Tire Rack doesn't just sell tires, it reviews them, too. The company's latest evaluation focuses on rubber for EVs. The testers want to know how the recommended replacement tires perform against the original equipment.

Tire Rack conducted the test using two examples of the 2022 Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor Long Range. The tire models for the evaluation were the vehicle's original Continental ProContact RX T1 versus the replacement Continental PureContact LS on 19 x 8.5-inch wheels. It also checked the original Michelin Primacy MXM4 T1 against the Michelin CrossClimate2 on 18 x 8-inch wheels.

Gallery: Tire Rack EV Tire Test

In general, the testing showed that the replacement tires offered better performance than the original equipment but with a little bit more noise. However, Tire Rack found some interesting details about the specific models of tire.

For the Continental rubber, Tire Rack noted that the ride quality was very similar between the two, but the replacement offered better steering and handling. Although, the replacement showed "additional but not objectional noise," according to Tire Rack.

Despite the Continental replacement tires having better wet-track traction, lateral grip, and braking, the testers actually preffered the steering chacteristics from the original rubber. "The team was a little frustrated with PureContact LS replacement tires, concluding the whole package felt pretty unhappy about what it was being asked to do," Tire Rack wrote in its announcement of the test results.

Tire Rack noted the original-equipment Michelin was particularly quiet. The replacements made a bit more sound and had similar ride quality. The testers noted they were "tauter" than the OE rubber. 

Both replacement tires offered better lateral grip in wet and dry conditions than the original components.

The wet-braking test showed mixed results. The Tesla stopped nearly 23 feet shorter on the Michelin replacement tires. However, the original Continental rubber brought the car to a halt sooner than the substitute.

The table below shows each tire's effect on the Model 3's efficiency:

Tire Vehicle Reported Watt/Mile Estimated Range at 100 Percent Charge
Continental ProContact RX T1 (OE) 274 262 miles
Continental PureContact LS (Replacement) 286 246 miles
Michelin Primacy MXM4 T1 (OE) 236 305 miles
Michelin CrossClimate2 (Replacement) 263 271 miles

The testers did several evaluations to check the tires. There was a 6.0-mile loop of expressway, state highway and county roads, which included challenging the rubber on various conditions of concrete and asphalt. There was also wet and dry testing on Tire Rack’s one-third mile track. To check the effect on efficiency, there was a 200-mile drive with both vehicles in tandem to ensure identical conditions for each tire.

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