A report claims that Tesla has selected Hankook Tire as Original Equipment supplier for its Model 3 sedan. The report comes from South Korean TV channel Arirang News. According to the channel, Tesla finalized the OE deal with Hankook Tire after comparing various samples submitted by rival tyre manufacturers from around the world. The report adds that Hankook will be working on a special low rolling resistance tyre that has been designed with specific focus on maximising the electric car’s range under normal load.
Tesla partnering with tyre makers to develop leading-edge technologies for offerings is nothing out of the ordinary. The electric car maker has, in collaboration with Continental, designed a tyre for Model S that reduces tyre noise. For this purpose, foam injection has been used to ensure the tyre noise stays to a minimum.
The deal with Hankook Tire is critical for Tesla as it inches towards its goal of securing deals with parts’ vendors and suppliers as it nears the deadline of producing 100,000-200,000 Model 3 cars by 2017. During the Q1 earnings call held recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had indicated the company will hold suppliers to a near-impossible-to-meet deadline of July 1, 2017 for finishing work on production-ready parts for the mass-market Model 3 sedan.
Hankook Tire makes more than 92 million tyres every year and is the Original Equipment supplier to world’s leading automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, BMW, and now, Tesla.