It’s been discussed before on multiple automotive sites, but it bears repeating for this article: It’s a white lie that spare tires are not included in most new EV sales because the weight of a spare tire will adversely affect the vehicle’s range.
Why It’s a White Lie
Think about it for a brief minute. That EV weighs anywhere from approximately 4,000 to 8,000 pounds. A typical spare tire for most cars weighs only about 38 pounds, which is only approximately 0.9% to 0.45% respectively of the total weight. In other words, the weight of a spare tire added to a car is practically negligible.
Even with the added weight of a jack and a lug nut wrench this does not make a significant practical difference.
However, automakers can get away with this lie because it’s one of those technicalities of physics where in a perfect world, “Yes---any added weight will increase the rolling resistance of a vehicle.” However, bear in mind that other factors such as wind resistance, your environmental temperature for the day, elevation changes along the road, etc., will also affect range in an EV…and to a much larger degree than carrying an extra 38 pounds or so of spare tire and tools.
Can you imagine a scenario where a man tells his wife, “Sorry honey, we can’t take mother with us on the trip because she has a muumuu rating of six spare tires, and it wouldn’t be very Green of us to allow our EV range to plummet below that of an internal combustion engine vehicle”?!
The More Sensible (i.e., Believable) Reason Why
When Consumer Reports addressed the problem of the growing trend of new car purchases not including a spare tire for many models, they surmised that what the real reason has to do with is regulatory pressure to squeeze more miles out of every gallon of fuel or its electric equivalent. Plus, the added benefit that removing the cost of a spare tire is just that much more added profit for the manufacturer.
Related article: EV Owner Reveals 5 Hidden EV Expenses of Owning an EV
If the manufacturer is a little more giving than the rest, rather than a spare tire your new car might come with a flat tire sealant kit or a run-flat tire. But these are Band Aid solutions to a real problem that should not be one in the first place.
In any case, CR analysts recommend using the inclusion of a spare tire as a negotiating point to counter this trend in new vehicle purchases.
A Sensible Solution
In a recent Auto Buyers Guide YouTube channel episode, the host does a demonstration of what he sees as a good solution to the no-spare-tire-EV sale by showcasing the collapsible tire used by Audi in their electric Q8 e-tron SUVs.
Follow along with the host as he shows you:
- How much space savings you get with a collapsible tire
- The weight of a spare for a large SUV
- How to inflate a collapsible tire and what it should look like as you are inflating it
- Where to find the recommended speed limit
- What tread you can expect and why this is important
- How to deflate the spare with a built-in cap valve tool
- A close-up of the tire valve and tool
But Where Can I Find This Spare Tire Solution?
Until other auto manufacturers listen to customer complaints of there not being a spare tire in their car and begin following Audi’s lead, there is a solution to be found in some specialty aftermarket tire providers that will provide you with the spare tire you need until that day arrives.
For additional articles related to EV’s and tires, here are two for your consideration:
- Everything You Need to Know About Electric Car Tires to Avoid Being Scammed
- Electric Vehicle Summer Tire Recommendations
Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.
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