EV Charge WA News

Fri 13 November 2020

Want more range from your EV? Get smaller wheels

It's safe to say that range is king when it comes to marketing electric vehicles. I mean, there's a reason manufacturers keep pushing pack sizes up to eke out every bit of range possible. Here's the thing, though: bigger batteries are good for storing more energy, but they adversely affect the vehicle in other ways, namely in the weight department.

So, knowing that weight is the enemy of performance and that bigger packs mean more weight, what if I told you there was a way to get a measurable boost in range from your electric vehicle without touching any of the drivetrain components? Would you believe me? Of course not. I'm not an engineer. Jason Fenske of YouTube's Engineering Explained is, and he's ready to drop some science on you.

The secret is all in the wheel and tire package for a vehicle. Smaller wheels weigh less and therefore require less energy to get them rolling, making them more efficient. It seems like a no-brainer, right? Then why do companies keep fitting larger and larger wheels to their vehicles? Because people think they look cool. That's it.

Just how much of a difference is there in the range of a Model 3 Performance on 18-inch wheels versus 20-inch wheels? Well, according to Jason's math (which is much better than mine), the 18s are good for an additional 39 miles of range. That's a 15% difference, which is huge in EV terms. You also get the benefits of lower cost and increased comfort from using a tire with a taller sidewall.

So, there's the not-so-secret formula for more range on your EV: Slap

Credit: Jason Fenske

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