How Many Miles Does a Tesla Last (And How To Care For It)

How many miles does a Tesla last is a primary concern for anyone considering buying an electric car. Tesla cars’ life heavily depends on the battery, which can run between 300,000 and 500,000 miles.

Average Miles on Tesla

Read on to discover the details, including real-life examples of Tesla owners who have clocked serious mileage on their odometers. You’ll also learn how far a single battery charge can take you and the best way to care for the battery and enjoy the most out of your Tesla.

How Many Miles Does an Average Tesla Last?

An average Tesla lasts between 300000 and 500000 miles. That means the vehicle can serve a typical driver for at least 20 years with basic maintenance before replacing critical components, such as battery and motor, becomes necessary. Tesla usually offers at least a 100000-mile warranty on the battery and motor.

If you’re planning to buy an electric car soon, it’s sensible to want to know how long it will last. Traditional vehicles live for quite a while with proper, regular maintenance. However, the longevity of electric vehicles (EVs) doesn’t necessarily depend on routine maintenance.

EVs have almost no fluids that occasionally need flushing, and, as such, the primary determinant of electric cars’ lifespan is their battery. It isn’t easy to directly answer how many miles a Tesla lasts.

Modern EVs are still a new technology and need more time to prove themselves to the world. For instance, Tesla’s first batch of mass-produced EVs, the Model S, has only been on the roads for about 11 years (introduced in June 2012). Moreover, the EV battery’s lifespan is a moving target. Since introducing the Tesla vehicles, the manufacturer has made several adjustments to the battery’s cell chemistry, structural design, and overall battery management systems.

The battery packs present a decade ago differ from those in Tesla EVs recently. With that said, you can only get a rough idea of how many miles you expect a Tesla to last. Some users with older Model S (before the battery improvements) have hit some serious mileage. For example, at the time of this writing, one user with a 2015 Model S had clocked over 155,000 miles with only 10 percent battery degradation.

Another 2017 Tesla Model X user had put over 200,000 miles on the odometer. Despite all that, the battery cells still exhibited about 90 percent of their effective capacity. Similar stories have been recorded across all Tesla models, including the cheaper Model 3 and Model Y. That means you can expect about 20 to 25 percent battery degradation for 300,000-mile users.

Tesla Battery’s Lifespan and Cost

It’s easy to predict how long a Tesla battery will last by looking at the company’s battery warranty model. According to Tesla, if your car’s traction battery has less than 70 percent capacity left at the end of its warranty period, you’ll be eligible for a repair or replacement. Note that the warranty may vary, depending on the car model.

Best Tesla Batteries

Typically, the warranty on Tesla batteries lasts up to eight years. That’s when Tesla expects an average driver (clocking 15,000 miles a year) to cover 100,000 and 120,000 miles. Suppose you keep the same, slightly underperforming battery.

In that case, you can expect it to last anywhere between 300,000 and 500,000 miles, as claimed by Tesla. In other words, your Tesla battery can last up to three decades before you’ll need to replace it.

How much does a Tesla battery cost?

The battery is one of the most expensive parts of a Tesla. For example, the Tesla Model 3 battery replacement cost can go as high as $20,000. But once you replace the battery pack, your Tesla can cover over a million miles if you care for the rest of the vehicle. In fact, a Twitter user Gem8mingen owns a 2013 Tesla Model S P85, which has clocked over one million miles.

He had replaced the battery pack at 180,000 miles under Tesla’s warranty. The company usually uses remanufactured battery packs to ensure the Tesla battery replacement cost is lower than a new pack. During the remanufacturing, the company ensures that the pack’s capacity is equal to or higher than the original pack. With that, users won’t experience any range loss.

Tesla Battery Range

A Tesla usually has a battery range of 300 to 400 miles. For those asking how long does Tesla battery last in a day, it depends on your driving habits. The Model S Dual Motor is considered to have the most extended range on a single charge. It allows the vehicle to cover up to 405 miles.

The base Tesla Model 3 year 2019 has the shortest EPA-estimated range, allowing you to drive only 272 miles before needing a recharge. If you’re always nearly fully draining your battery before charging, you can expect it to last between 1,000 and 1250 charges.

One critical thing to note is that a Tesla battery usually degrades slowly with time, gradually storing less energy. For example, if the range was 272 miles when the battery was new but lost 10 percent of its original capacity over 8 years, its maximum range would be around 244 miles.

However, according to various Tesla battery degradation charts online, the degradation is non-linear. That means a Tesla battery degradation first year may take a quick hit, where it could lose up to 5 percent of its energy storing capacity.

But after that, the battery transitions to a more sustained period of slow degradation. Read about the Tesla battery degradation calculator here to know the condition of your battery.

Tesla Motor Lifespan

The motor is the other principal determinant of a Tesla’s life after the battery. As mentioned, Gem8mingen has driven his Tesla Model S for over a million miles. As such, he holds the record for having the longest-driven Tesla. However, the Tesla owner confessed that his car required its first motor replacement at 483,000 miles on the odometer.

Surprisingly, when the vehicle reached almost one million miles, he had replaced the electric motor eight times! However, that’s probably because the earlier Tesla Model S units were less reliable than their newer counterparts.

Motor Lifespan of Tesla

With the latest models, you can expect the electric motor (drive unit) to last between 7 and 10 years of average driving. Tesla usually offers up to eight years or a 100,000 miles warranty on motors in Models 3 and Y.

Tesla covers the motor for up to 150,000 miles for the larger Models X or S. Once the original warranty expires, you can only replace the engine out of your pocket. Tesla will offer you another 4-year warranty or up to 50,000 miles in that case. But the replacement warranty will only hold if you buy the drive unit directly from Tesla.

Currently (year 2023), a brand-new Tesla motor costs anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. The exact cost depends on the unit’s power output.

What Is the Best Way to Care for a Tesla Battery?

The best way to care for a Tesla battery is to avoid keeping the battery below 20 percent charge for too long. You should also keep away from public chargers or Superchargers. Charging the battery slowly at home will help to reduce the risk of excessive wear.

As stated, Tesla offers a warranty of between 100,000 and 120,000 miles on their battery. However, that’s not to say that after the end of that mileage, your battery must soon require a replacement.

There are a few measures you can take to double the Tesla warranty and battery’s longevity claim. They include updating software regularly, maintaining proper tire pressure, and monitoring and managing parasitic drains.

Other practical tips to care for a Tesla battery are ensuring louvers are performing correctly and using the ludicrous mode often. But here are the most essential tips you should never forget:

Embrace Home Charging

The battery is the heart of Tesla’s car. For that, charging it at home is one of the critical things you can do to ensure its maximum lifespan. You don’t have to forego using public superchargers, though. Sometimes, it may be necessary to get an extra range, for example, when you’re on a road trip.

But for your typical daily driving, using a home charger may significantly increase your battery life. A home-based charger will charge the battery slowly, preventing excessive wear because it generates less heat and adds no strain on the various components. So, how long does a Tesla battery take to charge is one of the most frequently asked questions. The answer is that it depends on the type of charger you’re using.

Charging Tesla at Home

Level 1 delivers around 1.2kW to the vehicle and takes 20 to 40 hours, while Level 2 delivers more and takes 8 to 12 hours for a full charge. These slow chargers aren’t as wear-prone as the Tesla’s superchargers, which can take 15 minutes to charge the battery up to 200 miles.

As mentioned, you should only use a supercharger when out and need to restore your range quickly. If you’re at home the whole day, do your battery a favor by charging it overnight.

Note that charging a Tesla at home requires an installation of a charging unit. You’ll need to set aside roughly $1,000 if you haven’t already. Some may find it difficult to spend this extra amount. However, solely using the public chargers will deny you those extra miles you want on your car battery.

Avoid Excessively Draining the Battery

Tesla recommends charging your battery before it discharges below 20 percent. Frequent deep discharges will undoubtedly impact the battery’s lifespan. Aim to keep your battery at a moderate range by charging the vehicle regularly. Experts say leaving your battery drained for extended periods is wrong.

 

Excessively Drainage of Battery

It can trigger a parasitic electrochemical reaction that could get the battery in an irreversible state in which it’s unable to retain a charge. In addition, observe proper driving habits. Rough acceleration and deceleration, abrupt braking, and excessive speeds can strain your Tesla too much, increasing energy consumption.

What Are the Basic Maintenance Needs for a Tesla?

The basic maintenance needs for a Tesla include routine repairs, such as changing brake fluid, cabin air filter, brake pads, coolant, and the AC system’s discussant bag. As per Tesla’s recommendation, you must also perform wheel rotation, wheel balancing, and alignment every 6,250 miles.

Caring for an EV car is less maintenance-intensive than a typical combustion engine vehicle. You won’t need to replace the oil and oil filter, spark plugs, timing belts, and other mechanical items that deteriorate over time. EVs have fewer moving parts that undergo wear and tear.

Besides replacing the motor and battery pack, there are only a few things you’ll need to do to ensure the vehicle serves you as intended.

Routine Repairs

A Tesla needs routine changing of the brake fluid, cabin air filter, coolant, brake pads, and the AC system’s desiccant bag. Moreover, Tesla recommends rotating the wheels and performing wheel balancing and alignment every 6,250 miles.

 

Repairing Tesla Car

You can carry out most of these repairs yourself. However, the mobile service can send you a certified technician for minor service at your home upon request.

Optional Upgrades

Tesla constantly upgrades its infotainment system and Autopilot hardware. So, after driving your Tesla Model for years, you could upgrade to the latest systems to enjoy extra features. That depends on whether you want to spend a few additional thousands of bucks, though.

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Tesla and How Can I Extend It?

The average lifespan of a Tesla varies depending on multiple factors. Regular maintenance and proper charging habits play key roles in extending longevity. However, for those concerned about used cars with 100000 miles, it’s essential to consider the condition and usage history. Thoroughly inspecting the vehicle and obtaining detailed maintenance records can give you a better understanding of its potential lifespan and help ensure a wise investment.

Conclusion

In the above article, we’ve provided a comprehensive answer on how many miles does a Tesla last.

Check out a summary before you leave:

  • A Tesla can last 500,000 miles or more, regardless of the model.
  • A Tesla’s lifespan heavily depends on the battery, whose technology has consistently improved.
  • Real-life Tesla owners have clocked over 100,000 miles with only 5 to 10 percent of battery deterioration.
  • The electric motor is another critical determinant of a Tesla’s life; still, it can last almost the same as the battery, according to the Tesla company.

Whether you were just curious or considering investing in an EV, you’re now well-information on Tesla’s lifespan. If you buy yourself a Tesla, remember to take care of the battery by implementing the above tips.

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