How long do Tesla batteries last?

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Tesla S Model
The Tesla Model S has the longest range of any commercially-available electric car. Image source: Tesla

When looking for a new electric vehicle, range anxiety is one of the biggest fears of a potential EV buyer. You do not need to worry about that with a Tesla. For any Tesla vehicle, the battery will last for at least 267 miles on a single charge and the battery itself can last up to 35 years.

Find out which Tesla model is right for you based on the mileage range per charge, how long the battery will last, and what it will cost for a replacement battery.

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    What is the range a Tesla has after one charge?

    Tesla’s mileage ranges recently increased for each car and although the increases are slight, an extra 5 miles can make or break your drive on the way to your next charge. 

    As mentioned, for any Tesla car, the battery will last for at least 267 miles on a single charge. The range depends on how you are driving and how large your battery is. Currently, the longest range Tesla offers is about 375 miles of range per full charge.

    Much like a gasoline engine, 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 pedal and driving aggressively.

    Tesla’s Model 3, Model S, and SUV Model X and Model Y, have varying ranges after one full charge, as the below chart shows:

    Model Range*
    Model 3 Standard Range 267 miles
    Model 3 Long Range 334 miles
    Model 3 Performance 315 miles
    Model S 375 miles
    Model S Plaid 348 miles
    Model X 332 miles
    Model X Plaid 313 miles
    Model Y Long Range 318 miles
    Model Y Performance 303 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 twice and will need a charge after the 5th trip. 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! 

    If you are interested in high mileage reliability, your best option is the Model. Which, in our hypothetical scenario, could get you from New York City to Washington, DC, and almost halfway back before needing to stop and charge somewhere around Delaware.

    Either way, any Tesla you choose will provide sufficient range for everyday use and long drives alike, due in large part to their increasing availability of Superchargers.

    Why is the range different for each Tesla model?

    Your Tesla's range depends on the model of the car, its battery size, and how you drive. 

    Model 

    Tesla’s Model 3 is meant to be a more affordable option, so it comes with a smaller internal battery. The battery size is one of the largest factors in determining the cost of an EV - the bigger the battery, the more mileage range (but the higher the price). 

    If you are interested in owning a Tesla for your daily commute or for simply running errands, the Model 3 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 3.1 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 Plaid 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 1.99 seconds. 

    Not your typical commuting car, but if you are interested in performance and style, the Plaid is the one to choose. 

    Battery size 

    The battery size also 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 267 miles, versus the Model S Long Range, which has a larger battery, and can travel up to 375 miles on a single charge. 

    However, the battery size also determines the car’s cost; the Model 3 Standard Range has the smallest battery, making it the cheapest option at about $40,690. The Model S Long Range will cost you about $84,490.

    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 good news is with a Tesla car, you can have both! 

    How you drive 

    It is important to note that similar 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 impact your range, too.

    Ensuring you drive at a safe speed, keep the tires fully inflated, brake slowly, and reduce excess weight inside the car means you’re less likely to encounter issues surrounding range. And like any car, the way you maintain and care for your Tesla will help the car and the battery last longer. 

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    How long do Tesla batteries last?

    Tesla car batteries are said to be designed to last 300,000-500,000 miles (as purported by Tesla CEO Elon Musk), or about 21-35 years, based on the average amount of miles driven by Americans in one year, which is typically around 14,263. Keep in mind, that number can fluctuate based on mileage range, among other things. 

    Rumor has it 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 comes from Elon Musk claiming a $5,000 to $7,000 price tag for a new battery for a Model 3 car. As the cost for batteries themselves decrease, the costs of replacing batteries is expected to drop, as well. 

    More and more stories are coming out of people spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new battery. There is a lot of conflicting information out there about costs, but a Tesla battery might still be able to perform after 500,000 miles - just at a lesser mileage range per charge. 

    It’s important to note that 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 before their warranty is up, you will be covered. 

    The battery warranty depends on the model of your car. Each warranty covers 8 years or a range of 100,000 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 Battery warranty
    Model 3 Standard Range 8 years or 100k miles
    Model 3 Long Range/Performance 8 years or 120k miles
    Model Y Long Range 8 years or 120k miles
    Model Y Performance 8 years or 120k miles
    Model S 8 years or 150k miles
    Model X 8 years or 150k miles

    So, you can drive your Tesla Model Y for 15,000 miles a year, or about 41 miles a day, before reaching the 120,000-mile mark and 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 charging options do I have when buying a Tesla?

    Each Tesla 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 them 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, come 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 200 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 $40,000 - $125,000 and is based on the model type, making it much more expensive than many gas-powered vehicles.

    The good news is, it is cheaper to charge your Tesla than it is to pay for gas. You will save more 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.

    Key takeaways

    • For any Tesla vehicle, the battery will last for at least 267 miles on a single charge.
    • Your Tesla’s battery will degrade a nominal amount over time and is covered under warranty for 8 years of 100,000 - 150,000 miles, depending on the model.
    • Replacement batteries could cost tens of thousands of dollars, but so few have been replaced outside the warranty it is challenging to pinpoint an exact price.
     - Author of Solar Reviews

    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.

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