Tesla is leading the way into a cleaner, electric future.
Proud car owners swear by these sleek, four-wheeled paragons of energy efficiency. But, for many, the million-dollar question is: “How long does a Tesla battery last, exactly?”
There is little financial sense in saving on gasoline only to throw money at a new battery. It’s also a less-than-ideal scenario to have your battery pack deteriorate quickly.
That all being said, many fossil fuel advocates raise false notions about the battery lifespan. You shouldn’t let them scare you away from Tesla vehicles. These electric workhorses have plenty of range and resilience in them.
We are going to look beyond ballpark figures and find the exact answers for you.
Getting the Show on the Road
There’s a lot of hearsay and speculation surrounding the topic of Tesla’s car battery life.
We’re going to ignore all that nonsense and focus on facts and figures. Some of you may be saying already: “Wait, the coveted brand doesn’t publish official numbers”. While that is true, numerous drivers across the globe have disclosed their data.
The most reliable method of gauging longevity is completely draining the battery and then upping it to 100%. Tesla owners in the majority of available surveys have done exactly that.
Their diligence has allowed us to notice some significant patterns. The key thing isn’t just to calculate maximum lifespan, but also to take into account the rate of degradation.
According to European survey reports (from the Dutch-Belgium Tesla owners group), there’s a slight drop in efficiency after the 50,000-mile watermark, but it’s not more than 5%. After 160,000 miles, the battery operates at a 90% capacity.
These numbers are much better than those EV skeptics and cynics put forward.
How Long Does a Tesla Battery Last: Numbers Game
One would naturally expect there comes a point of more aggressive battery degradation.
Some people suspected this may occur after 300,000 miles. However, the aforementioned survey finds the battery retains 80% capacity after 500,000 miles. Over time, the degradation rate actually takes a dip, which is great news.
This is to say that short of a breakdown, it long outlives even the most cutting-edge combustion engines. To confirm this conclusion we examined other surveys and anecdotal accounts.
Thus, it seems safe to assume you should enjoy 90% battery efficiency well into the six-digit territory.
Some of them involve even more impressive figures. The Tesloop company argues there is only a 6% loss in range after 200,000 miles. There are experts who claim it could still run at 85% efficiency after half a million miles.
It should be noted Model 3 is unique, as it has a battery degradation warranty. For a standard battery, it guarantees 70% capacity after 100,000 miles, while the long-range battery has a 120,000 miles guarantee. This is a bit more generous than Nissan’s warranty for its Leaf model (66% over 100,000 miles).
As for degradation issues with models like Model S and Model X, you’re sadly on your own.
A Matter of Caveats and Nuances
Bear in mind average figures doesn’t always translate into individual performance.
It’s not entirely uncommon for the battery to last far less time than advertised. Nobody can completely shield owners against unpleasant surprises. But, data shows that only a small percentage of them (5.6%) experience battery failures.
Another piece of good news is Tesla warrants batteries for malfunctions and defects for 8 years. This means within this timeframe, the company will either repair or replace it free of charge.
Furthermore, we should underline some battery packs are more durable than others. A bulk of failure incidents are associated with 85 kWh batteries, which have been around the longest. On the other hand, Model S hit the road in 2012.
We have to wait a bit more to see how its battery holds up when taken to a real distance. Nevertheless, available data paints a promising picture so far. It would centrally be a surprise to find out that Tesla has somehow managed to lower the bar.
A Look into the Crystal Ball
In April this year, Elon Musk announced new batteries will be able to withstand the beating of 500,000 miles.
The body and drive unit will last double that, implying only one battery replacement over the total lifespan of the car.
In other words, an improved drivetrain should give you at least several decades. What is more, the company will provide battery module replacements for between $5,000 and $7,000.
Skeptics aren’t so convinced. They think these claims are more on the optimistic side. Even if that ends up being true, we rightfully expect to see significant improvements.
Of course, we should be fair and say that not everything is the fault or merit of the manufacturer.
In all likelihood, charging habits have an influence on the deterioration rates. Tesla stated on one occasion that consistent supercharging hurts battery health.
Environmental factors aren’t to be overlooked either. Extreme heat, for instance, is a bane of every electric battery’s existence. Other factors playing a role are average speed and frequency of fast charging.
Despite the hurdles though, Tesla vehicles are a rather cost-effective proposal. You should be able to enjoy many carefree hours behind the wheel. In the process, you also help preserve the environment.
And with fossil fuels running out, you might want to transition to EVs sooner rather than later.
Electric Dreams Do Come True
The dawn of the electric driving era is upon us.
Despite all the buzz and enthusiasm, many drivers still fear the battery may prematurely die on them. There are many concerns about lost battery capacity as well.
Well, different data sources have come together quite nicely. They dispel the uncertainty related to the question of “How long does a Tesla battery last?”
As it turns out, most of the suspicions are misplaced. Tesla has a well-engineered battery pack built to last. Its performance also declines slowly, over thousands of miles.
Failures and defects are quite rare.
For all these reasons, the present and the future look bright for Tesla and its customers. We live in times when technology is making leaps and bounds. Groundbreaking innovations are just around the corner.
Check out our green living section for more eco-friendly insights. It’s time to become a sustainable champion!