Large, powerful electric or hybrid cars and SUVs are much heavier than conventional vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE), so they need tires with higher load capacity than current Extra Load (XL) tires, at the same inflation pressure.

Batteries add more load to the tires of electric cars. High load tires for these types of vehicles are recognized by prefix "HL" (High Load) before tire size designation on the sidewall. Tires with a higher load index are the solution for hevy electric cars.

electric car charging station

img credit: (Joenomias) Menno de Jong, Pixabay

The European Tire and Rim Technical Organization (ETRTO) standardized HL load designation starting from 2021.

high load tire

The difference between SL (Standard Load) XL (Extra Load) and HL (High Load) tires is in load capacity. HL tires inflated to the same tire pressure have a higher load capacity than SL and XL tires as in table below:

Size Service description Maximum Load Capacity at Rated Pressure
245/40R19 SL94Y670 kg/1477 lb250 kPa/36 psi
245/40R19 XL98Y750 kg/1653 lb290 kPa/42 psi
HL245/40R19101Y825 kg/1819 lb290 kPa/42 psi

For example, Max Load Pressure of 42 psi (280 kPa) indicates the maximum tire inflation pressure needed to support the weight of its maximum load capacity.

Continental has adjusted the structure and compound of the tire to the increased load, while at the same time meet all other customer requirements. As Continental experts claim, they managed to achieve low rolling resistance, precise steering, reduced noise, and the mileage remained at the usual high level.

toyota car hybrid wheel

Although Continental has not yet announced available HL tire sizes, it is expected increasing in the number of electric and hybrid cars and accordingly HL tire range will be significantly expanded. Continental hopes that the demand for these tires will grow in the future and manufacturers will install HL tires as original equipment in their EV vehicles. Somewhat later, in July 2021, Pirelli also announced the first HL tires. Lucid Air will be the first car to use the new Pirelli HL tires. Pirelli P ZERO tires will be available in the following sizes: HL 245/35R21 99 Y XL on the front axle and HL 265/35R21 103 Y XL on the rear axle, specially designed for the new luxury electric car. Lucid Air will be produced and sold in late 2021 in the United States.

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