubber made from post-consumer recycled plastics, soybean oil and rice husk ash silica.

"All of the materials," he said, "are in the tire on a mass balance approach, and I believe our goal is to increase the use of sustainable materials going forward."

As a stated goal, increasing the use of sustainable materials in tire products—or even achieving a 100-percent sustainable tire isn't the difficult part. The tough part is doing all of that while simultaneously unlocking quality, performance and safety attributes that not only meet the standards of today's products, but exceed them to meet the demands of new mobility.

Turanza EV, Harrigle said, is proof that Bridgestone is well on its way to doing just that.

And it's doing so quietly.

Because the Turanza EV is tailor-made for electric vehicles, it has to be a very specific kind of tire: The strong, silent type.

EVs are heavy. Combined with their torque and regenerative braking, that can take a toll on tires. And Turanza EV is strong enough to handle it, Harrigle said. The tires are optimized to reduce tire abrasion and they're built durably enough to handle the vehicles' weight.

"We designed the Turanza EV to be specific to the EV fitments, and the key there is that EVs tend to have higher mass. So they tend to, from the manufacturer, run higher inflation pressures," Harrigle said. "This tire is tuned to operate at higher inflation pressures."

Still, Harrigle noted, Turanza EV has to go further still. To ensure the best possible experience for EV drivers, the tire has to ride quietly. There is, after all, no engine noise to help mask road noise.

And to do that, Bridgestone did two things: It turned to noise modeling simulation and its own, proven expertise.

"One of the elements we took from the touring tire, the QuieTrack, was the actual Bridgetone proprietary QuieTrack technology, which are little raised ridges within the grooves of the tire, which helps to break up the noise generated as the tire rolls down the road," Harrigle said. " … We know being quiet is critical for EV owners, so we have incorporated this QuieTrack technology into the Turanza EV to help reduce cabin noise and give the consumer a quieter ride."

To start, drivers of some of the most-popular EV models on North American roadways will have the chance to experience what Tuanza can do. It launches in five sizes suitable for Tesla Model 3, Model S, Model X, Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Thirteen additional sizes will be available early next year.

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