A recent survey has found that only six per cent of UK motorists can correctly identify a tyre’s load rating. Worse still, we’re only half as good at accomplishing this task as the Germans are. Thankfully, younger drivers offer hope that this may change in future.
The Apollo Tyres survey polled 1,000 motorists across the UK, found that 11 per cent of men and three per cent of women were able to identify the load rating mark on a tyre. The tyre maker also conducted the same survey in other markets, and we’ve seen the results for Germany: 14 per cent of the 1,000 motorists surveyed there – 22 per cent of men and seven per cent of women – could read the load rating mark.
The load rating signifies the maximum weight of the vehicle that can safely use the tyre. Choosing a tyre with an unsuitable load rating can compromise the vehicle’s performance and efficiency, as well as its safety.
Younger drivers more EV savvy
Modern electric vehicles (EVs) are typically much heavier than petrol or diesel alternatives, making it even more important for consumers to select a compatible tyre. The UK survey found that just 14 per cent of motorists are aware that tyres fitted to an EV normally need to be inflated to higher pressures, to ensure safe and efficient operation. That proportion falls to only six per cent among motorists aged 55 to 64, and peaks at 52 per cent among 18- to 24-year-olds. Only 30 per cent of Germans in this younger age group understood the specific EV inflation requirements.
Crucially, the percentage is still low among EV drivers in the UK – just 38 per cent (and only 36% in Germany). Tyre inflation rates are specific to each vehicle and are essential for maintaining optimal levels of grip, traction and rolling resistance.
Need to educate beyond point of purchase
“As Europe moves towards the mass adoption of EVs, it is becoming even more important for carmakers and the wider tyre industry – from manufacturers to retailers and fitters – to help consumers understand the crucial importance of load rating compatibility and the need to maintain correct inflation rates,” comments Yves Pouliquen, head of sales and marketing at Apollo Tyres. “The need to educate extends beyond the point of purchase. EV owners understandably want to maximise driving range, but under-inflation can significantly increase rolling resistance and that equates to poor efficiency.”
Apollo Tyres offers a wide range of Vredestein passenger car tyres to suit combustion engine vehicles and EVs. In November 2022, Apollo Tyres launched its first dedicated EV tyre, the Vredestein Quatrac Pro EV. As well as being the first all-season EV tyre on the market, the new Quatrac Pro EV is the first EV tyre to be available with ‘High Load’ (HL) certification (255/40 R20 variant), underlining its suitability for large all-electric cars and SUVs.