How long do Tesla batteries last?
When looking for a new car, one of the biggest reservations people have before committing to the purchase of an electric vehicle like Tesla is the fear that their charged car battery will not last as long as they need it to.
However, the good news is, Tesla vehicles have come a long way since the first Tesla Roadster, which did not hold a charge. EVs are becoming much more practical for everyday use, and their batteries are lasting for more miles’ worth of range.
In this blog, we will explain what you can expect from your Tesla car battery, including how much total mileage range you’ll get per charge, how long your battery will last, and what it will cost for a battery replacement.
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What is the range a Tesla has after one charge?
For any Tesla car, the battery will last for at least 250 miles on a single charge. The range really depends on how you are driving and how large your battery is.
The longest range Tesla offers is just over 402 miles of range per full charge.
Much like a gasoline engine, the Tesla adjusts the available mile range up or down based on current driving conditions. With a full charge, it may say that you have 250 miles to go, but it could be slightly less if you are always stomping on the gas pedal and driving aggressively.
Tesla’s Model 3, Model S, and SUV Model X and Model Y, have varying range after one full charge, as the below chart shows:
|Model 3 Standard Range Plus||250 miles|
|Model 3 Long Range||322 miles|
|Model 3 Performance||299 miles|
|Model S Long Range Plus||402 miles|
|Model S Performance||348 miles|
|Model X Long Range Plus||351 miles|
|Model X Performance||305 miles|
|Model Y Long Range Plus||316 miles|
|Model Y Performance||315 miles|
The mileage range for each model is based on EPA estimates.
So, if your commute is 50 miles in one direction, after a single charge for the Model 3 Standard Range, you can commute back and forth four times and will need a charge on the fifth trip. Put another way, on that single charge, you can take a road trip from New York City to Washington D.C. - just be sure to plug in once you reach your destination!
If you are really interested in high mileage reliability, your best option is the Model S Long Range Plus. Which, in our hypothetical scenario, could get you from New York City to Washington D.C. and halfway back before needing to stop and charge somewhere around Delaware.
Either way, any Tesla you choose will provide sufficient range for everyday and long-drive uses.
Why is the range different for each Tesla model?
Your Tesla's range really depends on the model of the car, its battery size, and how you drive.
Tesla’s Model 3 is meant to be a more affordable option, so it comes with a smaller internal battery. If you are interested in owning a Tesla for your daily commute or for simply running errands, this car is a great option.
You can compare it to the Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt in terms of practicality and affordability, but the Tesla offers a more sleek, aesthetically appealing car with a higher mileage range.
The Long Range Models, such as the Model S cars, offer unparalleled acceleration, going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in as little as 3.7 seconds. So if you are looking for an electric car that can perform even better than its gas-powered counterparts, a Long Range Model would be a great choice.
The Performance Model is similar to the Long Range but comes with more features like enhanced interior styling, a carbon fiber spoiler, and better traction control. The Performance Model can accelerate even quicker, going from 0-60mph in 2.3 seconds.
Not your typical commuting car, but if you are interested in performance and style, this is the one to choose.
The battery size affects the mileage range of the car. For example, the Model 3 has the smallest battery and on a full charge, it can drive up to 250 miles, versus the Model S Long Range, which has a larger battery, and can travel up to 402 miles on a single charge.
However, the battery size also determines the car’s cost. So, the Model 3 Standard Range has the smallest battery, making it the cheapest option at about $30,000. The Model S Long Range will cost you about $70,000.
With most EV batteries, you either get one with a high battery capacity that holds a charge for a very long time or one that can be charged quickly. The goods news is with a Tesla car, you can have both!
How you drive
It is important to note that similarly to traditional internal combustion engine cars, your car's battery will deplete more quickly and not make it the full range if you consistently drive fast.
Also, when driving in less than ideal conditions, such as snowy or rainy weather, your battery will exert more power. Driving into a headwind or in freezing temperatures can definitely affect your range, so you need to be aware of those things in advance.
Ensuring you drive at a safe speed, keep the tires fully inflated, break slowly, and reduce excess weight inside the car, means you’re less likely to encounter issues surrounding range.
Like any car, the way you maintain and care for your Tesla will help the car and the battery last longer. But no matter how well you take care of your vehicle, there will come a point where your Tesla battery has to be replaced.
How long do Tesla batteries last?
Tesla car batteries are designed to last 300,000-500,000 miles and the rumor is that Tesla is working on developing a battery that can last a million miles. However, currently-available batteries are not yet capable of lasting a million miles and might need a battery replacement during the lifetime of the car.
So few EV batteries have been replaced that the best information available is Elon Musk claiming a $5,000 to $7,000 price tag for a new battery for a Model 3 car. But, a Tesla battery might still be able to perform after 500,000 miles, just at a lesser mileage range per charge.
Recharging electric car batteries does put strain on the battery life and its ability to hold a charge, especially if the battery runs out of power and is fully recharged daily. On the bright side, however, that is unlikely unless you are driving 300+ miles a day.
You can also expect your battery's performance to be reliable over time. Research suggests that a typical Tesla battery degradation is 10% after 160,000 miles. That means that after all of those miles driven, the performance and energy density of the battery drops a mere 10% less than it was at its peak performance.
Tesla’s battery warranty
Luckily, all Tesla car batteries are covered under a warranty, so if for some reason they stop performing or break down, you will be covered.
The battery warranty depends on the model of your car. The battery is covered for 8 years or 120,000 to 150,000 miles - whichever comes first. The chart below breaks down the warranty you are guaranteed based on the model of your vehicle.
|Model 3||8 years or 120k miles|
|Model S||8 years or 150k miles|
|Model X||8 years or 150k miles|
|Model Y||8 years or 120k miles|
All of the Tesla car model batteries are covered for at least 8 years if you do not hit the 120,000 or 150,000 miles travelled mark.
So, you can drive your Tesla Model 3 or Model Y for 15,000 miles a year, or about 41 miles a day, before hitting 120,000 miles before your 8-year timeframe is up. For the Tesla Model X and S, you have 18,750 miles a year, or 52 miles a day.
Ultimately, your car battery should last longer than 8 years and 150,000 miles but for the first few years of your car’s life, Tesla will have you covered.
What battery options do I have when buying a Tesla?
Each car comes with different lithium-ion batteries based on the desired functionality of the car, including energy storage, speed, and charge time. You can get a Model S and Model X with a 100kWh battery pack which allows the Tesla Model X and S to go further on a single charge.
The amount of time it takes to charge your car battery depends on the charger you use. For instance, the Tesla Model S (both the Performance and Long Range Models) comes with an 11.5 kW Onboard Charger. The Onboard Charger charges a battery at 11.5 kW an hour, meaning for a 60 kWh battery, you will need about 6 hours to fully charge the battery.
Learn more: How long does it take to charge a Tesla?
Unfortunately, Teslas do not come with a wall charger - you will need to purchase that separately. They do, however, include a mobile charger as a backup option.
When you need a charge and you aren’t home, Tesla superchargers can be found in high-traffic areas for Tesla owners to use, for a fee. They are becoming more available globally and can charge cars in 15 minutes for up to a range of 136 miles.
However, using these charging stations is stressful for your battery and should be used sparingly to maintain your battery's life and functionality.
You can learn more about the types of Tesla charging options here.
How does a fully charged Tesla compare to gas powered cars?
Tesla cars have become more reliable in terms of mileage range and the lifetime of their batteries. The upfront cost of a Tesla vehicle ranges from $37,000 - $125,000 based on the model type, making it much more expensive than many gas powered vehicles.
However, it is cheaper to charge your Tesla than it is to pay for gas. You will save money in the long run with a Tesla versus traditional cars, even if your battery does need replacing down the line.
An even better way to keep costs low is to charge your car using solar panels. This way, the electricity you are using is free and sustainable. Find out how much it will cost you to install solar panels so that you can make owning a Tesla as sustainable and cost effective as possible.
Author: Andrew Sendy | Home Solar Journalist
Andy is deeply concerned about climate change but is also concerned about cost of living pressures on American families. He advocates for solar energy and solar battery storage only to the extent that they make financial sense for homeowners. He is not affiliated with any particular solar company in the United States.