A test in real conditions has drawn an interesting conclusion: the aerodynamic tires of the Tesla Model 3 extend the autonomy up to 16 kilometres compared to normal tires, even more than the brand itself promises.
Aerodynamic tires may not be the prettiest that a car can carry, and in fact, aesthetically they cause division of opinions. But its design obeys a practical criterion since they are designed to reduce turbulence in the wheel, reducing aerodynamic drag and consumption, and thus increasing autonomy. And in view of the test conducted by Car and Driver, they fulfil their function even better than Tesla says.
In the US publication, a Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor (75 kWh battery and 408 HP of power) was taken to a circuit of just over eight kilometres in length and made round trips at different speeds: 80, 113 and 145 km / h, according to the GPS. The conditions of the test: ambient temperature of 6.7 degrees Celsius, tires at the pressure recommended by the manufacturer (2.9 kg), the air conditioner at 22º C in automatic mode, no traffic and zero elevation.
At 80 km / h and with the aerodynamic tires removed, the average consumption of the two passes was 16.03 kWh / 100 km; at the same speed, but with aerodynamic tires, consumption was reduced by 3.1% to 15.53 kWh per hundred kilometres. This means going from 502 to 518 kilometres of autonomy with a load.
At 113 km / h, consumption with aerodynamic tires was reduced by 2.5%, from 19.76 kWh to 19.26 kWh per 100 km. This means that the approved autonomy of the Model 3 tested can rise from 407 to 418 kilometres, depending on the tires.
However, the biggest difference between equipping the aerodynamic tires or not doing so happens the higher the speed. At 145 km / h the air generates more turbulence and aerodynamics plays a greater weight in consumption than going to 80 km / h, for example. Driving at 145 km / h, in Car and Driver, recorded a consumption of 25.17 kWh / 100 km with the aerodynamic tires, and 26.35 kWh / 100 km without them. It is a difference of 4.5 by the way in favour of aerodynamic tires, which is reflected in an increase in autonomy from 306 to 320 kilometres.
The average of the three trials was an improvement of 3.4%, a small a priori figure but when we speak in terms of efficiency, it is not at all negligible. Its design may not make everyone fall in love, but they fulfil their function and allow maximum autonomy (especially at high speeds).
In addition, these plastic covers have another advantage and they are much lighter than if they had the same design with steel or aluminium (a lot of material is needed). Removing them and leaving the alloy wheels exposed is a simple task, and Tesla itself sells an accessory kit with centre caps and nuts for real multi-radius tires for just $ 50.