How long does a Tesla battery last in Australia? This is becoming more of a common question now that Tesla has doubled its presence on Australian roads. Teslas are everywhere! Someone recently commented that they are becoming as common as cockroaches and cane toads. As these questioners appear to be genuine, I thought I would do some research to dispel their concerns about how long a Tesla battery lasts in Australia.
My usual response is to quote the warranty of 160,000 km. But I am fast coming to the conclusion that this answer is no longer relevant. I read recently that some battery recyclers in the US are complaining that the batteries are not degrading fast enough and they need more stock. Actually, CleanTechnica wrote about this way back in 2016.
There are very few Teslas that have done high mileage in Australia. Until the advent of the Model 3 three years ago, Teslas were quite rare on our roads. However, a request for information in the Tesla Owners Club of Australia Facebook page revealed evidence that Tesla batteries are outlasting and outperforming their original expectations.
Mark Tipping, National President of the Tesla Owners Club of Australia, responded: “My 2015 Model S P85D has driven 271,000km. Tesla recently advised me that the HV leads between battery and motor have some corrosion and they are replacing them under warranty. I didn’t know but an alert was sent by the car to Tesla!! The battery reports 6.9% degradation.
My other MS P100DL+ has done 200,000 km and I recently stretched that to a 600+ km range in Central Oz. Battery degradation is simply not a reality in a modern well managed EV.”
The owner of a Model S, Model 3, and Model Y reports that he has driven over half a million kilometers in his 2018 Model S. He does airport pickups and dropoffs in the Byron area and has probably done the highest number of kms in Australia. But, we still don’t know how long a Tesla battery lasts!
David Nye reports that his first S85 bought in February 2015 has now driven 312,000 km with about 10% battery degradation. “Actually, most degradation happens in about the first 12 months or so. It then levels off pretty dramatically,” David adds.
These answers defy the FUD-creating Facebook posts that allege that a Tesla battery will have to be replaced after 8 years (the warranty period). That’s equivalent to saying that an ICE engine only lasts as long as the warranty. This is then added to speculation that a battery pack may cost up to $30,000. Maybe we should stop calling it FUD and call it future fear coupled with massive ignorance and misinformation. FFMIM?
We also encounter confusion between the 12-volt battery used in most ICE cars (and Teslas) and the long-range battery in a Tesla. ICE car batteries die, dead, like a dodo. EV car batteries have a different chemistry and better management, so they degrade. You won’t stop dead on the highway or get stuck in your garage waiting for the RACQ.
Anecdotal comments from other countries talk of taxis in Scandinavia that have achieved over 750,000 km; and ones in Holland that have done over 900,000 km. Even in New Zealand there are Model S’s that have exceeded the warranty period with minor degradation: a 2014 Model S P85+ with 150,000 km (6% degradation) and a 2015 Model S P90 with 170,000 km on the clock and about 8% loss of range shown on the dash.
As for my Tess, we have only had her 3 years and driven over 90,000 km. Due to an over-the-air update to our battery management software, far from having battery degradation, we now have an extra 6% of range compared to new.
So, how long does a Tesla battery last in Australia? I think the best answer you can give is: long enough.
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