Tire Size Matters on the Model X

Tags

A while back I wrote about picking the correct Winter tires for your Model S and the process of getting them installed. With over 45,000 miles on my original factory all-season tires, I’ll be needing to go through the process of picking and replacing those soon. I’ve thought a bunch about tread wear, traction, and the costs of tires but never paid too much attention to size and efficiency since the impact seemed minor, but recent information from has me rethinking that point of view.

Model S Tire Size impact on efficiency

For the Model S, Tesla provides information about tire size impact on range on their Model S page through a range calculator:

Model S Range Calculator

Clicking between the 19″ wheels and the 21″ wheels gives you these results:

S Tire Size Table

I don’t know why the impact of the tire size isn’t the same for each car or why the P90D is so much higher but this is what they provided.

The impact of tire size on the Model S is in the 2%-4% range. To put that in perspective, Tesla was charging $3,000 for the upgrade from a 70kWh battery pack to a 75kWh pack at the time of purchase. That’s 7% more battery/range.

21″ tires cost you about 2-4% in range vs the 19″ tires on the Model S

Larger tires are more expensive and they reduce your range, but on the Model S, the difference is small enough not to be overly concerned about it.

Model X Tire Size impact on efficiency

Tesla doesn’t have the same page for the Model X, but they do have something to tell you when you pick the 22″ tires for that new Model X you’re configuring:

Model X Tire Efficiency

WOW. 10-15% is a massive amount or range loss (about 40 miles of rated range) for those larger tires.

22″ tires cost you about 10-15% in range vs the 20″ tires on the Model X

So you would be paying an extra $5,500 for the 22″ tires to lose about $10,000 worth of range. At first, I thought this was some kind of website error, but owners are confirming gains of 10%-12% by swapping out their 22″ wheels for 20″ wheels on their Model X’s. If you’re looking for range, those 22″ wheels are not the way to go.

At first, I thought this was some kind of website error, but owners are confirming gains of 10%-12% by swapping out their 22″ wheels for 20″ wheels on their Model X’s. If you’re looking for range, those 22″ wheels are not the way to go.

Owners are confirming 10%-12% range improvements on the Model X by downsizing their tires.

Summary

Tire size on the Model S has little impact on range, but on the Model X, the impact is large. As you’re configuring your next Tesla you should carefully consider the tire size and the relative importance of range versus handling.

Larger tires cost more, wear out faster, and use more energy. Those larger wheels sure look and feel great, but for many of us, range and efficiency are our king and queen.