How Long Does A Tesla Battery Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer:10-20 Years

Tesla, founded in 2003 by a group of engineers, is now a pioneer of electric vehicles in the world. Its battery designs focus on clean energy encouraging the world to stop relying on fossil fuels. For this purpose, Tesla batteries aim to outlast the car itself. The data obtained show that Tesla batteries can easily last at least 10-20 years. 

How Long Does A Tesla Battery Last?

ModelMiles Consumed For 20% DegradationTime Taken for 20% degradation
Tesla Roadster10+ years
Model S and Model X500,000 miles30+ years
Model 3 and Model Y400,000 miles20 to 30 years

The battery of any Tesla car will last for at least 250 miles on a single charge, although the range depends on the driving conditions and size of the cell. At this point, one might wonder how many years Tesla batteries last and how well they hold the charge over time. 

The life of a Tesla battery depends on the make and model of the car. Tesla determines that a battery that has degraded 20% or more is not optimum and would need replacement. 

Tesla has five models of electric cars, and the lifespan of the battery differs in each. The first model, Tesla Roadster, contains an Energy Storage system made of 18650 format battery cells. This module has not been in service for long, so its life expectancy is still unknown. However, studies predicted that the batteries would last at least ten years, and unexpectedly they seem to be lasting longer than that. 

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The second model, Model S is also made of 18650 format battery cells. However, it has a better cooling system than the Roadster. A third model, Model X was constructed similar to Model S. The batteries of both Model S and Model X show an average degradation of 4 per cent every 100,000 miles. Therefore, one can expect a 20 percent degradation at 500,000 miles. This level of degradation can take more than 30 years. 

The following two models, Model 3 and Model Y, are similar to each other. These models contain a new type of battery, the 2170 lithium-ion cell, which shows an average degradation of 5% per 100,000 miles. Thus, one can travel 400,000 miles before 20% of the battery degrades. As an average person only travels 13,500 miles in a year, it would take a minimum of 20-30 years to reach 20% degradation of the battery. 

One should remember that these numbers are estimates based on obtained data. In reality, different factors influence this number.

Why Does A Tesla Battery Last For So Long?

The life of a Tesla battery depends on various factors like driving temperatures, fast charging frequency, owner habits, software updates, or the environment. However, if one looks at the overall picture, tesla batteries are performing as expected. 

Their excellent performance is due to The Battery Management System. In addition, the composition of the cells built by Panasonic and the battery pack Tesla assembles them into also plays an important role. 

The Battery Management System (BMS) slows charging as the battery nears 100% charge and when the battery is below ideal charging temperature, ensuring the batteries take no additional damage and degrade. Furthermore, the system also warms and cools the battery as required, accomplished using a liquid coolant circulated within the battery pack.

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Another factor determining the battery life is that Tesla cars have larger batteries than other electric vehicles. This battery pack is cycled fewer times and has less of its life consumed. Additionally, it spends less time at extremes of charge, further extending its life. 

Lastly, owner care is also essential when determining the life span of a battery. Not charging it to 100% can considerably increase its life span. 

Conclusion

Tesla battery packs have changed over time and continue to do so. Any new data that comes to light shows that the batteries perform as speculated, if not better. It all boils down to owner care, environment, and driving conditions. Hence, if one takes care of their car battery, it is bound to last longer than expected.

References

  1. http://large.stanford.edu/publications/power/references/docs/tesla.pdf
  2. https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:1131667
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