Tesla Model 3 Fans Have Found a Secret Way to Save $1,500


The Tesla Model 3 is by far the cheapest electric vehicle the company has ever produced. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a great deal — when CEO Elon Musk handed over the first 30 vehicles last month, he revealed the $35,000 figure was for a bare bones car that lacked features found as standard on the Model S and Model X, like a glass roof. Among the features that got the chop was a set of shiny wheels, with Tesla asking for $1,500 to swap out the 18-inch aerodynamic rims for 19-inch sports wheels.

Fortunately, fans have found a workaround. On the Tesla subreddit, user Tesla_Model3 shared images of a vehicle at the Fremont plant with the aero wheels. In this image, though, the owner has taken off the plastic cover to reveal a sharp set of gunmetal gray rims.

Here is the wheel with the Tesla Model 3 aerodynamic cover on:

Wheel cover

Facebook/Jeremy Chrysler

And here it is with the cover off:

Cover off

“Thank the almighty Tesla gods,” said user TheKobayashiMoron. “Finally a pic of the production car without the aero caps. Those rims are sick af. They look so much better with the dark finish on them.”

They may look better without the covers, but it may get less range than a typical Model 3. When Tesla offered aerodynamic rims for the Model S, it promised a three percent boost in battery range, meaning users could drive slightly further per charge.

This is particularly critical for the Model 3, which uses a smaller 50kWh battery on the base model compared to the standard 75kWh pack for the Model S. But the Model 3 gets around 220 miles per charge, compared to the Model S’ 249 miles. This is thanks to a number of improvements like a lighter frame and more aerodynamic design, which help the car slice through the air and use less power to reach the same distances. The cap-less aero wheels may look cool, but users wanting to get the most bang for their buck may want to keep them on.

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