This week I had another first in the Tesla world, my first sighting of a Model S with a roof rack in the East Bay.
The Whispbar roof rack system from Yakima is available directly through Tesla for $519. Or you can buy direct through Yakima for the same price. The first price listed is only $449 but does not include the $70 flush kit.
Thule also sells a roof rack with a Tesla adaptor for $454.85 with the following three parts: the podium, the rack and the fit kit. To mount any roof rack on the Telsa, you need to have bought the panoramic roof.
While carrying anything on the roof of a vehicle, electric or ICE, you will be impacting your mileage due to aerodynamics and resistance. Perhaps with an electric vehicle, owners will be more sensitive to any drop in range with a roof rack.
Various owners have reported different Wh/mile performance differences with their roof racks and carriers. These data points are always very difficult to be accurate as weather conditions and speed make a significant difference. The following data has been reported by a few owners: a little over 1% with just the roof rack installed or with snowboards, 10-25% loss with a bicycle, and 10% with a cargo carrier.
I have driven to the mountains many times with skis on the roof. I have also owned a paddleboard for a few years now. The paddleboard is very large and has a measurable impact on my Highlander’s MPG in high speeds or windy conditions. I would assume a similar Wh/mile drop if I put the paddle board on the Tesla.
Since I already own a rack system on my Toyota Highlander, I am in no rush to install one on my Model S. I also feel that I need to at least occasionally drive the Highlander. If I purchase a roof rack for the Tesla, I would also be strongly inclined to buy the Thule rack. Thule makes an excellent paddleboard system, and offered excellent customer support when I accidentally threw away an important part of the system.