According to new research, electric cars are two times more likely to have a wheel- or tyre problem than diesel and petrol vehicles due to their heavy weight.

More than a third of breakdown assistance callouts made by EV owners are due to punctures, tyre damage or wheel issues, according to Liverpool Victoria’s vehicle recovery division, Britannia Rescue. 

The higher likelihood of problems with wheel or tyres in batteries models is often attributed to their excessive weight.

LV+ Britannia Rescue claims electric vehicle owners are more than three times as likely to breakdown due to a wheel or tyre problem than running out of battery

LV+ Britannia Rescue asserts that electric vehicle owners are 3x more likely to experience a breakdown because of a wheel/tyre problem, than due to a battery run-out.

According to the report, motorists who are worried about changing to zero emission cars because of range anxiety shouldn’t be concerned about running out.  

According to the study, only 11% of EV driver calls are made by owners of electric cars that have run out of battery. 

Indeed, people who are already EV owners will be three times more likely need to contact emergency assistance if they have a problem with a wheel or tyre that causes them to pull over. 

According to data gathered between 2018-2021, 36% of EV-related calls were for tire and wheel problems.

This is more than twice the percentage of breakdowns in petrol or diesel vehicles for the same issue, accounting for 16% of total accidents over the 3-year period.  

According to the breakdown service provider, tyre or wheel problems can often be attributed to excess weight, as the battery can weigh up to 50% more than traditional petrol or diesel cars. 

“Wheel problems can sometimes be made worse by the fact most manufacturers don’t include a spare tire as standard. Drivers caught in the middle of a journey with a flat or serious wheel problem won’t have the option to fix it themselves, but will need to tow to a garage.

The report says that wheel and tyre problems encountered by EV drivers is likely attributed to the additional weight of the batteries in the car

According to the report, EV drivers are more likely to experience wheel and tire problems due the extra weight of their batteries

Manufacturers of tyres are adapting to EVs’ heavier weight and producing rubber specifically for them. 

Continental, for example, introduced a new HL – heavy load – rating for tyres to be used on electric cars.

These tyres are also quieter than traditional products for diesel and petrol cars, and have low rolling resistance. This makes them less energy-intensive and reduces range sapping.

While electric cars may not be as susceptible as gasoline or diesel vehicles, it’s less likely to have any problems than petrol and diesel. However, if there is a problem with your vehicle’s wheels or tires…

Henry Topham, LV= Britannia Rescue

Delving deeper into LV= Britannia Rescue’s explanations for why EV owners call for breakdown recovery support shows that drivers being unable to start their electric car, often at home, accounts for 21 per cent of calls – otherwise known as ‘dead on key’. 

This could be due to a flat or low battery charge, as well as the vehicle being not driven long enough. However, it’s more common in winter because cars take longer to heat up.

The ‘dead of key’ issue in electric cars is only half the common problem for those who drive them. It’s also the reason for 41% of calls to LV= Britannia Rescue.

Henry Topham (Managing Director of LV= Britannia Rescue) stated: “Range anxiety is built up to become a thing people should be worried about when it comes down to going green. But our data shows it’s a rare problem for electric car drivers. 

“Generally speaking, electric cars work very well and can’t suffer nearly as many problems as petrol or diesel. But if it does, the problem is likely to be wheel, tyre or key related. 

“And we enter the dark, cold winter months, it’s important that drivers are aware of potential issues and keep their cars in good condition.  

This report follows earlier attempts by the AA to dispel concerns that EVs might run out of batteries on their way.

According to the motoring company, it was able to attend approximately 13,000 vehicle breaks downs by 2020. The figure of 4% is due to the vehicles not charging enough. But this has fallen to half the number in recent years thanks to the newer models with extended ranges. 

LV= Britannia Rescue created a national company to provide roadside assistance for charging electric vehicles when they run low on charge in September 2020. 

AFF recharge vans are capable of providing a mobile charging service for up to 10 miles (on average) in just 30 minutes on roads throughout England and Wales. These include the hard shoulder of motorways and areas where emergency refuge is available.

> When are car makers going electric? Our complete guide is available here 


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