Press Release

  • Truck / Bus

First Hankook bus tyre specification for electromotive use

Hankook is presenting the SmartCity AU04+, its first tyre specification for electric buses. The tyre manufacturer is following increasing customer requirements for tyre solutions specifically for use on electric-powered urban buses. As these vehicles are generally heavier than conventional buses due to their energy storage units, the tyres also have an increased load index. To keep battery energy loss to a minimum, the SmartCity AU04+ also stands out on account of its very low rolling resistance. In urban stop and go traffic, bus tyres must be able to cope with a particularly heavy load and guarantee safe use at the same time; therefore, special attention was paid to adaptation of the shoulder width and structure during development of the new electric bus tyre, in order to ensure extremely even wear. The tread of the AU04+, which has been designed as an all-year tyre, is suitable for all wintry conditions without restriction and bears the snowflake symbol (3PMSF). It goes without saying that the new city bus tyre size is equally suitable for use on city buses with conventional drive concepts.

Neu-Isenburg, Germany, 19 September 2018 – Hankook is expanding its tyre portfolio in the scheduled urban/city bus sector. For the first time, the premium tyre maker is supplying a city bus tyre in the size 315/60 R 22.5 optimised for electromotive use. The SmartCity AU04+ stands out in particular due to of its very low rolling resistance which helps to ease the strain on the energy storage units of electric-powered urban buses. On account of the increased vehicle weight resulting from the battery weight, the tyre not only has a stable carcass but also an increased load capacity of 154/148J (156/152F) which corresponds to a weight of 8 tonnes per axle. The standard load bearing capacity is usually 7 tonnes per axle for this size.

During development of the new bus tyre, special attention was paid to a high traction and braking performance, particularly on wet road surfaces. Dipl.-Ing. Klaus Krause, head of the European Research and Development Centre, explains: “Unlike conventional combustion engines, an electric motor is able to deliver the full torque immediately. This means the vehicle and the tyres respond faster to speed or the changing road conditions. Consequently more demands are made on tyres for electric-powered vehicles. The high grip level avoids irregular tyre wear without having to do without optimum mileage.”

The high mileage is guaranteed by the optimised zigzag grooves which ensure higher block rigidity thanks to their modified layout, among other things. The constant starting and stopping in city traffic puts a heavy and irregular load on bus tyres. “For this reason we have adapted the shoulder width and design for the SmartCity AU04+ to the increased requirements, thus guaranteeing more even wear. The improved molecular structure of the new tread compound makes the tyre much more heat-resistant and is a further contributing factor to a longer service life,” Dipl.-Ing. Klaus Krause adds.

Completely in line with the safety aspect, the SmartCity AU04+ also has a further reinforced sidewall. This protects the tyre from damage following the often unavoidable contact with the curb in city traffic: “The reinforced sidewall is particularly important for the protection of electric bus tyres, since they accelerate much more quickly on account of the system and also build up a more aggressive contact to curbstones” Klaus Krause explains.

Hankook Tire manufactures globally innovative, award winning radial tyres of proven superior quality for passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs, RVs, trucks, and buses as well as motorsports (circuit racing/rallies).

Aspiring to bring consumers the utmost excellence in product quality, technological excellence and driving satisfaction, Hankook Tire continuously invests in research and development maintaining five R&D centres and eight production facilities around the world. Bespoke tyre solutions for the European markets as well as European Original Equipment according to the requirements of leading premium car manufacturers, are developed in the company’s regional Technical Centre in Hanover/Germany. Production for the European region is taking place in the state-of-the-art manufacturing site in Rácalmás/Hungary which was inaugurated in June 2007 and is continuously being expanded. Currently around 3,000 employees produce up to 19 million tyres a year for passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks.

Hankook Tire’s European headquarters are located in Neu-Isenburg near Frankfurt am Main in Germany. The manufacturer operates further branches in Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and Ukraine. Hankook products are sold directly through regional distributors in other local markets. Hankook Tire employs approximately 21,000 people worldwide and are selling their products in over 180 countries. Internationally leading car manufacturers rely on tyres made by Hankook for their original equipment. Approximately 30 percent of the company's global sales are generated within the European and CIS-Region. Hankook Tire has been represented in the renowned Dow Jones Sustainability Index World (DJSI World) since 2016.

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Hankook Tire Europe GmbH | Corporate Communications Europe/CIS | Siemensstr. 14, 63263 Neu-Isenburg | Germany

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Felix Kinzer

Fon: +49 (0) 6102 8149-170

Anna Pasternak

Fon: +49 (0) 6102 8149-173

Yara Willems

Fon: +49 (0) 6102 8149-172

Stefan Prohaska

Fon: +49 (0) 6102 8149-171

Kristina Schott

Fon: +49 (0) 6102 8149-175

Annika Malcherek

Fon: +49 (0) 6102 8149-176


Hankook is presenting the SmartCity AU04+, its first tyre specification for electric buses.

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Hankook is presenting the SmartCity AU04+, its first tyre specification for electric buses.

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Hankook SmartCity AU04+

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