How long does a Tesla battery last?
Image Credits: Tesla

How long does a Tesla battery last?

How long and how many kilometres does a Tesla battery last? Is it even possible to drive more than 200’000 km or is the battery already scrap? The constant battery discharge, as we know it from mobile phones, makes the battery get weaker and weaker over time. Or maybe not?

How long does a Tesla battery last?

Tesla use lithium-ion batteries like Mobile phones do. But not all batteries are the same type. Tesla uses battery cells specially developed for use in electric cars. But all lithium-ion batteries do have one thing in common: they do not like high currents in very cold weather or at very low charge levels. For this reason, the Battery Management System (BMS) in the vehicle actively regulates the currents and ensures that the charge and discharge currents remain within a healthy range for the battery in very cold or hot temperature environments. The BMS can also actively influence the conditions by automatically control the battery heating and cooling. This greatly extends the service life of a Tesla battery.

Tesla is producing its Model S sedan since 2012 in the US and the oldest vehicles in Europe were put into service in 2013. In the meantime, there are already many vehicles with more than 300’000 km mileage and some even sporadic cars with more than 500’000 kilometres driven.

A Model X of the US Tesla rental company Tesloop had a mileage of 560’000 km in early 2019 and is driven under extreme conditions. The vehicle is charged up to four times a day with Supercharger to a charge level of 95% but its battery is still at a level of 88% of the original capacity. This is despite the fact that very frequent quick charging to a charge level of over 90% according to Tesla has a rather negative effect on the battery capacity. Only 12% loss of capacity is therefore a very good value.

According to Electrek Tesla also tested a battery in the laboratory and after simulated 800’000 km the battery still had 80% of its original capacity.

Also in the German TFF Forum some “kilometer kings” are on the road with far more than 250’000 km. In this table, enthusiastic Tesla drivers online enter their own values and thus contribute to an unofficial statistic. These data already show: usually vehicles with more than 200’000 km still have more than 90% of the original battery capacity. Tesla driver Hansjörg Gemmingen is the king of kilometers. His Tesla reached a mileage of unbelievable 1’000’000 km at the end of 2019.

How long does the Tesla motor last?

Tesla designs its engines to last a million miles (approximately 1,600,000 km). The fact that Tesla gives an eight-year warranty on the engine and battery in the Model S and X, regardless of the kilometres travelled, is another example of how durable these components are.

A defective electric motor cannot be compared with a defective petrol or diesel engine, which often ends in a total financial loss. With a Tesla, the entire engine can be completely replaced in about 1-2 hours. And the complexity and costs of an electric motor are also much lower than those of a petrol or diesel engine.

How long does the body last?

The body of a Tesla is not different from the body of another car. Many parts of a Tesla come from well-known suppliers like Bosch (brake management), Conti (chassis) or ZF Friedrichshafen (steering gear). They use the same proven parts like in many other car brands with combustion engine.

How long does the electronics last?

In all modern vehicles a lot of electronics is built in. Regardless of Tesla or electric cars, the longevity of electronics depends on how these circuits are designed. But this will probably not be apparent for all manufacturers for a few years. It remains to be seen whether after three or four decades of vehicle age there will still be cars of the 21st century as classic cars. But this is not an exclusive problem of electric cars, it affects all modern vehicles.

You’re new to Tesla? Then you will find here a short overview of Tesla vehicles.