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Hankook Tire introduces truck & bus tire Smart iON AU06+ to iON product line

2022. 10. 18

- Adds first Truck and Bus Radial (TBR) tire in Hankook iON product portfolio for premium EVs
- Employs abrasion resistant tread compound for increased tread life and fuel efficiency
- Incorporates Hankook’s innovative EV tire technology to counter characteristics of electric trucks & buses

Seoul, South Korea, October 18, 2022 – Global leading tire company Hankook Tire announced the launch of the Smart iON AU06+, the first Truck and Bus Radial (TBR) tire in its “iON (pronounced as /ai’on/)” product portfolio for premium electric vehicles (EVs) in the Korean market. The Smart iON AU06+ is the most recent addition to its iON tire family, which includes summer and winter tires for passenger EVs.

The Smart iON AU06+ incorporates Hankook’s innovative EV tire technology for improved fuel efficiency, fast torque response, and high load support. It is a re-branded and upgraded version of Hankook’s Smart City AU06, the first ever tire exclusively for electric buses that was previously launched by the company in 2020. In order to counter characteristics such as the higher vehicle weight of electric busses – caused by the considerable weight of the drive batteries - and high instant torque delivered to the wheels, Hankook strengthened grip on wet roads by about 10% compared to the previous Smart City AU06 model. The load-carrying capacity has been increased to 8 tons, accommodating a stable driving experience even with heavy loads.

Hankook employed an abrasion resistant tread compound for improved tread life and fuel efficiency. The specially designed compound of the Smart iON AU06+ allows for uniform pressure distribution, considerably extending the vehicle’s mileage in comparison to conventional truck and bus tires. In specific, when mounted on an electric bus, tests have shown that Hankook’s Smart iON AU06+ increased the vehicle’s mileage by 25% compared to when the vehicle was fitted with company’s regular bus tires.

Another development goal for the Smart iON AU06+ was to improve ride quality through optimal ride comfort and low noise. In consideration of the aerodynamic aspect of the electric bus, the Smart iON AU06+ features a specifically designed tread pattern distributed along the sidewall to reduce noise. In addition, the Smart iON AU06+ features a cooling system to overcome complications such as overheating to ensure a safer drive.

With the launch of the Smart iON AU06+, Hankook Tire plans to establish an extensive electric TBR tire portfolio to include a range of tires for different styles of driving. Currently, development plans two different electric TBR tires are in the pipelines, including the Hankook iON CITY designed for urban driving, and the Hankook iON FLEX for mid to long distance travels. Upon completion, these two new products are to be supplied in the European market. They will be available in other global markets sequentially, as further market expansions are in plan.

Furthermore, Hankook Tire has been demonstrating its expertise in the EV tire segment by becoming the new and exclusive technical partner and tire supplier of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the world’s first all- electric racing series from the 2022/23 season. The company plans to utilize the data and experience accumulated from the partnership to further advance its innovative tire technology for its consumer tire product lines.