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