Tesla Model S
While range is only impacted marginally by wheel and tire choice on the Tesla Model S, the Model X is a different story. Particularly, the wheel diameter may change range by ten to fifteen percent.
Tesla Model X
It seems range is scrutinized and analyzed more with electric cars, likely because range is a main focal point in the segment. Not as often do we see or hear about ICE vehicle owners painstakingly calculating their change in gas mileage based on a tire purchase or wheel upgrade. Of course, there are surely those that make it a priority nonetheless.
On Tesla's site, the Model S page features a cool range calculator.
When switching between 19-inch and 21-inch wheels, the loss of mileage, is around 5-6 miles per charge for the lower models. Once you get up to the 90 series cars, the change is a bit more, but still not drastic. The P90D sees a drop of about 13 total miles of range.
So, the typical 2-4% range drop from wheel size is about half of the 7% range gained per battery upgrade. The upgrade to 21-inch wheels costs $6,000 and the battery upgrade from 70 kWh to 75 kWh costs $3,000.
Unfortunately, there is no nifty calculator on the Model X page, but one might assume that the results would be similar given that the cars are siblings. However, the Tesla Design Studio informs that upgrading to the 22-inch wheels from the standard 20-inch wheels results in a range loss of about 40 miles!
With this information available, consumers should seriously consider the added cost of wheels and the subsequent loss of range, when designing their Model X. While looks may be very important to some buyers, upwards of $16,000 between the wheels and the range loss - nearly three times the cost of the wheels alone - may be a hard pill to swallow.