Aero wheels 10% efficiency...included in published range?

Aero wheels 10% efficiency...included in published range?

Tesla confirmed that the Aero wheels brings up to 10% range efficiency, that's 20 miles on the 220 miles range for base battery pack.
Does the 220 miles published range require the Aero wheels or not?
This means that if I decide to go with the sport wheels, I would get less than 220 miles range...any thoughts?

PaceyWhitter | 27 augusti 2017

Yes, I would assume that the range listed is on the aero wheels

andy.connor.e | 28 augusti 2017

Since the sporty tires (without aero) are the optional upgrade, the indicated range numbers are in respect to the car without optional upgrades.

ölbrenner | 28 augusti 2017

The EPA requires the car to include options where the uptake is expected to be significant (i.e. spoilers, roof racks, sporty wheels, etc). So I lean towards the EPA test having been done with the sport wheels (since I think 90-95% of M3's will be sold with them).

andy.connor.e | 28 augusti 2017

Oh really? Then you could suggest the predicted 310 miles could potentially push towards 340 with aero wheels? lol....

AJPHL | 28 augusti 2017

@olbrenner I think you are off on the likely uptake of the optional wheels--anyone know what's the EPA cut off?

jefjes | 28 augusti 2017

That would be a definite disappointment to those that dislike the aero wheel covers, if removing them drops the mileage to under 200. That Bolt number at 238 may prove to be an embarrassment to us SR $35k buyers when discussing range with Bolt owners. Thank goodness for superchargers to shut them

andy.connor.e | 28 augusti 2017

Sometimes one must sacrifice one thing for another. In this case, we may have to accept a little less range than our competitor, for a significantly higher threshold of quality.

KiwiVagabond | 28 augusti 2017


Link to where Tesla made an official statement about the range advantage of the Aeros please

SpeedyEddy | 28 augusti 2017

I might inform all 19inch wannahaves that aero wheels will likely produce less noise, improving your listening - experience, even without premium set-up. (Wheels add the most noise of all (Glass roof is not such a good thing either.))

rodeknyt | 28 augusti 2017

Not speaking from any level of actual knowledge, but I have been led to believe that the EPA mileage testing is done on a dynamometer rather than actual driving on a standardized course outside.

If that is the case, then what effect could wheels have on the mileage test ratings since the car isn't moving through the air where such things as CoD (or wheel dynamics) would make any difference?

JAD | 28 augusti 2017

Please provide info on official response from Tesla, not just a comment someone heard about 10% better something?

Frank99 | 28 augusti 2017

dhandley -
They do a "coast-down" test from (IIRC) 65 mph, measuring deceleration as a function of speed. This gives them aerodynamic drag at every speed of interest. They then program the dyno to simulate the aero that the car would experience out in the real world. | 29 augusti 2017

There is a subtlety here. The quote from the Elektrek article is as follows:
“He said that he went with Aero since he wants more mileage and said the gain is ~10%.”

The Areo wheels are 18". He could be referring to the impact of the wheel size combined with the funky cover.
The wheel size contributes maybe 2 or 3 %.

prsist | 29 augusti 2017

10% of 310 (if fully charged) is only 31 miles. Most people will keep their cars charged to 80%, or 248 10% gain gets you 24 miles. I believe that Range is King, but for only 10% gain, the appearance of the wheels is Queen.

andy.connor.e | 29 augusti 2017

The appearance of the wheels only matters for your ego while you're outside of it, and for your ego as people look at your car while you are inside of it. Ego boosting is a big investment.

Shock | 29 augusti 2017

I've seen the supposed comments by the VP and I hope you guys don't really believe the aero wheels can increase range by 10%. Truly difficult to believe.

andy.connor.e | 29 augusti 2017

Its more significant at higher speeds. Its most likely an estimation based on a highway majority. Its probably as accurate as a cars estimated range. Not very. The most significant variable is how the car is driven, ie... the driver.

My car is estimated 25/35mpg (city/hwy) and i get 45+mpg just from how i drive.

ölbrenner | 29 augusti 2017

@ AJPHL - @olbrenner I think you are off on the likely uptake of the optional wheels--anyone know what's the EPA cut off?

Could be. But if Model 3 aero wheel uptake follows the Model S aero wheel uptake:

I thought I had the EPA option reference bookmarked but just can't find it anymore, no luck on google either. I will keep trying.

miguelcampeau | 29 augusti 2017

Here is the original article that made me post this question:

miguelcampeau | 29 augusti 2017

Since I have a budget limit, I'm going with the basic battery/range.
I really do not like the look of the Aero wheels so if I can get 220 miles range with Sport wheels, that's my no1 choice.

Iwantmy3 | 30 augusti 2017

I actually think this may be one of the most critical pieces of information to yet be cleared up. 10% change in range would equate to 31 miles. I am looking at spending $9000 to get 90 miles of range. Therefore, this is a $3000 question.

A little internet research has shown;
1) As much as 1/3 of the air resistance losses seen on an aerodynamically well designed car can come from the wheels and wheel wells.
2) I found one company offering aerodynamic wheels claiming a 1 mpg (3%) improvement.

Based on 1), the aero-designed wheels would need to be 30% better than their alternatives in reducing drag within the wheels and wheel wells in order to achieve a 10% over-all improvement. I have no idea if this is achievable but it is theoretically possible.

Based on 2), a 3% improvement on an ICE car is possible. This would equate to 5% on a Tesla since air resistance loss plays a bigger role on the Tesla than on an ICE car (fewer other losses)

It may also be that the effect on the Cd is close to 10% which would equate to ~6% on range.

In any case, it seems possible that the aero wheels are worth 15-30 miles on range. For anyone who is looking to pay $9000 for a 90 mile increase in range, not spending $1500 to get 15-30 miles seems like a no-brainer.

andy.connor.e | 30 augusti 2017


I think you pretty much said all that needed to be said.

"Not spending $1500 to get 15-30 miles seems like a no-brainer."


Iwantmy3 | 30 augusti 2017

The only open question then is,
What is the range of the 3LR with aero-wheels. Is it 310 miles, 325 miles, or 341 miles? All are impressive. I would be quite disappointed to pay $9000 for the LR and $1500 for the wheel upgrade just to find out that I only got 280 miles range. (Appearance is subjective, it they give me 10% more range, then they look fantastic.)

jefjes | 30 augusti 2017

I'm sure this will be settled in the near future when more cars with various configurations are in the hands of people that will be running independent testing. Or if Tesla would just provide their numbers from the tests they must have already, that would be great but doesn't seem likely any time soon. Tests in the real world under exact repeatable conditions for comparing the different configurations would be nice to have before making the final configuration decisions for my purchase, but not having that I'll be left to looking over all the known (or guess work) summations and spend my money using the best theory I choose to go with.

95dawg | 30 augusti 2017

Here's hoping base car range with 18" rims and aero covers is 242 miles.

Carl Thompson | 30 augusti 2017

"I am looking at spending $9000 to get 90 miles of range."

I'm a little annoyed when people say that because it implies that that is all you're getting for the $9k. You're getting:
1. 90 mile miles range
2. Better acceleration and performance
3. Longer battery life (more cells = last longer)
4. Better battery warranty

Obviously the range increase is a big part of it but the other things have value too!


jefjes | 30 augusti 2017

All good points Carl and I will be thinking of those things when it comes time to put my money into those decisions. Ty

Tropopause | 30 augusti 2017


And quicker supercharging.

Carl Thompson | 30 augusti 2017

"And quicker supercharging."

Yep, I forgot about that. That's a big benefit. So for $9k you get:

1. Additional 90 miles range
2. Better acceleration and performance
3. Much faster supercharging
4. Longer battery life (more cells = last longer)
5. Better battery warranty (120k miles vs. 100k miles)

All of those things add value so it's not just about range.


Iwantmy3 | 30 augusti 2017

Yes. You are right. There are other benefits. However, the range is the primary benefit (at least for me) with faster supercharging being second. Still, losing up to 30 miles of range is not appealing. I will definitely be interested in the aero wheels. | 30 augusti 2017

@Iwantmy3: "Based on 2), a 3% improvement on an ICE car is possible. This would equate to 5% on a Tesla since air resistance loss plays a bigger role on the Tesla than on an ICE car (fewer other losses)"

?I'd like to know how you arrived at this? The Model S with a coefficient of drag of .24 is one of most streamlined production cars in existence. Air resistance fir the MS is much less than rolling resistance at speeds under 70mph.
Rolling resistance is proportional to weight and at about 4800 pounds, the Model S is a heavy car.

Therefore, it is just the opposite of what you said. Air resistance loss plays a lesser role on a Tesla than for most ICEVs.

Iwantmy3 | 31 augusti 2017

ICE cars are less efficient all around. Yes, the model S has a drag coefficient 15-20% lower than competitive ICE cars. However, The model S sees even higher gains in efficiency for maintaining its secondary systems. (Aside from air conditioning/heating, it can "idle" for long periods of time using minimal energy. ICE cars require a constant flow of energy to keep their systems running) The net effect is that the proportion of losses at highway speeds is primarily due to wind resistance on the S (and "3" ) while only 50% of the power output from an ICE car is applied to wind resistance at highway speeds. (The rest is wasted).

msmith55 | 15 september 2017

If they put a solid disc both inside and outside each wheel, they could get another 10 percent gain, perhaps.

Xerogas | 15 september 2017

If they provide 10% increase in range, where can I buy them for my Model S?

Frank99 | 15 september 2017

>>>If they put a solid disc both inside and outside each wheel, they could get another 10 percent gain, perhaps.
Possibly - but they'd have a really hard time dissipating the heat generated by the brakes. The slots in the Aero covers are likely there to encourage air flow across the brakes to cool them.