Torque Shop: Are EV tyres costly and hard to find?

The MG ZS EV. PHOTO: ST FILE

I was told that changing the tyres of my electric MG would be costly. Apparently, electric vehicles (EVs) are heavy because of the lithium-ion batteries, therefore the tyres have to be special ones that are suited for high loads. Does this mean I will have difficulty finding replacement tyres and will they cost more?

Tyres are marked with a two-digit number on the side wall at the end of the diameter measurement, which indicates their maximum allowable load.

For example, the load index of a tyre with a marking 215/50 R17 95H is the number "95". Based on a weight index chart, 95 means the tyre can carry a maximum weight of 690kg.

All four tyres are able to carry a maximum weight of 2,760kg, assuming the weight is distributed evenly.

For the MG ZS EV, a sport utility vehicle which has a kerb weight of 1,532kg, you can accommodate 1,228kg of people and luggage (2,760kg minus 1,532kg), which far exceeds the manufacturer's specified laden weight and which is rarely a situation any owner would be in. The MG ZS' stated payload, for instance, is about 500kg.

Tyre retailers generally do not stock tyres of different load ratings in the same size. This is because the cost difference is marginal, while the dynamics of different cars are not compromised if the tyres' load rating is higher than required.

The prices of tyres can differ vastly according to brand, size and performance level, but not according to load index.

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