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All-Season Tires For The Tesla Model 3 To Keep Things Simple — Turned Out To Be Safe & Cheap

Back in November 2019, I wrote about my choice to replace the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 originally fittet on my Tesla Model 3 with all-season Michelin CrossClimate+ tyres (I recommend reading that article to learn more about my choice of tyre size etc.). After 30 months and 85,000 km (53,000 miles), these tires were ripe for replacement — overdue, actually, but still managed to keep me safe. Did I get a new set of CrossClimate’s right away? I most certainly did! Here’s why.

Ready for a new long stretch comfort in my Tesla Model 3. Yes, I know the standard size on the 18 inch aero’s is 235, but I find these 245 to be a perfect match in terms of comfort, grip, looks, and speedometer accuracy. Photo by Jesper Berggreen

Best Tyre Experience I Have Ever Had

But is it just the tyres? Does the drivetrain characteristics of an EV play a role too? Maybe, but in any case: +50,000 miles on a set of tyres? I mean, that’s a long way, and that brings the cost per miles way down (in this case $12 per 1000 miles!). I did not expect to go further than 60,000 km (37,000 miles), and as you will see in the chart below, it seemed they would be able to last way longer. The Danish legal minimum is 1.6 mm, which is actually way too low in my opinion. I would not recommend going below 3 mm, especially in climates with risk of ice and snow.

Don’t go below 3 mm (CrossClimate+ just before replacement). Photo by Jesper Berggreen

New at 7 mm (CrossClimate2). Photo by Jesper Berggreen

Which is why I had new tyres ready before they got below 3 mm. Around 75,000 km (47,000 miles) I noticed a slight wobbling sensation. I examined the tyres, but I did not see any damage, other that the side walls beginning to show signs of wear, and since it was winter time, I attributed the issue to the rubber getting hard and thus having the flat bit when being parked for hours or days needing more time to even out when starting to roll than a new soft rubber would. It only bothered me at low speeds. That turned out to be a dangerous misjudgment. However, it did prompt me to start looking for a good price on a set of new CrossClimate2 tyres.

Sidewall on the CrossClimate+ showing signs of cracking up. Photo by Jesper Berggreen

Make sure to select the XL (extra load) variant with strong sidewalls. Photo by Jesper Berggreen

Wear & Tear

Looking at the data, everything seemed to go fine, and I was very impressed, but luckily I stopped before any damage was done.

In hindsight, obviously, deterioration was accelerating around the 70,000 km mark (43,000 miles), but curiously seemed to flatten again.

Impressive. And I will continue to measure the new tyres. By the way, the energy consumption over the total 30 months on these tyres was 173 Wh/km (278 Wh/mile). Note that my Model 3 is the long range RWD which is rare in Europe.

CrossClimate+ after 30 months and 53,000 miles. Photo by Jesper Berggreen

CrossClimate2. Photo by Jesper Berggreen

Looking at the photos, it’s obvious I drove these tyres at least 5,000 miles too far. But since the dangerous wear and tear was on the inside of the tyres I had not noticed. Probably due to a less than perfect alignment of the wheels, an uneven wear was being amplified out of sight, which of course led to the wobbling sensation. Again, there were no apparent acute physical damage to the tyres, but please make sure to replace your tyres if you experience anything unusual nearing the end of life.

Dangerously uneven wear & tear on inside of tread. Photo by Jesper Berggreen

I noticed nothing critical on the visible outside edge of the tyres (CrossClimate+). Photo by Jesper Berggreen

Note the subtle differences in tread design from CrossClimate+ to this CrossClimate2. Photo by Jesper Berggreen

Comfort & Low Cost

I have been very pleased with the CrossClimate+ tyres. They are incredibly comfortable on the 18 inch aero rims on the Tesla Model 3, and they handled all hard cornering, acceleration, and braking I threw at them with confidence. The only thing I noticed right after the switch from Pilot Sport 4 to CrossClimate+ was that a rumbling noise had now been replace with a high-pitched one. So, I was curious about this new generation CrossClimate2 design, because I had heard this high-pitched noise issue should have been resolved, and it has! It’s just gone.

These measurements were made right before and after replacement on the same stretch of tarmac, in the same direction of travel, and in identical weather and temperature conditions (dry, 15 degrees celsius, 59 fahrenheit). App used: Spectrum by Black Cat Systems

Even though it is hard to see the difference on the crude noise measurements, the subjective experience is indisputable. In terms of sound profile, it is in a class of its own. Especially at higher speeds. I am actually surprised by the level of comfort.

Many of the miles on the CrossClimate+ have been on ice and snow, and they have performed very well in all situations. I have never had issues with loss of control. Note, by the way, how tread depth varies in how fast the wear occurs depending on temperature. It seems that colder and therefore harder tyres wear out at a slower pace in the winter than warm and soft tyres do in the summer. My Model 3 has rear-wheel drive and the tyres were only rotated once, so at this point the tread depth is the same on all 4 tyres — when measured in the middle of the tread, that is.

Photo by Jesper Berggreen

In conclusion, if you’re not after the best of the best performance tyres out there, these tyres are a good option if you can’t be bothered with having to shift between summer and winter tyres, and if you drive a lot. If your mileage is low, you should be aware that it seems the rubber compound of the CrossClimate series is designed for use within 2 or 3 years, after which the rubber seems to get quite brittle. Other makes with harder compound might be more suitable for mileage being spread over more years. For me though, this is the perfect tyre, and I hope the new generation CrossClimate2 will serve me as excellent as the CrossClimate+ has done.


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Written By

Jesper had his perspective on the world expanded vastly after having attended primary school in rural Africa in the early 1980s. And while educated a computer programmer and laboratory technician, working with computers and lab-robots at the institute of forensic medicine in Aarhus, Denmark, he never forgets what life is like having nothing. Thus it became obvious for him that technological advancement is necessary for the prosperity of all humankind, sharing this one vessel we call planet earth. However, technology has to be smart, clean, sustainable, widely accessible, and democratic in order to change the world for the better. Writing about clean energy, electric transportation, energy poverty, and related issues, he gets the message through to anyone who wants to know better. Jesper is founder of and a long-term investor in Tesla, Ørsted, and Vestas.


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