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)?

Hard question. Here is why.

At the rate batteries are improving, why would you put 3yr old (or longer) tech in your pride-and-joy? In that timeframe they might not even be making those batteries any longer. Any inventory supply has been sitting on a shelf for months or years, so the quality is unknown. Look for a Production Date on the barttery for sure.

Even new, they should be deeply discounted as there would be better batteries available. I would not pay 1/3 of the original price, that is for sure.

That means most likely you would be installing the newest line of batteries, with extended ranges and shortened recharge time, in you car. Nodoby can tell you how much these cost, and if they do, it is only a WILD guess.

Currently prices for the battery (lithium ion laptop)in the roadster is dropping 10-15% per year.

Yes, nano-electrodes and internal "banding" and so on could result in batteries with less heating, faster charging, 5-10X the capacity, AND lower cost by the time the current set goes off warranty. Totally new ballgame.

Hi Everybody!

Maybe I'm wrong, but I didn't find an answer regarding the above asked question ... ;-)

Therefore let me ask it in another way:

In a dark lonesome street on a dark moonless evening, my battery pack was stolen by two frowning bad fellows.
And - bad luck - my insurance won't pay!

How much do I have to pay for a new battery pack? Now, today ...?

I'm still burning Gasoline in my Alfa V6, but the Model S really makes me thinking about changes ... ;-)


Assuming someone can pry a 900lb energy storage system out of the car and that your insurance won't pay (my insurance covers it), Tesla has said that the replacement cost is about $30,000. That being said, you can buy the pre-paid replacement option for $12,000. The reason for the discrepency is due to the fact that the expected life of the battery is about 10 years at which the future value of the $12,000 upfront is closer to $15,000. Also, the expected cost of the battery in the future is projected to significantly lower.

I hope this helps. FYI, I have a Roadster for 18 months now (love it) and have a Signature Model S on order. I have found the service to be impeccable as well.


I'll bet the bad fellows are frowning because the battery pack weighs a lot more than they expected.

And considering Tesla said that the battery will be quick-swap removable from underneath the car it is very possible that the battery is taller than the cars groundclearance. Hence they might also need to jack up the car, release the battery and pull the 900lbs battery out all without the alarm going off, and the car sending textmessages to you about someone braking into the car. I wouldn't worry too much, but perhaps change insurance company.


Model S which able to go 300 miles has included battery or it is required for extra batteries? No need change the battery during traveling 300 miles?

As I understand it, the Model S will go approximately 300 miles on one full battery charge.

As usual, more, or less, depending on driving conditions and speed, etc. Recall that a Roadster was coaxed even further than that in an Australian EV competition.

As Brian H said, it depends of speed, conditions and what ancillary systems you use.


With 15-20mph Roadster could go 400 miles in good conditions. With 75mph only about 170. In other words you get a lot bigger range in slow city traffic than in highways.

Which is the reverse of ICE vehicles; highway driving is better for them (stop-start is really hard on gas engines).

To make a truely efficient electric one must concider distance. Gas has the advantage due mainly to refueling times. Current electric technology can only hope that the traval times are within the charge range. Future electrics would benefate over gas if the vehicles used a stop, drop, replace, then go style battery system. This would eliminate the concern for the latest battery tech type as all the manufacture would need to develope is a system that the owner would drive onto, pay the cost for a recharged replacement, then the old battery is dropped down and out the new replaced then off you go to the next refueling stop. The true winner of this type of refueling is the one who designs it first and can get other electric manufacturers on board. This was how the first gas transportation system got started. This is how the electric will take over. I think this is what they have designed into the Tesla "S" now it is time to get other manufacturers on board. Remember Beta V/S VCR who won and why!

I agree with Gary on his comment. If they could make it like the Blue Rhino propane tanks, that would be great. The problem I see is that the designs of the battery packs are not universal- The roadster has them in the "trunk" and the S is supposed to have them beneath the floorboards. The floorboard design is a much better design from a drop and swap perspective.
The problem with these designs is that they are new technology. In order for the new technology to function in a drop and swap scenario, ALL the battery manufactures have to have battery sizes which are the same (which probably can not be done in the floorboard design). Or the stations have to have a few of each battery type (that would cause all sorts of logistical issues). Presently, the battery designs are all different.
I have a feeling that Tesla is going to win out verses the other manufactures because of the increased range and then they can control the "format" along with the look of their cars

I personally don't believe in changing the battery... like stated by the otheres, every car will have it's own battery pack type.. if not they'll all have to be the same.. how many cars are out there with the same gas tank?

So it's either reload while on the road or having speed rechargers wich are able to transfer those insanly high voltages to your car in a very safe way...

I don't know about the rest of you, but long distance driving is a pain in the ... for any car. Who does roadtrips anymore? All you need to know is whether your car will make it to the airport.

If I calculate my ~400mile "road trip" which I would be making at least once a month complete door-to-door time and all the time using flying to get to destination I get there maybe one hour faster flying than with car. Train is a bit over one hour slower.

Car is way more comfortable, I can take breaks any time I want, can do sight-seeing and just enjoy and I'm not tied to any kind of timetables. You can't do any of that in train or in plane.

Then there is a real "road trip" which is completely different thing than just plain getting from place A to place B is absolute impossibility with anything else than a car or motorcycle. I prefer car for comfort.

Well there are situations where public transport or Airplains just don't work. Especialy if you don't go to the big city the airport always is a few houres away. Adding to that, flying needs check in, security checks, waiting for luggage. Also there arn't that many flight to a destination a day.

So long story short I'm the type of guy who likes to be at the destination. I drive somewhere to do something. So it's getting in a vehicle and drive there till you're there.

This is not what I drive regurarely and it's probably lass than 1% of what I drive, but it's something wich I'll probably have to handle differently in the future.

FAQ's talk about a battery pack you can replace in under 1 minute as the goal. I don't see a 900 lbs. battery pack being a part of the Tesla plan or am I missing something?

Quoting Jerry above, "Assuming someone can pry a 900lb energy storage system out of the car..."

Without the pictures we can all only assume how it will look, swap out like? I picture a panel under the trunks floorboard near where the spare tire will be to replace the strung along bank of “AA” shaped battery packs.

That battery weights around 400-450 kg no matter how you calculate. You can't swap it under one minute. It is done by robots like they do it in Project Better Place. Battery will be a flat heavy plate under the floor and into middle of the car.

There are pictures of Model S design in blogs. Check them out.

Think abut it. The Nissan Leaf has sold-out 20K units in advance. It goes only 100 miles with a stiff breeze behind it. The car gives EVs a bad name. Boston to NYC (East-Coaster here): 220 miles. Tesla: One stop for coffee along the way with even the smaller packs and you are set for the rest of the ride. Bigger pack? Glide into The Big Apple with the AC roaring, Baked Beans still warm. The point: while I am fascinated by the math - of drag force proportional to the square of the speed, etc... I see the range of all Tesla batteries to be well-above what we all imagined possible just years ago, and well-above any fear-inducing range limitations. - Model S 1064

With Regards to the BetaMax vs VHS.

VHS due to the porn industry choosing the cheaper VHS cassette format to distribute porn on.

So are you saying that Tesla should invent some sort of fast battery swap system that involves a complimentary porno magazine to read whilst you wait? :)

Car wash instead of magazine, but with same girls in same outfits. Might be popular. Or not. I would believe that there would be complaints about too fast battery swap though.

30,000 dollars battery cost for a 50,000 dollar s-model is absolutely insane and will loose potential customers including me. i wanted to get one until i read this and that delivery is pushed back to 2012. if Tesla is going to attract future customers this absurdity has to be addressed.
also the fact that they state that a 5 min battery change is possible. this is and can only be possible by Tesla authorized shop that has the equipment to handle 900lb battery swap. there is no way in h*** i or any one else could change a 900lb battery in my garage even with an hoist system and car lift in 5 min.

@DonaldL - The battery is nowwhere near 30k. Please don't talk out of your a$$. By the time the car needs a replacement, which will be years down the road, I'm sure it will be cheaper than buying gas.

As for the losing customers comment, as soon as more people find out about the model s, it will sell out the first few years of production.

Why are you here if all you are going to do is whine?

To Donald and qwk, I see both sides of this argument, on one hand yes, if Donald believes that the cost to replace the batteries are $30k then this would most definitely be a concern but on the other hand qwk has a point in stating that the cost to manufacture these batteries will go down over time, how much it will go down nobody knows. Take into consideration all the parts that drive the Model S and you have basically the electric motor and the batteries with the electric motor being the much cheaper of the two and therefore the battery makes up well over 50% the cost of what moves this car. We all speculate and pose questions, it doesn't hurt to share an opinion but let's try not to put each other down. We all have one thing in common, a very strong interest in this car and the company so let's keep our focus on that. I would hate to share an opinion for fear of ridicule myself. Pose facts as facts, opinions as opinions and enjoy the Tesla Forums... :)

The 30k figure was a quote from 2008. Right now a battery replacement for the Roadster is 12k up front. This is not an actual cost, but is prorated.If your battery goes bad in 7 years, you pay nothing extra.<7yrs its more $,>7yrs you get $ back. Even if your battery went bad in 2 years(warranty expiration), you are not going to pay 18k difference. This is for a 53kwh roadster battery. The Model S battery is estimated to be 42kwh, so the cost is even less. I didn't mean to put anybody down, but I don't like people who don't do their research. The battery is also not meant to be swapped in your driveway.

IIRC someone said that it currently costs somewhere around $15k for Tesla to build up their Roadster battery pack. Even with $12k battery replacement option Tesla is probably making profit in those after few years.

Especially since there are batteries from now several companies coming with over 400Wh/kg energy densities. Over twice the Roadster cell energy density IIRC. After just few years cost of the battery pack will go down a lot. It's nowhere near $30k.

^^ Yes, I bet the cost is somewhere around 12-15k. A company that is in business to make money is not going to sell a battery replacement for 12k if they are going to lose money on it. Meanwhile they have that money(interest free)as capital to fund expansion.

Another thing to remember is that your old battery pack is worth $$$$, to use as energy storage for solar and wind systems.

Or just to recycle the battery. Remember, the lithium in the battery is 100% recyclable. Once we have enough batteries being produced, I wager we see battery refurb business start to spring up. I mean heck, there are already a few guys in their garages that do battery pack recycling & upgrades for Prius owners. Once enough electric cars hit the road, there'll be enough business for guys that do that to open up full time shops for battery work.

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