Model 3 efficiency with wheel caps off

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21 Replies to “Model 3 efficiency with wheel caps off”

  1. J S

    The other controlled test I saw on YouTube about a year ago also found a 4% improvement. A Tesla engineer at a Supercharger stated that the efficiency of 18" tires with aero covers is about 10% more efficient than the 19" wheels. 4% for the covers, 6% for the lighter/more efficient wheels. All makes sense to me.

  2. TITAN3084

    Caps ON –> OFF ==> +3,82 % comsumption increase @ 120 km/h
    Caps OFF–> ON ==> -3,68 % consumption decrease @ 120 km/h

    The air resistance increases with the square of the speed (we suppose that the air resistance is in ratio 1:1 to comsumption, and that the Reynolds number doesnt change.. therefore enjoy the following results with caution / a pinch of salt). So now we can estimate the comsuption decrease with other speeds.

    Consumption decrease @ 130 km/h
    (130 / 120)^2 * (-3,68 %) = -4,3 %

    130 km/h = -4,3 % consumption decrease
    140 km/h = -5,0 %
    150 km/h = -5,8 %
    160 km/h = -6,5 %
    170 km/h = -7,4 %
    180 km/h = -8,3 %
    190 km/h = -9,2 %
    200 km/h = -10,2 % = German Autobahn 😉

    On the other hand, if you drive more city/slow, the comsumption decrease is probably not noticeable:

    40 km/h = -0,4 %
    60 km/h = -0,9 %
    80 km/h = -1,6 %
    100 km/h = -2,6 %

  3. Craig Manning

    During last summer, I had to make two trips between Fort Worth Texas and About an hour from Little Rock Arkansas twice, one week apart. (About 850 miles round trip). I drove one weekend with the covers on, and the same route the next weekend with the covers off. There was similar weather and I attempted to drive in a roughly similar fashion. I also found the difference to be almost exactly 4%.

  4. Karen Pease

    Yep. The 18" wheels aren't just better than the 19"s and 20"s because of the caps, but also because they have a more efficient tire. One can always get the 19"s or 20"s and put more efficient tires on them (but then you lose some of the sportiness).

    Another thing that helps the 18"s is that they have less unsprung mass than the 19"s and 20"s.

  5. Micah Taulbee

    Hey Bjorn, the best test for the aero wheels would be with CC off. That system adds way too many variables to account for, including your own body heat temps. I've made a 300 mile trip in my LR RWD Aero using only 60 kWH, with very moderate and still comfortable use of HVAC and seat warmers.

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