Safety pioneer Volvo relies on all-season tires for electric cars

An interesting discussion has broken out in Sweden that began with the presentation of the Volvo C40 Recharge P8. It is unusual for the conditions there, because it is usually quite easy in Sweden. Volvo introduces a new car, the nation applauds and is proud, everyone is satisfied. That was once. Things are changing, not just in Sweden.

Volvo supplies the C40 Recharge with all-season tires
Volvo supplies the C40 Recharge with all-season tires

But maybe it's time icons fell. Wolfsburg has experiences with the Golf 8, which, unlike any of its predecessors, was not greeted with enthusiasm either. Why should things go better for Gothenburg?

The Swedes don't like the C40 Recharge P8

The story started badly at the very beginning. There was the people who didn't want to applaud. The thumb for the C40 Recharge P8 was only for very few readers of the AMS up, the vast majority lowered it. As if that weren't bad enough on its own, the electric car met with a closed phalanx of rejection from the trade and the press.

The dealers were understandably not happy because Volvo only wants to sell the C40 online. The press was not enthusiastic because the new Volvo raised questions. Buy exclusively online, equipment only available in packages, that is not premium and certainly not a Volvo. One or the other commentator was reminded of the equipment packages for Asian cars or the sale of smartphones.

It was assumed that the new policy at Volvo is to bring as many electric cars as possible with the shortest possible shelf life to the people. That has nothing to do with environmental protection or sustainability, as sworn.

Recharge tires = all-season tires

All of that wasn't good, but then came the all-season tire thing. Volvo only delivers all electric cars on specially optimized all-season tires. The customer does not (yet) have a choice when purchasing online. Volvo had simply forgotten that. An absurdity for Sweden and the manufacturer reacted awkwardly to the initial press request and referred to a good compromise.

Does that fit the security pioneer from Sweden?
Does that fit the security pioneer from Sweden?

With which the big elephant suddenly stood in the room, with the question of how all-season tires could be reconciled with the safety requirements of the Swedish brand. Actually an impossibility, especially with a Volvo. The media storm broke out. Swedish readers have learned a lot about the difference between summer and winter tires in the trade press in the last few days.

In general, the brand reaped one negative pressNobody rushed to help, unusual for Sweden, who is otherwise so in love with consensus. Because if more vehicles in Sweden were on the road with all-season tires for sheer convenience, then it was found that this was negative for safety in general. For the simple reason that nobody wants to get into the situation where an electric car weighing more than 2 tons is moving out of control and is moving towards you.

The fact that you can get the Volvo C40 Recharge P8 with summer and winter tires on request, you have to contact the hotline, no longer played a role at this point. On the contrary, because the almost € 40 additional monthly leasing costs would make the electric car more expensive, the prices are not honest.

The question arises, why does Volvo use all-season tires?

The answer is simple. It is the pressure of the law that weighs on the auto industry. The industry is reacting and has long been delivering new cars with an average tire profile of 0,7 mm less than a few years ago.

Less profile guarantees optimized values ​​in the WLTP cycle, but also a shortened service life and limited safety in the event of aquaplaning. What was well thought out and should serve efficiency is a burden for the customer. He pays the bill for new tires that are due early.

Digital cockpit of the Volvo C40
Volvo C40 Recharge

Optimized tires on electric cars bring more range and better efficiency. The result looks great on paper and the range increases. The other side is that even a very good all-season tire never comes close to a winter tire and is always a compromise.

Safety first?

For Volvo in any case, the media skirmish in Sweden was lost. But the manufacturer quickly learned from it. Not that, as a security pioneer, you backtrack and focus on core values. And again relies on a six-monthly tire change.

No sooner did the excitation curve flatten out in Sweden than the manufacturer gave one press report in which the decision for recharge tires, as the all-season tires are called in Volvo slang, is justified.

Probably only as a precaution and in case a similar discussion would start somewhere in the world.

How do the readers see it? Are all-season tires sufficient or does safety take precedence over comfort and do you have the tires changed? Vote!

Driving all-season tires or a traditional tire change?

  • Dear summer and winter tires (71% 65 Votes)
  • All-season tires are sufficient (29% 26 Votes)

Total Voters: 91

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20 thoughts on "Safety pioneer Volvo relies on all-season tires for electric cars"

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    Tom and Volvaab

    The “compromise” 180 is right in the middle of our memory, funny. But, as Volvaab rightly writes, this has by no means been successful. I always thought it was totally crazy (from all angles) to build large, expensive, heavy, high-performance cars and then artificially seal them off again - instead of converting efficiency, technical progress, etc. into economy and reduced emissions (as is the case with the re-pulped A2 and VW Lupo was tried).

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    @ Ebasil,

    I think it was 200 km / h (so the bolt). But still yes, it certainly has something to do with that ...

    The optional latch allows other tires with lower speed index. The Volvo setup certainly has the shorter braking distance than with the 250 (regardless of the tires) ...

    But then you also compare apples with pears or even bananas ...

    It would be logical if Volvo were to scale the performance of its vehicles from the outset in such a way that they no longer needed an electronic latch to stop driving 300.

    Then they would also be lighter and would have even shorter braking distances with the same tire. As it is, I think it's pretty banana ...

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      @Ebasil & Volvaab The lock engages at 180 km / h.

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    Could it also have something to do with the fact that new Volvos are now sealed off at 160 km / h? (Although you don't drive so fast on ice and snow, and in Sweden all year round anyway.)

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    The subject of tires is of course not that easy to answer ...
    We also drive all-season tires. With an annual mileage of approx. 17.000km….
    Why: because I could choose the optional.
    They are high-quality all-season tires. According to ADAC, they are better than cheap / average summer or winter tires ...
    Greeting André

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    @ Pitschmann,

    sounds good. For my 51-year-old from Gothenburg, I also opted for all-season tires. However, I already have the feeling that I am a bit suboptimal with it. On the other hand, changing tires on a vintage car that (climate change) only sees salt and snow every 5 years (or not because I don't feel like it at all) is no longer indicated ...

    The annual mileage also speaks against 2 wheelsets. I'm not doing the environment a favor if they just hardened before they were used ...

    80.000 with one set of wheels (which was then probably used correctly), that has something to offer.

    Maybe it is even a good role model & exemplary? I will try to orient myself from that. Thanks for the suggestion.

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    Climate change can no longer be overlooked here either. When I think of the winters 20-25 years ago, I always switched without any discussion. Now my last set of winter tires will no longer be replaced. During our short and violent onset of winter recently, the Quatrac 5 also worked well in the snow. I was very consciously traveling on snow-covered back roads to test it. But the 9K is also a great winter car and is really fun in the snow.

    I just wanted to show that the old slogans no longer apply, all-season tires are now high-quality and by no means cheap products. Even a wide winter tire that is approved for more than 200 is ultimately a compromise.

    @Bergsaab As you already write, bargain hunters with bad tires. Skinned, outdated winter tires are also worthless, they have to be replaced quite regularly in order to find out how safe they are.
    @Volvaab Driver It behaves exactly as you described, a lot out of town and occasional exchange 😉

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    @ Bergsaab,

    full points. With all the labels and seals, one completely forgets whether products still serve their purpose.

    Is the overall and environmental balance of a winter tire that causes less driving noise, has a low rolling resistance, really better, even though it A wears out prematurely and B may also contribute to the accident?

    Damn good question.

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    In the last few winters one could have doubts whether winter tires make sense. But this winter from my office I was able to watch the bargain hunters with bad tires, how they couldn't make the mountain when it was starting to snow, how they turned a corner when turning, or how they slide against parked cars. The crowning glory was a Quattro that slid around, less than half a minute later a decrepit Toyota drove up the mountain without any problems. If I stay at home when it is snowing, all-season tires may also be ok, but good winter equipment is a must in the tanning mountains! Today again 5cm of fresh snow and vehicles on the adjoining A72 motorway are already lying on the mountain.

    I trust my tire service, they get the message: Winter rich must be good on snow and ice, all other criteria are irrelevant. In the tests, rolling noise, wear, and wet-running properties also play a role. The test winner tire does not necessarily have to have the best snow and ice properties. Just an accident with sheet metal damage is probably more expensive than driving with good tires in winter.

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    If I think about it like that, maybe you can tease them out of a wheel set.
    I assume you, Mr. Pitschmann, move mainly out of town and moderately and swap the front and rear wheels at least once?

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    @ Hans S: it was actually 80000 km 😉 about the level of Michelin, which is known or was known for durability. Haven't bought any more for a long time.
    The quality of the map display in the "dashboard" is also not great. Reminds me of Navigon 1.0. With vector maps you can shoot the whole picture with just a few wrong parameters.

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    @ Hans S.,

    I can easily confirm more than 8.000. For 80.000, however, I need 4 to 5 rather than just 3 or 2 sets of wheels, or even just one.
    So my experiences are somewhere around a factor of 3 better or worse than those of you or Mr. Pitschmann. I can neither confirm one nor the other ...

    For me, 8.000 were roughly the front tires of a motorcycle (which is known to only be available with rear-wheel drive). In some cases, however, running shoes and bicycle tires also lasted several thousand. For me, both details are incomprehensible. In short, a set of wheels on a Saab comes to around 1.000 for me.

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    natural hole should be called 80000km ......

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    @Gerd Pitschmann, so you actually covered 80000km with one set of tires. All attention!
    Can anyone else confirm this experience, because I can't believe that you can cover 8000km with one set of tires!

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    To be honest, I don't understand where there should be a safety problem with all-season tires. There, too, development has continued. I used to be rather critical of them, but with my "Joe" (9K) I have in January! Got a fresh set of Vredestein Quatrac 2013s in 3 and was impressed after a short time. They ran very quietly, very comfortably and cut a good figure in all weathers. The ultimate test took place at the ADAC driver safety training, and that too was great. The consumption was even slightly less than with my 9K CSE with Michelin Energy Saver with the same engine. After 80.000 km (just so much about durability) I replaced it with the successor Quatrac 5, which I now also drive on the two 900 IIs. For our winter conditions in northern Germany without real mountains, but with a long cold and wet season, these are optimal and widespread. The wet behavior is better than that of Michelin summer tires. You also have no difficulty in getting the torque of the 2.0 turbos onto the road, neither on the 900 II nor on the 9K.
    I also experienced the thing with the low profile for the first time today, that's a really bad number. The real question is whether it affects everyone or only the original equipment of certain manufacturers?

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    @ Tom,

    terrific summary. Written soberly, objectively and informatively.
    So far, for example, I didn't know that manufacturers, in their efforts to improve the range, would go so far as to reduce the tread depth in order to reduce rolling resistance, accept premature tire wear and aquaplaning, and compromise on environmental protection and safety. Interesting and good to know. Thank you.

    Does this only apply to new registrations, or do I have to make sure that the next time I buy tires that I am not selling too little tread for too much money with some false A +++ promise (e.g. for rolling resistance or noise development)?

    In any case, my last winter tires were a failure and went down very quickly. Perhaps that is also due to the EU criteria, their label policy and not just at Volvo?

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    yesterday had a long conversation with my former local Volvo dealer (formerly because moving to Can.). C40 was also a topic and the dealer's description of the sales changes and effects on the dealership of the new strategies, including the prescribed prices and intervals for maintenance, do not lead to anything good. This certainly doesn't just apply to Volvo. The new car business has not been something that dealers could clap their hands about for many years. If bike changes, maintenance intervals and repairs are also minimized in this way, the dealership will also be significantly reduced. And all of that at record speed.

    Yesterday I decided to bring my 900 i 16 sedan, which is still in D, here. I have found screwdrivers who can handle it and I will not follow the trend described above for me as long as I can. All saabige greetings from Canada

    the Erik900

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    How can such a buck happen to a premium manufacturer? Save on tires at such a price. The most important component between the car and the earth !!! Goodbye credibility !!

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    Everything is already there.
    I simply join in with any criticism made in S and summarized in the article. And Hans's thought.
    Volvo performs a tap dance and labels every single step of this fidgeting as progress. It's nice when old sales partners & customers realize that we're actually just trampling on your nice ones

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    When I look at this “dashboard”, the question immediately arises, how did I find my way in driving over the past 50 years? Maybe by looking through the windshield on the way? Today it seems that a display is needed to digitally bring what you can see through the window to your nose. Can understand whoever wants, I'm not one of them. (Maybe it's just the sobering realization that I'm simply no longer the target audience for almost anything. Except for rewards blankets and herbal tea, maybe)


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