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I'm Thinking About Buying a New Tesla, But How Many Years Will a Tesla Battery Last?

Considering a Tesla but worried about battery replacement costs? This article explores Tesla battery lifespan, degradation factors, and ways to maximize your battery's health.

Many potential Tesla owners are concerned about battery longevity and replacement costs. While battery degradation is a natural process, Tesla batteries are designed to last for many years, potentially hundreds of thousands of miles. This article will address common concerns about Tesla battery life and provide tips to extend the range and lifespan of your Tesla battery.

"I am thinking about buying a new Tesla but I am concerned about the battery that it's only good for 10 years and then would have to buy another one for $10,000-20,000 depending on the model. Is this a true statement or do Tesla batteries actually last longer?" This question was asked today in the Tesla group on Facebook, generating a healthy discussion.

Indeed, How Many Years Will a Tesla Battery Last?

In April 2023 Tesla revealed its battery degradation, which showed that Tesla batteries last longer than you think. According to published data, Tesla vehicles experience an unbelievably low battery degradation of only 12% over their entire lifespan. This means that you can drive your Tesla for years without worrying about having to replace the battery or contributing to negative environmental impacts caused by battery disposal. 

Tesla's own data from February 2023 show that Model S and Model X batteries retain about 90 percent of their original capacity on average over 200,000 miles of use.

Torque News Tesla reporter Jeremy Johnson notes that Tesla has a warranty on the battery at 8 years or 30% degradation. Most Tesla vehicles don't degrade that 30%, but for those that do, Tesla replaces the battery with no charge.

Now let's get back to this discussion, in which a potential Tesla owner is worried about having to change his battery after 10 years, which will cost him somewhere between $10,000 to $20,000. Here is a question to consider: do you worry about changing a motor and transmission in your vehicle now? If you do, then you probably should worry about changing your Tesla battery after 10 years, the price of which might have come down by then. But if you don't worry about changing your ICE car engine or transmission in ten years, you shouldn't worry about your EV battery replacement either.


Also, if you buy a Tesla car, there will be so much improvement in the 4 or 5 years after your purchase, that you'll want a new one anyway.

"I own a Model 3 since 2018. The range is in 295-299 instead of of 315 miles. I took it to service only twice: Once to put in the FSD and the other time was for repair post road debris messing up my front bottom protection," writes a Model 3 owner Quazi Zaman in that group. He says three times Tesla service technicians came to his home. "Annual expenditure on Electricity is $500 miles instead of $5000, not including the service cost. That said, the price of the replacement batteries are going to go down 50 percent or more in the next 5 years. There is no reason why one should not buy an EV instead of an ICE car. Just make sure you have a charger at home."

What Batteries Does Tesla Have?

Tesla batteries are Lithium-ion batteries, the same type of battery used in most laptops and smartphones. Like all batteries, Lithium-ion batteries degrade slightly over time. This means the battery will gradually lose some of its capacity to hold a charge. However, Tesla batteries are designed for durability and Tesla guarantees a minimum of 70% battery capacity over the warranty period, which is typically 8 years or 100,000 to 150,000 miles, depending on the model.

Factors Affecting Tesla Battery Degradation

Several factors can influence how quickly a Tesla battery degrades. These include: depth of discharge, extreme temperatures, and superchargin.

Tesla recommends avoiding regularly draining the battery to very low levels. Try to keep your charging between 20% and 80% for optimal battery health.

Expose your Tesla to extreme heat or cold for extended periods can accelerate battery degradation. Ideally, store your Tesla in a climate-controlled garage whenever possible.

While convenient, frequent use of DC fast charging can put stress on the battery and contribute to faster degradation. Limit supercharging to long trips and rely on regular charging at home whenever possible.

Tips to Maximize Tesla Battery Life

By following these tips, you can help extend the range and lifespan of your Tesla battery:

  • Follow the 20% to 80% charge rule: Try to avoid letting your battery regularly drop below 20% or charging it above 80%.
  • Minimize supercharging: Use Tesla Superchargers for long trips, but rely on regular AC charging at home for everyday use.
  • Park in moderate temperatures: Whenever possible, park your Tesla in a climate-controlled garage or shaded area to avoid extreme heat or cold.
  • Manage climate control usage: Using the climate control system, especially the heater, can reduce battery range. Utilize pre-conditioning when plugged in to minimize in-car climate control use.

Battery Replacement Costs and Considerations

While Tesla batteries are designed to last a long time, battery replacement may eventually be necessary. Last year I wrote that after a battery change, the first Tesla owners should now pay 26,000 euros in Europe. Very few expected such costs. The cost of Tesla battery replacement varies depending on the model and battery capacity. However, Tesla offers a variety of battery warranty options, and replacement costs may be lower than anticipated. Third-party repair shops may also offer battery replacement options in the future.

How Much Money Will You Safe?

Let’s do the calculator, $300 a month for paying gas, $3,600 a year x 8 years = $28,800 for gas if you own an ICE SUV. Tesla gives 8 years of warranty for the battery. Also, plus you have to do oil change, brake, and etc for the gas car. Well still save $8,800.

Also, remember that most ICE vehicles only warranty the engine and power train for 100000 miles; and there are a lot more components that can fail. The likelyhood of a battery just dying at 100k miles seems slim; it may degrade a bit and need more frequent charging, but would still be completely usable

Ron Bonnstetter, who claims to be a Tesla Model S owner, wrote in that above-mentioned discussion his interesting story, which I find revealing. He says, "I just hit 100,000 on my 2016 Model S. While setting up what I expected to be a required 100,000 mile service, I was asked , “What issues are you having?” After I said 'None!' I was told to check back at 200,000 miles. Yes, I have replaced tires and added windshield wiper fluid, but not even brake pads have been required. Oh! And the battery shows very little degradation."

There is a reason why Teslas have the highest brand loyalty. Yet, it really is hard to wrap around the concept of a 15,000-mile battery replacement but if you get a spreadsheet put in the left side the cost of a new battery and some minor maintenance, suggests Stephen Selvaggio in the group.

He says on the left side also put additional insurance, registration fees in some states and any other costs associated with a Tesla over ten years. In the right side list how many times you will get your oil changed, brakes replaced, transmission, and other issues ice cars have while Tesla doesn't. Figure changing brakes every 50k miles, oil changes twice a year, fluids, transmission probably once. Then add in your cost savings from gasoline.

"When you compare the two sums I think you will be surprised at how much cheaper the Tesla winds up being," Selvaggio writes. Having said that, Tesla's technology is exploding. A Tesla ten years from now will be significantly better.

Tesla batteries are designed for longevity and should provide many years of reliable service. I think by following the tips above, you can probably help maximize the range and lifespan of your Tesla battery. While some degradation is natural, with proper care, your Tesla battery should outlast the warranty period and continue to provide excellent performance for many years to come.

Do Tesla batteries degrade at different rates for a Model Y as opposed to a Model 3 RWD with LFP batteries? One Tesla owner shares his experience after 43,000 miles.

Do you have any questions or tips for maximizing Tesla battery range? Share your experiences and advice in the comments below!

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News TwitterFacebookLinkedin, and Youtube. He has more than a decade of expertise in the automotive industry with a special interest in Tesla and electric vehicles.


Garry Coffman (not verified)    April 12, 2024 - 11:10PM

The lithium ion batteries in my Galaxy S10 smartphone swelled and cracked the screen at the 2 year mark. It would no longer hold a charge. The same happened with my iPhone 6. The lithium ion batteries for my power tools last on average about 2 years before no longer taking a charge. Now these items use battery cells from the same vendors as the EV makers. Tesla's chargers may be more sophisticated, but I don't expect them to be that much better.

The age of the average vehicle on the road today in the USA is 12 years. That means half of them are older than that. As prices of new cars have risen, we've started hanging on to our cars longer.

But Tesla will only warranty their batteries for 8 years. EVs are quite new, the oldest still on the road is less than 12 years old, and those in very small numbers. They haven't established a reliable real world traction battery life expectancy yet. The real world is a lot different from the lab.

Kelli Noris (not verified)    April 13, 2024 - 1:09AM

It depends how many miles you drive your Tesla per year. They last 300,000 to 500,000 miles. I drive 30,000 miles per year. My battery is on pace to last at least 500,000 miles. That’s 15 years.

Dana Gilner (not verified)    April 13, 2024 - 1:09AM

Someone just joined our i5 group. His 2018 Tesla Model S was falling to bits and needed a new battery. His quote was $28,000.

Terri Ellis (not verified)    April 13, 2024 - 1:10AM

Batteries go by charge cycles. I have heard 1500. If you have a 90KW vehicle, you should be able to produce 135,000 KWh’s out of it. Check how many miles you can go with 1 kWh then you will see that it’s going to be a long haul.

RF Shulthiers (not verified)    April 13, 2024 - 1:11AM

I’m waiting for solid-state batteries to be available. Toyota appears to be ahead of the others. They will have a range of about 1,000 miles and charge in about 10 minutes. They will also be much lighter and cheaper.

John Blaze (not verified)    April 13, 2024 - 1:12AM

Depends on the battery chemistry and what the purpose of the battery is.
The LFP battery is considered the million mile battery, and it achieved that benchmark multiple times in lab tests over the years. Its life expectancy is 25 years.
That battery can be found in the model S, X and performance 3 and Y.
The 4680 used in the Texas built Y and Cybertruck is benchmarked for 40 year lifespan.

John Hudishell (not verified)    April 13, 2024 - 1:14AM

I think the plug in hybrid offers the best of both worlds, a car you can plug in at night commute back and fourth to work, and the option of petrol if you forget to plug in or go on a road trip. The battery pack probably weighs a quarter of the weight of an all EV and if it needs replacement it doesn't total the car to replace the batteries on an all EV. Because you use the battery pack for around town, the batteries and the internal combustion motor will outlast anything else there on the road.

Armen Hareyan    April 13, 2024 - 10:20AM

This point about Tesla or any EV battery, I think is very important. Even after the warranty, battery degradation happens slowly. You'll likely see a decrease in range, but it shouldn't be significant enough to impact daily driving for many years.

Rejean (not verified)    April 13, 2024 - 10:48AM

After five years of driving, my Kona EV battery health was still at 100%. Most batteries built in the last 10 years have liquid cooling. They are designed to last a long long time.

Kelli Noris (not verified)    April 13, 2024 - 10:51AM

My Tesla has gone 200,000 miles without any costly repairs to replace failed parts. Something I can’t say about any of my previous gas vehicles.

My battery is on pace to last over 500,000 miles. After 200,000 miles it’s lost 11% of range at full charge. I’ve also saved money AND time by no longer having to pay for and take time out of my day to get an oil changed every 5,000 miles.

And there are chargers everywhere. The charger network is widespread throughout the country. It’s just laughable how so many of you self proclaimed EV experts don’t actually own one.

William Morrison (not verified)    April 13, 2024 - 10:54AM

Battery replacement is a fear stoked by it being new, oil companies and those that tend not to know much about EVs. They play into this fear to discourage people from getting an EV. These are the same people that claim EVs have a greater risk of fire even though ICE catch fire at a rate 100 times greater than EVs.

All batteries in the U.S. are warrantied for a minimum of 8 years and 100,000 miles. Some warranties go 10 years and 150,000 miles. This lead people to believe this was the lifetime of the battery but just like when an ICE car powertrain warranty expires in 4 years it doesn't mean the powertrain is going to die.

There are of course bad packs that don't make it to the end of the warranty and there are some that don't make it much past the 100,000 miles but this is no different than a gas car whose engine/transmision dies in shortly after the warranty. The vast majority of battery packs will go 250,000+ miles or 15+ years before reaching around 70% of their capacity.
The good news is that the chemistry and battery management is getting better with each generation. Most of the current ones being able to get over 350,000 miles before reaching the end of their life. Some newer LFP batteries are pushing a MILLION miles.

Also the longevity of the battery can depend on the treatment. If you were to charge to 100% (non LFP of course) and discharge to zero every day then take it to the superchargers a couple times a week your battery longevity will go down. Just like if you took your ICE car to the track and ran it hard every Sunday the chances of your engine surviving past 100,000 miles is slim. If you follow the guidelines and don't treat your car like an UBER driver your battery should last well past most cars lifespans.

Paddy Prendergast (not verified)    April 14, 2024 - 6:52AM

I bought a model s 75 with 78,000 kms just under two years old which was 4.5 years ago now. At that time 100% charge was 445 kms and now at 187,000 kms 100% charge is 430 kms, so I’ve lost about 1% of the battery per year. Needless to say I’m very happy with my Tesla and will probably buy another one many years from now