Tesla Model 3 Aero vs Non-Aero wheels real-world efficiency test

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by simonalvarez0987, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. simonalvarez0987

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Messages:
    108
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The 18-inch Aero Wheels are the default option for the Model 3, and while their aesthetics continue to polarize some buyers of the electric car, Tesla states that the wheel covers are capable of increasing the range of the mass market electric sedan. This statement was recently put to the test by a Model 3 owner, who conducted a real-world analysis comparing the differences in energy consumption when the car is fitted with and without the vehicle’s Aero Wheel covers.

    The Model 3 owner used as close to a controlled environment as possible for collecting baseline data. Variables such as speed, weather, steering, and lane changes were also minimized to enable a relatively accurate comparison of the electric mass-market electric sedan’s efficiency when driving with and without the removable aerodynamic wheel covers.

    The test video revealed that both runs were conducted in 54-degree Fahrenheit weather, following a route that starts from Los Angeles to West Covina, CA. The same speed was maintained during both runs, with the Model 3 traveling at a constant 70 mph for most of the test’s duration. Heat and A/C were turned off in the test as well. Autopilot was used in both runs as much as possible, to maintain a similar steering behavior. The entire test ran for 17.5 miles, which translated to around 16 minutes of driving. Both attempts were done roughly one hour apart.

    The results of the Model 3 Aero Wheels vs. Non-Aero Wheels test are quite compelling. According to the data gathered from the YouTuber’s analysis, Model 3 without the wheel covers maintained an efficiency of 282 Wh per mile. Equipping the Aero Wheels, on the other hand, averaged 270 Wh per mile, translating to a 4.3 percent improvement.

    While the recent test conducted by Prolifk resulted only in a marginal range improvement, it is pertinent to note that a significant amount of engineering went into the design of the lightweight hubcap and wheel assembly.

    As revealed in a recent conversation in the TESLA MODEL 3 Owners Club on Facebook. Robert Palin, Tesla’s former Senior Manager of Aerodynamics, provided some interesting information about the mass market compact sedan’s range-extending wheel covers. According to Palin, the Model 3’s 18-inch Aero Wheels work in two ways, with the covers helping efficiency in high speeds and the lightweight allow used for the actual rims being useful for low-speed city driving. The Tesla executive also noted that the Model 3’s covers are more than 50 percent more effective than the ill-fated and short-lived Model S aero caps of yesteryear. 

    The Model 3 proved to be the second coming of the Aero Wheel option, however, with Tesla pushing the covers as the default accessory for the mass market electric sedan. Thanks to the covers’ improved aesthetics and the fact that they could be removed easily, the 18-inch Aero Wheels for the Model 3 are starting to gain acceptance from the Tesla community. 

    &feature=youtu.be

    Article: Tesla Model 3 Aero vs Non-Aero wheels real-world efficiency test
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Michael Russo

    Michael Russo Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Pau, France
    Nice and informational, Simon!

    Just love these synergistic cross-references between Teslarati and M3OC, right, @TrevP ? ;)
     
  3. Robert T.

    Robert T. New Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Cypress, CA
    Ultra-fugly and downright repulsive looking. Take my $1500 and give me wheels that don't look like they’re from the hood
     
  4. Michael Russo

    Michael Russo Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Pau, France
    Like Simon wrote, Aero wheels (a.k.a. Wheel Covers’ continue to ‘polarize some buyers...’ ;)
    I am on record for not being a fan. Yet the needs & budgets of reservation holders clearly vary (some even love how they look and/or try to optimize aesthetics by plasti-dipping’ them!) and we need to remain mindful & respectful of this diversity.

    As long as this principle is clear, nothing wrong with expressing a personal preference, yet best to indicate that by adding, for instance, IMHO (ie. ‘in my humble opinion’...) ;)
     
  5. azred66

    azred66 New Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Interesting test but the base wheels without the covers look like they would create a lot of drag. A more interesting test would be the aero wheels vs the $1500 wheel upgrade. While Tesla certainly expected some people would take off the aero covers, the rather crude look of the underlying wheels suggests popping off the caps for a different look was not their intent and they probably made very little effort to make the underlying wheels aerodynamic.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. hgottipati

    hgottipati New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2017
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    seattle
    You are an amazing person!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. john.hind

    john.hind New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Ultra-fugly and downright repulsive looking. - Robert T

    "Beauty is truth, truth beauty," – that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. - John Keats

    For me, knowing they are as efficient as they can be makes them beautiful. Removing them makes the car precisely 4.3% more ugly!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Michael Russo

    Michael Russo Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Pau, France
    Appreciate the feedback. :)

    Just extremely keen to maintain the most constructive & pleasant forum environment so people enjoy it here, want to come back & contribute! :cool:
     
  9. Kevin Dunbar

    Kevin Dunbar New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    I remember reading a few months ago that the aerowheel covers were 10% more efficient and I thought it didn\'t sound likely.  4.5% is more believable.  I\'ll put them on for longer trips. .............................................. When I get delivery, hopefully sometime this decade.   :-l
     
  10. Michael Russo

    Michael Russo Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Pau, France
    Can’t remember if I posted this earlier yesterday (getting late here... o_O) so here it is to be sure:

    Just caught this part of You You' Cue’s most recent post on his T≡SLA Model 3 Roadtrip Facebook page and trust this will ultimately address that open question! :cool:

    Quote
    Also looking to get two Model 3s in the SF Bay Area (one with 18" aero and one with 19" sport wheels) to do a side-by-side range efficiency test. The tests so far have been less than scientific and we want to see exactly what kind of improvement we should expect from the 18" wheels. If you're available to do this, please message us.

    Unquote
     
  11. John Glennie

    John Glennie New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Niagara Falls, ON CANADA
    This comparison was for the standard 18\" wheels with covers off and covers on. The comparison to the 19\" wheels will be even greater, perhaps a 10% savings as has been suggested.
     
  12. Michael Russo

    Michael Russo Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Pau, France
    We shall see. That is why I wanted to promote You You’s initiative! ;)
     
  13. Teslaliving

    Teslaliving Moderator

    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
    Messages:
    286
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Home Page:
    The thing that strikes me is the upgrade to the non-Aero wheels costs $1,500. For that you get the 19" wheels that (I think) look better, but you don't get the Aero wheels. If you save that $1,500 and go aftermarket with TSportLine you can pat them the $1,500 for better looking wheels and end up with 2 sets of wheels for $1,500 (or sell the Aeros and recoup some of the upgrade cost).
     
    • Useful Useful x 1

Share This Page