British firm patents pioneering hot air tyre that reduces vehicle weight

April Prima

1 Apr 2024

A British company has launched a pioneering new technology that effectively reduces the weight of an electric car, unlocking the potential for greater range and reduced running costs. The invention comes as authorities across Europe look to clamp down on heavier vehicles, and has the potential to be a game changer for electric car drivers.

The revolutionary Hotyre 0104 has been developed by Lipra Aviation, a pioneer in the world of hot air ballooning, and uses small heating elements embedded in the carcass of the tyre. The elements - which draw power from the main high voltage battery - heat the air within the tyres, causing them to act like a miniature hot air balloons. The combined effect of all four tyres (and spare if fitted) effectively lifts the car, reducing its unsprung mass. According to Lipra’s own figures, a Tesla Model Y fitted with Hotyres has a kerb weight of just 1,484kg, a reduction of nearly 500kg over the standard car. 

Inventor Poppy Cox revealed to that development of the technology has been ongoing for the past two years with numerous heating elements tested before the correct sizing was calculated. “Some early prototypes were unfortunately trialled with elements that created too much hot air. For a brief period in 2022 there was a Renault Zoe lodged in the rafters of our test hangar. Eventually, we had to ask a local farmer to shoot it down, which set the programme back a few weeks.” 

The Hotyre 0104 are officially on sale from 1 April 2024. In keeping with the origins of the technology, Lipra Aviation plans to offer a range of colours more typically associated with the world of hot air ballooning.  

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