Tesla tires are designed to manage the extra weight of your EV and give high performance when driving. But with so many tires available, are Tesla tires all season? Let’s look at what tires are on a Tesla and what is required for the best driving experience.
Each Tesla Model is equipped with All Season tires, but if you live in an extreme climate, you must opt for winter tires.
In this article, we’ll look at the OEM tires on a new Tesla and what you should select if you need to replace or upgrade your tires.
Tesla doesn’t make their tires. They collaborate with five leading tire manufacturers – Continental, Pirelli, Michelin, Goodyear, and, more recently, Hankook.
Tesla tires are specifically designed for Tesla cars and can take the extra load weight and the high torque associated with a Tesla.
Tesla’s high torque is, of course, made possible by the high-voltage battery. However, that comes with some drawbacks, battery weight being the main one. The tires on your Tesla must be able to cope with both the weight and the high torque.
|Model 3||Hankook All Season Kinergy GT|
|Model Y||Goodyear Eagle All Season|
|Model S||Goodyear Eagle Touring Tire|
|Model X||Continental CrossContact LX Sport Tire|
Only recently (2022), Tesla has changed the Model 3 tires to come with All Season as standard. Nothing on a Tesla is changed without serious consideration, so the new Hankooks that are now on the Model 3 are for optimum performance and maximum range.
Because, ultimately, that’s what it’s all about. The tires on your Tesla have to go the distance. They must be economical to some extent, even though any EV tire will wear faster than an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car because of the extra weight.
It’s important to know the different types of tires available and when best to use them. Although many top tire manufacturers exist, the actual tire specification is broken down into three main categories.
- All Season Tires
- Winter Tires
- Summer Tires
All Season Tires
All Season Tires (also known as All Climate Tires) is what they say. They are suitable for driving all year round, both summer and winter. They are a good choice if you live in a climate without extreme heat or cold and you have low everyday mileage.
All Season Tires do pass the Snow and Ice test but will never be as effective as Winter Tires.
From 30 September 2024, All Season Tires will have to display both the 3 Peak Icon and the Mud+Snow Icon, although there will be an interim transition.
All Season Tires have a different thread pattern than Winter or Summer Tires. The All Season pattern is not as complicated as the winter tires to allow for all-year driving, but this results in not as much grip as a winter tire.
All Season tires have a lower mileage limit than winter or summer tires, compounded further in an EV by the extra weight and torque. The average weight of an ICE is 3000-3500 lbs, whereas a Tesla can weigh in at as much as 5000 lbs (with no passengers!)
Winter Tires (also known as Snow Tires) are specifically designed for driving on Snow and Ice. The gaps in the thread design are wider to help move the snow and ice away from the tire and generate more traction with the road. The snow and ice become compacted and actually grip the snow on the road.
In many countries, winter tires are compulsory; however, not in the US, but in some states, tire chains are illegal, so winter tires are the only safe alternative. Although they are expensive if you live in an area with extreme weather, you can’t be without them.
Every tire available on the market has a series of numbers and symbols on the sidewall. Winter tires are recognized by M+S (Mud and Snow) or the 3 Peak+Snowflake, designed for better traction and handling in snow and ice.
Winter tires have a softer rubber compound, so they remain flexible at temperatures below 7 degrees. However, when the temperature rises in the late spring and summer months, they begin to degrade and are not at all suitable to remain on your car.
Summer Tires (also called Performance Tires) are designed for warmer weather or locations that only occasionally see rain.
Summer tires have shallow directional grooves, so the maximum amount of rubber is always in contact with the road.
Although designed for hotter climates, the thread design will force the water outwards to prevent aqua or hydroplaning if there is a downpour.
Summer tires are suited to drivers that enjoy driving a sports car or high-performance vehicle and are perfect for high-torque EVs.
Changing / Upgrading Your Tesla Tires
We have established that new Teslas come equipped with All Season tires, but the question arises of what to choose when you need to replace them.
All Season tires are the choice of Tesla, but Winter / Summer tires might be the smarter choice for you, depending on
- Location – where you live
- How much driving you do
Location – Where you live
Location plays a big factor when selecting new tires. Many states experience very severe winters but also enjoy hot summers, which can be a dilemma. If you live in a location like this one, it makes sense to opt for Winter and Summer tires or Winter and All Season tires (for the warmer months).
Winter tires are much safer than All Season tires if you frequently drive in snow and ice. The rubber compound can withstand temperatures lower than All Season tires, which can degrade below zero degrees.
On the opposite scale, if your Summers are sweltering, then Summer tires are a must.
Summer tires drive and handle much better in the heat but also prevent aquaplaning in the event of a sudden downpour, as the thread count is designed to have as much contact with the road surface and displaces excess water quicker.
And an even better solution is to buy All Season tires as your switch out from Winter tires, as they will give grip if you get a cold snap but still work equally well in the summer months.
How Much Driving Do You Do?
The amount of daily driving you do will also determine the tires that are best for your Tesla.
As I said, Teslas are much heavier cars than ICE and need tires that can cope with the load from the high voltage battery. Ev tires wear more quickly than ICE tires, so having the correct specification tire on your Tesla is essential.
Winter tires should last 3-4 winter seasons or approximately 30000 miles. The more mileage you do, the shorter the lifespan of your tires. In reality, most EV owners have a short commute each day, and All Season tires will suit these drivers better, but if you experience a lot of snow and ice, then Winter and All Season tires are more practical.
You also have to factor in the tire switch with the season. Where to store them and the extra cost involved.
Storage of Tires
If you have two sets of tires – Winter and Summer/All Season tires- they must be stored when they are not in use. Winter tires must be stored in a cool, dry space, and summer tires in an ambient temperature. All tires must be cleaned and dried before storing and, if possible, placed in tire bags.
Many tire outfits will store your alternate tires for the winter and summer at a cost, but this can be included in the tire switch at the beginning of the season.
This, for many, is a better choice as tires are bulky, and finding space for them can be challenging.
Here are a few common questions folks ask about Teslas:
I’ve written a ton on common Tesla issues, which hopefully you won’t ever experience, but if you do, we have you covered with these posts:
Check out the Tesla category page for a list of popular Tesla posts.
Check out the Tesla troubleshooting page for problem Teslas.
Check out the Tesla charging page for common Tesla charging problems.
If you are curious about other EV models, check out the EV FAQ category.
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