Podcast ep. 14 – Should you go for bigger optional wheels in your EV?

Hello and welcome to the Electric Vehicle Experience

Today’s podcast episode is about bigger optional wheels. Should you go for bigger optional wheels in your EV?

What are the advantages and disadvantages you should consider?

Actually, this was something I had a good thought about before ordering my Model 3. I’ve made a decision and I’m happy with it after almost 2 years.

For a long time, I was going back and forth about opting for the Long Range or the Performance.

So… what are the advantages of getting bigger wheels?

First off, the car generally looks better and sportier.

Another advantage is that there’s more space to fit bigger and safer brakes.

Sometimes you get a better, sharper steering feel.

What about the disadvantages?

Here we have a bigger list.

Although bigger wheels might allow for bigger brakes, many times the smaller wheels already fit the bigger brakes.

When having a bigger you get a smaller tire sidewall; as that happens, it gets easier to damage the wheel.

Then there’s ride comfort, less sidewall means less tire absorbing degraded road surface and you’ll notice it more.

Generally, bigger wheels generally reduce the number of tire models available and prices grow more expensive;

Bigger wheels return less efficiency and that results in less range.

As you can see, there are a lot more disadvantages than advantages in getting bigger wheels.

I searched online for these matters, about the 20-inch wheels or smaller ones.

I noticed that some Youtubers had gotten Model 3 Performances but they weren’t using them anymore. Why was that?

Kyle from Out of Spec Motoring showed his Model 3 Performance with a flat tire. The tire was fine, but the rim was cracked. At the time he tried 18-inch wheels.

Then there’s Bjorn Nyland. I don’t know why he changed but if I remember correctly, he would change between 18 and 19-inch wheels.

A similar outcome occurred with Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained. He damaged two wheels at once in a highway pothole. One or both tires were also damaged. He decided that there was no good reason to use 20s and I think he’s using 18-inch now.

He got new rims in a matter of a few hours but he’s in the US. In many other countries, it wouldn’t be so fast. I’ve heard about a similar situation where someone waited 6 months for 2 Performance wheels.


Many roads in Portugal are good but some are not. I don’t usually drive on very bad roads but sometimes it happens. And that’s when I love having opted for the 18-inch.

Actually, even on some highways I notice just a little bit of vibration from small irregularities, it would be a lot worse with 20-inch wheels and even firmer and lower suspension.

So, I’ve ranted a bit about this…


Should you opt for bigger optional wheels?


It’s a matter of personal preference and your biggest advantage will probably be in terms of how your car looks.

But with smaller wheels you would get better ride, more tire options, more affordable tires, more efficiency and range, wheels less prone to road damage…

I’ve made my choice, you have to weigh all of these factors according to your preferences and your car’s usage.

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Thank you for watching and I’ll talk to you soon