Model 3 owners with the 18 aero wheels should check these out.
Rimetrix orbital wheel covers are a recent addition to the aftermarket Tesla accessory market and have been getting a lot of attention since the launched a 60-day Kickstarter campaign in February of 2020. The Kickstarter was a success, and the company received pledges from 1,274 backers, amounting to $217,923, and more than quadrupled the goal set of $50,000.
We accepted the opportunity for InsideEVs to check out these wheel covers and the company sent one set to both our Global Editor In Chief, John Neff, and me, as we both have Model 3s with the standard 18" aero wheels, which are the wheels these are made for.
My Model 3 with the Black Rimetrix Orbital wheel covers and the stock aero covers that came with the car.
We've been using them for a little more than a month now and are both very pleased with them so we wanted to share our enthusiasm with the InsideEVs community. Quite honestly, we get a lot of Tesla accessories offered to us by companies with the hope that we'll do reviews and we turn down the vast majority of them.
However, when something comes along that we like, we'll check it out and share it with the readers if we believe it's an interesting accessory that they'll appreciate, as was the case with the Orbital wheel covers. This isn't a sponsored ad, and InsideEVs hasn't received any compensation other than the two demonstration sets mentioned above.
No more curb rash
One of the nice features of the Orbital wheel covers is they are about 3/4" (20mm) larger than the stock aero wheel covers. That allows the Orbitals to completely cover the outer portion of the rim, which is normally exposed when the stock aero covers are installed.
That coverage protects the wheel from any possible curb rash. Yes, the wheel cover will get scratched if you rub against the curb, but the more expensive wheel will be protected. So if you have already curbed up the rims and don't like how they look, you have another reason to get the Orbital covers - they will hide the existing rim damage.
The Rimetrix Orbital wheel covers come in a black or silver finish
Rimetrix also promises that the Orbitals "provides efficiency through superior aerodynamics". They even provide some data from two efficiency tests they say they performed. In one test, they drove 26 miles at 70-mph three times. Once with no covers on, the second with the stock aero wheel covers on, and then once again with the Orbital covers on. The test with the Orbital covers has a slightly lower consumption rate of 260 Wh/mi compared to the stock wheel cover's consumption rate of 261 Wh/mi. Without any cover, the consumption rate was 267 Wh/mi.
On the second test, the Orbital covers had the same consumption as the stock wheels, and both were only slightly better than the efficiency rate of the vehicle without any cover on the aero rims. What does this prove? Unfortunately, not much. There are so many other factors that could have influenced the outcome like wind, temperature, traffic conditions, etc, we can't really draw any conclusions from the data supplied.
We do, however, believe the flush design does appear to provide good aerodynamics, which leads us to believe the Orbitals shouldn't be much or any worse than the stock covers for efficiency. Still, in order to be certain, they would need to be tested in a qualified facility that controls all of the outside factors before we can be sure.
The covers are easy to put on and take off, but you do need to remove the center caps before removing the cover. To do so, use a plastic removal tool or if you're like me and like to live dangerously, use a metal screwdriver and be very careful not to scratch or gauge the plastic.
The black Orbital wheel covers cost $265 for a set of four which includes the center caps. The silver ones cost $20 more are $285 for the complete set. Those interested can order them directly from the Rimetrix website. They are currently back-ordered for 5 weeks.
So check out the video and let us know what you think. Would the Orbital wheel covers be something you'd consider if you had a Model 3 with the 18" aero wheels? Anyone already have them and like to comment on your satisfaction? Let us know in the comment section below.
Final thought - Yes, I know I most likely mispronounced the Rimetrix company name in the video. It's not the first mistake I've made in a video and it definitely won't be the last. :)