Nokian introduces winter tire for electric BMW

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Nokian introduces winter tire for electric BMW

In January 2015 Nokian Tyres Inc. will introduce the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2, a winter tire designed for BMW's i3 electric car. It combines low rolling resistance, first-class grip and exceptional driving comfort and achieves the A class in the European tire label, the company says.

The Hakkapeliitta R2 will be available to consumers in the Nordic countries and Russia as well as in other markets wherever true winter is experienced. The non-studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 (size 215/45R20 95R XL), designed for BMW's new i8 hybrid vehicle, will be introduced in February–March 2015.

According to tests, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 can reduce the rolling resistance of electric vehicles 30%. The energy savings gained from the lower rolling resistance increases the vehicle's range.

The tire’s size is 155/70R19 84Q. This introduction to the Nokian Hakkapeliitta family represents future technology, the company says, and it allows for safe, economical, and high-performance driving on snow and ice in demanding Nordic winter weather.

"Making transport safer and greener is also a leading principle for our product development," says Product Development Manager Jarno Ahvenlammi.

According to the EU tire label, the rolling resistance of the new model is in class A,which is something the company says has not been achieved by any winter tyre before. By using new Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 winter tyre electric vehicle drivers can enjoy even 30% lower rolling resistance compared to other winter tyres on the market, which are in class C and E.

Nokian's new technology concept makes the tire body firm and stiff, and says this, together with several new material components, minimizes the tire's heat generation and internal deformation, which allows for low rolling resistance. In the future, Ahvenlammi says Nokian will use the same technology in our other winter products. Ahvenlammi leads the testing and development of Nokian Tyres' special products for electric vehicles.

Nokian says that high-quality winter tyres offer even lower rolling resistance than summer tires. The energy savings gained from the lower rolling resistance increases the vehicle's range. Maximizing the energy efficiency and safety of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 for electric and hybrid vehicles also required developing entirely new types of rubber compounds.

The molecular chains of the next-generation functional Nokian Intelligent eSilica tread compound connect with the silica particles to form a strong but flexible combination. The rubber compound works well across a wide temperature range, improving winter grip and further reducing rolling resistance. The sipes or grooves of the symmetrical tread pattern function actively regardless of the changes in grip level and temperature. The compound creates exceptional grip on ice, snow, and wet roads, and excellent wear resistance. The canola oil used in the rubber compound adds tear strength to the new Hakkapeliitta, increasing its durability, and improves grip on snow and ice.

The aggressive arrow-like tread pattern, and the safety innovations that improve handling, such as the grip particles and pump sipes of the Cryo Crystal concept, ensure balanced handling and excellent winter grip, even on wet ice.

Nokian says over half of its product development resources are spent on testing products.

"We work in close co-operation with the leading car manufacturers in order to be able to provide the best and most modern products in the industry for drivers who experience the Northern winter; electric and hybrid vehicles are no exception," says Petri Niemi, business manager. "Our excellent success in comparison tests is also proof of the success of our strategy. During this winter, our winter tyres have achieved over 40 test wins in car magazines, which is a record in and of itself."

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