Electric vehicles are the future of transport, and Tesla is effortlessly leading this revolution. A Tesla battery is technologically advanced and has excellent ranges. This is an important factor to consider when you’re investing in an electrical car. Considering the research and development efforts Tesla puts in, the battery is bound to be high-performing.
The duration of your Tesla’s battery life would depend on which model you’re driving. It will also depend on how consistent you are in terms of maintaining your Tesla’s battery.
How Long Does a Tesla Battery Last?
The time a Tesla battery works before requiring a recharge is referred to its battery life. Battery life is most commonly measured in range (miles) and shows the approximate distance your Tesla will travel on a single charge.
On average a Tesla battery can last for nearly 336 miles on one charge. When it comes to measuring battery life in years, it can go up to 35-37 years.
However, your Tesla’s battery life may be lower or higher depending on:
- The Tesla model you drive: Every Tesla model has its own type of battery. The type includes the battery’s chemical composition. Different batteries have different sizes, capacities and hence, different ranges.
- How you drive and use your Tesla: Certain driving methods can negatively affect your Tesla’s battery’s range. This lowers its battery life. Similarly, certain driving practices can also improve range and increase your battery life.
- How you take care of your Tesla battery: This would include when and how frequently you charge it. This would also include the charging source option that you use. A Tesla comes with three main charging sources and all three have different voltages.
- How you use the Energy App: The energy app is found in the touchscreen on your Tesla. It helps you better plan your trip to optimize battery usage.
Keep reading further to learn in detail about the factors affecting your Tesla’s battery life.
Factors Determining your Tesla’s Battery Life
1. Tesla Model
Different Tesla models have different batteries. These batteries have a unique battery type, size, and capacity.
Battery Cell Chemistry
Tesla mainly has two major categories of electric vehicles, which include standard range electric vehicles and long-range electric vehicles.
Tesla Started with Nickel Batteries
Initially, Tesla was manufacturing nickel-cobalt batteries for its electric vehicles. These batteries were relatively less efficient than lithium-ion batteries. They offered shorter ranges.
Due to their lower voltage, the batteries had lower capacities and offered lesser power. As a result, the nickel batteries do not last too long.
Nickel batteries allow a Tesla battery a lifespan of almost 100,000miles. This is considerably lower than what lithium-ion batteries offer.
Tesla Sifted to Lithium-ion Batteries
Tesla had shifted to making Lithium-ion batteries in the production plant in Shanghai, China. These lithium-ion powered Tesla cars were sold in China, Asia, and some areas of Europe.
In October 2021, Tesla decided to shift to lithium-ion batteries in all its standard-range vehicles. Some long-range models like the Tesla Roadster is also now lithium powered.
Tesla itself has explained how lithium-ion batteries are better than nickel or lead-acid alternatives. Lithium-ion batteries are specifically designed to have improved capacities and lifespans.
These batteries optimize energy, giving a Tesla high range and longer battery life per charge.
In 2019, Elon Musk claimed that a lithium-ion Tesla battery’s lifespan is 300,000-500,000 miles. This would equate to almost 1500 charging cycles.
The Tesla Model S, which has a lithium-ion battery, has a range of 752miles per charge. This is one of the highest ranges ever to be offered in an electric car.
However, lithium-ion batteries are more sensitive to harsh conditions and extreme temperatures. This is why Tesla recommends regular care for these batteries.
In some electric vehicles, Tesla is still using a lead-acid battery. Lead-acid batteries offer lower lifespans and lower ranges. However, lead-acid batteries are more tolerant to changing temperatures and have a lower cost.
Battery Size and Capacity
The amount of charge a battery can store shows its battery capacity. In order to store more charge for higher capacity, you need a bigger battery.
Every time, a Tesla battery is fully discharged, its capacity drops. This results in a reduction of the battery lifespan. The key point here is that the bigger a Tesla battery, the higher it’s capacity. Hence, the longer its lifespan.
Over the years, Tesla has worked tirelessly to keep improving its batteries’ size and range. In 2015, Tesla worked a lot on improving its battery capacity. The 60kWh battery was improved to a 70kWh battery capacity.
In the next year, Tesla had further improved the same battery to a 100kWh capacity. This meant better range, higher efficiency, and longer battery life.
Similarly, year by year, Tesla has been upgrading its batteries to hold more charge. This allows them to last longer.
Look at the table below to understand how size and capacity affect the battery life (range). The table shows the different Model S battery sizes, capacities, and ranges.
The range depicts the particular Tesla’s battery life per charge.
|Tesla Model||Battery Capacity (kWh)||Battery life Per Charge (miles)|
|Model S 60D||60||242|
|Model S 70D||70||274|
|Model S 75D||75||305|
|Model S Standard Range||80||280|
|Model S 85D||85||328|
|Model S 90D||90||335|
|Model S 100D||100||395|
|Model S Long Range||100||405|
|Model S Performance||100||370|
2. Driving Style
The battery life/charge of your Tesla’s battery also depends on how you drive your Tesla.
The heavier your Tesla model, the more battery charging it needs to keep going.
If your Tesla has numerous passengers and is carrying heavy luggage, your battery will have to exert more energy and work harder. This stress on the battery reduces the battery range. This consequently reduces the battery’s life.
Acceleration for Long Periods of Time
Driving at high speeds, and changing accelerations for long periods is bad. It uses up the Tesla’s battery power quickly. As are a result, your Tesla would need a recharge much earlier than necessary.
Your Driving Route
Most Tesla vehicles now have lithium-ion batteries. These are sensitive batteries and heat up quickly. If Tesla has to go up many steep slopes, your battery life/charge would be reduced.
In the long run, this negatively affects the total battery lifespan.
Lithium-ion batteries offer many benefits. However, their one down point is their sensitivity to temperature.
Driving while the battery is too cold without letting it warm up would reduce the total battery life.
Similarly, driving in hot weather conditions would overheat your battery. If you do not allow it to rest and cool down, the total battery life/charge would also decrease.
Follow these tips to improve battery life and range in winter.
Humidity also affects the battery’s life. Driving in persistent rain for numerous days may corrode some battery connections. In the long run, it reduces the battery’s life per charge.
Driving against the direction of strong winds will also consume more battery power. As a result, the battery life per charge is reduced.
Short Trips and Frequent Brakes
Short trips would mean you have to restart your Tesla over and over again. Every time you restart your Tesla, more battery power is used.
In addition, hitting the brakes frequently also puts stress on the battery. As a result, shorter trips and frequent braking results in battery discharging quickly.
3. Battery Charging and Discharging
Charging and Discharging
Your charging routine always impacts the life of your electric vehicle.
Every time an electrical vehicle’s battery is fully discharged, its total capacity decreases. This leads to a reduction in battery life/charge as well as the total battery lifespan.
A Tesla has an ideal charging range. Elon Musk himself advises charging between 20%-90%. If your charge falls to these or even lower or higher than these levels respectively, the battery life drops.
Leaving the battery discharged for long periods of time also reduces battery life.
Charging During Extreme Temperatures
Charging the Tesla battery while the battery’s temperature is not normal is discouraged.
A Tesla has five main charging options.
- The NEMA 5-15, 120 volts
- The NEMA 14-50, 240 volts
- The wall connector, 480 volts
- Supercharging stations
- Self-installed solar charging system
Different charging sources have different voltages. Each source offers a different charging duration.
Slow, low voltage charging is more suitable for your Tesla. Frequent use of high voltage supercharging stations negatively affects battery range and life.
4. Energy App
The built-in energy app allows you to analyze your driving patterns. It also provides guidance regarding charging needs and requirements.
Ignoring the assistance provided by the energy app could result in battery life reducing.
How to Make Your Tesla Batteries Last Longer?
Tesla cars and batteries are both very expensive. Mistreatment of the battery and bad driving practices can reduce your battery life/charge. With every recharge, the battery’s life naturally depreciates. In the long run, it can damage your total battery lifespan.
Having to purchase a new battery for your Tesla could be anyone’s nightmare. The prices in the US can go up to a whopping $30,000.
To avoid having to change batteries, you need to efficiently use the one you have. Proper battery care and responsible driving can improve efficiency and increase lifespan.
Some practices that would improve your Tesla’s battery life are as follows:
Consistent Charging Routine
- Develop a regular charging routine and plug in you Tesla as often as you can;
- Use a low voltage, slow charging source (if you are not in a hurry);
- By charging in the optimal charging range. For rear-wheel drive vehicles, a full 100% is recommended;
For all-wheel-drive vehicles, a 20%-90% range is recommended. Avoid letting your charge drop below or beyond this range;
- Only use Superchargers when necessary, for example during long road trips. High voltages negatively affect battery life;
- Do not leave your Tesla batteries discharged for long periods. Even if you have to store them, first charge, then store.
Reduce your Tesla’s Aerodynamic Drag
- Remove unnecessary luggage racks to maintain a more streamlined vehicle shape.
- When at high speeds, keep your windows shut and air suspensions low.
Use Regenerative Brakes
- Firstly, try to avoid frequent stops;
- Secondly, use regenerative brakes to convert Tesla’s kinetic energy into electrical energy. This added energy would aid your battery;
- In order to store this energy, select your Tesla’s ‘Standard Setting’ from the menu
Avoid Accelerating Frequently and Unnecessarily
- Continuous accelerations would drain your Tesla battery power;
- It reduces range and also negatively impacts your Tesla’s tires;
- This would require to recharge your Tesla frequently. This would drop its battery capacity and range.
Maintain Battery Temperatures
You may not have control over rain and snowfall. However, you can control when you drive your Tesla and when you recharge it.
- Try to keep the temperature of your Tesla battery close to normal. If the weather is very cold, warm up your battery first before hitting the road;
- If the weather is too hot, let your battery cool down before you charge it;
- If driving daily in the rain can be avoided, avoid it.
Maintain Tire Pressure
- Tires have to withstand harsh terrains, changing accelerations and heavy weights. Make sure your tire pressure is normal.
Follow these guidelines to check and adjust tire pressure.
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Tesla has successfully maintained its top position in the world of electric vehicles. It has set benchmark industry standards for what battery performance and range need to be.
A Tesla’s battery life/charge and total lifespan depend on factors like battery capacity and driving style etc. Make sure you take care of it as a transplant would not come cheap. Several maintenance practices can optimize battery life and usage. Having a consistent charging routine and driving at controlled speeds are some of such practices.
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