The time of year of frosty mornings, and the threat of snow is once again here. That means cold temperatures and slippery driving conditions are not far away.
The less-than-ideal driving conditions we see in Alberta, and really clear across the country, for months every year, make it extremely important to have your vehicle properly outfitted for the conditions. That means winter tires.
However, driving an EV means there are different things you need to consider when shopping for winter tires.
Winter Tires VS All Season Tires VS All Weather
Winter Tires have a blocky tread and sipes (fine slits in the tread) and made of a softer rubber compound, that grips the snow and pushes away slush, giving you better traction. Winter tires can also be studded, which just gives them more grip in snowy and icy conditions. These tires are best used in colder temperatures, those below 7 degrees Celsius and stays there consistently, as they stay soft giving a better grip.
All Season Tires are best for warm, dry and wet conditions above 7 degrees Celsius. They are designed to provide grip during warmer temperatures with a finer tread. It is not recommended to keep these tires on your vehicle during the winter as they are not fit for snow and slush. All-season tires are made with a harder compound to last longer, but start losing their traction the colder it gets.
All-weather tires carry the 3 peak mountain snowflake symbol whereas all-season typically do not. However, all-weather tires don’t tend to last as long as all-season tires because they are made of different materials designed to stand up to colder temperatures and harsher conditions.
EV Winter Tires
Just like their ICE (internal combustion engine) counterparts, EVs will operate better in the winter with the appropriate tires. But, here’s the thing, EVs typically shouldn’t be outfitted with any regular type of winter rubber.
Your EV is heavier than your old internal combustion engine vehicle thanks to the weight of the battery. This means the winter tires you choose MUST meet or exceed the OE (original equipment) Load Range requirements for that vehicle. If not, they will wear way faster, and even potentially blowout due to being overweight.
Choosing the Right Tire
Choosing the best winter tires for electric cars is the same as choosing a winter tire for an ICE vehicle. You need to consider where you drive (highway, within city limits, gravel, off road), how you drive (hard acceleration or braking often), what kind of climate you are in (Vancouver versus Edmonton for example) and then try to match those requirements with the tire’s abilities. So, someone from Vancouver would most likely want a tire that’s great in slushy conditions versus a tire made for deep fresh snow like you would find on the Prairies.
If you travel to other provinces during the winter you may need winter designated tires, by law. For instance, all drivers must have winter tires on their vehicle in BC by Nov. 1 every year, even if you are just visiting. Make sure you know the winter tire laws in whichever province you plan to visit before you hit the road.
Beyond the type of tire you need, your next consideration will be based on preference for design or brand.
Lastly, budget. Tires have name brands, economy brands and everything in between. Each manufacturer has varying lines within their own product family. The higher-end, more expensive brands can include longer warranties, customer satisfaction guarantees and road-hazard coverage. Your tire quote will show you in-depth comparisons to help you consider price versus value.
There is also available tire financing. Speak with our team to find out more about this option.
We know tires have a considerable impact on the way your vehicle handles and performs all year round, especially in winter. Regardless of what vehicle you drive, choosing the proper winter tire for your vehicle is critical to maintain optimal performance, safety, and peace of mind. With the right set of winter tires, you won’t have to worry about what Jack Frost throws at you.
Luckily our experts at Lacombe Quick Lane are here to help you find the right tire for your vehicle, whether it is an EV, Hybrid or ICE vehicle. We will keep you safe on the roads this winter. You can also take advantage of free pick-up and delivery for your appointments or a complimentary shuttle to wherever you need, so you can make sure your to do list is done before you head out.