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A New Load Rating is Showing Up on Tires

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Lighter vehicles and better fuel-efficient components have been the hallmark of vehicle design for the past several years. As a result, existing tire load ratings were good enough to manage vehicles. However, this is changing. The increase in the popularity of EVs and hybrids has led to a new load rating being created. More in this Continental Tire Garage Studio video.

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Many companies have been increasing or developing hybrid and EV cars in the past few years. According to Experian‘s car registration data, some 158,689 battery-electric vehicles were registered in Q1 2022, which is 60% more than a year ago. As these types of cars become a greater part of the vehicle population, they bring about new challenges. EVs are heavier than comparable ICE vehicle models. For example, a Tesla’s Model S weighs over 4,900 lbs., whereas a 2022 Toyota Corolla weighs around 3,000 lbs.

With heavier vehicles coming into the market, the need for a higher load-carrying capacity tire has surfaced. With most EV and hybrid vehicles, tires are already at the maximum load-carrying capacity of an XL and due to the limited space, moving to a bigger size would not be practical. With that, a new tire has been designed to accommodate higher loads without increasing the tire size. The result? High load capacity tires. They are able to handle higher loads at the same tire pressure. You’ll see the prefix “HL” on the sidewall in front of the tire size designation to note that these tires can carry high loads.

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New high-load tires allow vehicle manufacturers to stay with current tire sizing without the need for a bigger wheel and tire package. This also helps control the overall cost of vehicles.

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