Battery Replacement Cost

Battery Replacement Cost

Once the battery goes out of warranty, and diminished charge life becomes annoying, what is the expected replacement price (for each battery size)?

SteveU | December 15, 2010

@qwk: I have no comment about the inherent degradation of any particular type of batteries. What I can say is that in the two years I've had my roadster the estimated ideal range after a standard charge has gone from 192 miles to 192 miles. And in no other way have I seen any indication of battery degradation either. Have the batteries degraded some?... I would think so. Is the Roadster's calculation for the estimated ideal range accurate?... I have no idea.

qwk | December 15, 2010


Have you had the latest updated firmware, where the battery perimiters are changed? How many miles do you have on your car?

SteveU | December 15, 2010

Yes. I adjusted for the change in firmware by comparing the estimated range for the weeks before the firmware change and the weeks after. If I hadn't done that it would have dropped from 196 to 192 but as all of that drop happened in one day it would be hard to claim it was battery degradation. I've driven just over 15K miles in two years.

Runar | December 17, 2010

Think I have read somewhere that the actual capacity is 10-20% higher than what they let you use in the begining.. so that they range can be kept constant for quit a while.

When the batteries degrade 7%, the electronic just let you tap into the 10-20% spare capacity.. and its not until the degradation is larger the the spare capacity after say 7years, that you will actually feel the reduced range.

Anyone else read/heard anything like this and can confirm perhaps?

beau_zeaux | April 2, 2011

I type this on a year-old Mac
With a geriatric battery pack
I treat it well and don't deface it
Yet Apple says I must replace it
You folks with Teslas are living large
But soon you'll own a pricey barge
Because day by day your battery's dying
And it won't be long before you're crying
I'll check back with you a year
If Tesla's website is still here

Quite honestly, you folks even worse than Apple's fanboys, with posts such as "long drives are boring" and "why are you here if all you're gonna do is whine" ...

Dan5 | April 2, 2011

Let me get this straight- you are comparing an apple battery to a Tesla battery. You are clearly ignorant of the chemistry, design, thermodynamics, heat transfer, and engineering differences between a Tesla battery and a laptop battery.

First off, by the placement of a battery in a laptop it is under alot of abuse. (Put a thermocouple between the battery and the computer body- I did on mine, it's around 45 C constant!). Tesla are liquid cooled.

Secondly, the way batteries in laptops are used is very strenuous on the batteries (full cycle charge and discharge or just keeping the laptop plugged in- you degrade the battery doing either of those things (really want to cycle between 10- 90%). This is alos what Tesla recommends

Thirdly, laptops are DESIGNED to FAIL with very little consequence (inconvenienced for a day or until you can get to a big box store to buy a cheap new one and have a techy transfer your files), cars are not designed to fail without a significant consequence (miss work, picking up the kids, etc, etc).

Let's see, having 5 or 6 moving parts (Tesla) are something that has over 600 moving parts (internal combustion engine). Which is more likely to fail.
Moreover, so what if the battery does not get the range when it was driven off the lot. You don't get the same range as you did with a full tank of gas when you've been driving a car for 7 years (I went from 27 mpg to 22 mpg) with no change in driving.

searcher | April 3, 2011

Now all you rude, strident bad a's, that were soo quickly rude to the fellow from Romania or somewhere have a go at beaux-zeaux. Believe he can take care of himself and if you didn't notice he just "spit in your eye".

Sudre | April 3, 2011

Sadly searcher, beau_zeaux won't stay around long. By his post you can tell he's a gasser that is just coming in to poke some fun. He'll get bored after a while and just disappear if we ignore him. He'll go back to watching his Top Gear reruns soon enough. With any luck he may poke around and read a few threads and become interested but I doubt it.
(He hasn't even figured out that the Roadster has been out for more than 1 year)

I guess I am glad I have never purchased a Mac. I've had this laptop for 6 years and only been thru one battery. My PC must have a better charging system than Macs.

searcher | April 3, 2011

I am making a retraction of my statement concerning beau_zeaux. I was upset that the bad prees ifilm77 was getting was impatience toward an interesed guy who had not learned the ropes yet but it is very possible that ifilm77 knew the ropes all to well and I was the guy who hadn't learned the ropes too well. Now to beaux_zeaux I will say this company is trying to forge ahead and relieve the strangle hold the oil producing countries and high taxes on fuel the governments have on us. Sure they are running risks putting it all on the line maybe to even save lives in "oil wars" and all you can do is sit there with your cutesy little poetry and predict failure. I would refer you to the Carl Sanburg poem {don't remember the title, think it was "The Arena" or something like that.} If things don't work out for Tesla then I can only say they acted in the great entreprenurial spirit that made this country great, win,lose, or draw. Sure they are in it for profit but this effort is the driving machine that lets you enjoy so many things that you simply take for granted. Come on man get on the right team. So with your obvious poetic skills look at the man this company was named for and I would cherish a poem from you in memorial to this great man who struggled with soo many demons yet was able to contribute so much and in the classic sense I'm afraid died pratically a pauper. But that didn't seem to be a big concern with him as his passion was his work. OK Beaux lets have a poem with some pathos in it for this gret man if nothing else. Not "spitting in your eye though" seems like I have been wound a little too tightly in general.

VolkerP | April 4, 2011


thanks, that was a delight! This forum lives from different opinions or there would be little to discuss. The big howl reveals you hit the bulls-eye.

Yes this looks a bit like religious hardware discussions. EV to-be-owners hope and pray that their batteries will live a long time. Any adverse statement is just heretic. TESLA's battery longevitoy is still to be proven, though Roadster owners report better-than-stated battery degradations.
I put some serious money in this car and am looking forward to own one of the first ones.

Let's wait and see.

searcher | April 4, 2011

Still want a poem about Tesla {the man}.

msiano17 | April 4, 2011

Here is the thing that I haven't seen anyone state. When your current battery runs out of energy 7-10 years down the line, you will have the ability to buy a new battery... not a replacement but a NEW just out on the market compatible battery with increased range. It may cost 12k, 15k, or so forth but you can now upgrade from a 160 pack to 800? maybe for the additional funds.

IMO I think of it as getting a whole new car... Original Model S with new battery system that is pushing 1000 miles? Seems like its worth it to me.

Kallisman | April 5, 2011

I think a lot will have happened to the Model S and the electric car market and technology in 7 years. Not only better batteries available. It is, after all, a first generation high tech product. So I believe that most ppl buying a Model S now will want to replace it with a new and better model before the battery need replacement. Anyway it's great news for those that would like to buy a used Model S in a few years, and it might help prevent the second hand value dropping too fast.

Tom A | April 5, 2011

I had mentioned on another thread that I hoped that Tesla's optional battery replacement warranty for the Model S would include new tech. I'm repeating it again, hoping that someone from Tesla will notice mine and others' suggestions.

As far as battery swapping goes, I don't see it happening. The 5-minute swap is still on some Model S literature, but nothing in the design videos or anything else even remotely suggests that the Model S battery pack will be swappable. Tesla has not said anything about having swapping stations, whether at their showrooms or anywhere else. They are downright at odds with Better Place, the only company I know of worldwide that actually does battery swapping, though only with fleet vehicles.

And, the most obvious aspect is this: the battery pack is sold with the vehicle. So, I'd say there will be no swapping with the Model S.

I think that it is a reasonable assumption that Tesla's optional 7-year, 100k-mile pack replacement warranty ($12k for the Roadster) will provide for upgrading the Model S to whatever battery tech they are using, as it becomes available. They are a Silicon Valley company with software roots - given their firmware upgrades and such, I think it would be within reason to expect Tesla to offer, if not include, battery pack upgrades for the Model S and all future models.

Properly designed, the vehicles should last more than 200k miles, particularly since there's essentially no rust to worry about and very few mechanical components. I'm sure Tesla will take good care of their customers when the warranty is up.

Mark Petersen | April 5, 2011

well if you look at the history for ICE, in the beginning range was short, but at some point range was fixed at around 300miles and then the gas tank just got smaller and smaller
and generally every ICE car now has a range around 300mile

I expect the same with EV, that what we see now is the weary early models, with limited range and soon the range will reach a comfortable level and the KhW will stay the same but the size of the battery will just get smaller and smaller

of cause for this to happen either battery swapping or fast charging must be available in sufficed quantity

as I see it they each has its benefit and drawbacks

fast charging put a lot of stress on the battery and the power grid
easy to install, cheap to operate
can be installed at MacDonnaled, BK, Malls, ...
billing is either free, or as a service (credit card)

battery swap, is wary fast, business as usual, you are low on power you look for the next swap-station
battery is rentet, and therefor KhW price include ware and tare on the battery
will make more sense the smaller the battery get, as a standard size will be easier
billing is mixed, either like a cellphone 6k 9k or 12k miles, or pay as you go, but you have use there charging spot, 3party charging will be billed in a strange way

Tim10 | April 5, 2011

I view the swappable battery in the Model S as a means of speeding future servicing and for production line assembly, nothing more. For a technician to be able to drop the battery down from the car after loosening 30 bolts is far simpler and faster than what is required with the current roadster. Hopefully saving us the consumer money on servicing as well :-)

Ramon123 | April 5, 2011

Remember that a larger battery pack doesn't just provide a larger range, it also will last longer, due to the fact that it will
require far fewer discharge cycles.
Also, estimating battery replacement costs is impossible. All we know for sure is that they will cost less,probably a whole lot less, if the recent history of battery prices dropping 6 to 8 percent per year continues. Remember, this is the basis for Elon's
prognostication that he can build an affordable $30K EV within 5 years or so.

searcher | April 5, 2011

That five year thing and price range is about the coolest thing I have seen on this site in awhile. Lets all hope this works out, that will be very, very good.

jkirkebo | April 6, 2011

300 mile range for an ICE car ? Must be an american thing. My VW Touran 2.0TDI will do at least 700 miles on a tank of diesel (18.5 gallons). I have done close to 900 miles once or twice.

300 miles of range in a 30mpg car indicates a 10 gallon tank. Do normal sized cars really have such small tanks in the US ?

Mark Petersen | April 6, 2011


yes the last 5 year the increase in mpg has reached a point where the need to make the gas tank smaller has ended, but for meny year 3-4,500miles (or is it even higher),has been the standard
and in the US most cars are trucks, big SUV with v6, that only do 20mpg when driven carefully

but I'm not from the US, so my facts might somewhat off, as All my info come from Movies
(hmm according to movies they have infinite range, as you never see them filling them up, just like guns they dont need reloading)

but my point was, in the beginning the gas tank was could not get big enough, then there was a period where the size was ok, where the need to make the gas tank smaller was more importent than increasing the range, and in the last step, it has reached a size that did not effect other aspect of the car, and range therefor could be increased

msiano17 | April 6, 2011


To be honest, ya, most cars out in America either have smaller tanks with higher gas mileage or larger tanks and shitty mileage. Keeps us having to go to the pump more often. Genius business strategy but ultimate shaddy and cheap screwing over consumers. Its why EVs are so great.

searcher | April 7, 2011

msiano17, in reading previous post I think you "hit the nail on the head" when you stated that buying a new battery would be like "buying a new car". I might add a "relatively inexpensive one at that" so cool. Well looks like my beloved Volvo's are going to have some new friends in the high mileage community.

Dan5 | April 7, 2011

Now that I think about it, most of my cars got around 300 miles per tank. Well, I guess they do it to keep the gas station attendants employed

Tom A | April 7, 2011

Some USA data for jkirkebo:

A family member's '97 Ford F150 had a 30 gallon tank, but that 4.2L V6 got about 22mpg going downhill with a tail wind. The real-life range was about 500 miles per tank.

My '96 Dodge Intrepid had an 18 gallon tank, and that 3.3L V6 managed about 24 mpg on a good day. I was able to go 420 miles on a single tank once - that was about 99% interstate travel with the low gas light warning me for the last 60 miles of that trip. Normally, I filled up after about 350 miles.

My '04 Scion xA had an 11 gallon tank, and that manual 1.5L I-4 averaged 36.7 mpg over the 24,000 miles I drove it. I once managed right around 360 miles on one tank, but that was really close - it started to slow down on the uphill street to the gas station!

My '10 Mariner hybrid averages 36.2 mpg and it has a 15 gallon tank. I pushed it once last summer. I forget exactly how high I got - I think it was around 450 miles - and there was approximately one gallon left, based on the fact that it took 13.9 gal to fill it. So, if I trusted the gage, I could have gone almost 500 miles.

So, yeah, unless you like living on the edge, 300 miles per tank is a reasonable US expectation for regular all-gas vehicles (all-"petrol" for the rest of you). :)

msiano17 | April 7, 2011

@ Searcher

Thanks for agreeing. It is actually something the Chicago rep and I had a lengthy conversation about. That is also why it is such a great investment. If you never want to change cars all you have to do is upgrade the battery every 7-10 years.

But like me, I plan on upgrading eventually anyways to a newer model when available.

Dave Wants A Tesla | April 7, 2011

I see a lot of interesting talk about the benefits of being able to swap a battery for a fast recharge. I also see some fairly realistic considerations for the battery degradation over time.

I didn't see any thought given to the practical reality that you'll be swapping your good battery for an old one that has X years of age and is no longer a good swap for yours.

Without standards and controls, it seems to me that battery swapping is like rolling the dice on losing several years of battery life on your new one. It seems like anyone with an older battery would be happy to pawn theirs off in a station that swaps them out. Thoughts ?

Volker.Berlin | April 8, 2011

Dave, your concern is a non-issue. When talking about battery swapping a la Betterplace, it is implied that the battery is not your property but that of the service provider. The service provider owns all batteries, old and new, and rents them to you. Besides, all batteries are equipped with an electronic counter that always has precise information about the battery's history, capacity, life span etc., so in this scenario there should be no room for unpleasant surprises.

msiano17 | April 8, 2011


Also, a lot of what we are speaking about is specific to just replacing your battery at the end of the lifespan. So 7-10 years down the line, I plan on swapping my 160 for a 1000 mile pack (if available)

Also, personally I would not want to swap my battery with some station. I figure for one I am buying an EV and a Tesla specific for the battery quality and technology, so why switch it, and two I would assume that swapping may violate a claus in the warranty from Tesla. Just keep what you have, swap with a Tesla battery in a decade for an upgrade.

Dave Wants A Tesla | April 8, 2011

Thanks for the clarification, guys.

Brian H | April 10, 2011

I think you misunderstand the situation. Either:
1) the switching would be performed by Tesla, and the replacement would carry full guarantee, etc., and be in top shape, or
2) the batteries would be rented, owned by the swap service, so you can't "lose" any value in the process.

msiano17 | April 10, 2011

Thanks for the clarifications.

But if it is not done by Tesla as you stated, then I would still be worried about voiding a warranty.

For example, just because you have a professional shop install an aftermarket part on an engine doesn't mean that facility now warranties the engine on top of that part. They will just warranty the part you bought and their installation quality. So if something goes wrong, typically your up shit's creek without a paddle.

Maybe some sort of deal will be worked out if all this comes to be, but just a concern.

Tiebreaker | April 10, 2011

Other manufacturers may come out with "plug-compatible" replacement battery packs, that can be either "cheaper" or "better" or "with longer range". I would expect them to be small niche players, akin to the ICE up-tuners and after-marketers today. Of course, Tesla may void the warranty, but nothing to stop you after the warranty expires anyway.

atgagliano | June 8, 2011

In the near future they will correct the problem the way to go is with a battery that will be able to re-charge in a very simple manner in which the engineers will eventually be able to solve........give them a few years . the battery is here to stay,the oil companies have answered that for us go tesla go you are carrying the ball dont drop it.

vgarbutt | March 23, 2014

I think we tend to make our judgements based on the present and the past. We also tend to forget how damn fast the world is changing. In 8 years, when my tesla battery is no longer usefull for my car, i am going to have it added to my house battery complement. Even if it can only deliver 50 KWH, it should run my house for about 30 days! Think about that during the next icestorm or hurricane or grid failure ........ etc. (based on 1200 KHW per month for a family home.) By then many homes will be running on inexpensive solar power syatems.

vgarbutt | March 23, 2014

Actually the more I think about it, we should buy the car, with a leased battery!. The cost advantage for purchases is unfair to EVs. Would you like it if you had to pay for all the gas you are going to use for 8 years, UP FRONT? I wouldn't! I would love a battery lease service that let me swap out my battery once a year! This way we also get to amortize the cost of our "fuel" ( the battery), over time, like i would with a gas car. So the car would be 18,000, and we would pay $160 a month for the battery (plus home charging). What would a gas car cost to run if it drove 160 miles a day? Maybe we can get in a Model E for $20,000, and then pay 160 a month ( plus any car financing). Tesla can do a cost plus finance deal? I want to see the model E go public on its own formed as a non-profit company. Then there is the maintenance issue. Comparisons between electric and gas cars needs to be made using COST of OWNERSHIP, which is a more realistic way to cost out each version in REAL terms

Brian H | March 25, 2014

Tesla doesn't want the hassle. I don't blame them.

Kleist | March 25, 2014

@vgarbutt - in the year 2076 I expect my 85 kWh battery to reach 60 kWh... still enough for all my needs.

We all worry about the battery because it is unknown in real life, but that may be one of the parts of the car that lasts longest.

brianjbutterfield | April 18, 2014

I heard in the fine print they can return the $12k to you at instead of a replacement battery if they want to. Has anyone heard of this? The battery currently sells for $34k so Tesla is hoping battery technology gets much cheaper over the next several years and it should with Tesla opening their own battery manufacturing plant.

Tropopause | October 6, 2015

And very affectionate names too!