Tesla Tires: Are Your Tesla’s Shoes Up to the Task?

Tesla’s electric vehicles (EVs) are something of a cultural and technological phenomenon, but they are, first and foremost, cars. Until it refuses to touch the ground, your Tesla will need tires to take you from one place to another. However, are the tires on your Tesla model special, or are they standard summer, all-season, and winter tires? Moreover, should you be mounting special rubber on your Tesla wheels? 

What brand of tires does Tesla use?

Tesla uses Michelin, Pirelli, Hankook, and Continental tires on its electric vehicles. According to Elite Garages, Michelin outfits over 50% of Teslas, making it the majority supplier of rubber for the EV marque. 

Tesla's wheels and tires, including winter tires for Tesla, are primarily Continental and Michelin products.
A Continental AG tire on a Model S | Chris Ratcliffe, Bloomberg via Getty Images

Moreover, Tesla has some special rubber in its repertoire. According to Engineerine, Tesla uses polyurethane foam and air in some tires. However, not every set on a Tesla is foam-filled. For instance, the Michelin Pilot Sport 98Y and Continental ContiSilent tires use the foam-and-air mixture to reduce noise, sometimes by as much as 9.0 dB.  

Can you buy any tires for Tesla?

Although some Tesla-ready tires use a polyurethane foam-and-air mixture for noise reduction, you can buy and install any set that will fit your Tesla’s wheels. For instance, you can mount any performance-oriented tire you’d like on a Tesla Model 3 Performance and its 20” wheels as long as they fit.  

Still, you should buy tires that best suit the driving you intend to do with your EV. For instance, if you want to commute fairly straightforwardly, all-seasons that fit your Tesla’s wheels should be good enough. However, if you want to try to put your Tesla Model S Plaid to the test, you’ll need slick drag radial rubber. 

Why do Tesla tires wear out so fast?

While you can use any tires that fit on your Tesla wheels, you’ll notice that they wear out quickly. Like all battery electric vehicles (BEV), Teslas are pretty heavy, with a Model X Plaid tipping the scales at 5,390 lbs. Weight causes friction, which wears out the tires. 

Unfortunately, it isn’t just Teslas; any BEV with heavy battery architecture will put increased strain on its tires. Also, Teslas produce instant torque from their EV platforms, which can prematurely wear tires due to the forces of copious torque and friction acting on the tires.  

Do you need winter tires on a Tesla?

Every Tesla model offers grippy dual-motor or tri-motor all-wheel drive (AWD) at upper trim levels. However, it’s a good idea to outfit your Tesla with winter or studded snow tires, depending on how challenging the winters are in your locale.

Seasonally-appropriate tires are designed to maximize performance and grip in their respective seasonal profile. For instance, summer tires will perform best to provide drivers with grip in dry, warm conditions. However, if you live in a compliant climate, all-season tires are sufficient for most of your driving needs. If you plan on commuting through ice and snow with your EV, your tires should ideally match the conditions.  

Winter tires are a must for driving a Tesla in snow and ice.
Model 3 | Tesla
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Does Tesla sell snow tires?

Tesla sells “Wheel and Winter” packages, wherein the manufacturer offers wheels with winter tires. The manufacturer designed the winter tires for the best performance at temperatures under 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, Tesla sells snow chains for owners to mount on their EVs.  

Do your EV tires wear out quickly? Tell us in the comments below!