By: Otaiba Ahsan
As a Tesla owner, one of the things I hear the most from people who are skeptical about electric vehicles (EVs) is how my car’s battery won’t last and that I’ll have to spend a fortune getting it replaced. While I’m never provided with any facts, it is a good question… How much does it cost to replace the battery on a Tesla? Continue reading to learn about Tesla’s impressive batteries, and what the cost of replacing one would be.
Tesla’s Battery Life Expectancy and Factors Affecting It
Tesla is a pioneer in the modern EV space, and their batteries are known for their long-lasting performance. While there aren’t many resources on Tesla battery life expectancy, Elon Musk stated on Twitter that they should last 300,000 to 500,000 miles which is roughly 480,000 to 800,000 kilometres.
It’s important to note that Tesla continuously makes changes to what type of batteries they include in their lineup, so that number will surely be different as the EV manufacturer becomes more advanced. The life expectancy of Tesla’s batteries is dependent on a few factors outside of mileage and battery age. These include:
Charging habits: Frequent charging to 100% for Tesla’s lithium-ion batteries can reduce battery life expectancy. Also, consistent DC fast charging or supercharging can contribute to quicker degradation.
TIP: If your Tesla has a lithium-ion battery pack, be sure to set its daily charging limit to between 80% and 90%. It’s fine to charge to 100% if you’re anticipating a long drive the next day. If you have a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery, then it’s normal to charge to 100% every day. Lastly, if you’re unsure what battery your Tesla has, navigate to Controls > Software > Additional Vehicle Information next time you’re in your car, and you can find it there.
Climate: Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can impact battery life and performance. In cold weather, the battery may have reduced capacity and take longer to heat up, while in hot weather, the battery may need to be cooled to maintain performance. Tesla recommends that you avoid exposing your car to ambient temperatures above 60° C or below -30° C for more than 24 hours at a time.
TIP: Always precondition your Tesla before taking it for a drive, no matter what time of year. Open the Tesla app and select “Climate” and then tap “On” which will initiate the preconditioning of your car. You can also hit “Schedule” from the home screen in the app and then choose a time that you would like your car to precondition every day. This is useful if you’re consistently driving your Tesla at the same time each day.
Battery Replacement Cost for Tesla
Tesla offers a Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranty which varies based on which model and trim you have. They all cover your battery and drive unit for 8 years or a certain mileage, whichever comes first. If your battery falls below 70% of its original capacity within this 8-year or milage period, Tesla may replace the battery under warranty at no additional cost.
It is incredibly rare to need a battery replacement out of warranty. However, if it is required, the price depends on several factors such as:
- Model and battery size: Larger batteries and newer models typically cost more to replace
- Labour costs: Costs for labour can vary depending on where you’re located. You’ll want to get your job done at a Tesla Service Centre as they’ll have expertise on the battery chemistry for your car.
- Additional parts: Different parts such as the battery management system, cooling system, and more, may need to be replaced which increases the overall cost.
With all these factors in mind, Tesla battery replacements can cost between $5,000 to $20,000. This is more expensive than replacing the engine of a gas-powered car, which ranges from $4,000 to $10,000. There can be alternatives to getting your Tesla battery replaced. One way is through battery pack refurbishment which involves only replacing the degraded battery cells, which reduces the overall cost of the replacement. The best thing to do is set up a Tesla service appointment and get them to assess your battery.
The Bottom Line
How much does it cost to replace the battery on a Tesla? Their batteries have a long lifespan, and it’s rare for owners to replace their battery and drive unit outside of warranty. However, in the rare case that you’ll have to pay out of pocket, it can cost anywhere between $5,000 to $20,000 depending on all the factors discussed above. For me personally, perks like low maintenance, home charging, and fuel savings are all worth the risk of having to potentially replace my battery out of warranty.