© Aleksei Potov/Shutterstock.com

Key Points:
  • While replacing a Tesla battery may not be necessary for years, the associated costs may be very concerning for some, particularly those who cannot easily afford 15% to 40% of the vehicle’s price.
  • Considering that the average American drives about 14,000 miles per year, it will take the average Tesla about 14 years to reach the 200,000-mile mark, at which it operates at 90% of it’s capacity.
  • A cost range of $13,000 for the most basic models and simple replacements to $20,000 for the priciest models and complex replacements is typical for a Tesla battery.

Tesla is one of the most talked-about car companies when it comes to electric vehicles. With a new and improved battery every couple of years, they’re able to continue to develop their models while other manufacturers are still struggling to get their models off the ground. Replacing a Tesla battery is a high cost compared to other vehicles, but as with any vehicle, the cost of a Tesla battery varies depending on whether it’s a mid-range or high-end model. So how much money do you need to spend on a Tesla battery replacement? While some of the costs aren’t all that bad, others can be quite steep. Let’s take a look at the actual tesla replacement battery cost.

What is The Expected Tesla Battery Life

After 200,000 miles, Tesla says the Model S and Model X retain 90% of their original capacity. NimbleFins’s independent research shows that even after 200,000 miles, a model’s performance is still at or above 80%.

Considering that the average American drives about 14,000 miles per year, it will take the average Tesla about 14 years to reach the 200,000-mile mark. Since the average American keeps their car for almost 12 years, the odds of ever needing to replace the battery in your Tesla are slim.

Also, Tesla’s battery and drive unit are covered by a very good warranty. Eight years (or 100,000 miles for the base Model 3) to 150,000 miles (for the Model S and Model X) of coverage are included with every purchase. The batteries are guaranteed to retain at least 70% of their original capacity in this time frame.

However, imagine that you have damaged the battery in your car. Or it dies suddenly from a manufacturing flaw after the warranty has expired. To replace it, you’ll need to shell out some cash. But what is the price tag?

tesla replacement battery cost
An EV technician working on a used Lithium-ion car battery.

©Smile Fight/Shutterstock.com

The Cost of A Tesla Battery Replacement

The price to replace a Tesla battery depends on the model, labor, and parts required. Typically, a cost range of $13,000 for the most basic models and simple replacements to $20,000 for the priciest models and complex replacements would be acceptable.

In addition, replacement parts such as wiring and connectors may cost between $20 and $200. The labor charge could be close to $175 per hour. If the repairs are complicated or there are any issues with the replacement, be prepared to pay a few extra dollars in labor charges. Below, we’ll examine the replacement cost for various Tesla models to get the exact amounts.

Tesla Model X Battery Replacement Cost

The Model X crossover SUV is currently one of Tesla’s most expensive models, trailing only the Model S. Depending on the trim level and performance, its usable battery capacity ranges between 60kWh and 100Wh.

However, the battery pack can cost between $12,000 and $15,000. Labor costs typically range between $175 and $200 per hour. Total labor costs range from $525 to $2,600, based on a replacement time of 3 to 13 hours, depending on the complexity of the replacement.

You may also need to budget an extra $20 to $200 for replacement parts such as wiring and connectors. In the end, replacing the battery on this model would cost between $13,000 and $20,000.

Tesla Model S Battery Replacement Cost

Because the battery replacement for this model is similar to that of the Model X, it is reasonable to expect a similar total cost, ranging between $13,000 and $20,000.

Tesla Model 3 Battery Replacement Cost

Because this is one of the most affordable models, the battery pack results are simpler and less expensive than those of Models X and S.

The capacity of the batteries ranges from 50kWh to 82kWh. This depends on whether you are dealing with the standard or long-range Model 3 and the trim level.

As a result, the battery cost for this model can range between $7,000 and $11,000. The rest of the costs would be the same: $20 to $200 for replacement parts, plus $525 to $2600 for total labor.

This yields a total cost estimate of $13,000 to $14,000.

Tesla Model Y Battery Replacement Cost

Because this compact crossover is one of Tesla’s newest models, it’s difficult to find accurate battery replacement costs, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing — it means there aren’t many damaged batteries for this model.

The Model Y, like the Model 3, Model S, and Model X, has received very few reports of unusual degradation or warranted battery replacement.

Since the Model Y battery pack is designed similarly to the Model 3, battery replacement costs will most likely be comparable. At current estimated prices per kWh ($137), a new 75-82kWh battery pack for the Model Y would cost between $10,000 and $12,000. With miscellaneous parts and a labor charge of around $500 for a 3-hour replacement, a more accurate low estimate for a Model Y battery pack replacement is about $11,000-$13,000.

How Often Does A Tesla Battery Need To Be Replaced?

When the usable capacity of your new Tesla falls below 70%, you’ll need to replace the battery pack. This also means that the driving range is reduced to the same extent.

When the battery falls below these levels, you must take your vehicle to a Tesla Service Center to have it replaced. They will not repair the damaged battery pack; instead, they will replace it with a new or refurbished one. The damaged one is sent back to the manufacturer for repair.

tesla replacement battery cost
A Lithium-ion battery for powering Tesla cars. When the performance of your EV falls below 70%, the batteries need to be replaced.

©Grigvovan/Shutterstock.com

How Do I Know if My Tesla Battery Needs to Be Replaced?

You may have noticed that your Tesla battery is starting to lose its charge and wondered if it’s time to replace it. The lithium-ion batteries used in Tesla vehicles are built to outlive the vehicle’s body. This indicates they should continue to have a useful driving capacity well beyond 500,000 miles. But how exactly does one determine whether or not a Tesla battery pack needs to be replaced?

There are several signs that could indicate that your battery needs to be replaced. These include:

  • A sudden drop in driving range, more than 20%
  • Degradation of range that exceeds the 30% threshold for the warranty
  • A complete inability to maintain a charge
  • A warning from Tesla that there is an issue with the automobile’s battery

Although this is not a comprehensive list, we would like to point out that battery issues other than degradation are typically problems that would send you right to the service center (problems with charging, sudden loss of range, or an entirely dead battery). In other words, a Tesla is unlikely to experience a gradual accumulation of problems that lead up to a battery replacement.

The good news is that data suggests Tesla’s batteries will endure very well over time. Additionally, most Teslas are currently still covered by the battery warranty.

Can You Replace a Tesla Battery at Home?

If you’re thinking about fixing your Tesla yourself, you might encounter difficulties unless you’ve spent money and time on tools and training. This is because accurate problem diagnosis depends on your ability to interact with the car’s operating system.

Furthermore, finding specialized plans, schematics, and parts can be difficult. Therefore, you shouldn’t do it unless you have experience working on electric vehicles or are willing to take a chance to break your Tesla.

However, there are a number of groups you can join and YouTube channels you can follow if you’re really interested in learning how to work on your Tesla. Nevertheless, be aware that if you work with these items, you must exercise caution because these batteries are high-voltage devices that pose a risk to those who are inexperienced in their use. In conclusion, changing a Tesla battery at home has serious health risks.

Bottom Line: Tesla Replacement Battery Cost

While replacing a Tesla battery may not be necessary for years, the associated costs may be very concerning for some, particularly those who cannot easily afford 15% to 40% of the vehicle’s price.

However, you can take your EV to an independent repair shop (at your own risk), which may save you money.

Furthermore, Tesla’s electric vehicle warranty covers manufacturing defects such as battery degradation or damage to the associated equipment for eight years or 150,000 miles (whichever comes first).

This provides you with security for years to come and the opportunity to save money if you need to replace a battery after the warranty expires.

Up Next…

How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Tesla Battery? It Depends FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much do tesla batteries cost?

Tesla owners can expect costs of around $7,000 to $13,000 for the battery itself, depending on the model. Of course, there will also be an extra $100 or so for other parts, plus a few extra hundred dollars in labor costs—and that’s a lower estimate.

How much does it cost to replace a tesla battery?

The total price to replace a Tesla battery depends on the model, labor, and parts required. Typically,you can expect to spend between $13,000 for the most basic models and simple replacements to $20,000 for the priciest models and complex replacements.

How many years do Tesla's batteries last?

According to Elon Musk, Tesla car batteries are supposed to technically last for 300,000 to 500,000 miles, which is 1,500 battery cycles. That’s between 22 and 37 years for the average car driver, who, according to the Department of Transportation, drives about 14,000 miles per year.

Does insurance cover Tesla battery replacement?

Tesla has added a warranty clause that covers battery replacement due to degradation. Most of Tesla’s vehicles are covered by warranty if the battery loses more than 30% of its original capacity during the warranty period. The Tesla bumper-to-bumper warranty lasts for 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. The warranty for the battery and drive unit varies by model but typically lasts for 8 years and between 100,000 and 150,000 miles.

How much does Tesla maintenance cost?

According to RepairPal, the average Tesla maintenance cost is $832 per year. That compares to an average of $652 per year for all car models sold in the United States. Depending on which services your Tesla needs, you may end up spending much more than the average car owner on yearly maintenance needs.

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