How long do Tesla batteries last?
Individual panel prices
Prices of DIY kits
Installed system prices
Wanting to know how long your Tesla will last is a valid question for a potential EV owner, but there is no easy answer. There are mileage ranges listed on Tesla’s website, but they tend to fluctuate, along with the prices of Tesla cars.
But, we can assume that a Tesla car battery will last up to 35 years, or around up to 500,000 miles. Under ideal conditions, each charge should get you at least 272 miles.
What happens out on the road isn’t so predictable, and in reality, you probably won’t drive your Tesla until it reaches its absolute breaking point. Let’s dig into the details.
According to a post by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2019, Tesla car batteries are built to last 300,000 to 500,000 miles before needing a replacement. But, because Teslas are relatively new, there are few, if any, real-world scenarios to prove how many miles Tesla’s battery lasts before a replacement. We’ll have to wait and see if this plays out in 2029-2043 since the first Tesla was introduced in 2008 and could still be on the road.
Tesla’s 2022 Impact Report states that a car’s battery will not need replacing because most people get new cars after 200,000 miles. Even if someone kept the car, the company claims its batteries degrade by only 12% after 200,000 miles on average.
All of Tesla’s cars come with a battery warranty that states its EV batteries will operate at 70% capacity after eight years or up to a certain mileage, whichever comes first. The battery warranties cover the repair or replacement that would correct defects that arise from normal use in the material or workmanship of parts that were manufactured or supplied by Tesla. Used vehicles are not covered.
|Model S and Model X||8 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first, with a minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period.|
|Model 3 and Model Y||8 years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first, with a minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period.|
The average American drives 13,500 miles a year, which works out to about 8.8 years for 120,000 miles. You’ll likely reach the eight-year mark before the mileage limit, and any issues that do arise could be covered by the warranty.
Tesla customer service concerns. We spoke with Mathias Rivers, the owner of a 2021 Tesla Model Y Performance, who told us about his experience with the EV. Mathias said his motivation to get a Tesla was to save on gas - and it does, making his electric bill only $100. But, an issue with customer service when he had to make a warranty claim to replace his rear motor has made him decide not to buy another Tesla in the future. Having to schedule every appointment on an app and being unable to call and speak with a mechanic makes owning a Tesla hard work. When his rear motor failed, he couldn’t get an appointment for two weeks. The warranty did pay for the replacement, but the headache of dealing exclusively with the app made the experience a nuisance.
This is tough to answer because few Tesla owners have had their cars long enough to reach the battery’s eight to ten-year warranty life. According to the same post by Musk mentioned earlier, replacing individual battery modules costs between $5,000 and $7,000.
JD Power suggests that replacing the entire lithium-ion battery pack of a Tesla would range from $13,000 to $20,000.
As we said before, it’s likely you won’t need to replace your Tesla EV’s battery. Lithium-ion batteries can last quite a long time, and it’s likely you’ll want to replace your whole car sooner than you need to get a new battery.
As of September 2023, you can expect any Tesla vehicle to be able to drive at least 272 miles on a full charge. The table below outlines the EPA estimated mileage range for each Tesla model:
|Model S||405 miles|
|Model S Plaid||396 miles|
|Model 3 Standard Range||272 miles|
|Model 3 Long Range||333 miles|
|Model 3 Performance||315 miles|
|Model X||348 miles|
|Model X Plaid||333 miles|
|Model Y||330 miles|
|Model Y Performance||303 miles|
*The mileage range for each model is based on audited EPA estimates
To put this into perspective, if your commute is 50 miles in one direction, you can drive to and from work twice before needing to charge a Tesla Model 3. The other models can last even longer, but not letting your electric vehicle battery drain to 0 is extremely important.
Put another way, on that single charge, you can take a road trip from New York City to Washington, DC - just be sure to plug in once you reach your destination!
But with any EV, the mileage range will vary based on how you drive the car, the outside temperature, what features you’re using in your car, and more.
Mathias also told us a little bit about how long his battery lasts while he’s driving. The 2021 Model Y Performance has an estimated range of 303 miles. His daily commute is about 120 miles, and this car can get him to and from work on Monday and Tuesday, then needs a charge for Wednesday morning.
"In the summer, my car can handle a road trip from my home in New Jersey to Philadelphia and back with no problem. Once it gets cold out, I have to charge more."
On a typical summer day, Mathias’ car uses about 12% of its battery for a one-way commute. In the winter, that jumps up to about 18%. Pre-heating the car does help, but it still doesn’t run as efficiently in cold weather.
Tesla false advertising claims. Tesla’s EV mileage ranges are some of the best available, but they are not always entirely true. Tesla is accused of creating algorithms that show a better mileage range during performance testing. When customers began scheduling appointments via the aforementioned app to complain about reduced mileage during real-world driving, Tesla created an office dedicated to canceling range-related service appointments. While this specific fallacy can be traced back to the two original Tesla models, there are still instances of false advertising. This has largely been addressed thanks to the EPA’s requirement that Tesla reduce their mileage range and a lawsuit from South Korea accusing Tesla of advertising ranges incorrectly.
When mileage ranges are tested, there is no guarantee that those conditions will be the same in the real world. Much like a gas-powered car, your battery range will be reduced if you speed, blast the air conditioner, or need extra power to drive up a hill.
Various weather conditions also interfere with the car's battery life, especially cold temperatures. In the winter, expect your car’s mileage range to be reduced, and never let the car go below a 20% charge.
Aside from the temperature, improper battery charging can cause a strain on the battery's ability to hold a charge. If a car’s battery is fully depleted and then charged to full every day, this will reduce the battery’s longevity and ability to hold a charge.
Under the best conditions, a battery will degrade about 10% after 160,000 miles, or about 1% each year. This means that in 10 years, you would only be able to charge your battery to 90% of its original capacity.
A healthy EV battery will lead to a longer life for your EV. There are a few rules to follow that will help keep your battery operating at peak performance:
This might seem like a lot of rules, but it is no different than a gas-powered car. You shouldn’t be speeding and braking or letting your car’s tank get empty. All of this is to maintain the overall health of your car.
To get the most out of your Tesla, charging it with home solar is your best option.
Compared to public charging stations, charging via solar panels is the cheapest option for keeping an electric vehicle charged up - it can cost as little as $219 for the year vs. $1,134.
If you want to live an all-electric life, using solar and driving an EV is a great way. If you keep your battery healthy, it will be able to handle your typical commute and a weekend getaway for years to come!