Airless tires and Aptera

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Airless tires and Aptera

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Airless tires and Aptera

  • Airless tires and Aptera

     John Malcom updated 5 months, 1 week ago 10 Members · 15 Posts
  • Pistonboy Delux

    September 18, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    <div>The attached video talks about Michelin’s airless tires may be available on Tesla vehicles in the near future. This tire would solve the problem of Aptera not having spare tires because you do not get flats. Unfortunately Aptera will start production before these tires are available. </div>

    But would we be able to switch over to them when they do come out? From the pictures, it looks like the rim and tire may be joined together as a single piece. Are they? Can rims be kept and the tire portion be changed like traditional tires? Also they appear to require a special rim, and would that rim fit over the Elaphy in-wheel hub motor?

    The drama continues!

  • kerbe2705

    September 18, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Most new cars are sold without spare tires these days – I don’t see this as a problem but, then, I’ve driven hundreds of thousands of miles over the past 20 years in four different cars and have never had a flat or a blow-out. A worst I’ve driven over metal debris that’s become embedded in the tread and created a slow leak that could be repaired. Tire sidewalls are much tougher nowadays than they used to be.

  • Len Nowak

    September 18, 2021 at 2:39 pm


    I wish we had your tire luck!

    Down here in southern AZ with many primitive roads …We have had more flats tires ( seven) in four years … more than we had in 47 yrs of paved roads in NJ????

    Chris said he would not entertain airless tires at this time

    And the fact that they are heavy, that was another reason not to look at them at this time.

    Fuel economy and handling may be slightly affected by the use of airless tires, which are heavier than conventional tires. Michelin

  • Paul Evans

    September 18, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    I checked the Michelin website which says they will start distributing airless tires in 2024. They’re going to be equipping a fleet of cars in Las Vegas for real-world testing. Also, they’ve already tested them with GM on the Bolt.

    A quick check on Tire Rack reveals they offer tire and wheel packages for the Bolt. The wheels have a 5 bolt wheels range from 16 to 18 inches with a rim width from 7 to 7.5 in. Wheel offsets range from 38 to 40 mm.

    A typical tire size for 18in rims is 215/55R16. A typical 18in rim tire size is 215/45R18

    There was a good discussion on tire sizes on the old forum centering on aspect ratios and comfort but I don’t remember the details.

    With the information above, someone may be able to contribute better information than I could.

    Oh, one other thing, the Beta version information on tire sizes may change since Rousch has worked their magic on the suspension ……

  • John Malcom

    September 18, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    Check out Fanfare 100’s post on this forum for reasons (URL) why airless tires are not good for EV’s

    • Randy J

      September 19, 2021 at 5:08 am

      Came across this today. Full article

      Michelin has teamed up with GM
      to design and start selling an airless tire for street use on passenger
      cars. Called Uptis, this product is a full-wheel solution requiring
      specialized rims. Michelin says it will withstand much greater impacts
      than a regular tire and wheel, and will have a “dramatically” longer
      lifespan, while adding no extra rolling resistance, not feeling any
      different to the driver and adding only around seven percent to the
      weight of the wheel – less than existing run-flat tires do.

      • John Malcom

        September 19, 2021 at 10:05 am

        This marketing collateral is inconsistent with other reviews which say:

        – increased weight

        – increased rolling resistance

        – heat build up

        – certified for lower speed driving only

        – subject to tear/damage of spoke material (not metal)

        I trust the Aptera engineers will conduct analysis and select the best tire for production vehicles while following Advances in technology and integrating at the right time to preserve or enhance Aptera p performance and safety

  • Pistonboy Delux

    September 19, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    While the airless tire from Michelin is very interesting to me, there is one concern I have.

    The tire is open from one side to the other. It is possible to look through them. This means mud (and other debris) can lodge in these opening, harden, and the wheel would be out of balance. It would be a lot work to get the mud out of those many small spaces, especially when dried.

    Airless tire users would have to avoid mud while traditional tire users could go on their merry way. This would not be a big problem for me, since I live in the desert, but most of the country is not desert. (Yet even I sometimes encounter mud.)

    • Riley ________________________________

      November 10, 2021 at 2:07 am

      I’ve heard somewhere that all the prototype airless wheels are open sides for marketing purposes and any real world product will look identical to standard tires. I hope this is the case as I would be more concerned with having my very expensive new tires stolen because of their “curb” appeal.

      • Vernon Michael Gardner

        December 12, 2021 at 5:35 pm

        “Curb appeal”. I really like that one. After considerable testing they found very little issues with the open sides. They could add flaps that over lap, or full side walls. Full side walls would cause issues as standard tires would have, unless they were ventilated.

  • kerbe2705

    November 9, 2021 at 5:00 pm
  • BigSky Country

    December 13, 2021 at 10:59 am

    I have run flat tires on my current car. I hear airless are noisy and it would be a shame if it was very noticeable in an EV.

    • Vernon Michael Gardner

      December 15, 2021 at 9:47 pm

      I heard electric vehicles are fad….hehe…As with all tires, tread design and rubber types determine the noise as much as road conditions too. If you do not know they are airless, you really won’t know the difference when you ride on them.

  • Ronald Clarkson

    January 27, 2022 at 11:19 am

    I am seriously considering them as an after market purchase having had to change a flat in the rain, at night, on the side of a busy road was not fun and don’t want to do it ever again.

  • John Malcom

    January 27, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    As has been mentioned, this topic has received much discussion on the old forum and seems to have come back on this one. Let me summarize. The current state of airless tires is not suitable for EVs especially ones that are designed to be “Most efficient” As noted in a lot of posts and research, They are heavy, noisy, a lot of roll resistance, and the wheel and tire are one component with the wheel structure susceptible to damage. Airless tires are not are currently not approved for high speeds.

    The arrangement with GM is to continue research on airless tires because the current state of the technology is not considered suitable for a production standard tire for GM. The fact that there is still development to be done on them is why they will not be available commercially for another couple of years according to the manufacture’s schedule

    Of course Aptera engineers are up to date on the technologies applicable to fielding a production Aptera and have selected the best tire combination for the first iteration of the vehicle in their tradeoff analysis.

    We can always choose to retrofit our Aptera with any tires we want to. I hope some Aptera owners take the plunge and install these airless tires and report their results for the rest of us to see. Until that time I will stick with the judgement of Aptera engineering on what the first production vehicle will have for tires. Remember, they can select from any vendor of any type of tire. With such a broad range to choose from, I am confident they will select the right/best available tire for the Aptera’s first production run.

    We should trust our own engineering team more than marketing collateral from manufacturers who have an interest in promoting their product before it is ready for prime time.

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