Many Tesla owners are puzzled by the high cost of their car’s tires. But there’s a lot more to these tires than meets the eye. Electric vehicles have unique characteristics that their tires need to be designed to handle.
Why Are Tesla Tires So Expensive?Tesla tires are more expensive than regular tires due to their unique design and high-performance features. These specialized features include handling quick acceleration, heavy battery weight, and unique sound-deadening foam, which add to the manufacturing cost.
In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of Tesla electric car tires, uncovering what sets them apart from regular tires, why they cost more, and whether you can swap them for normal ones. We’ll also explore how to make your EV tires last longer and when it’s time to replace them.
Let’s take a closer look.
Comparison Between Electric Vehicle Tires and Regular Tires
Before we dive in, let’s quickly go over what tires actually do. Their job is much more than just rolling down the road.
- Safety: Tires are your only point of contact with the road. They need to grip the road well, especially in rain or snow, to keep you safe.
- Comfort: Good tires absorb the bumps and dips in the road, giving you a smooth ride.
- Efficiency: Well-designed tires can also help your car use less energy, which is super important, especially for electric cars like Teslas.
EV Tires Vs. Regular Tires
Now that we’re clear on why tires are important, let’s look at the differences between Tesla and regular tires.
Design: One of the main differences you’ll see is the design. Tesla tires are designed specifically for electric vehicles. They’re crafted to handle the quick acceleration, heavy battery weight, and regenerative braking that’s common with electric cars like Tesla.
Performance: Tesla tires have a high performance compared to regular tires. They’re often quieter, offer better grip, and can handle higher speeds. This is partly due to the foam lining inside some EV tires (more on that later).
The Foam Inside Tesla Tires
What’s this about foam in the tires? Some electric car and truck tires have a layer of foam inside them. It’s not there just for kicks, but it serves an important purpose:
- Noise Reduction: Electric cars are super quiet. This is usually a good thing, but it means you can sometimes hear road noise more clearly. The foam inside these tires helps to reduce this noise, giving you a quieter, more enjoyable ride.
The Cost of Tesla Tires
Electric vehicle tires come with a bit of a higher price tag. But why are they more expensive? And just how much do they cost? Tesla tires can cost anywhere from $200 to over $350 per tire, depending on the model and tire size. This can seem a bit steep, especially when you compare it to regular tires, which can range from $100 to $200 per tire.
Why Are Tesla Tires More Expensive?
Why the extra cost? Well, there are a few reasons:
- Unique Design: As we mentioned before, EV tires are designed specifically for electric cars. They have to handle the extra weight from the batteries, the quick acceleration, and the regenerative braking. All of this special design work adds to the cost.
- High Performance: EV tires are often high-performance tires, which means they’re made to handle higher speeds and give a smoother ride. High-performance tires are usually more expensive than regular ones.
- Foam Lining: Remember the foam we talked about? That’s another factor. This foam lining reduces road noise, but it also adds to the manufacturing cost.
Are They Worth It?
Are these expensive tires really worth it? They’re designed to give you the best driving experience with your Tesla. And while they might be a bit more expensive upfront, they could save you money in the long run by improving your car’s efficiency and durability.
Can Regular Tires be Used on Tesla Vehicles?
Let’s go over what happens when you swap out those fancy Tesla tires for more regular ones.
Potential Issues With Non-Tesla Tires
First, let’s talk about what might happen if you put non-Tesla tires on your Tesla. Remember, Tesla tires are specially designed for electric vehicles.
- Performance Issues: Regular tires might not be able to handle the quick acceleration or the weight of the batteries as well as Tesla tires. This could lead to less grip on the road and more wear and tear on the tires.
- Noise Levels: Tesla tires often have a foam lining to reduce road noise. Without this, your ride might be a bit noisier.
- Efficiency Drop: Tesla tires are also designed to help your car run efficiently. Using regular tires could mean your car uses more energy, which means more charging and potentially higher electricity bills.
The Upsides and Downsides
While there could be some drawbacks, there could also be a couple of benefits to using non-Tesla tires:
- Cost Savings: The most obvious benefit is the lower upfront cost. Regular tires can be significantly cheaper than Tesla ones.
- More Options: Using regular tires also gives you more choices. You can choose from a wider variety of brands and styles.
My First-Hand Experience With Cheaper Tires For A Tesla
My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 and I’ve already replaced the tires on it after having it for only a year and a half. I love the high torque output you get from EV acceleration that throws you back into the seat. You can usually only get in a seriously expensive gas-powered vehicle. This means my Tesla tires wear much more quickly.
The OEM Tesla tires cost ~$500 a piece so I decided to experiment with Falken Azenis FK510’s. They’re significantly less expensive at ~$200/tire. I’ve had them on for quite some time now and I really have no complaints given the replacement cost difference.
The cheaper tires have been able to cope with the heavy electric vehicle’s weight as well as the blazing fast acceleration. There is more road noise and they will probably wear out sooner but at less than half the price they could last half as long and I’ll still come out ahead.
If you decide to try an alternative to the tires your tesla model came with to save money on replacement costs, stick with reliable brands and consult a tire profession if you’re unsure which tire is the best choice for your Tesla model.
Falken Azenis FK510 235/35 R20
The Lifespan of Tesla Tires
How long do Tesla tires last compared to regular ones? And how often do you need to replace them? The answer is a bit complicated.
Tesla cars are heavier than most due to their battery packs. Also, they’re known for their quick acceleration. Both of these factors can lead to quicker tire wear.
But, the story doesn’t end here. Tesla tires are designed to handle this extra strain. They’re made to be tough and handle the unique demands of an electric vehicle.
Tesla Tire Replacement Frequency
Now, how often do you need to replace Tesla tires? It’s not that different from regular cars. Generally, tires can last anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 miles, depending on how you drive and where you drive. Tesla tires typically fall within this range too.
But remember, these are just ballpark numbers. Lots of things can affect how long your tires last, like your driving style, the terrain, and even the weather.
Signs of Wear
How do you know when it’s time for new tires? Here are some signs to look out for:
- Tread Wear: The tread is the pattern on the tire that grips the road. If it’s worn down, it’s time for new tires.
- Cracks or Bulges: If you see any cracks or bulges in the sidewall of your tire, that’s a sure sign they need replacing.
- Vibration or Noise: If your ride is getting noisy or you’re feeling more vibrations, it might be due to worn-out tires.
Tips for Making Tesla Tires Last Longer
You want your tires to last as long as possible but how can you make that happen? Let’s dive into some top tips to extend their life.
Regular Tire Rotation
One of the best things you can do for your tires is to rotate them regularly. This means swapping the front and back tires around.
- Why Rotate?: Front tires wear differently than the rear ones. By rotating them, you’re helping all four tires wear more evenly. This can help them last longer.
- How Often?: For Teslas, it’s generally recommended to rotate your tires every 10,000 to 12,000 miles. But check your vehicle’s manual to be sure!
Check Tire Pressure
Keeping the right air pressure in your tires is super important.
- Why Check?: Under-inflated tires can wear out faster and make your car less efficient. Over-inflated tires can make the ride bumpy and less comfortable.
- How Often?: It’s a good idea to check your tire pressure about once a month and always before long trips. Your car’s manual will tell you the right pressure for your specific model.
How you drive can also impact how long your tires last.
- Easy on Acceleration: Remember, Teslas are quick! But constant fast acceleration can wear your tires out faster. So try to ease up on the pedal when you can.
- Avoid Hard Braking: Similarly, try to avoid hard braking when it’s safe to do so. Gradual slowing down can help reduce wear on your tires.
- Watch for Road Hazards: Potholes, debris, and curbs can damage your tires. Keep an eye on the road and try to avoid these hazards.
Below are some links you may find helpful when learning about tires
- Here’s the reason why Tesla tires are so much more expensive – Slash Gear
- Tires for my Tesla Model 3 RWD – How much do they cost? – Torque News
We’ve covered the specifics of Tesla tire designs, their unique characteristics, and the reasons behind their cost, it’s clear that these aren’t your average tires.
The key takeaway? Tesla tires, with their unique design and high-performance features, are specifically tailored for the electric vehicle experience. They handle quick acceleration, weight from heavy batteries, and incorporate sound-deadening in a way regular tires don’t. While the upfront cost might be higher, these specialty tires are designed to give you the best possible driving experience and, with good care, can last just as long as regular tires.
Good luck and happy motoring.