Tested – Snow Tires Increase Energy Consumption By 7% On Tesla Model S

MAR 20 2018 BY MARK KANE 8

One of the biggest factors that influences vehicle efficiency is tires – the difference between summer and winter tires could be several percent or more.

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Teslavangelist recently tested its Tesla Model S with snow and summer tires on the same route and under similar circumstances (temperature, almost no interior heating, etc.).

The results were:

  • winter tires: 357 Wh/mi (222 Wh/km)
  • summer tires: 334 Wh/mi (208 Wh/km)

In other words, in the spring, range on the summer tires will increase by roughly 7%. That’s a significant difference.

“As spring arrives in MI, I test my snow tires (Blizzaks) and stock Model S tires (Michelin) to determine the difference in energy use. Because it was about 50° F, the snow tires probably were a little soft, so the difference may be less when it’s colder (and the snow tires rubber is more firm).”

Read Also – Watch Porsche Mission E Glide On Snow

Higher range in the transitional period will start to fade again as with the arrival of summer typically brings with it the need to use A/C.

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8 Comments on "Tested – Snow Tires Increase Energy Consumption By 7% On Tesla Model S"

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This totally depends on what tires they used.

For low rolling resistance winter tires, they need to use Nokian Hakka R2, or Michelin X-Ice. The former (and maybe the latter, too) could well have lower consumption than the summer Michelin tires.

Just some anecdotal info. My Volt would get 48-50 miles in the summer months with stock tires. Replaced them with non-low rolling resistance tires (as Costco was out and I had a flat they couldn’t repair) and expected a slight drop but damn, I get 40-42 miles at best now!

Kind of crazy it can make that big of a difference.

I had the same thing happen to me with my Volt.

7% is lower than I expected. Tires (and inflation of tires) make a HUGE difference. I used to just figure I’d put all season radials on and go with it all year. I have now been converted to dedicated snow tires. What a gigantic grip difference. And not all snow tires are created equal of course. And also the grippier summer performance tires also wear out quickly and bring down mileage. So my plan here on out is low rolling resistance tires in summer and dedicated winter snow tires in winter. Rather than keep paying for mounting/balancing though I’m just going to buy a second set of OEM rims an swap out winter/summer. Cheaper in the long run. Oh and here’s a handy Car and Driver winter tire test I keep for reference.


Welcome to the developed world, you have just achieved basic enlightenment. 🙂

Blizzaks are rated the #1 snow tire for a reason – they are very grippy. So 7% might be the worse case scenario for snow tires.

I put Michelin X-Ice on my Volt. I can’t tell if efficiency dropped and they are quieter and a better ride than the factory tires

Not that surprising. If you want more traction under the same weight, you gotta increase friction…

What’s more interesting IMO is the big effect wheel diameter has: Moving from 20″ to 22″ wheels on a Tesla Model X reduces mileage by 22%-23%, which is pretty significant…