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The Intrinsic Value of EV enjoyed with iON

Like a smartphone needs tailored apps, an electric vehicle needs tailored tires. Speaking to this need, the world’s first tire brand tailored exclusively to electric vehicles equipped with a full lineup has been created. Meet iON, a name that perfectly suits the era of electric vehicles. iON provides the ultimate performance experience, including low rolling resistance, low noise, high load support, quick response, high response to torque, and maximize driving performance, all in one.

iON boasts a full lineup of summer tires, all-season tires, and winter tires for electric vehicle passenger cars and SUVs. The lineup includes the ‘iON evo’ for summer, the ‘iON evo AS’ for all-season, and the ‘iON i*cept’ for winter.

Furthermore, iON comes in wheel sizes between 18” and 22”. Since iON was developed through research targeting high-performance premium electric vehicles from the beginning, it also portrays our pride in the ability to fully embody the performance of electric vehicles with high power output, like the completely electric sports car.

In May '22, iON launched the full lineup worldwide making them a reliable partner in the market to serve replacement tires for electric vehicles.

iON, Hankook Tire’s tire brand tailored to electric vehicles, with a full lineup for the first time in the industry, did not just appear out of nowhere.

Even before electric vehicles became mainstream, Hankook Tire was quick to respond to the market shifts and began developing a technology development strategy for each electric vehicle segment. This is evident by our efforts to improve technology to accommodate electric vehicles and supplying OE tires for new cars to complete electric vehicles such as the Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y, Porsche’s Taycan, Audi’s e-tron GT, and Volkswagen’s ID.3 and ID.4.

Last year, Hankook Tire took part in the Volkswagen ID.4’s Great Roadshow through the US and ran 56,327km through 48 states for nearly 100 days, setting the Guinness World Record for the longest journey by an electric vehicle in a single country. In May of this year, Volkswagen’s ‘ID.4 GTX’ on Hankook tires also set a new Guinness World Record for reaching the highest altitude ever by an electric vehicle.

Along with Volkswagen, Hankook Tire continues to conduct tests to demonstrate the stability and performance of electric vehicles at extreme altitudes.

  • ©Volkswagen

  • In 2022, Hankook tires tailored to electric vehicles set a new altitude world record with Volkswagen’s ID.4 GTX.

Overcoming trade-offs and embracing contradictions

For Hankook Tire, when it came to developing iON products, the most important thing to consider was the consumer.

There was disappointment among the consumers who were the first to buy electric cars when they realized there was limited choice in tires. Specifically, electric vehicles that exhibit high torque* the moment the accelerator is hit often experience slips during the initial stage of driving. Due to an unease and feeling of incompatibility, some consumers switched out the tires that came with their vehicles opting for high-performance products with outstanding grip force designed for internal combustion engine vehicles. “Electric vehicle tires with outstanding grip force” have become a real sensation.

  • * Torque: Refers to the rotational force that the crankshaft provides in the combustion engine or the force that runs the engine.

  • Comparison of torque and range * between the electric vehicles and internal combustion engine vehicles

  • * Range: The maximum distance an aircraft can fly between takeoff and the time it uses up all of its fuel under given conditions.
    For an electric vehicle, it means the distance traveled until it uses up all the charged electricity.

An electric vehicle that can develop maximum torque from the start may encounter a problem with grip force, or may even encounter tread loss, as its tires may slip as they fail to withstand the momentary high power. Traditionally, the grip force has been a variable factor with tire wear performance. It is not difficult to improve the grip force, but the problem is that the tires become easily worn and are unable to run for a long time. Most consumers expect their tires to have long mileage and high efficiency as well as excellent grip force, so improving and creating tires that meet the needs of these conflicting attributes has become our top priority.

Hankook Tire spent years in the development phase to address these contradictions. As a result, ‘iON’ has come to life is an ideal example of ‘Hankook EVolution Technology’. Put simply, the iON “Doubles the Advantage” by bringing conflicting values that are mutually incompatible into one body.

“Applications are what make smartphones smart. For electric vehicles, iON serves as an application in the same way. iON allows an electric vehicle to demonstrate the excellent efficiency and outstanding mobility the car is capable of in order to match its design objective.”

Park Sung-youn (EV tire test driver)

iON evo has obtained the EU labeling grade A/A/A classified by tire rolling resistance, braking on wet surfaces, and external noise.

iON provides both excellent handling and grip force, as well as long mileage and life. It embodies the high grip force and low rolling resistance needed for electric vehicles based on the ‘EVolution compound’ that has been applied with the latest high-functional polymers, eco-friendly natural oil, and high-grip additives with increased silica content. Therefore, while addressing the issues arising from the initial acceleration of electric vehicles, the range has been increased and the power consumption has become more efficient during high-speed driving.

In addition to the next-generation compound, other aspects of technology have contributed to slip prevention during the initial acceleration. That is iON’s unique ‘EVolution Pattern Design’. The contact pressure per unit area has been lowered thanks to the tread block. In other words, the tire can withstand the high output/high load of electric vehicles. The 3D sipe design minimizes deformation on the interior of the tread block which increases the rigidity and plays a pivotal role in suppressing any slip.

iON’s contradiction lives on. Electric vehicles have no engines but contain a heavier large-capacity battery making them 20% heavier, on average, than the vehicles with internal combustion engines. This means that the load that the tire’s sidewall must withstand while handling at high speed significantly rises. Therefore, iON was committed to reducing its weight to achieve high efficiency while improving the bending rigidity of the sidewall through ‘EV Contour Technology” for electric vehicles.

Lastly, the Hankook sound absorber has been able to minimize external noise created on the road and resonance noise generated from tires, thus allowing consumers to fully enjoy the quieter and more comfortable driving experience of electric vehicles.

  • iON, the future of electric mobility

Electric vehicles worthy of the name

In an era where electric vehicles are required to satisfy decreased noise expectations, economic feasibility, scalability, and eco-friendliness, as well as providing ideal performance, iON offers an optimized driving experience and warrants what we call, an impressive ‘EV driving emotion’. iON has finally achieved adding the finishing touch to perfection, making electric vehicles worthy of the name.