9. October 2019 by Guest Contributor
Originally Posted on X Auto and EVANNEX.
By Iqtidar Ali
The question of how much battery capacity will be lost over time arises with most potential (and new) owners of electric cars. Now we have some hard data from existing Tesla Model 3 owners that can help uncover the answer.
|Tesla Model 3 (Source: Tesla )|
Elon Musk stated earlier this year that the Tesla Model 3 drive and body were designed to last a million miles. However, the battery has a minimum life of 1,500 charging cycles, which translates to 300,000 miles (standard range / standard range plus) to 500,000 miles (long distance variants).
The Model 3 drive unit and body are designed as a commercial truck for a million miles. The current battery modules should last from 300 to 500 kilometers. Replacing modules (not package) will only cost $ 5 to $ 7,000.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2019
The math in Musk's tweet is accurate enough:
- Standard Range Plus Model 3 has 240 miles of range, so 240 x 1500 = 360,000 miles
- Long-range Model 3 variants have 310 to 325 miles of range, therefore 310 x 1500 = 465,000 miles
A charging cycle is when you have used 100% of rated battery capacity. And remember that it is not necessary to empty the battery from 100% – 0% on a trip. To that end, we can understand a charging cycle via a simple example: let's assume you drove your car 120 miles yesterday (50% exhaust on SR +), then connected at night and charged to 100%, and then went on a 120 mile car ride today, using 50% of the battery again – this will be considered "a cycle," according to Apple Inc.
|Tesla Model 3, by Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica.|
To put things into perspective, Americans drive an average of $ 13,476 miles a year, according to the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHA). Therefore, taking 300,000-500,000 miles will take quite a while for the average Joe (see the table below for a detailed breakdown by age and gender).
|Average annual mileage driven by age group in the United States. Click / Click to open full size chart (Source: FHWA via X Auto )|
Tesla's warranty covers model 3 battery packs “8 years or 120,000 miles” for variants with long range and "8 years or 100,000 miles" for variants of Standard and Standard Range Plus.
Based on the table above, it takes around 3.7 years for the average Joe to drive 50,000 miles. This means that Tesla's 100,000 – 120,000 kilometer warranty is sufficient to cover 6-8 years for typical drivers.
But not everyone runs like the average Joe. Twitter user @TeslaMiles collects data for the highest mileage of Tesla owners via his Tesla High Mileage Leaderboard . The 76 highest mileage Model 3 owners on his list have accumulated 2.9 million miles, which equates to an average of 3,9372 miles driven for each car.
– Tesla High Mileage Leaderboard (@TeslaMiles) July 21, 2019
One of the highly rated Owners of Model 3 on the list (# 8) is Matthew from the YouTube channel Tech Forum. Matthew shared his thoughts on how much battery degradation he has seen in his Model 3 after driving more than 50,000 miles.
It turns out that Matthew only lost about 2% of the total battery capacity after completing his first 50,000 miles. In the video, he explains that the first 50,000 miles of battery degradation tend to be the biggest hit. After that, the decline in lost capacity appears to be consistently low.
|A visual representation of Tesla battery degradation collected from 2,636 Tesla owners. Press / Click to open the graph in a new tab. (Source: Teslanomics by Ben Sullins)|
Okay, but what about battery degradation when you hit 100,000 miles, or say 200,000 miles? Teslanomics analyzed the degradation of the battery using data from 2,636 Teslas. If you notice the cluster of blue above, most Teslas retain over 90% battery capacity even after reaching 100,000 miles. Sure, battery degradation can continue for 200,000 miles, but you'll be amazed at how many epic Tesla car rides are still enjoyed by the high mileage, all-electric road warriors out there.