Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. is breaking new ground with its Open Country A/T III EV, an electric vehicle-specific, all-terrain light truck tire.
The tire is on display at this week's 2023 SEMA Show in the Toyo TreadPass area, between the South Hall and Central Hall of the Las Vegas (Nev.) Convention Center.
"Designed and manufactured in the U.S.A., this on/off-road all-terrain tire is engineered from the ground up to align with the unique requirements of electric-powered vehicles, including instant torque, rapid acceleration, the additional weight and range efficiency," say Toyo officials.
"Building on the impressive performance of the current Open Country A/T III, the all-new EV version delivers exceptional off-road performance, as well as confidence-inspiring on-road handling and ride comfort. It also qualifies for the severe snow service traction rating and is equipped with the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol for all-weather driving confidence."
Features include Toyo's sidewall AeroWing, plus high-contrast lettering and chamfered shoulder blocks to help reduce wind drag, while maintaining all-terrain performance and the aggressive appearance that consumers seek.
"An optimized tread pattern and advanced tread compound provide reduced rolling resistance, improved durability and long tread wear life."
"The first question (we hear from customers) is, 'Why all-terrain? That doesn’t seem possible,'" says Todd Bergeson, senior manager of product planning and technical services at Toyo.
"And that's why we did it."
EV tires for light truck applications "is blue ocean category. It's brand new. To our knowledge, we’re the only ones doing it on the replacement side."
The new Open Country A/T III, whose first size, LT275/60R20, will be available in February 2024, targets popular electric light trucks like the Ford F-150 Lightning.
"It would be a lot easier to develop a highway-terrain tire, but anyone can do that," says Bergeson. "We wanted to lead with an all-terrain (tire) because it’s something we know. We’re pretty good at it. And we’ve learned that ‘s what folks want.
Other LT and P-metric OE and plus sizes have been developed and are planned for release later in 2024 and will target vehicles like the Rivian R1T/R1S and GMC Hummer EV, as well as, in the future, the Tesla Cybertruck and Chevrolet EVs.
"Toyo Tires will continue to roll out more sizes as this segment grows with new vehicles becoming available in the future," say Toyo officials.