One of the most common subjects of discussion amongst electric vehicle proponents and critics/skeptics is battery pack lifespan. Much as with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, though, it appears that electric vehicle battery packs don’t degrade nearly as fast as skeptics like to claim, and will remain usable well after the warranties have ended.
The electric vehicle long-distance taxi firm Tesloop (which uses Teslas, as you might guess) recently released data that reiterates this point. After having run a Tesla Model S for over 200,000 miles (with frequent deep charging to 100% and deep discharging), the vehicle in question only suffered a 6% loss in max battery pack capacity/range. (Tip of the hat to “ApauloThirteen” on the Tesla Motors Club forum.)
Notably, the brakes never needed to be replaced during these 200,000 miles, and there were also no other major maintenance issues. Another note to make, the Model S in question was a 2015.
The commentator “ecarfan” on the TMC forum quoted a bit from an article on the subject that was very interesting: “Then, just as the car hit 200,000 miles, the range estimator became inaccurate. Though the car didn’t actually lose any range, the estimator would say it could go another ten miles — and then power down. Tesla looked into the issue, and told Tesloop that there’s a battery chemistry state that high-mileage cars go into, and the software isn’t properly compensating for that change. There will be a firmware update in three months that will take care of the discrepancy, but Tesla just replaced the battery to solve the problem. ‘We got our 6% range back with the new battery,’ Sonnad said with a laugh. ‘But had the firmware been updated, we’d be fine and plugging along.'”
Great news for those who are planning on getting a Tesla (Model 3, Model S, or otherwise) and keeping it for a long time rather than trading it in after only a few years, as some tend to do. It sounds like the battery packs are pretty durable.