Sumitomo Unveils Groundbreaking EV Tyre Tech to Slash Air Resistance

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Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd
Published on
February 29, 2024

In a significant leap towards eco-friendly vehicle technology, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. has announced the introduction of an innovative "Tyre Aerodynamic Simulation" technique. This cutting-edge simulation, destined to play a crucial role in the development of next-generation electric vehicle (EV) tyres, aims to drastically reduce air resistance, a key factor in energy consumption for electric vehicles.

The quest for sustainable mobility has led Sumitomo Rubber to focus on minimizing both tyre rolling resistance and air drag around tyres, pivotal in lowering electricity consumption for EVs. With the industry's rapid pivot to electric vehicles, the significance of air resistance has surged. Unlike traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, which lose a substantial amount of energy to heat, EVs maintain a more efficient energy profile, making aerodynamic efficiency a paramount concern.

Sidewall aerodynamic simulation that can accommodate the lettering and fine texture on the sidewall

Sumitomo's "Tyre Aerodynamic Simulation" leverages AI technology to visualize and optimize the airflow around tyres in motion, using real vehicle data. This approach not only contributes to the development of tyres with reduced air resistance but also aligns with aesthetic design requirements. By simulating tyre patterns and sidewall textures in motion, the technology offers a dual advantage—enhancing both the tyre's design and its aerodynamic performance.

Comparative studies, including wind tunnel experiments with actual vehicles, have validated the simulation's accuracy. Tyres developed using this technique exhibited lower air resistance than standard models, underscoring the potential of Sumitomo's innovation. The AI-driven analysis further highlights the sidewall's critical role in minimizing air drag, offering a new dimension to tyre design focused on aerodynamic efficiency.

Comparison of energy loss at a speed of 100 kilometers per hour between ICE vehicle and EV

Incorporated within Sumitomo's broader Circular Economy Concept, TOWANOWA, the "Tyre Aerodynamic Simulation" is set to contribute significantly to reducing EVs' electricity consumption. TOWANOWA's innovative approach, intertwining a "Sustainable Ring" of value chain processes with a "Data Ring" of shared big data, aims to foster new value and promote ESG Management.

Sumitomo Rubber's latest technological advancement not only marks a step forward in the development of high-performance EV tyres.

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