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Continental Unveils New 'HL' Tire for EVs, Hybrids

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Conti HL

Continental says it is now building "the first passenger tire with the new HL load index. Inflated to the same pressure, these tires have a higher load capacity than those built to the former XL standard."

Continental Tire the Americas LLC has addressed the issue of extra weight associated with electric and hybrid vehicles by developing a passenger tire that sports the new HL load index.

"Inflated to the same pressure, these tires have a higher load capacity than those built to the former XL standard," say Continental officials.

"On the sidewall, products with the new maximum load capacity display the HL code ahead of the size - for example HL 245/40R19 101 Y XL. The load capacity of this HL tire stands at 1819 lb./825 kg (load index 101), which equates to a 10% increase over the familiar XL standard of 1653 lb./750 kg (load index 98).

"Passenger tires of this size built to the SL standard, adequate for many cars, up to and including mid-range models, can take a maximum load of 1477 lb./670 kg (load index 94). That makes the load capacity of the new HL tires almost 25% higher. Looking ahead, Continental is expecting to see growing demand for tires with the new HL code.

Increasing the load capacity while at the same time meeting customer requirements called for a number of changes in the tire's structure and rubber compound, note Continental officials.

“We were dealing here with trade-offs that needed resolving at a very high level,” says Dr. Stefan Habicht, head of the development project for the new tires.

“In terms of construction, we reinforced the bead and enhanced the contour of the tire to reduce tire/road noise. At the same time, we also optimized the pattern compound. As a result, we were able to achieve low rolling resistance, ensure precision handling and keep mileage at its customary high level.”

Continental is producing the first HL tires for original equipment use. The products also will be available as replacement channel offerings.

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