Tesla Model Y Tires
By: Discount Tire
The Tesla Model Y: is it an electric crossover or a supercar?
An economy minded CUV with a long battery range geared for the young urban professional set who might be eyeing a little more space for their commuter vehicle and expanding family?
Or is it an electric hypercar with the same low center of gravity and on-demand power that Tesla has popularized, monetized and perfected?
The stakes are high for the Model Y on its debut, with competitors entering the electric CUV marketin anticipation of the way the automotive industry appears to be heading. It’s clear that Americans are both demanding a higher sitting position when driving while desiring longer range and more power out of battery-electric vehicles.
So will the Model Y check every box as the ultimate commuter crossover available? Time reveals all—even down to the tenth of a second margin on the sprint to 60 mph.
Model Y Tires
What we know about Teslas and tires (and electric vehicles in general): they go through ‘em nearly as fast as their acceleration curve.
From the instant torque across each Tesla model range to the low-profile tires that come on the performance variants of each, Teslas are also incredibly heavy. Their tires have to move a lot of mass and support a lot of power. Add varying road conditions to the equation and you’ll potentially be replacing your Model Y tires numerous times before your warranty is up.
Model Y Tire Sizes
We have confirmed the Model Y will ride squared on 255/45R19 rubber in its most base, non-upgraded performance trim. Granted, this is subject to change both on the Model Y debut as well as over the course of its life and development cycle.
The Model Y “Long Range Dual Motor” is expected to be available in 19-inch or 20-inch wheel options, with the 20-inch OE wheel being an optional add-on. This will likely be shod in a 255/40R20 tire, losing some aspect ratio (tire sidewall height) in order to fit the taller “Induction” Tesla wheel.
There you have it. Decreasing sidewall heights in exchange for bigger wheels and wider contact patches on the Model Y. As you up the ante in the configurator for the Model Y, bear this in mind!
It’s no secret that staggered tires get used quicker. (They’re generally given to more spirited use that depletes their tread life, plus you can’t rotate them in a traditional manner).
Like enabling “Ludicrous” mode in your Tesla, the more aggressive you get in your driving, the quicker you’ll go through tires.
But maybe you’re looking for even more out of the tires in your Model Y when it’s time to change them?
Here are a couple more situational recommendations for the prospective Tesla Model Y drivers out there:
Model Y Performance Tires
If you want to maximize the grip of your Model Y, not only in the corners but when you launch or otherwise get on it, you’ll likely be able to increase the section width a few ticks up from stock. This would mean going from a 275 section-width tire in the rear to a 295, for example.
Upping the section width also has the potential to open up new tire options beyond what would normally be available for your Model Y—but you also need to verify their load range will support how heavy Teslas are.
(Our in-store experts will ultimately be able to tell you if the tire you’re interested will work safely or not.)
But there are a few things to note if you’re considering this.
While you’re putting almost 10% more rubber on the road (or in some instances even more) you’ll also increase the rolling resistance working against the powertrain of your Tesla, reducing its “fuel” economy and range in the process.
Tires for Increasing Model Y Battery Range
If you want to try to maximize the range of your Model Y even potentially beyond its 315 mile range, you might look for a tire that has a narrower contact patch and lower profile tread.
A lot of low rolling resistance tires incorporate the words “eco” “energy” “fuel” into their names (Bridgestone Ecopia, Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max, Michelin Energy Saver, etc.) but like switching for a wider-than-OE performance oriented Tesla tire, there are some potential drawbacks to note here as well.
These tires are widely acknowledged to be less than effective in rain and on wet roads, and are almost totally useless in winter weather conditions. They also tend to ride on the less comfortable side, and may increase noise, vibration and harshness.
Tires for Model Y Ride Comfort and Wheel Protection
Maybe you don’t care too much about any of the above, but want to increase the comfort of the ride in your Model Y?
If that sounds appealing, you can usually up the aspect ratio (or height of the tire’s sidewall) to pretty dramatic effect. Generally speaking, there isn’t as much of a load index consideration for heavy battery electric vehicles on this one, since you’re just adding a little more cushion to the tire supporting the overall vehicle weight versus removing it.
And because a taller tire will provide a softer ride around town, it’ll also protect your Model Y wheels from potholes and road hazard damage. Especially in the case of the 21-inch Tesla Model Y wheels, this could be a valuable proposition for your wallet as much as for your day to day drivability.
However, the cons of taller tires are that your steering response will be much softer and less direct, and it will have a varying level of negative effect on your Tesla’s charge range.
Whatever the case, you can be sure that a Discount Tire location near you will have the answers for your Model Y (and any other kind of Tesla) tire and wheel needs!