Hyundai Motor Vice President Kim Bong-soo, left, poses with Michelin Executive Vice President Georges Levy after signing a partnership contract for developing electric car-only tires at a Hyundai research center near Seoul on July 17. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor

Two global outfits will cooperate to develop advanced EV tires

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor announced on June 20 that the company would cooperate with French tiremaker Michelin to develop premium products.

Under the two-way partnership, in particular, Hyundai noted that they would join forces to develop next-generation tires dedicated to electric vehicles.

Hyundai and Michelin are scheduled to team up to conduct joint research on tire wear, tire load, and road friction beyond the current standards of tire temperature and air pressure.

Hence, the new tires are expected to improve drivers’ ride comfort by cutting down on vibration and noise generated by electric cars at high speeds, according to Hyundai Motor.

This is not the first time for the two corporations to join hands.

Back in November 2017, they signed a five-year contract to develop an exclusive tire for Ioniq 5, the electric car of Hyundai Motor that attracted global popularity over the past year.

“This partnership with Michelin will result in real innovations in tire technology, solidifying Hyundai Motor Group’s position as a leader in the smart mobility industry,” Vice President Kim Bong-soo said.

“By fully leveraging our mobility technology and Michelin’s tire expertise, we are confident in our ability to achieve ground-breaking innovations in tire performance enhancement and create synergies in this organic collaboration.”

Michelin Executive Vice President Georges Levy also expected his hypes on the partnership.

“The collaboration between Hyundai Motor and Michelin over the past five years contributed to the successful launch of the Hyundai Ioniq 5,” Levy said.

“The association between Hyundai Motor and Michelin is founded on the same vision and on a shared passion for excellence, performance, and innovation that have become increasingly essential factors as we rise to the mobility-related challenges we all face today.”

Observers point out that electric cars need dedicated tires.

“For a better fuel economy, the wheel size for electric cars should be different from that for traditional combustion-engine vehicles,” Prof. Kim Pil-soo at Daelim University said.

“Accordingly, more and more automakers are adopting dedicated tires for their electric cars. The partnership between Hyundai and Michelin is in line with the trend.”

Hillary Lee studied literature in Seoul. Lee has big interests on various topics including IT, BT, business and finance. Lee can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.