Goodyear is developing airless tyres for electric vehicles with an intention for a commercial launch of the first completely sustainable material and maintenance-free tyre by 2030.

The company has just released an exceptionally interesting video from tests of a Tesla Model 3 equipped with prototype non-pneumatic, airless tyres.

"As part of its commitment to enable mobility now and in the future, Goodyear has extended testing of its non-pneumatic, airless tyres to high-performance electric vehicles.

After successfully executing durability testing of non-pneumatic tyres at speeds up to 100 miles per hour, Goodyear recently tested the alternative tyre architecture at the company’s Akron Proving Grounds."

Goodyear testing Tesla Model 3 with airless tires
Goodyear testing Tesla Model 3 with airless tires

According to Goodyear, during the recent testing, the car successfully manoeuvred at speeds of up to 55 mph (88 km/h). It's difficult to judge from the video, but it appears that the car handles a little bit differently - especially when it quickly changes direction.

"Testing has included manoeuvrability at speeds up to 55 miles per hour as well as acceleration and deceleration, with positive feedback from Goodyear and third-party trained test drivers."

Goodyear testing Tesla Model 3 with airless tires

The airless tyres are promised to be safer, maintenance-free, longer-lasting and more environmentally friendly than conventional tyres, but they are of course challenging to make. A lot of development must be put in to reach the series-production stage.

"Airless tyres are a gamechanger for consumers’ wallets and the environment, and Goodyear is leading the category. These tyres offer safer, sustainable, maintenance-free and longer-lasting options to traditional alternatives."

We wonder whether the performance of this type of tyre and energy consumption will be competitive. If yes, it would be a groundbreaking change and valuable addition to EVs.

Goodyear also reports significant progress in the non-pneumatic tyres on autonomous passenger shuttles. The company is participating in the first in-field use test of airless tyres on an AV shuttle with the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA).

Michael Rachita, Goodyear’s senior programme manager, non-pneumatic tyres said:

“We are excited to progress to this new phase of testing and stretch the imagination on what can be possible with airless tyres. We have shown that Goodyear’s NPTs can achieve highway speeds while also maintaining the dynamic handling required for a consumer vehicle, which is a meaningful milestone.”

Gallery: Goodyear Testing Tesla Model 3 With Airless Tyres