Building on 90 years of expertise, Bridgestone, a global leader in advanced solutions and sustainable mobility, has announced an exclusive partnership with Netherlands-based mobility innovator Lightyear. Bridgestone has engineered tyres specifically for Lightyear One, the world’s first long-range solar electric vehicle, which is set for commercial availability by the end of this year. 

Recent research from Bridgestone has shown that nearly 50 per cent of European drivers consider acquiring a fully electric vehicle, and yet 37 per cent are still skeptical about doing so due to concerns around efficiency and limited range. 

Lightyear One addresses these concerns head on by offering an unprecedented range of 725km, while being up to three times more energy-efficient versus alternative electric vehicles currently on the market. The vehicle is charged directly by the sun through a large solar roof, minimising CO2 emissions and the charging needs of the user while maximising efficiency. 

To achieve such incredible performance, Lightyear has pushed the boundaries of current technology, designing a vehicle that boasts the best aerodynamic coefficient of any production car to date through substantial gains in many different areas of vehicle design. To support this unique performance and further improve on efficiency, Lightyear sought a tyre that offered very low rolling resistance and weight reduction, in order to preserve battery life, maximise vehicle range, and reduce environmental impact. 

Bridgestone developed custom-engineered Turanza Eco tyres for Lightyear One, combining its revolutionary lightweight ENLITEN and ologic technologies for the very first time. The technologies reduce weight through the use of fewer raw materials throughout the manufacturing process, while cutting rolling resistance through innovative tread, larger diameters, high inflation pressures and slim design. 

The very low rolling resistance of the tyres also means Lightyear One can benefit from a lighter battery. As a result, the Turanza Eco tyres are designed to boost range when compared to alternative Bridgestone EV-specific tyres, equivalent to more than a 90kg reduction in weight. In addition to helping Lightyear One to travel further between charges, the tyre’s silica dispersion has been improved by applying a new mixing technology, there is a 3.6kg (around 10%) overall reduction in the tyre’s weight per vehicle, without any compromise on wear mileage and grip. 

For the first time, the Turanza Eco tyres will bear the new Bridgestone EV Marking on the sidewalls. The Bridgestone EV Marking is applied to tyres that are tailor-made for electric vehicles and indicates the tyres underwent a rigorous testing process to receive approval from car manufacturers. As a result, these tyres support the unique features of electric vehicles and meet the car manufacturer requirements for battery range, vehicle control and tyre wear life.

By Sally