While most customers prefer gasoline-powered vehicles, the number of active EV owners is increasing every year. Electricity is not expensive in every state and prices drop over time, buying Tesla is a good decision.
But one of the most common questions people have been about the lifespan of the battery. For those who considering buying a Tesla, the question becomes even more important because the battery is such a critical part of the electric car. So, how often do Tesla batteries need to be replaced?
How Often Do Tesla Batteries Need to Be Replaced?
There haven’t been many electric cars that needed battery replacement, but according to Elon Musk, Tesla batteries can last between 300,000 and 500,000 miles or 1,500 battery cycles before they die and need to be replaced.
A study of 557 Tesla vehicles conducted by research firm NimbleFins showed an average of 90% battery capacity even with 150,000 miles on the odometer. But, you can expect your battery to perform as good as new for eight years or anywhere from 100,000 to 150,000 miles.
According to auto insurance writer Liz Jenson, the average person drives about 273 miles per week or around 40 miles per day. Given this rate of usage, it would take between 21 and 35 years for a Tesla battery to go through enough cycles to require replacement.
But there are some cases where Tesla batteries may need to be replaced. For example, if the lithium-ion battery pack is defective, it may lose its ability to hold a charge or lose charge capacity at a faster rate than normal.
In rare cases, the battery can catch fire if it sustains damage that causes a short or if it has a defect that causes thermal runaway. However, such defects are usually covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
Electric-Vehicle Battery Basics
Before we go to a replacement, let’s discuss the basics. As you may know, gasoline-powered cars use lead-acid batteries, while electric vehicles (EVs) use lithium-ion battery packs, which are the same batteries found in cell phones and laptops.
Lithium-ion batteries have a greater energy density, hold their charge longer, and are comprised of many individual cells rather than one massive unit.
The term kWh or kilowatt-hour refers to an electric car’s battery capacity, and the more kWh your vehicle has, the longer you can drive around in your ride. However, the kWh rating does not give an idea about how long your battery will last.
How Long Does a Tesla Battery Last?
Every battery sold in the United States comes with a warranty of at least eight-year or 100,000 (for base Model 3) to 150,000 miles (for Model S and Model X) coverage, whichever comes first. In addition, the guarantee states that batteries will have a minimum of 70% capacity retention within this period.
Just like, KIA gives a ten-year warranty on the battery pack, while Hyundai gives a lifetime warranty. However, you should always familiarize yourself with the warranty terms, as there may be other issues.
In general, electric vehicle batteries last 10-20 years, but some factors can shorten their lifespan. For example, batteries can degrade more quickly in warmer climates because heat doesn’t mix well with electric vehicles.
Also, charging on a level 3 station will overheat the battery because the process is too fast. All this has a negative impact on performance and service life.
According to Tesla’s 2021 impact report, the batteries are designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle, which the company estimates at about 200,000 miles in the US and 150,000 miles in other countries.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk also tweeted that the battery pack in the Model 3 and Model Y is designed to last 1,500 charge cycles, which means 300,000 miles for Standard Range models and about 500,000 miles for Long Range versions.
Third-party research data from NimbleFins supports this claim, with 150,000-mile cars at 90% and 200,000-mile examples still at over 80% capacity. Data collected from owners by NimbleFins shows that all models lose about 1% of the range each year. This means that you can only charge the battery to 90% after ten years.
The average American drives about 14,000 miles per year, so it would take the average Tesla about 14 years to reach the 200,000-mile mark. Since most Americans keep their cars for 12 years, it’s unlikely you’ll need to replace your Tesla battery before purchasing a newer model.
Tesla Battery Warranty
Another important thing to know about your EV battery is the warranty. Thankfully, Tesla offers an excellent battery and drive unit warranty.
|8 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first, with minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period.
|Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive
|8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, with minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period.
|Model 3 Long Range
Model 3 Performance
Model Y All-Wheel Drive
Model Y Long Range
Model Y Performance
|8 years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first, with minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period.
All Teslas come with an eight-year or 100,000 (for base Model 3) to 150,000 miles (for Model S and Model X) coverage, whichever comes first. In addition, the guarantee states that batteries will have a minimum of 70% capacity retention within this period.
As mentioned earlier, heat is directly related to your battery life. The same goes for cold, but it doesn’t reduce life expectancy, just range and performance. All electric vehicles operate optimally at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why manufacturers began equipping vehicles with thermal management systems.
Their complexity depends on the model and brand but usually involves liquid cooling. It helps to keep the temperature at an acceptable level.
But you can’t do anything about charging. Whenever you top up the charge, your battery will slowly degrade with each cycle. While it’s normal for an iPhone to go through this process many times, car owners expect to get more out of their rides after four or five years than they do now.
That is precisely why you will never be able to fully discharge or charge the battery of an electric car. You cannot drive with a nominal zero percent rest, but some energy is retained. It helps dramatically improve longevity.
Tesla Battery Replacement Cost
In 2019, Elon Musk said replacing battery modules would cost owners about $5,000 to $7,000. However, different Tesla models use a different number of modules per package. For example, older Tesla models such as the Roadster and Model S P85 have 11 and 16 modules respectively. While newer versions, including the Model 3 and Model S Plaid, only use four to five modules.
Here are a few pricing examples:
- Between $13,000 and $20,000 for Model S
- At least $14,000 for a premium Model X SUV
- At least $13,000 for an entry-level Model 3 sedan
According to a Tesla invoice shared by Current Automotive, a full 75 kWh battery replacement for a Model 3 costs $16,550.67. That’s $2,299.27 in labor and $14,251.40 in parts, with the actual battery costing $13,500.
However, battery prices may vary depending on the vehicle model. According to Rich Rebuilds, refurbished packs range in price from $9,000 to $10,000, while new batteries can cost up to $22,500.
If you replace your damaged battery with a refurbished one, the average cost is likely to be around $13,000 – $17,000 depending on the complexity of the job. However, if you decide to buy a brand-new battery, be prepared to spend more than $25,000.
While the numbers are significant, your warranty should cover them all. But if you got the short end of the stick or went with a used one, you’ll have to pay out of pocket. In general, the cost of replacing batteries is one of the reasons why EVs aren’t as popular as they could be.
All electric vehicle batteries, regardless of the manufacturer or model, have a lifespan of 10-20 years. While they do gradually lose capacity over time, there are certain factors that can fast this process.
However, there’s no need to worry too much. if you reach a point where a replacement will be necessary, the procedure will cost a considerable amount of money without insurance.
To help prolong the life of your battery, try to avoid fast charging and keep your car out of direct sunlight to prevent overheating. While you can’t completely prevent battery degradation, taking these steps can help extend its service life by a year or two.
On average, Tesla car batteries last for 336 miles on a single charge. The lowest-range Tesla, the Model 3, lasts for 267 miles, while the longest-range Tesla, the Model S, lasts for 405 miles.
Typically, depending on the car, the most basic battery replacement in tesla costs between $10,000 and $20,000. For the Model S premium sedan, replacing a Tesla battery costs around $13,000-$20,000. Model 3 entry-level sedan and Model X premium SUV battery replacement can cost at least $13,000 and $14,000 respectively.
Automotive experts say it’s virtually impossible to repair Tesla batteries if they’re damaged. Sandy Munro, an automotive engineer, said Tesla’s Model Y battery pack has “zero repairability” when any damage happens from a collision, no matter how minor.
For regular use, we recommend keeping your car set within the ‘Daily’ range bracket, up to approximately 90%. Charging up to 100% is best saved for when you are preparing for a longer trip.
Tesla is currently working with Japanese company Panasonic, its longtime partner, and South Korea’s LG Energy Solutions, the second largest battery supplier in the world. They supply the EV maker with cells containing nickel and cobalt.