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Battery life / warranty

What is the life expectancy of the batteries for the Tesla S?
I've have already reserved one, but this is probably my biggest concern.

Secondly, does anyone know what the warranty will be on the batteries?


ckessel - Sorry that was a typo. I meant to say that for most trips with a 300 Mile range, there is no model anxiety. The longest trip I have made in the last 5 years was a 250 mile. It is a matter of time before quick charge stations show up.

If I were to order a Model S, I would have to prepay ($12,000) for the replacement battery. This way the car would be good at least for 150,000+ miles and some residual resale value. More important, I would not get stuck if the battery went dead in 5 years. Such as package would cost around $75,000 with the 300 mile option. This is the BMW 7 price range.

I think Tesla needs to tweak the chemistry, charging/discharging electronics and temperature control to extend the battery life... which I suspect they are doing. In time, they may offer a plan to refurbish the battery pack.

Q: How long will it take you to rack up 100K miles?

Typically, about 15K/year, so about 7 years.

Q: What will the price of a replacement battery be in 7 years?

A: Most forecasts show a linear drop in prices around 20 to 30% Y/Y, so the price should be about 30% of what it is when you take delivery.

So, if it's 10K in 2012, it should be about $3K in 2019, roughly.

It's hard to see a reason to prepay for a battery replacement. Batteries are likely to be cheaper when you need it. Plus, you might not have the car due to an serious accident or you sold it for some reason. Or Telsa may not be in business, though I hope that won't happen.

One of the fallacies I hear over and over is the rather
silly assumption that "batteries will cost a lot to replace."
Now, really! We've seen the price of batteries come down over 8% per year for quite some time. It wasn't that long ago when the quote was over $1000 per kWhr capacity, which lately has been quoted (for Tesla, NOT GM, which pays three times as much) as
$200 per. So tell me, why does anyone believe that when the time comes to replace batteries 10 years down the road, it will require huge sums of money? If that $200 figure is accurate (it came from a stock analyst) for Tesla's costs, then presumably, a 300 mile range pack, which will require somewhere around an additional 35 kWhrs worth of cells beyond what's included in the 160 mile pack, would add roughly $7,000 to the cost of the vehicle. For what it's worth ....

I believe that this 8% is underestimate for next few years. There has been serious technological breakthroughs in battery tech which have not yet reached manufacturing, and also increase of manufacturing volume is accelerating fast because BEV:s are getting more and more common, which also drops the price of the batteries.

Prefer to think there is the same difference between sales ads and reality for EV range as for gas/diesel mpg. In real life I assume the numbers are 20-40% less.

Which means an EV with teoretical range 100 miles should serve you well as a commuter car if the distance to work one way is 30 miles or less. Or 60 miles if you are able to recharge at work.

With teoretical range 200 or 300 miles you of course multiply these figures by 2 or 3.

Will an EV save you money compared to a high mpg diesel?
Depends not on price of electricity only. In addition you will have battery replacement cost per driven mile.

And here uncertainty prevails until some thousand EVs have furnished average data.

Some (wild) examples of how much to add to the price of electricity:

100K miles and 10K dollars = 10 cent/mile
100K - 5K = 5
200K - 10K = 5
300K - 10K = 3.3

With 3$ a gallon and 50 mpg a small diesel car will cost you 6 cent/mile. Fuel price will in the future probably increase more than cost of electricity and of battery packs.

Fuel price increase and battery pack life span are probably the most important unknowns that bingo comparisons.

What about second hand value of EVs?
Two completely opposite possibilities:
- Demand greater than supply = prices far above fossil fuel used cars
- Rapid technological development makes EVs like laptops, TV's etc out of date the moment you leave the shop. Hence impossible to sell above give-away price.

"Prefer to think there is the same difference between sales ads and reality for EV range as for gas/diesel mpg. In real life I assume the numbers are 20-40% less."

I used to agree with that statement until I found that there is hardly a Tesla Roadster owner who reports that he consistently does not have the mileage as advertised. More like the opposite. It seems like Tesla is trying to build a reputation that their mileage figures can be taken literally, and from what I read on the web (here and elsewhere), I tend to believe in their promises until proven otherwise.

I have tested the Mitsubishi i-Miev in Norway. This is an pure EV and Mitsubishi claims its range is 100 miles.

Without using any heating and in plus three degrees centigrade on bare asphalt with four persons in the car, it was only possible to drive 45 miles. Less than half of what Mitsubishi said. I really hope that Tesla is more honest with the driving range!

A winter in Norway is normally snowy and the temperature can easily drop down to minus twenty degrees centigrade...

EVs work slightly better at colder temperatures than they do at warmer temperatures. Mitsubishi obviously overstated their range as your experience proved. However, the extra weight of four people decreased your range. So, the 45 miles you drove was representative of part lie and part load.
However, Tesla owners have been reporting ranges that met or exceeded the published range numbers. Tesla has been honest in everything. Why try to discount what has been proven by over 1500 Roadster owners across the world? The Roadster does what they say it can do and more. The Model S will as well.
I expect that it will be a better car than the Roadster for this reason. The Roadster was based on an existing car. The Model S is being designed from the ground up to be the best car ever! Their goals for the Model S are to have the safest, smoothest, quietest, best handling car ever produced. They met their goals for the Roadster. I can't wait to see them do the same with the Model S!

Samuel H. I am not, in any way, trying to discount Tesla, as I was just telling you about my experience with Mitsubishi. I have already made my reservation for the Model S and this I did after my test-drive of i-Miev. :-)

Sorry if I was a bit blunt. The i-Miev is okay for some people, I guess.

Speaking as a Roadster owner, I can state categorically that Tesla does not exaggerate their range claims. The car does what they advertise.

In fact, they provide very detailed curves showing the effect of driving at different speeds on the car's range.

@ ckessel - I'd agree with you on if your 300+ mile a day driver, the technology is just not there yet for them to switch to an all EV. Either we need a boost in battery capacity/density or we need all the local municipalities and private sector to invest in Phase 3 chargers which would give the batter a huge boost real quick.

On a separate note, what has anyone heard regarding any affect a side impact crash would have on the batter consider the location. Would a side impact total the batter? (If so I would had to be the other driver ha!)

Sometimes it depend upon how we drive and how much we are driving, the product itself should be good. The way you are using can change its capacity.

Now that battery warranty conditions for the Model S have been released, it turns out that they much more favorable than many expected:

The warranty is 8 years and
100,000 mi (161.000 km) for the 40 kWh
125,000 mi (201.000 km) for the 60 kWh
*unlimited mileage* for the 85 kWh battery pack!

I think that sounds fair although it remains to be seen which the actual terms of warranty are. How much degradation within those 8 years is deemed acceptable?

I think Tesla defines it as 70% of initial capacity. IIRC that's what it is for Roadster.

That means most folks could resell with the battery still under warranty! I've never owned a car for 8 years despite my original intentions.

The first 'S' resales should be very interesting. How soon do you think the first will happen?

Usually if there are enough buyers that happens pretty soon, no matter what kind of car is in question. It is matter of numbers, take big enough sample and unexpected things start to happen to some of them.

This is rather expensive car so I would believe "need for money" would be the first reason. Someone that wanted to be green but didn't really have the money and/or stable enough finance base gets kicked by RNG.

Real Number Generator? It kicks?

RNG=random* number generator

And yes, any gamer can tell you it kicks hard sometimes.

Chicago Tribune article 1/19/2012:

To further convince customers that Hyundai knows how to build a proper hybrid, the carmaker has announced that its 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid sedan will now come with a lifetime battery warranty.

That means Hyundai will ensure that the lithium-polymer battery works for the life of the vehicle. If the battery fails, the company will replace it and take care of any recycling costs. The new warranty replaces the previous 10-year/100,000-mile warranty for the battery.

Hyundai says the battery has lasted up to 275,000 miles in company tests, which should be more than enough time for normal motorists. The automaker recently announced a base price of $25,850 for the 2012 Sonata Hybrid.

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