Hankook Tire & Technology, a prominent player in the global tire industry, has introduced the ‘iON Innovative Technology' system, designed to bolster Research & Development (R&D) processes and improve customer engagement for its electric vehicle (EV) tire brand, ‘iON.' This initiative reflects Hankook's commitment to advancing innovation within the evolving electric mobility sector.
The newly established ‘iON Innovative Technology' system signifies Hankook Tire's strategic effort to build upon its existing expertise in EV tire technology. This system takes its name from the successful ‘iON' brand, which is recognized for its high-performance tires catering specifically to electric vehicles.
Hankook's internal tests have showcased several benefits associated with the ‘iON' tires, including a remarkable 18% reduction in cabin noise, a substantial 15% increase in tire lifespan, up to 10% enhancement in driving stability, and an efficiency boost of up to 6% in MPGe (Miles Per Gallon of gasoline equivalent) when compared to conventional tires designed for internal combustion engine vehicles. These findings emphasize the value of specialized technologies tailored to the distinct characteristics of electric vehicles.
The core of the ‘iON Innovative Technology' system comprises four pivotal tire technologies, meticulously engineered to align with the attributes of electric vehicles. These technologies encompass the ‘i Sound Absorber' for noise reduction, ‘i Super Mileage' to extend tire lifespan, ‘i Perfect Grip' to optimize road traction, and ‘i Extreme Lightness' aimed at minimizing rolling resistance (LRR).
Each of these key technologies is further divided into 15 distinct technology components, creating a structured framework for efficient R&D processes.
Hankook also intends to leverage the ‘iON Innovative Technology' system to enhance customer communication. By providing clear explanations about the unique requirements of electric vehicles, the importance of dedicated tires, and the specialized electric vehicle-centric technologies embedded within the ‘iON' range, the company aims to establish stronger communication channels with customers. This approach seeks to educate consumers and highlight the technological advancements shaping the electrification landscape in the automotive industry.
At the core of the ‘iON Innovative Technology' system lies an array of 58 patented commercialized technologies seamlessly integrated into the ‘iON' tire lineup. This collection includes 9 patents exclusively tailored for ‘iON,' featuring innovations like the ‘Noise Guard' technology—a vertically oriented tire groove utilizing Knurling technology to effectively reduce noise levels. In the tire longevity sector, a total of 11 patents have been employed, introducing advancements such as the ProDurable Compound, which combines advanced materials to extend tire life, and the Round Even technology, ensuring uniform road contact pressure.
To enhance tire grip and handling, 23 patented technologies have been employed, introducing innovations like the Grip Claw—a material using ultra-thin-film 3D Kerf technology—and the ProGrip Compound, blending high silica concentrations with eco-friendly materials to enhance grip performance. Additionally, 15 patented technologies have been applied to improve rolling resistance, including the ProCoupling Compound, meticulously formulated to enhance rolling resistance by optimizing silica dispersion through precise compound combinations.
Since its European market introduction in May of the prior year, the ‘iON' range has gradually expanded its presence, entering the Korean and North American markets in September and December respectively. Notably, in May 2023, the ‘iON' brand debuted in China, the world's largest electric vehicle market.