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Published on September 15th, 2019 | by Johnna Crider


7 Year Old Tesla Model S At 98% Battery Capacity Today

September 15th, 2019 by  

In a fresh Reddit discussion, the owner of a 7 year-old Tesla Model S explains that his battery is at 98% battery capacity today. This is another reminder of the reasons Tesla cars are much slower to depreciate in value. Any Model S already has long enough range that its battery can degrade significantly and it’s still a highly practical, no-compromises electric vehicle, but seeing such little degradation is that much better for initial owners and used car buyers.

Tesla Model S

Not the Tesla Model S in the story. Photo by Tomek Gac of Tesla Shuttle & CleanTechnica.

That said, not all Tesla cars see only 2% loss of range in 7 years. This car is on the more positive side of things. Also, at some point, this car should see a more notable drop in range due to age, because batteries lose capacity from both use and time. That said, there’s no doubt this anecdote is a positive sign.

CarFax notes that a new $45,000 car will drop in value by about $5,000 almost immediately. Their data show that cars can lose more than 10% of their value during the first month after you drive off the lot. And the amount keeps falling. CarFax mentions that, due to current depreciation rates, the value of a new vehicle could drop by more than 20% after the first year of ownership. By the time 5 years have come and gone, your car’s value could be around 40% of the original purchase price. Add in live events such as accidents, having a car stolen, etc. No one’s perfect.

So, yes, a Tesla is going to lose value over time anyway, barring an extreme value boost (like Full Self Driving being implemented and regulations allowing robotaxi service), but Tesla vehicle have historically held their value better than their competitors. Some have wondered if that would change as time went on and batteries degraded more, but stories like this one about a 7 year old Tesla show little sign for worry.

Tesla Model S

Not the Tesla Model S in the story. Photo by Zach Shahan of Tesla Shuttle & CleanTechnica.

Depreciation isn’t the only issue when it comes to money being lost. You have failing car parts, you have to keep up on maintenance, such as oil changes, tires, windshield wipers, and fuel. The normal 12V car batteries in all cars, on average, can last up to around 4 to 6 years. This is assuming ideal conditions: no high temperatures, no excessive humidity, no accidents, no floods — the perfect environment. Warmer climates tend to increase the damage due to water loss and sulfation.

The Redditor noted at the top, “ManhattanTime,” said in his post that he charged the battery up to 90% the night before, as he has always done for the past 7 years. 90% charge gives it 234 miles today. When it was brand new, it would have been 238.5 miles at a 90% charge. This is how he calculated the 98% of the original battery after 7 years of use.

ManhattanTime says he never “babied” the battery — meaning, he used it as he needed to. He always charged it to 90% and has used Supercharges about 50 times, or maybe a bit less than that, but still quite a few times. In his post, one more thing ManhattanTime recalls is the early days where people would scream and panic about the battery. The question was: “What are you going to do in 5 years when your battery is at 50% and you need to buy a new one for $45,000, you idiot?” It’s 7 years later now and the battery is at 98%, not 50%, of ininital capacity.

Tesla has come a long ways when it comes to perfecting its batteries, including its Powerpacks and Powerwalls as well as its automotive batteries. How much further will Tesla go in the next 7 years?


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About the Author

Johnna Crider is a Baton Rouge artist, gem and mineral collector, and Tesla shareholder who believes in Elon Musk and Tesla. Elon Musk advised her in 2018 to “Believe in Good.” Tesla is one of many good things to believe in. You can find Johnna on Twitter

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