Tesla Batteries Retain 88 Percent of Original Capacity After 320,000 km

Published on April 27, 2023 in Electric by Guillaume Rivard

Tesla’s “2022 Impact Report” is out, and one of the key takeaways involves an update on high-voltage battery degradation.  

The latest data compiled by the EV maker shows that the Model S sedan and Model X crossover lose 12 percent of their original battery capacity (up to 100 kWh) after 200,000 miles, or about 320,000 kilometres, which is the average life cycle of a vehicle in the U.S.

In other words, a new Model S that can travel up to 652 kilometres (based on NRC ratings) would retain a maximum range of 574 kilometres when the odometer has reached 320,000 kilometres.

Photo: Tesla

The report doesn’t specify the number of vehicles this research is based on or the conditions in which the vehicles were driven and charged.

As we all know, DC fast charging takes a much greater toll on batteries than AC charging at home or at the office.

Also, a vehicle’s age can have an influence on battery degradation, too. A 10-year-old Model S won’t have the same capacity as a four-year-old unit even though their mileage is the same.  

Photo: Tesla

Missing from the report are the popular Model 3 and Model Y (75 kWh), most certainly because they’re newer vehicles that haven’t been driven as much. However, other studies suggest they lose around 15 percent of their original battery capacity after 320,000 kilometres.

We should add that Tesla has revised its battery chemistries in recent years and that more advanced technology is coming, namely the new 4680 battery cells which are both more rigid and cheaper to manufacture.  

If you’re any concerned about battery longevity, remember that Tesla’s warranty covers them for 8 years or up to 192,000 kilometres in the case of the Model 3 and Model Y. The warranty extends to 8 years or 240,000 kilometres with the Model S and Model X. Tesla guarantees they will have at least 70 percent of their original capacity when the warranty expires.

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