Following the debut of its ERange EV tire earlier this year, Sailun Tire Americas invited tire dealers, distributors and members of the media in early October to what is arguably the electric vehicle capital of the U.S. – Los Angeles, California – to be among the first group to put its new product through its paces.
Drivers had the opportunity to test the tires, developed to specifically target electric passenger vehicles, through a gauntlet of real-world driving scenarios. Stop-and-go traffic in Beverly Hills, winding roads in the hills of West Hollywood and highway driving via Interstate 1 along the Pacific Coast were all covered.
Jared Lynch, Sailun Tire’s director of sales, told drivers that the ERange successfully enhances battery range, treadwear and wet traction for EV drivers. The tire achieves this in large part thanks to a rubber compound proprietary to Sailun Tires, which the company calls “EcoPoint3.” EcoPoint3 is mixed using what Lynch refers to as “liquid phase mixing,” which allows the company to evenly distribute silica throughout the mix.
“For so long, the way that you mixed tread compounds is to take all of the solid state ingredients and mix them together. Liquid phase mixing does this in a liquid state. The best analogy I can use is that it’s like mixing a cup of chocolate milk. You have your cup of milk, you have your powdered chocolate, and you mix it together. No matter how many times you stir, there are still clumps in it. It’s never evenly distributed,” Lynch says. “What Sailun was able to do with our tread compound is turn it into a liquid form. In this case, it’s like taking a cup of milk, taking liquid Hershey syrup, squirting it in and stirring it. It’s evenly distributed across the cup of milk. It’s easier to mix, there’s more uniformity.”
The topic of range anxiety can’t be avoided when it comes to EVs, so importantly, Lynch says, the ERange EV tire’s low rolling resistance compound offers EV drivers 7% more battery life per charge over other tire brands according to Sailun’s third-party testing. For an EV designed to travel 400 miles per charge, like a Tesla Model S, that equates to 28 extra potential miles. Lynch adds that both grip and wear resistance also match or exceed other leading tire specs according to third-party testing.
Ron Dolan, president of Sailun Tires America, says expanding fuel economy, traction and wear without sacrifice is a direct result of the development of the EcoPoint3 compound.
“In our testing, we do see a seismic difference in what you need to do to really have this type of performance on EVs,” Dolan says.
Lynch says the ERange EV tire was designed for the North American market. The tire is being distributed to tire dealers in North America now, and is being released in 32 sizes that cover 80% of the market.
“Nothing that comes into the North American market comes here before it goes through rigorous testing, now at our most recent facility that we opened up in Chattanooga, Tennessee,” Lynch says. “In addition to that, we have a North American engineering team. The tires sold in North America are designed and engineered by a North American team, and we do our due diligence with market intelligence. We want to know what tires are going to resonate for the North American market.”
TBC is the exclusive distributor for this tire in the United States and Mexico, and Sailun depends on a handful of regional retailers and wholesalers for distribution in Canada.
According to Lynch, the company is the 15th largest tire manufacturer in the world, selling tires in over 135 countries. Lynch says the company achieved $2.6 billion in global sales last year. Sailun Tire has 10 international sales offices, seven global factories, four R&D centers, one rubber plantation and 14,000 employees stretched over 15 countries.
Sailun Tire President Ron Dolan says he sees big things stemming from Sailun’s EcoPoint3 compound. Read what he has to say.