How Long Does a Tesla Battery Last?

Tesla batteries typically last around 20 years or 300,000 to 500,000 miles.

Margaret Wack
Written byMargaret Wack
Margaret Wack
Margaret WackPersonal Finance Writer
  • 8+ years writing about insurance and personal finance

  • Widely published insurance expert

Margaret has written extensively on personal finance topics, including insurance, taxes, budgeting, saving, and more. She’s also a marketing manager and an award-winning poet.

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Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
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Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Updated April 18, 2024

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Well-known for its line of electric vehicles, Tesla produces the Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y. Tesla batteries should have a lifespan of around 20 years or between 300,000 and 500,000 miles. Batteries may need replacement sooner, depending on driving and environmental conditions.

How does a Tesla battery work?

Electric batteries, rather than gasoline, power Tesla’s line of vehicles. Instead of fueling up at a gas station pump, you need to charge your vehicle at home or at a public charging station. Unlike hybrid vehicles, Teslas operate entirely on battery power.

Tesla vehicles use either lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries or nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA) batteries.[1] Longer-range vehicles operate using the latter, but both battery types work in a similar way. You must plug in your Tesla to charge the battery. The energy stored in the battery then powers the vehicle when you drive.

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How do the batteries compare to those in other vehicles?

Electric vehicles generally have several advantages over gas-powered vehicles. You’ll save money on gas because Teslas operate using electricity rather than gasoline. And your vehicle won’t emit gas-related pollutants. Electric vehicles often require less maintenance because they don’t require oil or fuel filter changes.

Though Tesla helped popularize modern-day electric vehicles with the introduction of the Tesla Roadster in 2008, drivers now have more options to choose from in the electric vehicle market.[2] Other auto manufacturers, including Chevrolet, Nissan, and Hyundai, also offer electric vehicles in addition to traditional gasoline-powered cars.

Read More: Tesla Insurance Reviews

What is the lifespan of a Tesla battery?

Electric vehicle batteries usually last between 10 and 20 years. Batteries sold in the U.S. require an eight-year warranty or up to 10,000 miles driven.[3] Tesla batteries should last somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000 miles, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. But exactly how long your car’s battery will last depends on various factors, including environmental conditions like temperature and weather, as well as your mileage and how frequently you drive.

Like all electric vehicle batteries, Tesla batteries gradually lose capacity over time. A recent study from NimbleFins analyzed owner-submitted data for Tesla Model S vehicles manufactured between 2013 and 2019. The study suggests that Tesla batteries deteriorate at a rate of around 1% per year for the first seven years, after which the deterioration accelerates slightly. After 10 years, the batteries for vehicles included in the study had depreciated to an average of 82.5% of the original capacity.[4]

Keep in Mind

Tesla sold its first electric vehicles in 2008, so the oldest Tesla cars have only been on the road for 15 years. For that reason, insufficient data exists on the upper limit of a Tesla’s battery life.

Warranty coverage

Automatically included with the purchase of a new vehicle, Tesla’s warranty coverage depends on the specific model you buy. All Tesla warranties include a minimum of 70% battery capacity retention during the warranty period.[5] Here’s how Tesla warranties covers battery replacement by vehicle model:

  • Model S and Model X: Eight years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first

  • Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive: Eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first

  • Model 3 Long Range, Model 3 Performance, Model Y Long Range, and Model Y Performance: Eight years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first

See More: What You Need to Know About Extended Car Warranties

Tesla battery charge range

Tesla’s battery range — the longest you can drive on a single charge — varies by model. According to Tesla, the Model 3 has an estimated range of 358 miles, the Model S has a range of 396 miles, Model X has a range of 333 miles, and Model Y has a range of 330 miles.

The exact range of your vehicle’s battery depends on your driving behavior, environmental factors, and more. For instance, driving at high speeds or driving in stop-and-go traffic may reduce your range. Similarly, driving in cold weather may also reduce your vehicle’s range. Tesla offers tips for maximizing your battery’s range, including adopting a regular charging routine, maintaining your vehicle’s tire pressure, and removing extra weight like roof racks or additional cargo when applicable.[6]

Good to know

How fast your Tesla will charge depends on which charger you use. At home, you can use a wall charger to charge up to 44 miles of range per hour. While on the road, Tesla superchargers can charge your vehicle up to 200 miles in 15 minutes.

Do Tesla batteries vary by model?

Tesla currently only offers four models: Y, X, 3, and S. The Model 3 and Model Y may feature an LFP battery or an NCA battery, while the Model S and Model X feature only NCA batteries.

Best ways to maintain a Tesla battery

You can take steps to prolong your Tesla’s battery life. Treating your vehicle with care and avoiding behaviors and environments that might decrease your battery’s lifespan can help ensure that your Tesla battery lasts as long as possible. While some factors are often unavoidable — like driving uphill or driving in cold weather — the more you can protect your battery, the longer it will last you.

  • Keep the battery within a temperature range. Exposing your vehicle to extreme temperatures can decrease battery life. For example, the Tesla Model 3 owner’s manual recommends avoiding temperatures above 140 degrees or below -22 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Minimize fast charging. Fast charging can also damage your battery life. Tesla recommends only utilizing DC fast charging when necessary, such as on long trips. Otherwise, you should charge your vehicle using a low-voltage charger, like a Wall Connector.

  • Avoid driving in bad weather. Certain weather conditions, like rain, snow, and headwinds, can also decrease your Tesla’s battery range.

  • Avoid driving uphill. Driving uphill uses more energy and puts more of a strain on your vehicle. You can’t entirely avoid uphill driving, but you should minimize it when possible.

  • Keep cargo light. As your car takes on more weight, it needs more energy to move. Keeping cargo light by removing unnecessary equipment, like roof racks, and clearing out your trunk can help your battery work more efficiently.

  • Maintain tire pressure. Maintaining good tire pressure reduces rolling resistance, which makes things easier on your battery.

Check Out: States with the Most Hybrid or Electric Vehicles

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Tesla battery FAQs

Here are answers to some common questions about Tesla batteries, including how long they last.

  • What is the lifespan of a Tesla battery?

    Tesla batteries last between 10 and 20 years or between 300,000 and 500,000 miles. The exact lifespan of a Tesla battery depends on a number of driving and environmental factors, such as temperature and inclement weather, driving frequency, driving speed, and more.

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

    Replacing a Tesla battery involves both purchasing a new battery and paying to have it installed. While prices vary, J.D. Power estimates that replacing a Tesla battery can cost anywhere from $13,000 to $20,000.

  • How long can you leave a Tesla parked without driving it?

    How long you can leave a Tesla parked without driving depends on the battery charge, as well as whether it’s plugged in. If your Tesla is plugged in and charging, you can leave it indefinitely. In fact, Tesla recommends plugging your vehicle in as much as possible. But if your vehicle isn’t plugged in, the battery will gradually deplete by about 1% a day over time if you’re not driving it.

    Avoid leaving your Tesla idle for more days than available battery percentage. For example, if your battery is charged to 75%, you should avoid leaving it for more than 75 days. Ideally you should drive it sooner than that to avoid the risk of depleting your battery.

  • How long does a Tesla battery charge last?

    While the exact range varies by model, Tesla battery charges generally last for a range of 300 to 400 miles. The exact range will vary depending on factors like your driving speed, the temperature, and traffic.

  • What can you do to take care of your Tesla battery?

    Tesla batteries are designed to last you for 300,000 to 500,000 miles. But you can take a few steps to maintain your electric vehicle’s battery. These include avoiding exposing your car to extreme temperatures, minimizing fast charging, and keeping your cargo light.

Sources

  1. CNBC. "Tesla will change the type of battery cells it uses in all its standard-range cars."
  2. Highway Loss Data Institute. "Insurance losses of electric vehicles and their conventional counterparts while adjusting for mileage."
  3. J.D. Power. "How Often Do Tesla Batteries Need To Be Replaced?."
  4. NimbleFins. "A Study on Real-Life Tesla Battery Deterioration."
  5. Tesla. "Vehicle Warranty."
  6. Tesla. "Range Tips."
Margaret Wack
Margaret WackPersonal Finance Writer

Margaret Wack is a personal finance writer with a master's from St. John's College. She has written about finance and insurance topics for publications including Investopedia, Bankrate, MoneyGeek, The Simple Dollar, Money Under 30, and more. She has also written for sites like Angi, US News & World Report, ArtfulTea, and Reviews.com. Connect with Margaret on LinkedIn.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

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