Tesla Battery Life

Welcome back to my blog, I truly hope your summer is great.  If you like learning about Tesla, you’ll love reading about how much care Tesla puts into making sure you feel confident that your vehicle’s battery will serve your needs. Find a cool spot and cold drink and enjoy! I’m sipping some cold Boba milk tea with pearls as I write this.  If you have never tried Boba tea, it’s great!

Tesla Model Y (photo credit to 吃不胖的胖小雷 and Tesla China)

Your Tesla Battery is Guaranteed

Your Tesla battery comes with a warranty.  Here are the details, taken today from the Tesla website,

Credit above:  Tesla new vehicle limited warranty page.

FACT: The existing warranty on any Tesla is transferred to the new owner if you purchase the vehicle from Tesla.

Tesla says in the 2021 Impact Report,

“Our batteries are designed to function for the entire life of the vehicle.  Tesla’s battery packs are designed to outlast the vehicle. We estimate that a vehicle gets scrapped after approximately 200,000 miles of usage in the U.S. and roughly 150,000 miles in Europe.  Creating a battery that could last for 1,000,000 miles (4,000 charging cycles) would dramatically reduce the emissions per mile driven for high-mileage vehicles such as taxis, delivery vans, or trucks.”

If you own a Model Y that was bought with a range of ~318 miles on the battery.  You should expect your Model Y will retain a range of over 222 miles by the time you reach 120,000 miles.  In the rare case that your Y does not then know that Tesla will replace the battery for free.  Tesla may also decide to replace your battery if it has a defect or problem like the inability to charge. 

The Average EV will never need a battery replacement

It is a myth to assume that the average EV needs a battery replacement at some point in its life, according to Tesla

“Extending the life of a battery pack is a superior option to recycling for both environmental and business reasons. For those reasons, before decommissioning a consumer battery pack and sending it for recycling, Tesla does everything it can to extend the useful life of each battery pack. 
Any battery that is no longer meeting a customer’s needs can be serviced by Tesla at one of our service centers around the world. None of our scrapped lithium-ion batteries go to landfill, and 100% are recycled.”

Tesla Batteries are Recycled

Tesla says in their 2021 Impact Report,

“Every battery used in R&D or returned from the field that cannot be remanufactured is recycled.  Tesla batteries, including the battery packs in our vehicles and our energy storage products, are made to last many years, and therefore, we have received a limited number of them back from the field. Most batteries that Tesla recycles today are pre-consumer, coming to us through R&D and quality control. None of our scrapped lithium-ion batteries go to landfills and 100% are recycled. Furthermore, Tesla has an established internal ecosystem to re-manufacture batteries coming from the field to our Service Centers. We actively implement circular economy principles and consider all other options before opting for battery recycling." 
Battery materials are refined at Tesla and put into a cell and will remain in the cell at the end of their life when they can be recycled to recover valuable materials for reuse, repeatedly, pg 95-96 Tesla Impact Report 2021 

My Thoughts, Enjoy your Tesla, Do Not Worry 

I am very happy with my Tesla, a 2020 Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive that was bought with a range of 250 miles on the battery.  I just hit 69,420 miles. My battery currently retains 86% of its original range of 216 miles. I expect my Model 3 will retain a range of over 175 miles by the time I reach 100,000 miles.   

The timeless design of Tesla vehicles continues to amaze me.  A 2018 Model 3 is just as beautiful as a new 2022 one.  The body design is so classically elegant that it needs no changes from year to year. 

For this reason, I expect most Tesla owners will feel zero need to update their vehicle from year to year as was common with the old combustion cars. Therefore, I think many people will reach 120,000 miles and beyond in their Tesla.  Tesla estimates that most cars will be scrapped after reaching 200,000 miles. I think we will see many Teslas make it to 250,000 miles before they are scrapped.

I was inspired to write this article by Sofiaan Fraval who recently had his Model 3’s battery replaced under Tesla’s warranty, “Although it’s not new info, it’s often forgotten about or overlooked over time. I just got a pack replacement for my 3 under warranty and cost me $0. It actually bumped my range up by 11 miles and the car charges quicker. Super happy about it.” Sofiaan advises, “Tesla owners needn’t worry about battery packs, and should fully enjoy their Teslas!”

Photo of Austin, Texas by Jeremy Banks on Unsplash

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Gail Alfar, with special thanks to Sofiaan Fraval for his valuable insight.  [Edited by Sarah Alfar] Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – This blogpost was created utilizing STARLINK satellite services. All Rights Reserved. June 18, 2022

12 thoughts on “Tesla Battery Life

  1. We have a 2013 Model S with 130000 and we still get 260/265 when we charge fully. We will never get rid of “Tessie”

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  2. The problem is whenu chsrge your battery fast charge to 100% every time u charge it weakens the battery u should charge your car to 80% when u r home and going to work everyday if I go on a trip that’s when u chsrge to 100% other than that allways charge between 80 n 90 percent n a lot of times I will use level 1 charging if I am not going anywhere it’s good for the battery n definitely won’t cetch fire I have plug outside and inside my garage but I mostly charge outside n your range depends on how fast I drive if u drive let’s say 30 miles to work and go 45 mph u should get 4miles per kilowatt and then u multiply that by how much your battery pack is mine is 64kwh so 4×64=254 and if u get 5kph that is 5×64=324 so I hope that helps people out on how to figure your range on a battery I have had my car at that range too 324 I have a 2022kia niro ev if u do these things your battery will last a long time no matter what u have Tesla or volt niro it don’t matter god bless everyone and go evs

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  3. My 2013 just out of warranty in December 2021 needed a new battery in July. Took a month and cost $15,000. We sold it to a dealer and I found out that a little over two weeks into the new battery it failed and although it will be replaced by another remanufactured battery it’s another long period of time to be out of service. We already had to spend several thousand dollars worth of other car failures and won’t be getting another Tesla. Easy to say there’s no problem with the batteries if your car is too new to experience this very common failure.

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  4. I have 138,000 and out of warranty. My first battery replaced at 35,000 under warranty. Second just went out at 100,000 miles but because it’s a replacement battery the warranty was dropped to 50,000 or 4 years. I received a nice $16,000 bill. Looking to sell now to pay off balance on car note.

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  5. I have a 2012 Chevy volt with 130k miles on it. The battery range is the same as the day I drove it of the lot. I’ll never buy a gas powered car again. I plan to get another 100k out of the volt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have 276K on my 2013 Chevy Volt, mostly from food deliveries. Battery just above 80% capacity. More voltage sag than when new so once it gets to 4 miles range or so i switch to hold mode, otherwise voltage can peg at 290v and not give full power until engine assists.
      200K before a car is scrapped is weak, 300K+ from any gas or EV shouldn’t be hard and u can get a replacement pack from a crashed car..

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