How Long Do Tesla Batteries Last Before Needing Replacement?

by Phil Borges // in Car

Designed and engineered for ease of use and comfort, the Tesla is considered to be the epitome of an all-electric car and is extremely popular among car enthusiasts. And, if you’re thinking of purchasing an electric vehicle like a Tesla, then your biggest concern before committing to the purchase of the vehicle is probably how long the batteries of the Tesla will last before they need to be replaced?

Tesla batteries are typically designed to last for around 300,000 to 500,000 miles. However, depending on your maintenance and usage of the vehicle, the batteries may last beyond this range.

In this article, we’ll attempt to discuss what you can expect from your Tesla battery, how long you can expect the Tesla battery to last and how much a replacement battery will cost. If you want all this information and more, read on.

How Long Do the Batteries of a Tesla Last?

There is no specific expiration date stipulated for Tesla batteries and typically, it is estimated that the Tesla batteries will last for around 300,000 to 500,000 miles. While Tesla car batteries have come a long way in terms of battery life and the batteries have become more long lasting, you can’t always expect that your batteries will perform as if they are brand new over the car’s lifetime.

Over time, the batteries of the electric car lose their power and storage capacity, affecting the overall efficiency ultimately. Also, recharging the batteries puts a strain on them and their ability to hold a charge, especially if the batteries are charged on a daily basis.

While your Tesla’s battery may have the ability to perform even after the vehicle has done 500,000 miles, the efficiency may drop and it may give you a much lesser mileage per charge. According to research, typically, the degradation of a Tesla battery is around 10% after 160,000 miles.

When to Replace the Tesla Battery

The performance of the batteries of the Tesla is affected by several factors including their capacity, performance and efficiency. The batteries need to be replaced typically when they reach the maximum battery life range. Another important thing to understand is that you don’t need to replace the entire battery pack and only the battery modules require replacement.

Based on the estimated life of Tesla batteries, if you travel around 15,000 miles in a year, a good Tesla battery can have a lifespan of up to 30 years. However, the greater the usage, the more the degradation of the batteries. And, even if you deduct an additional 10 years from the lifespan, on average, the Tesla battery will last for up to 20 years, which is not too bad.

Cost of Replacement Battery for Tesla

In general, the cost for the replacement of a Tesla battery ranges between $3,000 to $7,000. However, the cost of the replacement battery depends mainly on the model, as well as the age of the vehicle.

And, as discussed earlier, the best thing is that the entire battery does not require to be replaced and simply replacing the lithium battery module is sufficient. The new battery will last as long as the original batteries, which means that you’re sorted for another 15 to 20 years.

Can Tesla Model 3 Batteries Be Replaced?

The Tesla Model 3 battery has a life of around 300,000 to 500,000 miles, which is equal to around 1,500 charging cycles. The Model 3’s battery design does not allow the replacement of the entire battery but allows you to replace only the modules, which enables you to save money on the battery replacement.

The Tesla Model 3’s battery has 4 battery modules and Tesla guarantees that it can retain more than half its capacity for around 100,000 miles with a warranty of 120,000 miles or 8 years.

Do Tesla Batteries Come with a Warranty?

Thankfully, for Tesla owners, the electric car batteries come with a warranty and you should be covered in case of any damage or breakdown. The warranty on the Tesla battery depends mainly on the vehicle’s model. Typically, the warranty covers the battery for 120,000-150,000 or 8 years, whichever is earlier. The warranty for your Tesla battery is as below:

  • Model 3: 120,000 miles or 8 years
  • Model S: 150,000 miles or 8 years
  • Model X: 150,000 miles or 8 years
  • Model Y: 120,000 miles or 8 years

So, for example, the Model 3 Tesla car can be used for around 41 miles every day or 51,000 miles yearly, before you cover the distance of 120,000 miles or before the 8 years’ time is up. During the initial years of the life of your vehicle, the Tesla warranty will cover you giving you complete peace of mind in case your battery needs to be replaced.

How Much Should the Tesla Battery Be Charged Every Day?

According to the recommendations of the manufacturer, the battery of your Tesla car should be charged between 50% and 90% for daily driving and routes; however, this depends mainly on your driving routine, as well as your requirements.

For instance, if you’re planning on doing some long-distance driving for several hours, then the battery should be charged above 90%; however, for regular day-to-day routines, it is recommended to charge the battery at around 50%, which will give you around 195 to 200 miles.

Tips to Maximize the Battery Life of Your Tesla

If you have purchased a new Tesla or have just replaced the battery of your vehicle, then here are a few tips that can help to maximize the battery life of your vehicle.

Drive Your Vehicle More Smoothly: Driving your Tesla more smoothly can help to increase the range of your vehicle and in turn, you’ll need to charge it less, while driving your vehicle erratically is more damaging on the range of the Tesla, requiring you to plug the battery for frequent charging.

Harsh driving such as excessive acceleration and braking and speeding can put a lot of strain on your Tesla’s battery and cause it to wear out prematurely. Also, driving in very hot climates or frequently driving in the snow can kill the battery. To get the most out of your Tesla’s battery ensure that your tires are inflated properly and follow good driving habits.

Maintaining a Regular Charging Schedule: Charge your Tesla battery regularly, sticking to a proper schedule instead of charging it for short periods at random intervals. Each charge cycle takes a bit of the life of the battery and charging it for shorter times and at frequent intervals provides a greater hit to the cell of the battery compared to longer and less-frequent charging.

Maintain Your Vehicle: Keeping your Tesla well-maintained can help to ensure that your vehicle is running smoothly. If your car is not maintained properly, then your vehicle will have to work a lot harder to compensate for it, which puts a strain on the battery, reducing its lifespan. Make sure to follow the proper Tesla service and maintenance schedule to ensure that your vehicle is running at its best.

Supercharge the Battery Only When Required: The Tesla Supercharging Network is an excellent option that allows you to charge the battery from 10% up to 80% in just around 35 minutes; however, using this mode can be damaging to the life of the battery.

Supercharging the battery at faster rates, i.e., 125 kW can wear your Tesla’s batteries faster than regular charging. So, while it is super useful to have the Supercharger option for emergencies; nevertheless, it is recommended that you charge your Tesla’s battery at home with a regular charger rather than using the public Supercharger Network often.

Avoid Overcharging the Battery: Unless required, avoid charging your Tesla’s battery over 80%. When the battery is charged over 80% of the total capacity, then continuing to charge the battery can stress it, which impacts the lifespan of the battery negatively. If you don’t really need to use your Tesla’s full range, then keeping the charge below 80% will help to improve the life of the battery.

About the author, Phil Borges

Phil Borges is a battery aficionado. He's written extensively about batteries, and he loves nothing more than discussing the latest innovations in the industry. He has a deep understanding of how batteries work, and he's always on the lookout for new ways to improve their performance.