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.

Tesla is updating its 'Automatic Window Reversal System' to fix issue

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla notified the NHTSA that it will update its automatic widnow system
Tesla notified the NHTSA that it will update its automatic widnow system

Tesla will soon send an over-the-air update to address the Automatic Window Reversal System. During product testing in mid-August, the company's technicians detected the system varied in response to obstructions in the window path. After more testing, Tesla concluded that it would notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a voluntary recall to address the issue.

The majority of Tesla's recalls are much different than traditional automotive recalls. Tesla owners don't have to schedule an appointment and bring the vehicle to a service department. Instead, the company will update nearly 1.1 million Teslas using an over-the-air update. However, several news organizations picked up the recall, some linking it to the lower stock price when the market closed. Elon Musk tweeted: The terminology is outdated & inaccurate. This is a tiny over-the-air software update. To the best of our knowledge, there have been no injuries.

The recall and Musk's tweet generated a lot of discussions on social media and in comments below articles on news websites. What Tesla is doing is not a recall in traditional terms. However, it is the only course of action available to the company in the current system to notify the government and owners of required changes.

With more of the automotive industry following Tesla's lead, the recall term will be misleading as most fixes to electric vehicles should be conducted through updates, not physically bringing the car to a service center to change parts. A more fitting term that should replace recall in this new EV world should be: update. The headlines would read, Tesla is Updating its Automatic Window Reversal System. That is much more accurate to what is happening. It should surprise no one that Tesla does not fit the archaic terminology used by the industry.

In a report filed with the NHTSA, Tesla states that it "is not aware of any warranty claims, field reports, crashed, injuries or deaths related to this condition." However, starting September 13, the company started updating vehicles' firmware in pre-delivery and one production line. This change came one day after notifying the federal authorities about the voluntary recall. The over-the-air update will go to Model Xs, and Model Ss built between 2021 and 2022; Model Ys produced from 2020 to 2022 and Model 3s dating back to when the car first hit the market in 2017.

Tesla update 2022.36 features new Energy App, Supercharger popular times

By Nuno Cristovao
New Energy app
New Energy app
Not a Tesla App

Tesla's next update will be update 2022.36 instead of 2022.32. Tesla's version naming is based on the year and the week number. So update 2022.36 would have been started around the 36th week of 2022.

Tesla traditionally releases an update every four weeks, but sometimes updates can take longer to develop, test, or fix bugs, causing the version number to fall behind the calendar.

Although it doesn't happen too often, Tesla has skipped update version numbers in the past.

Given that we're now in the 39th week of the year, Tesla has chosen to skip version 2022.32 and jump directly to 2022.36.

Update 2022.36 is right around the corner and we're now having our first look at the features included in this update.

New Language

Tesla is adding support for a new language bringing its total to well beyond 20 now. Update 2022.36 introduces Lithuanian as a supported language for the vehicle's on-screen controls.

More Notifications

About two years ago Tesla added the ability to notify you via your mobile phone if the car doors, trunk or windows were left open.

With 2022.32 they're adding on to this feature and will now notify you if the car has been left unlocked.

If you have the walk-away lock feature turned on your vehicle automatically locks when you walk away if you're using a phone key or key fob. You also have the option to exclude locking when at home.

Supercharger Details

When tapping on a Supercharger icon on the vehicle's navigation system will reveal a pop-up that displays additional information about that Supercharger location.

Tesla already shows you the number of stalls available, the price and available amenities at the location. 

With 2022.36 Tesla has redesigned the pop-up and will display historical usage for each Supercharger location.

It appears that Tesla will display typical usage for the location by providing an hourly analysis of how busy the Supercharger typically is at certain times of the day.

This feature should let us easily view the busiest times at Superchargers, letting us plan our charging stops a little better.

New Energy Graph

The biggest feature of 2022.36 is by far a new energy graph.

Tesla has made tremendous improvements around its energy predictions in the last few updates and although they haven't changed the UI of the energy graph, it has resulted in much more accurate predictions that now take wind, humidity, the number of occupants, phone charging and more into account when predicting energy usage.

With 2022.36 Tesla delivers a brand new energy app that shows much more detail on how the vehicle is using energy.

The new Model S and Model X haven't had the energy graph available and now this may explain why. Tesla has likely been working on this new energy graph for a while and didn't want to spend time adapting the old app to fit the new vehicles. The new vehicles may finally receive an energy app with this update.

The new energy graph will not only let you view the energy the vehicle is using while driving but also the amount of energy that was used while the vehicle was parked.

Whether the vehicle is driving or parked, you'll now be able to see a complete breakdown of all the different systems in the vehicle and how much energy they've used. Unfortunately, Tesla doesn't display energy used in kW, but in percentage.

The vehicle will also provide suggestions on how to improve efficiency.

At the top of the energy graph where you normally have Consumption and Trip, you'll now have a new option called Park which displays energy used while parked.

The consumption screen looks similar to the way it did before. It displays the vehicle's energy usage on a graph over a chosen distance.

However, the Park and Trip views have been completely revamped.

On the Park screen, the vehicle will display various vehicle components and their energy usage. For example, the vehicle will break down its energy usage over several categories including the vehicle's screen, vehicle pre-conditioning, cabin overheat protection, Sentry Mode and mobile app usage and more.

Next to each category, the vehicle will display the percentage of the energy used for the feature and how it compares to the rest of the fleet. This could be helpful to let you know whether the amount of energy used for that feature is in line with expectations.

You'll also be able to change the timeframe since the last departure or other periods.

Similar to the Park screen, the new Trip screen also displays a breakdown of energy used across different vehicle systems, although it also adds a graph at the top, similar to what's available in the vehicle today.

The graph will automatically change colors, not based on the battery state of charge, but dependent on whether the vehicle used more or less energy in the given segment of the route when compared to its predictions.

Underneath the graph, Tesla will display the amount of energy used for driving, climate, battery conditioning, altitude, and other systems.

In addition to displaying the percent of the energy used for each system, Tesla will also compare your usage to its prediction and the percentage difference above or below the prediction.

There could be other features in the 2022.36 update that aren't mentioned here and we'll have to wait a little longer to see whether there are any additional features.

The biggest update in this release appears to be the new energy app and many owners will be thrilled with its release.

We may start seeing 2022.36 going out to the public in the next couple of weeks. You can also view the release notes for 2022.36.

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.36.

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

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

Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.36.

Confirmed by Elon

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

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.