Tesla will be adding air compressors to bigger Supercharger locations and allow owners to top off their tire pressure, according to CEO Elon Musk. Musk’s update came via a tweet, as he was discussing an upcoming software update that aims to further improve Tesla Model 3’s braking performance.
Having air compressors at popular Supercharger locations would be a welcomed addition to the stations, allowing Tesla owners to ensure that their vehicle’s tire pressure is at an optimal setting. With real-time vehicle diagnostics – vehicles with tire pressure monitoring sensors alert drivers when tire pressure is low – having an air compressor available at charging stops could come as a relief for Model S, Model X and Model 3 owners in need of a quick top off.
Underinflated tires can negatively affect the total distance a vehicle is capable of driving given its fuel source. The U.S. Department of Energy found that tires with low air pressure can decrease the range of a car by 0.2% for every 1 psi below the recommended pressure. As tire pressure lowers, rolling resistance increases thus requiring more energy to move a vehicle. Electric cars tend to be heavier than gasoline vehicles, because of the batteries, which leads to tires wearing down faster. Having proper tire pressure will help extend the life of tires.
Adding air compressors to Supercharger stations and allowing Tesla drivers to properly inflate their vehicle’s tires also implicitly allows the vehicle to maximize its driving range. One can presume that by having better driving range, Tesla is able to help mitigate Supercharger congestion at some of the more popular locations that are prone to overcrowding. Additionally, having an air compressor installed at a Supercharger station can be seen as a value-add that bolsters Tesla’s commitment to “owner happiness”.
Another such value-add for Tesla customers is the ability to service their vehicle directly at home or from their workplace through Tesla’s Mobile Ranger service. CEO Elon Musk also recently revealed that Tesla owners will soon be able to diagnose squeaks and rattles and make service appointments directly from their Tesla mobile app.