How Long Do Tesla Batteries Last?

tesla batteries

Whether you are interested in an electric car from Tesla or you’ve already got one, many people wonder how long do Tesla batteries last. 

While battery lifespans may vary based on the specific model you’re driving and how you take care of the vehicle, here’s how long you can expect your Tesla battery to last between charges as well as its overall lifespan. 

What Kind Of Battery Is In a Tesla?

Currently, Tesla relies on various lithium-ion batteries in their lineup, which have a range from 50 kWh to 100kWh. These batteries use NCA chemistry, or lithium-nickel-cobalt-aluminum, and they’re placed under the car floor to help save storage space and offer a better center of gravity for drivers. 

However, there has been talks from Tesla about switching over to lithium-iron batteries in their standard-range vehicles (and particularly the new Model 3), which would extend the driving range of the car without astronomically raising the price. Their current lithium-ion batteries contain cobalt, which is an expensive and rare element that is partially responsible for raising the price on electric car batteries. 

The goal from Tesla has been to make a “million mile battery,” which last up to a million miles before you need to replace them, but this hasn’t hit the market in any of their vehicles yet. 

Tesla Battery Life Expectancy

Most Tesla batteries are designed to last anywhere from 300,000 to 500,000 miles on the road. For someone who drives the average amount of miles every year, a single battery could last 21 to 35 years before they have to worry about replacement. 

So, unless you’re driving hundreds of miles per day, you should see at least two decades of life out of a new Tesla battery. 

Tesla Model Battery Warranty Table

While Tesla may promise up to half a million miles on their batteries, what happens if yours doesn’t make it that far? Fortunately, each battery comes with a warranty guaranteeing a certain number of miles (or years)  – and the numbers vary based on the model that you’ve purchased: 

ModelBattery Warranty
Model 3 Standard Range 100k miles or 8 years
Model 3 Long Range/Performance120k miles or 8 years
Model Y Long Range120k miles or 8 years
Model Y Performance120k miles or 8 years
Model S 150k miles or 8 years
Model X 150k miles or 8 years

Ideally, your Tesla battery should last much longer than eight years or 150,000 miles, but if doesn’t, you should be able to receive a free replacement. As you can see above, standard range models are only covered for those first 100,000 miles, while long range or performance models are guaranteed an extra 20,000. 

Factors That Affect Tesla Batter Life Expectancy

Tesla batteries may last anywhere from 21 to 35 years, but why such a big range for life expectancy? 

From cyclical aging to temperature and charging habits, there are quite a few factors that can make a significant difference on how long your Tesla battery lasts before it needs a replacement. 

Cyclical Aging

One of the biggest factors to influence lifespan is cyclical aging. This happens when you’re constantly charging and discharging your Tesla battery, which can cause it to degrade as you repeat this cycle. So, if you’re driving your Tesla hundreds of miles per day and have to charge it more, you’re likely to see degradation faster than someone who doesn’t cover as much mileage. 

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean your battery is degrading every time you pull it off the charger  – the lithium-ion batteries in a Tesla could last through hundreds of charge cycles before there’s any sign of degradation. 

And, since long range Teslas tend to have fewer charge cycles than other EVs, this also means they don’t degrade as quickly. 

Calendar Aging

While the amount of mileage you cover can impact cyclical charging, calender aging can happen regardless of how much you use your Tesla. In fact, calendar aging can happen more frequently when you don’t spend a lot of time driving your Tesla because they’re not being stored correctly. 

Over time, the cells in the lithium-ion battery naturally lose their capacity, even if you’ve never used your Tesla. And, if the battery is stored in hot weather, or your Tesla sits outside all summer, your battery is likely to age even quicker than normal, too. 

Temperature

We’ve already touched on it a little bit already, but temperature can play a big role in how quickly or how slowly your Tesla battery ages and loses its lifespan. While Tesla does use a cooling system to keep their batteries healthier, the outside conditions can still have a significant impact on your battery’s health. 

Leaving your Tesla out in the scorching summer heat for months at a time will degrade your battery more quickly and even impact your Tesla’s driving range too. While cold weather isn’t as detrimental as hot weather, it can still mess with your Tesla’s battery  – especially while charging. 

If you’re trying to charge your battery during the dead of winter or a snow storm, you may find that your Tesla battery’s charge doesn’t last as long. Fortunately, these effects are usually only temporary, and shouldn’t last when you’re not in the extreme cold anymore. 

While really hot temperatures tend to affect Tesla batteries the most, these lithium-ion cells generally just don’t do as well in extreme weather conditions, and if you constantly deal with severe temperatures, your battery may have a shorter lifespan. 

Charging Habits

You may not have to deal with extreme temperatures, but if you’ve got poor charging habits, your Tesla battery’s lifespan could still suffer. There are two types of cycles that your battery can have: a full cycle and a partial cycle. 

A full cycle is anytime you charge your battery from zero percent to a hundred percent, while a partial cycle might mean charging your battery from twenty percent to eighty or ninety percent. 

As it turns out, using full cycles can be more detrimental or draining on your battery’s lifespan, and it’s actually recommended that you charge in partial cycles if possible. Tesla recommends that users try to charge their batteries before they’re at less than ten percent, and don’t completely charge to a hundred percent – instead, let your battery get to eighty to ninety percent and then stop charging. 

Another harmful charging habit can be using superchargers all the time. While they may be fine every once and a while, they can have disruptive effects on your battery’s long-term range and performance, so it’s better to avoid them. 

What Is The Driving Range a Tesla When Fully Charged?

While range can vary from model to model, the average standard-run Tesla battery will take you close to 270 miles on a full charge. For reference, that’s close to five hours of straight driving before you’d need to recharge your battery again. 

Of course, for a longer range, Tesla’s performance and long range models offer more mileage, but you can check out the table below for specific numbers. 

Tesla Model Comparison Table

From the Model 3 to the Model S, here’s how far you’ll get on a full charge with each Tesla model

Model Range (in Miles)
Model 3 Standard272 miles
Model 3 Long Range 358 miles
Model 3 Performance315 miles
Model X Standard348 miles
Model X Plaid 333 miles
Model Y Long Range330 miles
Model Y Performance303 miles
Model S Long Range412 miles
Model S Plaid 396 miles

As you can see, standard Tesla models tend to have shorter ranges, with the original Model 3 capping at just over 270 miles. Performance models offer a little better mileage, but if you want the best range out of your Tesla battery, you’ll need to upgrade to a Long Range model or the new Model S. 

Factors That Affect Tesla Driving Range

Just like there are factors that can affect your battery lifespan, there are also factors that can impact what kind of driving range you’ll see out of your Tesla vehicle and battery – and you shouldn’t be surprised if your actual range doesn’t line up with the exact number you see on that chart above. 

Driving habits, environmental conditions, and battery size can also give you a shorter (or longer) range than you might expect. 

Model

You’ll see the biggest difference in range based on the model you purchase. The new Long Range Model S, for instance, has several components that equal a longer driving range, including a more efficient drivetrain, reduced mass, and a larger battery. 

In comparison, the Long Range Model 3 and Model Y still offer great range, but it’s at least fifty miles less than what you’ll get with a Model S. Keep in mind that a longer range can mean less battery degradation with charging cycles – a Model S might last a little longer simply because you don’t have to charge it as often. 

Battery Size

As mentioned before, the battery size is a driving factor for why newer Tesla models have better range than before. The new Long Range Model S currently has the biggest battery pack, which gives it 15% more capacity than it did 8 years ago. 

Even if you’re only charging your battery to ninety percent, you’re still likely to get more range and capacity with the bigger lithium-ion battery than you would with the original Tesla Roadster or an older Model 3. 

Besides their size, Tesla has also made some key advancements in their batteries that might help your range. New batteries also have a “tabless” design, which make them less likely to overheat while you’re driving. 

Driving Habits

Besides picking a model with a bigger battery, your own driving habits can also impact your battery’s range. If you’re someone who does a lot of stop-and-go driving, go uphill a lot, or even just drive in severe weather conditions, you can put extra strain on your battery – and, in turn, might see some depleted range. 

Some of the most harmful driving habits for your Tesla’s range and battery include:

  • Doing a lot of uphill driving, or driving up the mountains
  • Stop-and-go driving, like being stuck in heavy traffic 
  • Driving at extremely high speeds
  • Taking a lot of short trips versus longer road trips 
  • Driving through severe weather, especially snow, sleet, rain, or high headwinds

Tips To Maximize Tesla’s Battery Life

You may not always be able to control your surroundings or your driving conditions, but there are some tips you can use to maximize your Tesla’s battery life and prevent it from deteriorating too rapidly, such as: 

Maintain a regular charging schedule

If there’s one thing that can help you maintain your Tesla’s battery life and even improve your range over time, it’s keeping up with a regular or daily charging routine. You’ll want to avoid using a supercharger unless you have to, and if possible, a low-voltage AC home charger is the way to go for regular charging. 

This doesn’t mean you can’t ever use a supercharger, but if you’re not in a rush or already on the road, you should save the supercharger for when you’re really in a hurry. 

And, unless you’re about to juice up for a long road trip where you’ll need every mile you can get, it’s a good idea to keep your SoC, or state of charge, from 15 or 20% up to 80 to 90%. And if you are going to charge up to 100% before a long drive, it’s usually a good idea to avoid charging until you’re almost ready to leave so that your Tesla isn’t sitting with a full charge for too long. 

Drive more consistent

When you are driving your Tesla, it’s a good idea to try and drive consistently  – or as consistently as your driving conditions allow. This means try and avoid accelerating from really low speeds to high speeds all the time or taking really short trips. 

You may also find that your range seems to decrease if you’re stuck in traffic or any conditions where you’ve got to do a lot of stop-and-go driving  – while you won’t permanently damage your battery or range if these things happen once in awhile, driving inconsistently all the time could negatively affect your range. 

Only Supercharge when necessary

We’ve already touched on this a little bit, but while it can be enticing to supercharge your Tesla, it’s generally not a good idea to do this all the time. Some drivers may be tempted to overuse supercharging since it can charge your Tesla up to 200 miles in as little as fifteen minutes, but the long-term effects on your battery lifespan won’t be pretty. 

Instead, keep up with a regular charging routine each day – this may take longer, but if you can allot a little extra charging time before you drive, you’ll be saving yourself plenty of headache in the long run. 

Don’t charge over 80% all the time

When it comes to your state of charge, you may hear people throw around different numbers  – some drivers may swear that you should never charge above 90% while others warn that you should keep your charge below 80%. 

Generally, it’s a good rule of thumb to keep your charge below 80% for daily use. If you’re just heading out to run errands, it’s unlikely that you’ll need a full charge anyway. And, if you’re worried about accidentally overcharging, you can always set a charge limit in the mobile app or on the vehicle touchscreen. 

FAQs

From verifying that a used Tesla battery is still in good shape to the cost for replacing a Tesla battery, here are some of the other most frequently asked questions that people tend to have about how long does a Tesla battery last. 

  • How do I verify if a used Tesla battery is good?

    Since Tesla batteries naturally degrade over time and the warranty only covers the first eight years, how can you verify if a used Tesla battery is still in good shape? Well, there’s a couple of things you can take note of – before you even look at the range, it’s a good idea to know what the ideal mileage is for that model and year.

    For instance, a new Tesla Roadster might be able to take you close to 300 miles on a single charge, so you shouldn’t expect a used model to go 350 miles.

    You’ll also want to see how many miles the car will go on a full charge. You can inspect the Tesla when it’s been fully charged, and using the touchscreen in the vehicle, look at the “Distance.” If the range is significantly less than what your ideal mileage should be, then your battery probably isn’t in the greatest health.

    You can always ask the previous owner about their charging habits or driving conditions to make assumptions about the battery’s health too. If they used a supercharger all the time and left their Tesla out in the scorching sun for weeks, then the battery has probably degraded a little more than it should.

  • Should I worry about battery degradation when buying a used Tesla?

    While you shouldn’t expect a used Tesla to have the exact range or performance that a completely new model should, battery degradation should be a concern. Your Tesla battery should be able to last you at least 300,000 miles, but if the previous owner took poor care of the vehicle, you may end up replacing your battery sooner than you’d expect.

    While you may be able to get a professional to inspect the vehicle to determine the battery’s health, you can also compare the car’s current range and performance to its ideal mileage. A little degradation is natural for a used Tesla, but you shouldn’t see significant drops in performance – especially if it’s a model that’s been purchased within the last couple of years.

    Keep in mind that Tesla does have a warranty on their vehicles for the first eight years or 150,000 miles (depending on the model), so you may be able to get a replacement if it’s a newer model and there’s too much degradation.

  • How much does it cost to replace a Tesla battery?

    While the cost of a battery for a gasoline-powered vehicle might set you back a few hundred bucks, replacing a Tesla battery can be significantly more costly. If you only need to replace the battery modules (but not the entire battery pack), you could rack up to $7,000 with labor and parts.

    With labor included, replacing the entire battery pack could run close to $20,000 for Model S sedans and around $13,000 for the entry-level Model 3, which can still be quite pricey for many drivers.

    Of course, with Tesla’s estimates on battery lifespan, the good news is that you may have twenty years or more to save up for the replacement as long as you take proper care of your Tesla.

  • How does a fully charged Tesla compare to gas powered cars?

    While there are plenty of reasons why someone might make the switch from a gas-powered car to a Tesla, cost can be a major one. Exact percentages can depend on the car, but generally, Tesla vehicles are still over 50% cheaper to fully charge than it is to fill up a fuel-efficient gas-powered car.

    Across all their product lines, the average cost to charge a Tesla is a little over four cents per mile – in comparison, the 2022 Honda Civic costs over eight cents to fill up per mile.

    And, given that some of the latest Teslas have a range close to 400 miles, the mileage isn’t that different from some of the most fuel-efficient gas-powered vehicles. That same 2022 Honda Civic can go a little over 430 miles on a single tank of gas, which is only 30 miles more than a fully-charged Tesla.