The the dream of airless tires has been around for decades, and it’s easy to see why. Airless tires do not mean flat tires and annoying tire pressure warning lamps. You just got in the car and drove off. Michelin has been working to make that dream a reality, and now, according to CNN reported on Thursdaythis reality is approaching what is happening.
In particular, Michelin was works closely with General Motors on an airless bus that could debut with the next generation Chevrolet Bolt. The advantage of airless tires on EVs is that they are always under the right pressure to maximize their efficiency and reduce rolling resistance. Less rolling resistance means more range without extra battery and therefore more weight. Everyone will win.
Although GM has not confirmed exactly what another generation of Bolt is doing, its a future flurry Electric cars with Ultium engines will probably contain something roughly bolt-shaped and relatively priced, and it’s now a hypothetically affordable EV that will get an airless Michelin.
Instead of air, the Michelin concept uses flexible ribs to provide structure for the tire, and these ribs remain open and open to the atmosphere. The version of this technology where the wheel is integrated into the bus is called a Tweel (tire-wheel, Tweel). Whether this car will get similar to the Bolt, Tweel or a version that has a separate wheel with an airless tire (which Michelin calls Uptis) remains to be seen, although we expect it to be the latter.