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My Tesla Battery Is Dead But It’s Not What You Think



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After 108,000 miles the time has finally come. My battery has been replaced in my Tesla Model 3, but before we get into the details and total cost let’s talk about this “problem” of batteries needing to be replaced on electric vehicles and the expected high cost of replacement. You won’t believe the amount of comments I get on my Tesla videos from people who love their gas cars that always say something like “Your Tesla battery will not last 10 years and it will cost you $20,000 to get it replaced”. Let’s look at Tesla’s current battery warranty information because this gives us an idea of what sort of life we can expect from the battery. For my long range Model 3, the battery and drive unit come with a limited warranty covering a period of 8 years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first, with a minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period. That means if my battery capacity drops below 70% any time before the warranty expires, Tesla will replace the battery for free. My Model 3 came with an estimated range of 310 miles so technically the range could fall to 217 miles which is 70% of the original capacity, and that would be considered “normal” and would not qualify for a battery replacement at the time of warranty expiration. Luckily my battery has had nowhere near that bad of degradation after four and a half years and over 100,000 miles. The most recent estimated range on my Model 3 showed 295 miles. That comes to about 95% battery capacity which is really good.

Tesla claims their vehicles can retain 90% of their battery capacity even 200,000 miles in. A research firm based in the UK has also backed up that claim after studying over 500 Tesla vehicles, with those at the 150,000-mile mark retaining 90% battery capacity and those over 200,000 still holding about 80% capacity. My experience seems to be on par with that, with my Model 3 battery still at 95% after nearly 5 years & 110,000 miles. A Model 3 battery replacement does not cost $20,000. Based on reports it costs somewhere around $15,000 but that’s only necessary if the battery is no longer covered under the warranty (which most of the very first Model 3 vehicles if driven the average miles per year will still have an active battery warranty in 2025 & 2026). At that point batteries should be even cheaper than today because lithium ion battery pack prices were above $1,200/kWh in 2010, and they have fallen 89% in real terms to $132/kWh in 2021, with the goal to reach a price of less than $100/kWh. Needless to say, I don’t foresee me having to get my Tesla Model 3’s high voltage battery replaced any time soon, if at all during my lifetime ownership of the car.

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20 Comments

  1. Andy dont drink the coolaid I have a 2022 Model Y Performance they claim it gets 303 miles range its actually 291 at 100% charge but when I GPS track my miles I get more like 200 miles. It's like trusting the police to police themselves LOL

  2. I am so sick of the lies. Another often told lie (besides the lie about replacing the battery pack every few years for $20,000 or so) is that lie about Tesla owners "waiting hours for the car to charge". Tesla owners know this is an outright lie as we rarely spend any time at all waiting for the car to charge since we rarely need to charge at a supercharger for more than 15 minutes and most if not all of that time is used up by washroom breaks and food breaks.

  3. Did you see the tiktok video where the guy sold his Tesla, not comprehending that his 12v battery died?

  4. They say it’s not recommended to charge the old batteries to 100% because it degrades the battery. Wouldn’t it be wiser to charge to 100% to sooner benefit of the warranty before it expires.

  5. Clickbait is clickbait. So tired of influencers straining to get viewers. I have enjoyed this channel but will have second thoughts from now on.

  6. My 2012 Model S turns 10 years old in 7 days. Battery at 87 % From 254 to 215 miles of range.  

    First The Bad First.  

    Replace not repair
    About 25% to 50% of the costs of ownership after warranty, so far have been caused by Tesla Service, either through outright bad workmanship, like leaving the battery bolts loose, or through sub standard warranty repairs such as installing a re-furbished motor instead of a new motor under warranty. This motor later failed at the connector but I was forced to pay for an entire motor! $7200. Either way When you own a tesla you can expect to pay for a whole new car every 10-15 years a fact to which I'm resigned.  The sunroof just went out and I don't know if I will be required to replace it as it is not very serviceable. Service quality changes, today I was told they no longer provide ride vouchers. And seriously how many people do they rip off by changing control arms for knuckle joints that just need a little grease.

    The good;
    The car always runs as perfect as the I bought it.  
    So far the battery is excellent hoping for 15 years or more.  
    Service is randomly excellent  
    Free supercharging for life of the car.

    It's easy to dwell on the bad, but I soon get over it and realize that it's just part the cost of owning a car that is serviced under a monopoly.

    Anyone any guesses how much is cost to replace a Sunroof?

  7. My 2016 MS is on the 3rd LV Battery. Didn't pay for the second replacement because the car wasn't configured properly for the exact battery installed. My heart was in my throat for a minute thinking you had to replace the HV battery!

  8. Just an honest feedback to consider. I like your videos but recently your titles of videos fall in the click bait category. Not sure if that's a positive trait for videos, even if it's used frequently by many people.

  9. Way to go, bet the electric car haters were all over this. I am a fan of electric and believe after 100 years of ice in might be time to evolve.