How Long do Tesla Batteries Last? - Their rated lifetime mileage

By Nuno Cristovao

Electric vehicles like Tesla replace the traditional combustion engine with electric motors and batteries.

Tesla's batteries are integrated into their chassis
Tesla's batteries are integrated into their chassis
TechCrunch

Since electric motors have just a fraction of the moving parts of a combustion engine, the maintenance for electric vehicles is almost non-existent when compared to traditional vehicles.

Electric motors are extremely reliable and last a long time. So when someone is considering a Tesla or another electric vehicle, a common question is how long do the batteries last.

Teslas have large battery packs that give them a longer range than most electric vehicles. A Tesla battery pack can range from 65 kWh up to 100 kWh, giving some Teslas as much as 375 miles of range.

Factors That Affect Battery Life

How long an electric vehicle battery lasts will vary. There are various factors that will affect the lifespan of a battery. These factors fall into one of two categories, those under an owner’s control and those that are outside of our control, such as battery aging.

Lets first discuss those factors that we are in control of. A well maintained and cared for battery will increase its lifespan.

Avoid Low and High-State of Charges

Lithium-ion batteries, which most Teslas use degrade faster when they are left at a very low state, or a very high state of charge for long periods of time. That means that an owner should avoid using the battery all the way down or charging it to 100% on a regular basis.

Most Teslas should also not be charged to 100% for everyday use. Charging a battery to 80 or 90% for day-to-day use will greatly increase the life of the battery. This doesn’t mean that you can’t charge the battery all the way to 100% occasionally. A good example of when you’d want to charge your battery all the way would be when going on a road trip. However, it should not be done on a regular basis.

The exception to this rule is electric cars with lithium iron phosphate batteries (LFP). LFP batteries use a different chemistry and are not affected by very low or high state of charges. Tesla currently uses LFP batteries in their standard range Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

Tesla's feature thousands of small lithium-ion batteries
Tesla's feature thousands of small lithium-ion batteries
Electrek

Temperature and Climate

The temperature of a battery will also affect its battery life. There is a certain temperature range that a battery should stay within to prevent degradation.

The safe temperature range will vary based on whether the battery is being actively used.

This is one area where Tesla sets itself apart from the competition. Some EVs do not have thermal management systems for their batteries, letting the battery get as hot or cold as its environment.

This puts a great deal of stress on the battery and will cause degradation if the battery is left in cold or hot environments for prolonged periods.

Lithium-ion batteries will start to degrade when exposed to temperatures under 32°F or above 80°F.

Without a thermal system the power output of the car is also limited in order to prevent the battery from overheating.

Teslas have the best thermal management in any car. What this means for you is not only will the battery last much longer than in other EVs, but it will also allow the car to charge quicker and have higher performance.

Tesla battery management is fantastic and it is completely automatic. In fact, owners can’t even tell when their car is managing their battery’s temperature. It happens all automatically, while driving, charging or even while their car is sitting in a parking lot.

Reducing Fast Charging

Another factor that plays a role in battery life is extremely fast charging. Charging the battery at lower voltages is generally better for the battery than higher voltages.

Although the negative effects of fast charging are less severe than leaving your battery with a high state of charge, they should be limited if possible. We would recommend not using Tesla Superchargers as your main form of charging your Tesla.

Fast Discharging

In a similar manner in which fast charging routinely can decrease battery life, fast discharging on a daily basis will also have an affect on battery life.

Everyday driving with the occasional spirited drive is unlikely to have any affect on your car’s battery life. However, if a vehicle is raced on a track on a regular basis, it could lead to some negative effects.

Although fast charging or discharging can affect a battery’s lifespan, they are not major contributors.

Battery Aging

There are various other factors that will affect the lifespan of a Tesla battery pack. Factors that we won’t have any control over.

The biggest one of these factors is the age of the battery. The age of the chemicals inside of the battery will play a large role in determining the battery’s usable life.

Although lithium-ion batteries start to age the day they’re created, they can last up to 20 years.

Charge Cycles

Charging and discharging a battery is known as a charge cycle. Charge cycles are a large contributor to the lifespan of a battery. It’s why many batteries are rated by the number of charge cycles they can support.

One charge cycle is equivalent to using an amount of energy that is equal to 100% of the battery capacity.

For example, if you charged a battery to 100% and discharged it down to 50% twice, then that would be equivalent to one charge cycle.

Although Tesla doesn’t specify the exact number of charge cycles for their batteries, it is believed that they will last up to 1,500 charge cycles.

What Happens When a Battery Ages

As a battery ages and degrades, it will start to hold less of a charge. A battery that has degraded, may only hold 90% of its original capacity and that capacity will continue to drop as the battery continues to age.

Eventually, the battery will no longer have a practical use in the vehicle and will need to be replaced after many years.

It’s normal for a new Tesla to lose some capacity in its first year. We’ve seen degradation rates of up to 5%. However the battery degradation will generally stabilize after the first year and the degradation rate will drop.

Conclusion

There are many factors that go into how long a Tesla lithium-ion battery will last. Mindful owners can reduce battery degradation and increase their lifespan properly maintaining their battery.

Owners can let Tesla manage their battery state by leaving the vehicle plugged in and not charging their cars all the way to 100% on a daily basis, unless of course they have a LFP battery.

However, there are other factors that will also have a big part in how long a Tesla battery lasts.

Since there are many factors that go into how long a Tesla battery will last, the exact mileage someone gets out of a Tesla battery will vary.

Since we know that newer Tesla batteries have a lifespan of about 1,500 charge cycles, we can use that to estimate the battery's lifetime mileage.

Taking charge cycles and the car's EPA mileage into account, we estimate that the lower range Model 3's battery will last about 400,000 miles.

While at the higher end, the Model S has a 375 mile range according to the EPA, bringing the battery's lifetime mileage up to 560,000 miles.

In 2019, Elon Musk commented on the Model 3's battery longevity, saying that the Model 3 has a battery that should last 300,000 to 500,000 miles.

Although the car's battery may last only 300,000 miles, other parts of the car are designed to last much longer. The car’s body and drive unit are made to last one million miles. So even after the battery needs to be replaced, the car still has a lot of life left.

The average person in the US drives an average of 14,000 miles per year. If a Tesla battery only lasted 300,000 miles, it would still last approximately 21 years for the average driver.

Although Tesla is at the forefront of electric vehicles and battery development, work continues to find batteries that last longer, are cheaper to produce and have higher capacities.

Battery Warranty

All Teslas come with the typical new car warranty. However, Tesla offers a separate, longer, battery and drive unit warranty.

The exact battery warranty will vary slightly by model, but their terms are fairly similar. The warranties range from an 8 year or 100,000 mile warranty, all the way up to an 8 year or 150,000 mile warranty, whichever comes first.

The warranty is based on the battery holding a minimum of 70% of its capacity over the course of the 8 years.

Future

Battery technology has stayed stagnant for a long period of time. It’s only more recently that electronics and now electric vehicles are pushing for improved battery technology.

We’re likely to see tremendous improvements in battery technology over the coming years as companies figure out how to produce batteries with higher capacities and reduced weight.

Electric cars, boats and even planes will continue to push for improved battery technology.

Million Mile Battery

Tesla is currently developing higher capacity, structured battery packs that will decrease the weight of a vehicle, leading to better efficiency.

Tesla is developing their new structured battery packs
Tesla is developing their new structured battery packs
Electrek

One of Tesla’s goals with its new battery technology is to have a battery that will last one million miles.

Real World Battery Lifespan

Tesla released their first Model S in 2012, so there are now various Teslas with high mileage that give us a better idea of how long a Tesla battery will last in the real world.

Tesloop, a company that offers one-way Tesla rentals between major cities has several Teslas with high mileage. One of their vehicles racked up more than 400,000 miles, although the battery did need to be changed at 317,000 miles.

Another owner, Hansjörg Gemmingen has almost 900,000 miles on his 2013 Model S. His car has gone through two battery replacements during this time, but it’s a true testament to the longevity of Tesla’s batteries.

Keep in mind that these vehicles are 8 and 9 years old now and Tesla had only been creating cars for a few years when the vehicles were built.

Tesla has undoubtedly learned and improved their products since these early vehicles. We'd expect newer batteries to last even longer.

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Tesla Model Y, the best selling EV in Q1, wins U.S. News 'Best Luxury Electric SUV'

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla Model Y wins U.S. News Best Luxury SUV
Tesla Model Y wins U.S. News Best Luxury SUV
Kelley Blue Book

Tesla's Model Y has won U.S. News 'Best Luxury Electric SUV' award. U.S. News writes "Despite the onslaught of new competitors, the Tesla Model Y is one of the most capable and well-rounded luxury electric SUVs that you can buy at the moment," U.S. News added, “If you’re in the market, this is an option that’s well-worth a test drive.”

The Model Y was first delivered to owners in early 2020 and was the automaker’s second mass-market vehicle after the Model 3. The Model Y effectively expanded Tesla’s product line to include a new body style. Tesla’s Model Y has rapidly become the company's best-selling vehicle, despite being more expensive than the Model 3. This speaks to the prominence of the Model Y, dominating the widely-popular crossover SUV sector. 

Tesla's Model Y starts at $62,990, making it much more appealing to mass markets than the Model X which starts at $114,990. Tesla's Model X has been offered for seven years, but is still only produced for sentimental reasons, according to CEO Elon Musk.

U.S. News highlights that, while the Model Y offers less cargo and utility room than the Model X, it still includes many of the same tech features and comparable performance. A fully enhanced Model Y has a 0 to 60 MPH of just 3.5 seconds while still having over 300 miles of range and a 155 MPH top speed.

It's no surprise that the Model Y was the recipient of the U.S. News ‘Best Luxury Electric SUV’ award as it topped the list of best-selling EVs in the US in Q1 2022. In Q1 2022, U.S. EV sales were up 60% year-over-year, demonstrating the continued shift away from internal combustion engine vehicles.

Tesla had the top 3 best selling EVs

Tesla took first, second and third place with an impressive 52,051 registered units for the Model Y, and 47,682 registered units of the Model 3. These two models alone make up the bulk of the entire U.S. EV market. Tesla also achieved third place with 9,250 registrations of the Model S and seventh place is the Tesla Model X with 4,899 registrations. Tesla remains the leader in EV sales, consistently selling a number of vehicles unattainable to competitors.

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How to add more 'Quick Control' icons in the Tesla app

By Rene Pepin
You can add a fifth Quick Control icon to the Tesla app
You can add a fifth Quick Control icon to the Tesla app

Tesla completely redesigned their app with version 4.0 last year. Since then Tesla has been quickly iterating on its features with updates and new features coming every few weeks.

With version 4.3 of the Tesla app, Tesla added the ability to customize the Quick Control buttons on the main screen.

You can add up to four buttons, but with this little trick, you can also add a fifth icon.

Add a Fifth Icon to the Tesla App

To add a fifth icon start by long-pressing the row of icons to bring up an editing screen to sort or replace those icons with the ones you use most frequently.

Now here is where the fun starts because it will take a little manual dexterity to add the additional icon but when you do it correctly your sense of accomplishment will out weight your initial frustration.

Here is the trick:

With your right thumb, pick up one of the available icons and drag it over the fourth icon (in the screen above it is the Front Trunk icon), but do not release it.

While keeping your right thumb held down, use your thumb on your left hand to press on the 1st icon (in the screen above it is the HVAC icon), and drag it to the second icon (the Defrost icon). The icon you have brought up will move offscreen to the right into the invisible fifth spot.

Release both fingers simultaneously and VIOLA a fifth icon will magically appear.

Have fun mixing and matching your icons as your needs change. You can update the icon bar as often as needed.

Video

Tesla used to allow users to continue to add an unlimited amount of icons, but it wasn't a great experience so the total number of icons is now limited to five.

Additional Tips

There are several other useful bits of information about the Tesla app that could make it more useful.

For example, you can tap the battery icon at the top of the screen to access charging information. This brings up the same information as tapping on the Charge Quick Control icon.

If you prefer tapping the battery icon, you can remove the Charge icon from the Quick Controls area, allowing you to free up a spot, essentially giving you an extra Quick Control slot.

Wake Up Your Vehicle Quicker

When using the app most commands are executed through the vehicle's internet connection, which requires your vehicle to be awake.

Waiting for your vehicle to wake up could sometimes take up to a minute, but there is a way to speed it up if you're within Bluetooth distance (around 30 feet).

Some commands are sent via Bluetooth, which allows them to be completed even if the vehicle is asleep. This includes locking and unlocking the doors.

When completing one of these commands, your Tesla starts to turn on almost immediately.

If you're waiting for your vehicle to turn on, you can send a command to lock/unlock your vehicle and your vehicle should wake up quicker than just waiting.

Widget

If you've added a fifth icon to your Quick Controls and use the Tesla app widget, then the widget will now display all five icons as well.

No Need to Wait

With the introduction of the Tesla app version 4.0 last year, Tesla quietly rolled out a feature that changes the way you use the app.

Previously, you needed to open the Tesla app, wait for your vehicle to wake up, and then you could send a command to the car, such as using turning on the climate system or using HomeLink.

However, now you can simply open the app, tap your desired function (it'll show a spinning circle) and you can quit the app.

Instead of the command going directly to your car, it will now be sent to Tesla. Tesla's servers will be the ones who wait for your vehicle to wake up, and when it does, Tesla will execute the command.

If for some reason Tesla isn't able to wake up your vehicle due to a poor connection or another error, then you'll receive a notification saying the command failed.

This makes turning on the HVAC system a much more enjoyable experience.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Days Until Next Release

34

Estimated days until version 2022.20 is released.

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

Subscribe

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.