Tesla Batteries Lose Little Capacity Over the Long Haul
If you’re “the automotive person” in your family or friend group, you’ve likely gotten at least a question or two about EV range and battery life. It seems that people are getting over range anxiety as automakers release vehicles with ever-longer estimates, but there are still a lot of questions about how long EV batteries last. The answer is “at least 100,000 miles” because everybody’s required to offer eight-year/100,000-mile warranties on the batteries, but it turns out that some can drive much longer than that with surprisingly little degradation.
Tesla’s 2022 annual impact report stated that the batteries in the Model S sedan and Model X SUV lost 12 percent of their capacity after powering the vehicles for 200,000 miles. Many of us switch cars more frequently than that, but Tesla believes the 200,000-mile mark is the average lifespan for a car in the U.S., while it’s around 150,000 miles in Europe.
Though mileage has a notable impact on battery life, age also plays a role. That means a ten-year-old low-mileage car might have more battery wear than a three-year-old car with the same miles. Tesla said it hadn’t evaluated its newer battery chemistries yet, so we’ll have to wait for that data.
While the federal government requires an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty, California requires 10 years or 150,000 miles. The Model S and X get eight-year/150,000-mile warranties, but the Model 3 RWD only gets 100,000 miles. Others get 120,000 miles, and Tesla notes that the battery could be replaced if it falls below 70 percent capacity during that time.
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Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.
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