Big tires, less range: YouTuber uses Tesla data to calculate efficiency losses

The tires are a popular tuning object on vehicles of all kinds – thanks to countless suppliers, you can always get wider and bigger. In the case of electric cars in particular, however, due to the generally higher efficiency, you should also pay attention to what that means for the range. YouTuber and blogger Jason Fenske from the USA has studied this topic in detail and has come to interesting results.

Experience with Tesla Model 3 confirmed

On the one hand, wider tires have a larger contact area on the road surface, but on the other hand they have a larger frontal area that is in the airstream and therefore has an influence on the air resistance of the vehicle. According to Fenske, this effect is very small and only amounts to 0.5 kWh over a distance of around 320 km at a speed of 120.7 km / h.

Another influencing factor is the rolling resistance. According to Fenske’s calculation, for a tire that is ideally optimized in this respect compared to a non-optimized tire, in pure theory a difference of almost 16 kWh is possible over a distance of 320 km; with tires that actually exist, the difference is only 3 kWh. This corresponds to the experience of with our Model 3 standard range plus: After the change from summer to all-weather tires supplied by Tesla, we also found 3 kWh more consumption per 100 km over the first 8000 kilometers.

The diameter of the tires is even more important, as Fenske calculated on the basis of data that Tesla named as part of consumption measurements and certification. The step from 18 inches to 20 inches in the Tesla Model 3 Performance results in 15 percent higher power consumption at a speed of 120.7. For the Model X Performance, on the other hand, the blogger looked at the 20-inch and 22-inch formats offered by Tesla and found a difference of 9 percent; for the Model S Performance (19/21 inches) it was 8 percent. This resulted in a range advantage of up to 62.7 kilometers.

Fenske’s conclusion is clear: Smaller bikes save real money. In addition, due to the higher sidewalls, such tires offer significantly more driving comfort, as they have a damping effect – and they also cost less.


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