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Suspension systems and tyres on electric vehicles – why they keep wearing out and what you can do about it

Recently we had a customer come in reporting that his Nissan Leaf had a slightly soggy ride. Apparently it had been that way since he bought it (secondhand).

We took it for a quick test drive and it was immediately obvious that something was broken in his suspension. We had a look and indeed his rear suspension was broken which we then repaired. We have been repairing significant numbers of electric car suspension systems recently. And also we tend to fit a lot of tyres to electric vehicles as well. The issue is the weight of the vehicle.

The average electric car weighs about 300 to 600Kg more than the equivalent fossil fuel vehicle and most of this extra weight comes from the battery.

However that weight can take its toll. And suspension systems and tyres is where it tends to be seem. Obviously manufacturers could build heavier suspension systems but that only adds even more weight to the vehicle, so engineers tend to create the best compromise they can between performance, weight and longevity.

Unfortunately it does mean that we tend to see a lot of worn suspension systems on electric cars. We also replace a lot of tyres for the same reason.

If you own an electric vehicle then you can reduce your tyre wear rate by keeping the tyres at the correct pressure. If your tyres are at the right pressure they will have the correct profile and they should wear evenly. This is not always the case, some manufacturers produce tyres with softer sidewalls than others. Tyres made for electric cars will have stiffer sidewalls to counteract the effect of the extra weight and this is our preferred option for fitment.

Lots of people “scrub” their tyres when parking by turning the wheel when the car is not in motion. This wears tyres super-fast. So reducing the amount you turn the wheels when the vehicle is stationary will reduce wear.

We have looked at alternative aftermarket suspension systems and there are systems available for electric cars to beef up the suspension, however we have not tested any of them and could not therefore honestly recommend them for that reason.

One benefit of electric cars is that they do not need much servicing. However, there are still costs associated with ownership.

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