Tesla owner and YouTube influencer Tesla Canuck just published a Model Y range video that will likely appeal to many fans, as he says it provides a "definitive" and "irrefutable" answer related to how wheels impact range/efficiency.
The test uses two identical Model Y Long Range crossovers, though they're wearing different factory wheels. While one Model Y is equipped with 20-inch factory Induction Wheels, the other sports the 19-inch Gemini factory wheels.
Of course, the two electric crossovers also travel the same route at the same speed under the same conditions. There's no contesting whether or not this is true since the two Teslas undergo the test at the same time, though there are a few minor anomalies, which Tesla Canuck points out.
We're already well aware that wheel/tire size has an impact on range, and at times, the impact can be notable. The EPA breaks down Tesla range according to wheel size in some cases, though that's not true of the Model Y. Just to provide a baseline here, according to the EPA, the Model Y Long Range can travel 326 miles on a charge. The EPA says the Model Y Performance has a range of 303 miles.
The Model Y Long Range comes standard with Tesla's 19-inch Gemini wheels, though you can opt for the 20-inch Induction Wheels for an extra $2,000. While the test doesn't include a Model Y Performance, it comes standard with 21-inch Überturbine Wheels.
The video is very brief, and it's well worth watching it all the way through. However, Tesla Canuck provides the following chapters and timestamps for those who want to skip around a bit:
0:27 Why it is important
1:49 Test Methodology
2:40 The results
Tesla Canuck uses the TezLab app to capture the data from his range tests. He has the app running in both cars. Based on the test, the Model Y with 19-inch wheels proved to be about 7-percent more efficient than the Model Y with the 20s. In other words, the Model Y with the 20-inch wheels used 3.6 km (2.2 miles) more range than the Model Y with the smaller wheels.
Based on the information from the test, the Model Y with the smaller wheels should get about 36 km (22.4 miles) more range overall than the Model Y with the larger wheels.