How Long Will A Tesla Car Battery Really Last
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As we come up to the 3rd anniversary since the launch of the Tesla Model 3, the question under consideration is, just how long will the battery last, and if you need to replace it, how much would it cost? But first what is the official mileage for a tesla battery?
Currently, the Model 3 battery modules have a minimum life span of 1,500 charge cycles, which translates into approximately 300,000+ miles and, up to 500,000 miles , so basically they last forever.
Tesla Model 3 Battery Degradation After 27000 Miles
Back in March 2019, Chris Tesla Model 3 had a maximum battery range of 309 miles. Over time, as he clocked the numbers on his odometer, his battery range slowly depleted as it happens with every electric vehicle.
The battery degradation that Chris saw overtime was gradual with only 1 or 2 miles of range loss. However, after one particular interval, the range of his Tesla Model 3 dropped by 7.83% to 288.69 miles from 305 or 306 miles that he was regularly getting.
Chris noted the drop in range and decided to do some digging to find out what exactly is the problem. He asked his audience on Twitter, all of whom reported the same problem.
One of his followers said: Im down ~20 miles in 16k on odo.
While another also reported a significant range loss when he said: Ive lost even more now, 90% is now 431 km where it used to be 448 km.
One of Chriss Twitter followers also said, My charge to 90% yields 266 miles on display. Down 4% But Im still averaging 240 watts per mile a little over 3 miles per kWh. Im ok with that. Its still much cheaper to drive than our Prius.
Mainly, all Tesla owner-reported quite a noticeable drop in range in recent times. While it wasnt a manufacturing issue or a battery problem, it was basically a 2019.28 Tesla software update causing some problems in the background.
Factors That Affect Battery Life
How long an electric vehicle battery lasts will vary. There are various factors that will affect the lifespan of a battery. These factors fall into one of two categories, those under an owners control and those that are outside of our control, such as battery aging.
Lets first discuss those factors that we are in control of. A well maintained and cared for battery will increase its lifespan.
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Figuring Out Your Own Numbers
Battery longevity and performance are measured in controlled environments to get comparable results between various tests. However, driving in the real world comes with a lot of variables.
Before relying too much on official numbers, consider your driving habits, the distance you drive regularly, and how well you take care of your Tesla batteries.
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Tesla is designing vehicles with a battery life that will outlast the vehicle itself. Tesla also started offering a minimum 70% battery retention guarantee over a period of 8 years or 100,000 to 120,000 miles. A study on 286 Tesla Model owners across the world revealed that Tesla vehicles lose just 5% of their capacity in the first 50,000 miles. Additionally, these vehicles will exceed 150,000 miles of driving before losing 10% of their initial battery life.
In 2015, Maarten Steinbuch and Merijn Coumans started working together with the Dutch-Belgian Tesla forum to create a public database. Tesla owners can contribute to the site by entering data about the battery life of their own Tesla vehicles. According to this data, most of the Tesla owners retain 90% of their battery capacity even after reaching a six-digit figure on their odometer. The 2019 Impact Report reiterated such projections and figures.
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Tesla Model 3 Loses Only 22% Of Battery Range After Four Years And 100k Miles
The longevity of electric vehicles battery packs has always been a tricky subject. Companies like Tesla suggest that their cars battery packs are designed to last years, while avid EV skeptics would argue that electric vehicles would need a new battery after a few short years of ownership due to degradation. Fortunately, vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 have been around for several years now, and some can already provide valuable data.
Electric vehicle advocate Andy Slye was among the first customers of the Tesla Model 3, taking delivery of the all-electric sedan at a time when only the Long Range RWD variant was available. Since taking delivery of his Model 3 four years ago, the EV owner was able to rack up 100,000 miles in the vehicle. Over its four years in service, the Model 3 proved to be a car that definitely seems designed to go the distance.
The Model 3 owners overall thoughts and insights were summarized in a YouTube video, which he uploaded recently on his personal channel. Yet within the Model 3s 100,000-mile review, the EV owner mentioned something rather remarkable. Over the four years hes had the vehicle, and over the 100,000 miles the Tesla had traveled, the all-electric sedan had only lost 2.2% of its range. The vehicle was rated at 310 miles when it was new, and now, its full charge remains listed at 303 miles.
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Calculating The Battery Capacity
To calculate the available battery capacity you need three pieces of information which are easily accessible from the energy screen. If you are not showing % at the top of the screen, this can be changed via the Display options through the menus. This is also best done when the car has just finished a journey and not when the battery is cold and or vampire drain may have occured as this can decrease the battery capacity artificially.
The AVG consumption, the Projected range and the Percent
The BMS has calculated the range it can achieve based on the recent driving history which is reflected in the Average consumption figure. Multiplying these 2 together gives a figure, which when divided by 1000, equates to the number of driver available kwh in the battery at the current state of charge. By dividing this by the battery percentage, expressed as a decimal you can convert the available kwh at the current state of charge to a figure at 100% state of charge.
In the example given we have :
294 X 141 = 41,454wh or 41.454kwh available at the current state of charge.
To convert to the battery capacity,divide by the percentage as a decimal:
41.45 / 0.57 = 72.7 kwh using the example screen shot.
The example is from a Model 3 Long Range with a BT37 battery and shows negligible degradation. Which is good news as it’s our car!
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The Worldwide Demand For Lithium
With the increased worldwide demand for lithium by Tesla, and other EV manufacturers more, and more lithium is mined in Australia by crushing rock, from there it is then sent to China for more energy-efficient processing. Unfortunately, as a consequence of this increased demand, and to reduce costs, many Chinese mines are powered using dirty electricity created from coal further contributing to a negative impact on the environment.
Charging Options For Tesla
Each Tesla is equipped with a particular lithium-ion battery depending on the cars desired functionality, such as energy storage, speed, and charge time. A 100kWh battery pack is available for the Model S and Model X, allowing them to go further on a single charge.
The charger you use determines the time it takes to charge your car battery. Tesla, unfortunately, do not come with a wall charger you must purchase one separately. On the other hand, a mobile charger is included as a backup option.
Tesla Superchargers can be found in high-traffic areas for Tesla owners to use for a fee when they need a charge when they arent at home. They are becoming more widely available worldwide and can charge cars for up to 200 kilometers in 15 minutes. On the other hand, using these charging stations is stressful on your battery and should be used rarely to preserve its life and functionality.
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How Long Does A Tesla Model X Battery Last
Data from the Model X is a few years shorter than data from the Model S, but as the battery pack is virtually the same, its safe to assume similar numbers. We already mentioned Tesloops 2015 Model X with 300,000 miles and battery capacity degradation of about 10% their experience fits in with the general Model X stats provided by Tesla owners on websites like Plug in America or Tesla Motors Club.
Teslas own data shows a 10% degradation rate over 200,000 miles for the Model X. Again, with the assumption that the average driver only travels 13,500 miles a year, thats 10% degradation over an almost 15 year period . Like the Model S, most Model X battery packs are expected to last even longer than that while maintaining a usable charge . Taking all of this information into account, a Tesla Model X battery appears to last 450,000 miles or more.
Why Dont Tesla Batteries Degrade Like Smartphone Batteries
In short: they manage temperatures better.
UPS Battery Center explains that batteries basically turn chemical energy into electricity. Too cold and the reactions slow down, reducing performance. A warmer battery performs better, but too hot and reactions will speed up and degrade the battery.
Phones have no real thermal management for the battery and if you fast charge a phone youll feel it get hot, Abuelsamid says. Thats why phone batteries rarely last more than two years.
iPhone on wheels? It would be a disaster.
Most EVs use a liquid cooling system to keep the battery within acceptable temperatures. The main exceptions are the Nissan Leaf and the Renault Zoe, which used an air cooling system. Tesla CEO Elon Musk described the Leafs system as primitive in 2010.
Fast-forward to 2018 and a study from telematics firm Geotab suggested Musk may have been right, but the difference is not as severe as some may assume. A liquid-cooled Tesla Model S from 2015 lost an average of 2.3 percent capacity per year, while a Nissan Leaf from 2015 lost 4.2 percent.
YouTube channel EV James and Kate took apart a 2018 Nissan Leaf in January 2021 and found issues with battery heat and a reduced range. However, its worth noting this car was used as a taxi, charged four times a day, and had 120,000 miles on the clock.
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How Many Years Would You Need To Drive Compared To The Life Span Of The Model 3 Battery
So with that in mind, for the average driver in the US to achieve the battery lifespan of a Model 3, he or she needs to drive the car for between 26 and 50 years, whereas in the UK, it would be between 50 and 65 years and while that in many ways is a good thing, it might not be all sunshine and roses.
Think about it this way, with such a long battery lifespan is that good for the Model 3 owner or the environment?
Lets talk hypothetically for a moment, fast forward to the year 2030 ten years from now.
At the current estimated annual mileage rates, your Model 3 will have driven between 130,476 miles in the US and 70,134 miles in the UK and, because theres plenty of life left in the battery, you decide to keep the car.
What do you think the cost of ownership might look like over that period, and more importantly, do you think the physical car would have stood the test of time?
This Is How Long A Tesla Model 3’s Battery Should Last
Traction Li-ion batteries used to power Electric Vehicles are deemed to have reached the end of their useful life when they can no longer maintain an SoC over 70%. This does not mean the battery should be trashed it still has many years left if repurposed for something like grid energy storage.
Teslas data would seem to indicate a 10 to 15% degradation over 200,000 miles for the 18650 format battery in the Model X. Using the industry standard of 13,500 miles a year, this would imply the average Model X would still have 85 to 90% battery life left after almost 15 years. This means that a Tesla Model X battery should last 450,000 miles or more.
However, the Model 3 uses a 2170 format battery cell for which there is less historical data available.
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, has stated that the Model 3s battery was designed to last 300,000 to 500,000 miles, or 1,500 charging cycles. Again, using the industry gold-standard where the average driver covers 13,500 miles in a year, would give the battery a lifespan of between 20 and 40 years. This might be optimistic, but not impossible.
Based on anecdotal data currently available it would appear that the Model 3s battery degradation rate seems to sit at about 5% per 100,000 miles, which equates to 1,500 charging cycles and a 20% degradation over 10 to 15 years. That backs up Teslas estimates of a life of between 300,000 and 500,000 miles, with a life expectancy of 10 to 20 years.
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How Chris Got His Battery Range Back
The interesting thing here is that it happened to a lot of people all at once, Chris explained.
Chris also said that he expects the battery range of his Tesla Model 3 to plateau after 50,000 miles. The batteries in the Tesla Model 3 are so well maintained with battery management software that they tend to last really long.
His viewers also echoed a similar situation with their battery. One of his viewers was getting around 305 to 307 miles from his Tesla Model 3 after 67,000 miles. While another one of its users who had a pre-owned 2015 Model S 70D reported only 10 miles of range loss after 49,000 miles on the odometer.
It seems though Tesla isnt just working on making batteries deliver more range, it is also making them do so consistently over a long period of time. Sure, software updates can cause the range to dip a little bit, but the battery degradation is only responsible for 3-8 miles of range loss in the long run.
How Long Do The Brakes Last
The Tesla Model 3 uses regenerative braking to help slow the vehicle down.
Basically, its a system that uses the vehicles kinetic energy while its rolling to charge the battery, and at the same time, it slows the vehicle down.
So you just have to lift your foot off the accelerator if you want to come to a stop and not have to step on the brakes too much.
This significantly improves the lifespan of the brake pads and rotors.
Tesla recommends a brake service/fluid flush every 25,000 miles or every 2 years to ensure everything is in good shape.
But you could theoretically extend the brake service interval for much longer than that depending on driving habits and the type of traffic you drive in.
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When It’s Time To Replace Your Tesla Battery
Tesla batteries are far from cheap. Replacing a single battery can cost you anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000. But Tesla vehicles don’t run on a single battery.
Battery replacements also vary wildly, with some remanufactured packs priced at a little over $16 thousand. On the other hand, a new pack on the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range starts at $40,000 and could go all the way up to $84,000 for the Model S Long Range.
How Long Do The Transmissions Last
Tesla has done extensive testing on its drive units and it has shown that these can last up to 1 million miles with minimal wear.
Unlike traditional transmissions that have lots of rotating gears that are constantly switching from one gear to another, the Tesla Model 3 uses a direct-drive system.
The electric motor handles all the rotational forces required to get the vehicle up to speed, so the gears arent constantly banging against each other which would normally cause them to wear out.
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This Is When Tesla Will Pay For The Replacement Of A Model 3s Battery Under Warranty
The battery warranty on the Tesla Model 3 is vital considering that, when a battery replacement is needed the out-of-pocket costs can range anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 for parts and labor. Prices like these make Teslas battery degradation warranty an extremely valuable part of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
Whilst warranties typically protect the consumer against parts that fail because of defective materials or sub-standard workmanship, car warranties offer time and mileage guarantees as well.
Before 2020, Teslas battery warranty was valid for 8 years and unlimited miles. Musk called this the Infinite Mile Warranty, claiming that the warranty should match Teslas belief in the reliability of their vehicles. Theyve since changed this to a mile-limited warranty structure, in line with existing industry policy.
Currently, Teslas Battery Warranty lasts for 8 years for all models, but with different mileage limits for each variant. This means that owners of the Model 3 Standard Range are covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles, whilst those with Performance or Long Range variants will receive assistance for 8 years or 120,000 miles.
Under this warranty, Tesla will cover premature battery failure or degradation due to manufacturing defects. The company will cover parts and labor costs to replace a battery that drops below 70% of the original range on a full charge within the warranty period for that vehicle.