2023 The Best Electric Vehicle Tyres VS UHP Tyres

It's not often I'm completely shocked by a tyre test, but this years AMS EV tyre vs normal tyre test has me stumped.

Why? Let me run a few things past you. The Michelin e.Primacy was best in wet braking, beating both the Continental SportContact 7 and Bridgestone Potenza Sport, which usually ace that test. The Michelin e.Primacy also beat the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV overall, which has won every other test it's featured in, and Continental won the test twice!

The concept for the test seems relatively straightforward - get a bunch of the best performance tyres on the market and test them against the newest ultra low rolling resistance / EV tyres, the Michelin e.Primacy, the Falken eZiex and the Pirelli Scorpion Elect.

Things get l little more complicated as AMS also included the Kia EV6 OE version of the Continental PremiumContact 6, and the acoustic foam version of the Michelin Pilot Sport SUV. And they used two test vehicles, an EV Kia EV6 and a diesel Kia Sorento. Quite which did what escapes me, so if you want to know you should go check out the full AMS test on their website or magazine.

Dry BrakingContinental Premium Contact 6: 34.1 MPirelli Scorpion Elect: 36.6 M
Dry HandlingContinental SportContact 7: 91.9 Km/HPirelli Scorpion Elect: 88.8 Km/H
Wet BrakingMichelin e.Primacy: 23.9 MGT-Radial SportActive 2 SUV: 26.9 M
Wet HandlingBridgestone Potenza Sport: 51.6 Km/HPirelli Scorpion Elect: 49.1 Km/H
Wet CircleBridgestone Potenza Sport: 8.97 m/sPirelli Scorpion Elect: 8.38 m/s
Straight AquaMichelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV: 83.8 Km/HFalken e.Ziex: 81.3 Km/H
Curved AquaplaningBridgestone Potenza Sport: 9.14 m/sec2Falken e.Ziex: 7.2 m/sec2
NoiseMichelin e.Primacy: 71.9 dBBridgestone Potenza Sport: 73.5 dB
PriceMaxxis Victra Sport VS5 SUV: 177 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV: 400
Rolling ResistanceFalken e.Ziex: 5.7 kg / tBridgestone Potenza Sport: 9.1 kg / t
Energy ConsumptionFalken e.Ziex: 13.2 kWh/100kmBridgestone Potenza Sport: 16.1 kWh/100km

Wet

Wet braking is the test that's raised the most eyebrows in the industry. Traditionally the wet performance of a tyre is an opposing requirement of rolling resistance / energy use, highlighted by the fact the the Michelin e.Primacy has never had a good wet braking result against its rivals. Don't believe me? Check out the other tests linked from here.

In this test, the e.Primacy was not only best of the other EV tyres, it was best of all the tyres! Perhaps it was something to do with the rather large 255/45 R20 tyre size tested, or perhaps it was due to a very high grip wet braking surface (look at the distances!) but the data had the e.Primacy at the top, and the new Falken eZiex in second, both ahead of their much higher rolling resistance counter parts, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV and Falken Azenis FK520.

Fortunately wet handling had the tyres in a more expected order, with the ultra low rolling resistance tyres struggling to get the Kia around the lap compared to the wet master, the Bridgestone Potenza Sport.

The ultra low rolling resistance tyres were also amongst the worst in the aquaplaning tests, which is often a feature of the shallower starting tread depth and less water channels of tyres designed to save energy.

Dry

Dry braking had both the Continental products at the front, with four tyres tied for fourth place!

The sport-bias UHP tyres led the way in the dry handling laps, with the Continental SportContact 7 having an impressive margin.

Environment

The magazine tested the rolling resistance of the tyres, which is a machine test, and the energy consumption in the real world using the Kia EV6.

The EV tyres led the real world test, with the Falken Azenis FK520 tying with the eZiex on the drum test. As we've seen before, the Bridgestone Potenza Sport isn't the tyre to buy if you care about your energy use!

The three EV tyres also had the lowest external passby noise, another feature of the low tread depth, BUT the testers did comment that the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV with acoustic foam was noticeably quieter in the cabin meaning the sound deadening foam applied to the inside of the tyre was doing its job well.

There was quite a range in tyre prices, with Michelin being the two most expensive products in the test.

Results

Please note: Continental claim the SportContact 7 should have over 7mm of tread depth, but in the interest of fairness, I've databased what was listed in the magazine. Based on my own measurements in a different tyre size of the SC7, it seems most likely that the magazine is incorrect.

1st: Continental SportContact 7

Continental SportContact 7
  • 255/45 R20 105Y
  • EU Label: C/A/73
  • Weight: 12.44kgs
  • Tread: 5.87mm
  • 3PMSF: no
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking1st34.1 M100%
Dry Handling1st91.9 Km/H100%
Wet Braking4th24.3 M23.9 M+0.4 M98.35%
Wet Handling4th50.4 Km/H51.6 Km/H-1.2 Km/H97.67%
Wet Circle2nd8.72 m/s8.97 m/s-0.25 m/s97.21%
Straight Aqua2nd83.3 Km/H83.8 Km/H-0.5 Km/H99.4%
Curved Aquaplaning3rd8.8 m/sec29.14 m/sec2-0.34 m/sec296.28%
Noise7th73 dB71.9 dB+1.1 dB98.49%
Price6th285 177 +108 62.11%
Rolling Resistance4th7.2 kg / t5.7 kg / t+1.5 kg / t79.17%
Energy Consumption6th15 kWh/100km13.2 kWh/100km+1.8 kWh/100km88%
Maximum aquaplaning safety, very balanced wet safety with strong understeer, works well with the ESP control system. Very short braking distances dry.
Strong understeer even in the dry, increased tyre noise.
The SC7 is a sporty, efficient all-rounder with high safety reserves.

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2nd: Continental Premium Contact 6

Continental Premium Contact 6
  • 255/45 R20 101Y
  • EU Label: B/A/72
  • Weight: 13.42kgs
  • Tread: 6.33mm
  • 3PMSF: no
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking1st34.1 M100%
Dry Handling5th90 Km/H91.9 Km/H-1.9 Km/H97.93%
Wet Braking7th24.7 M23.9 M+0.8 M96.76%
Wet Handling5th50 Km/H51.6 Km/H-1.6 Km/H96.9%
Wet Circle5th8.58 m/s8.97 m/s-0.39 m/s95.65%
Straight Aqua8th81.8 Km/H83.8 Km/H-2 Km/H97.61%
Curved Aquaplaning8th8 m/sec29.14 m/sec2-1.14 m/sec287.53%
Noise4th72.1 dB71.9 dB+0.2 dB99.72%
Price3rd213 177 +36 83.1%
Rolling Resistance5th7.4 kg / t5.7 kg / t+1.7 kg / t77.03%
Energy Consumption6th15 kWh/100km13.2 kWh/100km+1.8 kWh/100km88%
Very short dry braking, Safe balance, good handling in the wet and in the dry. Very low drive-by and interior noise.
Compared to the Conti SC 7, the steering behavior is more sluggish, the tendency to understeer is more pronounced and the level of grip is somewhat lower.
The Kia EV6 OE version of PC6 was tested in this test. It is very quiet on the EV6 - technically no longer up to date as the PC7 is on the market.

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3rd: Michelin e.Primacy

Michelin e.Primacy
  • 255/45 R20 101V
  • EU Label: A/A/70
  • Weight: 11.89kgs
  • Tread: 6.3mm
  • 3PMSF: no
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking4th34.9 M34.1 M+0.8 M97.71%
Dry Handling9th89.5 Km/H91.9 Km/H-2.4 Km/H97.39%
Wet Braking1st23.9 M100%
Wet Handling7th49.8 Km/H51.6 Km/H-1.8 Km/H96.51%
Wet Circle7th8.46 m/s8.97 m/s-0.51 m/s94.31%
Straight Aqua8th81.8 Km/H83.8 Km/H-2 Km/H97.61%
Curved Aquaplaning9th7.68 m/sec29.14 m/sec2-1.46 m/sec284.03%
Noise1st71.9 dB100%
Price9th371 177 +194 47.71%
Rolling Resistance2nd5.9 kg / t5.7 kg / t+0.2 kg / t96.61%
Energy Consumption3rd13.4 kWh/100km13.2 kWh/100km+0.2 kWh/100km98.51%
Best braking in the wet, very low rolling resistance and quiet rolling noise. Easily controllable tyre with safe understeer tendency.
Poor ride comfort with low self-damping.
The e.Primacy is the best choice for high-quality, comfortable e-models - but it's expensive.

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4th: Falken e.Ziex

Falken e.Ziex
  • 255/45 R20 105V
  • EU Label: A/A/72
  • Weight: 11.6kgs
  • Tread: 6.12mm
  • 3PMSF: no
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking3rd34.3 M34.1 M+0.2 M99.42%
Dry Handling4th90.3 Km/H91.9 Km/H-1.6 Km/H98.26%
Wet Braking2nd24 M23.9 M+0.1 M99.58%
Wet Handling9th49.4 Km/H51.6 Km/H-2.2 Km/H95.74%
Wet Circle9th8.41 m/s8.97 m/s-0.56 m/s93.76%
Straight Aqua10th81.3 Km/H83.8 Km/H-2.5 Km/H97.02%
Curved Aquaplaning10th7.2 m/sec29.14 m/sec2-1.94 m/sec278.77%
Noise1st71.9 dB100%
Price5th252 177 +75 70.24%
Rolling Resistance1st5.7 kg / t100%
Energy Consumption1st13.2 kWh/100km100%
Very short braking distances on wet and dry roads, very low rolling resistance and quiet rolling noise.
Too much focus on safety and efficiency criteria resulting in a sluggish response. Increased risk of slipping deeper water.
The new Falken e.Ziex is a smooth-running and safe newcomer with a good price-performance ratio.

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5th: Bridgestone Potenza Sport

Bridgestone Potenza Sport
  • 255/45 R20 105Y
  • EU Label: C/A/72
  • Weight: 13.48kgs
  • Tread: 6.36mm
  • 3PMSF: no
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking4th34.9 M34.1 M+0.8 M97.71%
Dry Handling2nd90.9 Km/H91.9 Km/H-1 Km/H98.91%
Wet Braking9th26 M23.9 M+2.1 M91.92%
Wet Handling1st51.6 Km/H100%
Wet Circle1st8.97 m/s100%
Straight Aqua7th82.2 Km/H83.8 Km/H-1.6 Km/H98.09%
Curved Aquaplaning1st9.14 m/sec2100%
Noise10th73.5 dB71.9 dB+1.6 dB97.82%
Price7th304 177 +127 58.22%
Rolling Resistance10th9.1 kg / t5.7 kg / t+3.4 kg / t62.64%
Energy Consumption10th16.1 kWh/100km13.2 kWh/100km+2.9 kWh/100km81.99%
Outstanding cornering grip on wet and dry roads, combined with very precise handling characteristics - a very sporty tyre.
Long braking distances in the wet, sensitive to temperature. Increased rolling resistance and louder pass-by noise, somewhat rumbling in the cabin.
The Potenza Sport is the sportiest tyre in the field - the tyre to buy when efficiency isn't a priority.

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6th: Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV

Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV
  • 255/45 R20 105Y
  • EU Label: C/A/72
  • Weight: 14.1kgs
  • Tread: 7.27mm
  • 3PMSF: no
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking4th34.9 M34.1 M+0.8 M97.71%
Dry Handling6th89.9 Km/H91.9 Km/H-2 Km/H97.82%
Wet Braking4th24.3 M23.9 M+0.4 M98.35%
Wet Handling3rd50.5 Km/H51.6 Km/H-1.1 Km/H97.87%
Wet Circle3rd8.69 m/s8.97 m/s-0.28 m/s96.88%
Straight Aqua1st83.8 Km/H100%
Curved Aquaplaning2nd8.93 m/sec29.14 m/sec2-0.21 m/sec297.7%
Noise7th73 dB71.9 dB+1.1 dB98.49%
Price10th400 177 +223 44.25%
Rolling Resistance8th8 kg / t5.7 kg / t+2.3 kg / t71.25%
Energy Consumption8th15.3 kWh/100km13.2 kWh/100km+2.1 kWh/100km86.27%
Good aquaplaning protection, outstanding ride comfort and very quiet interior noise.
Slightly longer braking distances in the dry, marginal dynamic weaknesses in wet handling. Slightly increased rolling resistance. Increased pass-by noise.
Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV Acoustic Tested - Very quiet internal noise - more suited to combustion cars than EVs.

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7th: Falken Azenis FK520

Falken Azenis FK520
  • 255/45 R20 105Y
  • EU Label: C/A/70
  • Weight: 13.54kgs
  • Tread: 7.01mm
  • 3PMSF: no
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking4th34.9 M34.1 M+0.8 M97.71%
Dry Handling3rd90.8 Km/H91.9 Km/H-1.1 Km/H98.8%
Wet Braking3rd24.2 M23.9 M+0.3 M98.76%
Wet Handling8th49.6 Km/H51.6 Km/H-2 Km/H96.12%
Wet Circle6th8.52 m/s8.97 m/s-0.45 m/s94.98%
Straight Aqua6th82.6 Km/H83.8 Km/H-1.2 Km/H98.57%
Curved Aquaplaning7th8.06 m/sec29.14 m/sec2-1.08 m/sec288.18%
Noise9th73.4 dB71.9 dB+1.5 dB97.96%
Price4th216 177 +39 81.94%
Rolling Resistance6th7.6 kg / t5.7 kg / t+1.9 kg / t75%
Energy Consumption5th14.7 kWh/100km13.2 kWh/100km+1.5 kWh/100km89.8%
Good braking and decent cornering grip in the wet. Comparatively active, safe handling dry, quiet and comfortable on the inside.
Basically a bit sluggish when turning, indifferent, unbalanced wet handling, longer braking distances on a dry track.
The FK520 is a comparatively cheaper all-rounder with only small weaknesses.

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8th: Maxxis Victra Sport VS5 SUV

Maxxis Victra Sport VS5 SUV
  • 255/45 R20 105Y
  • EU Label: C/A/71
  • Weight: 13.82kgs
  • Tread: 7.27mm
  • 3PMSF: no
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking8th35.5 M34.1 M+1.4 M96.06%
Dry Handling6th89.9 Km/H91.9 Km/H-2 Km/H97.82%
Wet Braking8th25 M23.9 M+1.1 M95.6%
Wet Handling2nd50.8 Km/H51.6 Km/H-0.8 Km/H98.45%
Wet Circle3rd8.69 m/s8.97 m/s-0.28 m/s96.88%
Straight Aqua2nd83.3 Km/H83.8 Km/H-0.5 Km/H99.4%
Curved Aquaplaning5th8.45 m/sec29.14 m/sec2-0.69 m/sec292.45%
Noise5th72.9 dB71.9 dB+1 dB98.63%
Price1st177 100%
Rolling Resistance9th8.8 kg / t5.7 kg / t+3.1 kg / t64.77%
Energy Consumption8th15.3 kWh/100km13.2 kWh/100km+2.1 kWh/100km86.27%
Proper cornering and safe handling in the wet, even when changing loads. Balanced, safe and quite precise handling dry.
Longer braking distances on wet and dry roads, slightly increased rolling resistance.
The Victra Sport 5 SUV has a slightly reduced level of performance at a fair price.

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9th: Pirelli Scorpion Elect

Pirelli Scorpion Elect
  • 255/45 R20 105Y
  • EU Label: A/A/70
  • Weight: 12.73kgs
  • Tread: 7.2mm
  • 3PMSF: no
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking10th36.6 M34.1 M+2.5 M93.17%
Dry Handling10th88.8 Km/H91.9 Km/H-3.1 Km/H96.63%
Wet Braking6th24.6 M23.9 M+0.7 M97.15%
Wet Handling10th49.1 Km/H51.6 Km/H-2.5 Km/H95.16%
Wet Circle10th8.38 m/s8.97 m/s-0.59 m/s93.42%
Straight Aqua4th83.2 Km/H83.8 Km/H-0.6 Km/H99.28%
Curved Aquaplaning6th8.09 m/sec29.14 m/sec2-1.05 m/sec288.51%
Noise1st71.9 dB100%
Price8th308 177 +131 57.47%
Rolling Resistance3rd6.4 kg / t5.7 kg / t+0.7 kg / t89.06%
Energy Consumption1st13.2 kWh/100km100%
Largely safe, understeering behavior in the dry, very quiet pass-by noise, good fuel efficiency, decent ride comfort.
Long braking distances in the dry, sluggish steering, limited grip and poor steering precision in the wet.
The Scorpion Elect demands too many compromises for its increased range.

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10th: GT Radial SportActive 2 SUV

GT-Radial SportActive 2 SUV
  • 255/45 R20 105W
  • EU Label: B/A/70
  • Weight: 13.05kgs
  • Tread: 7.67mm
  • 3PMSF: no
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking9th35.8 M34.1 M+1.7 M95.25%
Dry Handling8th89.6 Km/H91.9 Km/H-2.3 Km/H97.5%
Wet Braking10th26.9 M23.9 M+3 M88.85%
Wet Handling6th49.9 Km/H51.6 Km/H-1.7 Km/H96.71%
Wet Circle8th8.44 m/s8.97 m/s-0.53 m/s94.09%
Straight Aqua4th83.2 Km/H83.8 Km/H-0.6 Km/H99.28%
Curved Aquaplaning4th8.77 m/sec29.14 m/sec2-0.37 m/sec295.95%
Noise5th72.9 dB71.9 dB+1 dB98.63%
Price2nd198 177 +21 89.39%
Rolling Resistance7th7.7 kg / t5.7 kg / t+2 kg / t74.03%
Energy Consumption4th14.6 kWh/100km13.2 kWh/100km+1.4 kWh/100km90.41%
Good aquaplaning protection, safe lane changes in the dry, very quiet and comfortable tyre in the car.
Too long braking distances in the wet (devaluation), poorly balanced wet handling with oversteer and understeer, seems a bit overwhelmed when driven in a sporty manner given the high vehicle weight.
The cheap SportActive 2 fails with too long braking distances.

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