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How Much Does a Tesla Battery Replacement Cost?

by Nick Versaw Updated February 4th, 2022

Tesla battery replacement cost: person charging an electric car

The battery pack is the most important and expensive part of all-electric cars. Teslas are no exception. The last thing you want is for your new battery to break after you’ve just started driving your pristine Tesla Model X, S, Y, or 3. While incidences of battery failure are rare, they do happen. In addition, the battery modules in electric vehicles degrade over time. Tesla battery modules are no exception. 

Understanding EV battery technology and lifespan are among the top questions new Tesla shoppers have. Whether you’re in need of a battery pack replacement or are curious about what a Tesla battery warranty covers, we have answers.

In this article, we’ll break down the basics of the battery pack. We’ll also explore scenarios where Tesla batteries have failed and share what a Tesla battery replacement costs

Tesla Batteries: The Basics

Tesla battery packs revolutionized electric vehicle technology. EV car batteries were heavier in the past, which made it difficult for cars to accelerate as well as travel longer distances. 

The Tesla battery was an automotive breakthrough.

Composition

The first electric vehicles utilized both nickel-metal hydride and lead-acid batteries. Cumbersome and unable to hold a charge for long periods of time, Elon Musk’s firm set out to design and engineer an EV battery that was both lighter and stronger. They also wanted to design a battery that could accelerate quicker while holding a charge over long periods of time. 

Tesla vehicles are powered by large lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Each Tesla battery unit, also referred to by the automaker as an “Energy Storage System,” is made up of over 6,000 individualized Li-ion battery cells and weighs approximately 900 pounds.

Degradation

No electric car is immune to battery degradation as time passes and miles build up. So it makes sense that battery degradation is one of the top concerns for new EV drivers. 

While “range anxiety” is a common fear regarding long road trips and the amount of charge an EV battery can hold, battery degradation anxiety often makes EV shoppers concerned about just how long the battery in their vehicle will last.

Teslas have been around for long enough now that we have information on the deterioration and wear of their battery modules. Tesla has asserted that their battery packs only lose approximately 10% of their energy capacity after 200,000 miles on the road. 

In addition, Tesla founder Elon Musk stated on Twitter that the car’s batteries “should” last between 300,000-500,000 miles. This would mean the battery would last around 20-30 years if you drive 14,000 miles a year. 

However, how long your battery degrades depends on a lot of different factors, such as your climate, how often you utilize DC fast chargers like the Tesla Supercharger network, etc. As is the case with most vehicle lifespans (electric or otherwise), your mileage may vary.

Likelihood of a Tesla Battery Failure

Tesla battery replacement cost: mechanic checking a car

Unlike conventional cars, EVs rarely need a visit to the repair shop. That’s why the maintenance and repair bills for EVs are significantly lower than their gas-powered predecessors. 

With Musk’s estimation that your Tesla’s battery would last multiple decades, you’ll probably never need to switch it out before you switch cars. But in the event of a technical malfunction or accident, you may need your battery replaced. 

How much does a Tesla battery replacement cost? The answer varies depending on your specific Tesla model and type of damage. The vast majority of Tesla battery replacements are done while the vehicle is still under warranty.

If a Tesla battery simply fails due to a technological or manufacturing problem, the automaker has a solid reputation for quickly replacing it at no cost to the consumer. 

If you damage your Tesla battery due to irresponsible driving or some other fault of your own, expect a hefty repair bill. Some non-warranty repairs have been reported to cost upwards of $13,000

The true cost of a non-warranty Tesla battery repair appears to be much more than Musk’s estimate on social media. In 2021, a driver in Finland revealed he was quoted approximately $21,000 to replace the battery in his Tesla Model S. The same year, Electrek reported that a driver in the United States was quoted $22,500 for a battery replacement.

These high estimated costs of replacement aren’t just based on the fact that the battery pack is Tesla’s most expensive component. Most standard automotive service centers aren’t yet equipped to diagnose, replace, or repair the performance systems in Tesla vehicles. That’s why the brand itself recommends seeking maintenance assistance through its own network of mobile technicians

Although Tesla mobile technicians cannot replace a vehicle’s battery, they are equipped with a variety of diagnostic tools that can diagnose rapid, irregular battery degradation and other battery trouble. In addition, Tesla regularly releases a variety of software updates that keep their battery monitoring technologies up to date. 

Tesla Battery Replacement Cost: Warranty Coverage

Tesla warranties are robust and protect purchasers of all models from battery manufacturing defects and breakdowns that occur with normal use. The chart below (directly from the company) illustrates a breakdown of Tesla warranties across its model lineup:

Tesla Model Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranty
Model S
Model X
8 years or 150,000 miles with minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity through the warranty period.
Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive 8 years or 100,000 miles with minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity through the warranty period.
Model 3 Long Range
Model 3 Performance
Model Y Long Range
Model Y Performance
8 years or 120,000 miles with minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity through the warranty period.

Data courtesy of Tesla

While Tesla’s warranty coverage for both drive units (electric motor and transmission) and batteries is lengthy, they only cover damage that happens from manufacturing errors or accidents that are at the fault of other drivers. A wide variety of damage is not covered by Tesla battery warranties.

​​Tesla Battery Warranty: What Isn’t Covered

Agent demonstrating how to charge a Tesla

While your own insurance coverage for your Tesla may cover certain damages, Tesla is explicit that its Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranties do not cover damage resulting from: 

  • Physical damage to the battery through experimentation or attempts to extend or reduce its lifespan through physical means or methods such as computer programming
  • Intentionally or unintentionally exposing the battery to direct flame (excluding battery fires caused by unforeseen reasons)
  • Flooding the battery 

Tesla’s battery warranty also does not cover the gradual power loss that all lithium-ion batteries experience from frequent and long-term usage. That said, each new Tesla owner is provided with documentation that outlines how they can maximize the life and capacity of their car’s battery

Charging Ahead With Compare.com

If you’re in the market for a new Tesla Model 3, a used Tesla Model X, or even the forthcoming Tesla Cybertruck, you no doubt have questions. 

Compare.com offers a comprehensive library of educational articles that can equip you with all the basic information you need to know about EV battery life, maintenance, and degradation over time. 

And if you’re looking for a great deal on an EV in your city, our price comparison tool can help you get behind the wheel of an efficient, stylish, and tech-savvy EV while potentially saving you thousands. 


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