Electric vehicles are still a new technology, and as such haven’t quite had the time to prove themselves as you would expect from a normal car. One of the primary concerns for many on the fence in regard to purchasing an EV is longevity. Traditional vehicles run for quite a while with routine maintenance performed. Eventually, the motor or other vital systems may very well need replacement.
EVs haven’t been on the road that long. However, there are some types that have been around long enough to get some serious mileage. So, how long does a Tesla last? Let’s take a look at all the models in the Tesla catalog and see what they’re rated for. Hopefully, this informs your next purchasing decision.
Tesla Model S
So, before things get underway, let’s get something out of the way. Longevity for an EV isn’t going to be dependent on routine maintenance. An electric vehicle has no fluids to keep the motor lubricated nor a traditional transmission in need of flushing. As such, the key factor in determining the lifespan of the vehicle comes down to the battery. The battery pack comprises a large majority of the cost for most EVs, and the luxury Tesla Model S is no exception.
According to Tesla directly, the Model S and all other models are rated for around 300,000 to 500,000 miles. There have been users with older Model S Teslas, before the battery revision, who have clocked some serious mileage, however. One user has a 2015 Tesla Model S, with around 146,000 miles on the odometer. The battery capacity lost at the time of this writing was only around 10% with the cells still exhibiting 90% of their lifespan.
This lines up with the claims of Tesla in regard to the longevity of the vehicle.
Tesla Model X
The Model X serves as the luxury SUV for the Tesla lineup. There are certainly some older examples on the road, like one user’s 2017 Tesla Model X. This particular Model X has been a daily driver for the Slovakian-based owner for nearly five years, and has clocked in around 200,000 miles on the odometer.
This also comes with the owner using public charging the vast majority of the time, which can actually increase the wear and decrease its lifespan. Despite all this, the 2017 Model X has only lost around 10% of its effective capacity. As stated with the Model S, this lines up perfectly with what Tesla has been saying in regard to the lifespan of their vehicles.
The only thing showing excessive wear on the 2017 Model X is the steering wheel. The rest of the vehicle has been kept in fairly good condition, with requisite tire and brake changes as needed.
Tesla Model 3
The Model 3 is one of the newer EVs in the Tesla lineup, as such data is a little slimmer in regard to its hard reliability. There have been some users with over 100,000 miles clocked on the odometer, and the lifespan of the battery lines up with the aforementioned Model S and Model X.
The Model 3 has the benefit of carrying the refinements and advances in technology which have benefitted all EVs forward. As such, the longevity should fully line up with the Model S and Model X. Your average user could expect a battery replacement at around 300,000 to 500,000 miles or roughly 21 to 35 years of usage.
Both the Model 3 and Model Y are the cheaper models on the Tesla lineup, and as such the body materials and interior materials aren’t quite as robust as the Model S and Model X. All that aside, it seems they are just as long-lived as their more expensive counterparts.
Tesla Model Y
Tesla’s Model Y is a compact SUV and is one of the more popular EVs in the manufacturer’s lineup. The Model Y is also a bit newer on the market, similar to the Model 3. Given its recent introduction, there aren’t many users with high mileage Model Ys on the road. That said, there are a few users with over 100,000 miles and a small selection of users with over 300,000 miles on the odometer.
As you might expect, the 100,000-mile users have only lost around 5 to 10% of the effective capacity of the battery pack. For the 300,000-mile users, you can expect to see around 15 to 20% loss of capacity. Modern lithium-ion batteries can last for quite a while with proper care and good charging habits, and the Model Y seems to be just as long-lived as its siblings.
Making Sure Your EV’s Battery Lasts
While Tesla’s official one on the lifespan of a battery is pointing towards their extreme longevity, there are steps you can take to double up on those claims. Caring for your EV isn’t quite as stringent or maintenance intensive as a traditional combustion engine vehicle.
The battery serves as the heart of your Tesla. As such, charging at home is one of the most important things you can do to guarantee its lifespan. That isn’t to say you should forego using public chargers. There are certainly times, like on a trip for example, when getting that extra range is necessary. But for your standard day-to-day driving, using your home charger is greatly going to increase the lifespan of your battery.
This is thanks in part to Level 1 and Level 2 chargers not being nearly as wear-prone as a Supercharger or fast charger. SuperChargers are there to get you your range back quickly. If you’re at home and the day is done, doing the long charge overnight helps level the battery and reduces the chance of excessive wear.
While there are certainly some users out there who are going to use solely public chargers, as detailed with the one user with a Model X, they aren’t the norm. Charging at home is one of the great benefits of having an EV. So you might as well exercise some convenience that also benefits your vehicle.
Crossing the Finish Line
As anyone can plainly see, the Tesla lineup of vehicles is built to last. In fact, even with minimal care, your Tesla could very well last over 20 years. One of the chief complaints leveraged towards the Tesla line of vehicles is oriented rust and body wear. The actual drivetrain and battery are intended to last and last for a long while.
Electric vehicles are still a relatively new technology, but their longevity shouldn’t be a concern. With proper care and good charging habits, the drivetrain and the battery could very well outlast any other component.