iON FlexClimate – Hankook Tire presents new all-season tire for electric vehicles
- All-season tire for electric passenger cars and SUVs completes innovative iON series
- Ideal for all-season use
- Tire series already benefits from the new technology system
Seoul, Korea, October 25, 2023 – Global leading tire company Hankook Tire is presenting its first all-season tire specifically for electric vehicles (passenger cars and SUVs) in the European market with the new iON FlexClimate. The Hankook Tire iON FlexClimate lines up alongside the summer tire tread for electric passenger cars and SUVs, the Hankook Tire iON evo, and the corresponding winter tread, the Hankook Tire iON i*cept, to complete the state-of-the-art tire family for current and future electric vehicle generations. All Hankook Tire iON products in the appropriate size can also be used on conventional vehicles with combustion or hybrid drive, where they demonstrate their advantages compared to conventional tires, particularly in terms of energy consumption, noise level, resource conservation and durability.
Thanks to the latest technologies, the new iON FlexClimate offers high performance for both summer and moderate winter driving conditions. In addition to excellent grip on wet surfaces, the main features include a particularly low rolling resistance compared to conventional tires and a construction that is optimized for weight and yet extremely robust, both of which are tailored specifically to the requirements of electric vehicles.
“With the new iON FlexClimate, we are fulfilling the wishes of many electric vehicle drivers for a tire that offers outstanding performance the whole year round for this type of drive as well”, says Sanghoon Lee, President of Hankook Tire Europe. “Whether in dry weather, rain or snow, our new all-season tires from the iON series deliver a very high level of driving safety, help to extend the range per battery charge, handle high vehicle weights with ease, and are very quiet into the bargain.”
Excellent performance in the wet and snow
A key technical feature of the new iON FlexClimate, which comes in versions for passenger cars and SUVs, is special 3D sipes in the tread. They give the tire outstanding grip on both wet and dry surfaces, and even in light snow. At the same time, the new ProGrip tread mixture ensures optimized adhesion on wet surfaces through a combination of high-density silica and other sustainable raw materials. To deliver the required level of performance on snow, the tread has a high sipe density: “2-in-1” sipes in combination with additional grooves in the individual tread blocks ensure traction and braking performance. The iON FlexClimate carries the M+S and Three-Peak-Mountain-Snow-Flake (3PMSF) labels and is therefore approved for year-round use in many European countries.
Optimized for electric vehicles
Hankook Tire has addressed the typically higher weight of electric vehicles by giving the new iON FlexClimate a reinforced belt with extremely durable aramid fibers and even load distribution over the entire width of the tread. This enables a higher load index per tire, effectively counteracting deformation forces at higher speeds and ensures steering precision and good cornering stability. In addition, the evenness of the load distribution reduces tread wear. Thanks to the new Grip Boost technology in combination with the aramid belt, the sidewall rigidity of the tire has been increased by 20% compared to conventional all-season tires*, for more driving comfort and vehicle control.
Outstanding rolling resistance
The special tread mixture with a high percentage of natural resin in the iON products ensures exemplary durability and reduced abrasion compared to conventional products. The high adhesion it provides ensures the grip needed to safely transfer the high drive torques of electric vehicles to the road. The high percentage of natural oils in the mixture not only makes the iON products more sustainable overall but also has a positive impact on the durability of the tread strip. As a result, the Hankook iON FlexClimate needs less material than conventional tires for the same overall mileage, which makes it lighter overall. This not only results in lower energy consumption when driving but also reduces the amount of energy used in production.
Thanks to the modern mixing process and Hankook Opti-Cure technology, the tread design of the iON FlexClimate also reduces unnecessary tread movements. This further reduces the energy loss and thus the rolling resistance. Overall, the Hankook Tire iON FlexClimate can contribute to a greater range per battery charge.
Low noise level thanks to i Sound Absorber
Since electric cars do not have a combustion engine producing noise, drivers are much more sensitive to other sources of noise. Therefore, the iON tire family is equipped with Hankook i Sound Absorber technology and designed to be especially aerodynamic, which ensures a really low noise level compared to standard tires.
Hankook Tire introduces the new iON technology system
The new iON FlexClimate already benefits from the newly introduced “iON Innovative Technology”. This is a more detailed technology system developed by Hankook in order to improve the efficiency in research and development and in particular the company’s EV tires even further. It encompasses four key technologies: i Sound Absorber (noise), i Super Mileage (wear), i Perfect Grip (adhesion) and i Extreme Lightness (rolling resistance). The system is based on approximately 58 patented technologies that have been incorporated into the development of the iON tire family, including patents for noise reduction and ProDurable compound technology, which ensures a long tire life through an advanced material mix, and Round Even, which guarantees an extremely even contact pressure on the road.
Other technologies are used to improve tire adhesion, handling and rolling resistance. This includes interlocking 3D Grip Claw sipes, the ProGrip compound as a combination of high-density silica and other, environmentally friendly materials, as well as ProCoupling, which achieves a finer silica distribution through an optimized mixture.
Once launched in Europe in October 2023, the new iON FlexClimate will initially be available in 8 sizes for passenger cars and SUVs, which are most popular in the EV segment. The size portfolio will then be expanded in the short term to include other common sizes between 17 and 21 inches.