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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)?

While some of my friends are still sceptic about the life duration of the tesla batteries (they work with rechargeble batteries themself), I think I just have to put some trust in Tesla there. Another problem wich noone has adressed yet is that the battery packs are highly custom made... so who tells us that that kind of battery pack is around in the future still. Technology is a bitch that way, it's allways hard to find stuff for old electronic stuff...

I worked almost exclusively with Lithium Ion laptop batteries for a good long time while I was servicing computers & laptops, and I have no problem believing Tesla's lifetime numbers for their battery packs.

Most laptop users abuse the hell outta their batteries, so they don't last. Tesla's put just about every concievable battery protection device they could, so it should be fairly easy for people to get the most out of Tesla's battery packs.

and on the positive side, they use a standard cell inside, it would be posible to open up the battery and replace all the cells
just in cases Tesla isn't around to do it

Well, it's all sealed and water-cooled and electronically hooked up and so on ... I doubt you'd be up to popping in new cells.

- Battery Pack Longevity -

There are working models of the Baker Electric Automobile still in existence today. These Baker electric automobiles are still running today using their original storage (battery) cells. I believe, actor J Leno drives a Baker Automobile

If Thomas Edison could design rechargeable storage batteries which have lasted nearly one hundred years, why can't a battery pack be designed today which would never require replacement?

Edison battery = (Ni + Fe immersed in KOH solution)

Yes, of course, I understand that the physical dimensions and physical weight of an electric automobile powered by Edison cells alone would be the size of a lorrie (tractor trailer truck ...for you Yanks) but why even bother designing something that is going to eventually fail. Why bother designing something that will be prohibitively costly to replace?

If it didn't make sense to T A Edison... why is it "acceptable" to we fools today? Think about it! Has "planned obsolescence" so indoctrinated us that we are unable to employ the same wisdom of inventors, like Edison, who have gone before?

I assert:

"Light Weight" should not be a battery pack design objective.
"Small Size" should not be a battery pack design objective.
"Quick Replacement" should not be a battery pack design objective.

"Longevity" SHOULD BE the primary design objective when designing a rechargeable battery pack for an automobile... as Edison well knew. Of course... then no Motor Car Company could make a dime selling replacement battery packs.

I wouldn't care if my electric car were the size of a 1990 Caddy Fleetwood Brougham Limo as long as the battery pack lasted 100 years. It would, however, make finding suitable parking quite challenging... would it not?

Agree with you on all points, seems maybe some good objectives to work on. But unfortunately we don't have Nikola Tesla with us today. Of course you know he was working for Edison and invented a lot of the stuff Edison got crdit for{check it out}. I have stated this before on this site but Tesla would invent a lot of the stuff and Edison would run out and get the patent and thus the credit. Don't know if some of Tesla's diseases or what had an unusual effect on his brain thus making him a kind of unusual genius. Don't think we have his near equivalent today thus will have to struggle along with what we have. Bet if you did some research good chance lot of stuff you mentioned was Tesla's stuff. As I have mentioned something similar to this before. I Tesla were looking at some of your challenges he would think "peanuts" I can do all that. Would recomend you read up on some of his lore. Think you would find it fascinating. Admire this company to honor this man with his name for their motor company as the poor genius was jilted out of so much in his prolific lifetime.



I assert:

"Light Weight" should not be a battery pack design objective.

"Small Size" should not be a battery pack design objective.

"Quick Replacement" should not be a battery pack design objective.

"Longevity" SHOULD BE the primary design objective


I agree for two: Quick Replacement and Longevity. However light weight and small size are absolute necessity to get BEV done in first place. Even "longevity" is far far behind those two, because without those two BEV would not exists at all. If you have a two-seater that weights several tons and has size of a truck to go 100miles, would you buy it?


I wouldn't care if my electric car were the size of a 1990 Caddy Fleetwood Brougham Limo as long as the battery pack lasted 100 years.


That's exactly what you would get, except that is way too small for batteries that last 100 years....unless you are happy with getting less than 50miles with those batteries and performance of golf cart.

It is enough to have longevity for batteries to last around 100kmiles.

The only reason the Edison is still using it's original cells is because it doesn't get driven that often. What wears a battery out is the constant use & recharge cycles. If you don't drive the damn thing, and keep it plugged in, the battery in any current BEV WILL last you 100 years and more. There's just no point since you're not DRIVING it anywhere.

Actually Lithium batteries deteriorate over time fairly quickly, even when plugged in and not used.

timo I see what you are saying on the design objectives. Two out of four isn't too bad for me though,ha. Didn't mean to throw any dispersions on our current crop of techs, they are a pretty savvy bunch I know. Wasn't too happy to hear about the lithium batteries longevity thing qwk brought up.

?? TeslaMotors must be nuts to guarantee theirs for 10 years, then.
I think yer fuluvit.

@qwk: it's BECAUSE they're plugged in that the lithium batteries are deteriorating. Go back and reread my earlier statement (Nov 18 one further up the page).

Full of it? LOL. Do some research before you spout off. Tesla does NOT guarantee their battery for 10 years. Why do you think that you can BUY a replacement for the roadster to be replaced @7 years?

Lithium batteries have a shelf life. No way around it.

Battery links have already proved that Lithium doesn't have the half life that you're claiming qwk, thus I say unto thee: prove it.

I wish some of you would just do a simple google search on some of these very basic questions. Anyway here you go.

Under shelf life. BTW tesla uses Lithium Cobalt batteries.


Actualy, all this points are adressed by the battery pack. It's heated/cooled to an acceptable temperature by the pack. Also there are different charge modes, where the standard charge mode will not fully load the pack.

Don't really remember the excact percentage but they somewhere claimed that after 7 years the capacity will still be 70% wich is a loss of around 4% per year. Thats around what Wiki expects if the battery is handled correctly...

The possibility that your battery will lose 4% or more per year is defenitely something to consider, but right now the figures seem acceptable to me. But maybe it's only the fanboy in me speaking.

But it's also a bit scary that the only way to get the 100% range again is to replace the pack. On the other hand in a few years there might be a good marked for used car-battery-pack sand replacing the pack will not be as expensive as it seems now.

The point I was trying to make is that lithium batteries have a shelf life. You have to have the roadster plugged in or else it will KILL the battery. If you take a new roadster, plug it in to the wall in storage mode without EVER driving it you will get approximately this scenario in standard mode.

year1 180mi
year2 171mi
year3 162mi
year4 154mi
year5 147mi
year6 140mi
year7 133mi
year8 126mi
year9 120mi
year10 114mi

These figures are assuming a 5% capacity loss, which is the AVERAGE for an idle pack. Actual results may vary a bit.

Incorrect qwk, Tesla incorporates cutoffs to preserve battery life. That's something your average laptop does NOT have.

Laptop battery packs are very badly thermally managed, almost not at all. Hence their crappy performance.

LOL, I wasn't talking about laptop batteries.

ALL lithium cobalt batteries have a SHELF LIFE!
It is true that Tesla's pack keeps them at an optimum temp and charge, BUT they still degrade over time.

The above posted scenario might be the worst case, and we don't know yet what it is, BUT you can't expect little to no degredation. That is just foolish.

@qwk: I have no comment about the inherent degradation of any particular type of batteries. What I can say is that in the two years I've had my roadster the estimated ideal range after a standard charge has gone from 192 miles to 192 miles. And in no other way have I seen any indication of battery degradation either. Have the batteries degraded some?... I would think so. Is the Roadster's calculation for the estimated ideal range accurate?... I have no idea.


Have you had the latest updated firmware, where the battery perimiters are changed? How many miles do you have on your car?

Yes. I adjusted for the change in firmware by comparing the estimated range for the weeks before the firmware change and the weeks after. If I hadn't done that it would have dropped from 196 to 192 but as all of that drop happened in one day it would be hard to claim it was battery degradation. I've driven just over 15K miles in two years.

Think I have read somewhere that the actual capacity is 10-20% higher than what they let you use in the begining.. so that they range can be kept constant for quit a while.

When the batteries degrade 7%, the electronic just let you tap into the 10-20% spare capacity.. and its not until the degradation is larger the the spare capacity after say 7years, that you will actually feel the reduced range.

Anyone else read/heard anything like this and can confirm perhaps?

I type this on a year-old Mac
With a geriatric battery pack
I treat it well and don't deface it
Yet Apple says I must replace it
You folks with Teslas are living large
But soon you'll own a pricey barge
Because day by day your battery's dying
And it won't be long before you're crying
I'll check back with you a year
If Tesla's website is still here

Quite honestly, you folks even worse than Apple's fanboys, with posts such as "long drives are boring" and "why are you here if all you're gonna do is whine" ...

Let me get this straight- you are comparing an apple battery to a Tesla battery. You are clearly ignorant of the chemistry, design, thermodynamics, heat transfer, and engineering differences between a Tesla battery and a laptop battery.

First off, by the placement of a battery in a laptop it is under alot of abuse. (Put a thermocouple between the battery and the computer body- I did on mine, it's around 45 C constant!). Tesla are liquid cooled.

Secondly, the way batteries in laptops are used is very strenuous on the batteries (full cycle charge and discharge or just keeping the laptop plugged in- you degrade the battery doing either of those things (really want to cycle between 10- 90%). This is alos what Tesla recommends

Thirdly, laptops are DESIGNED to FAIL with very little consequence (inconvenienced for a day or until you can get to a big box store to buy a cheap new one and have a techy transfer your files), cars are not designed to fail without a significant consequence (miss work, picking up the kids, etc, etc).

Let's see, having 5 or 6 moving parts (Tesla) are something that has over 600 moving parts (internal combustion engine). Which is more likely to fail.
Moreover, so what if the battery does not get the range when it was driven off the lot. You don't get the same range as you did with a full tank of gas when you've been driving a car for 7 years (I went from 27 mpg to 22 mpg) with no change in driving.

Now all you rude, strident bad a's, that were soo quickly rude to the fellow from Romania or somewhere have a go at beaux-zeaux. Believe he can take care of himself and if you didn't notice he just "spit in your eye".

Sadly searcher, beau_zeaux won't stay around long. By his post you can tell he's a gasser that is just coming in to poke some fun. He'll get bored after a while and just disappear if we ignore him. He'll go back to watching his Top Gear reruns soon enough. With any luck he may poke around and read a few threads and become interested but I doubt it.
(He hasn't even figured out that the Roadster has been out for more than 1 year)

I guess I am glad I have never purchased a Mac. I've had this laptop for 6 years and only been thru one battery. My PC must have a better charging system than Macs.

I am making a retraction of my statement concerning beau_zeaux. I was upset that the bad prees ifilm77 was getting was impatience toward an interesed guy who had not learned the ropes yet but it is very possible that ifilm77 knew the ropes all to well and I was the guy who hadn't learned the ropes too well.

Now to beaux_zeaux I will say this company is trying to forge ahead and relieve the strangle hold the oil producing countries and high taxes on fuel the governments have on us. Sure they are running risks putting it all on the line maybe to even save lives in "oil wars" and all you can do is sit there with your cutesy little poetry and predict failure. I would refer you to the Carl Sanburg poem {don't remember the title, think it was "The Arena" or something like that.} If things don't work out for Tesla then I can only say they acted in the great entreprenurial spirit that made this country great, win,lose, or draw. Sure they are in it for profit but this effort is the driving machine that lets you enjoy so many things that you simply take for granted. Come on man get on the right team. So with your obvious poetic skills look at the man this company was named for and I would cherish a poem from you in memorial to this great man who struggled with soo many demons yet was able to contribute so much and in the classic sense I'm afraid died pratically a pauper. But that didn't seem to be a big concern with him as his passion was his work. OK Beaux lets have a poem with some pathos in it for this gret man if nothing else.

Not "spitting in your eye though" seems like I have been wound a little too tightly in general.


thanks, that was a delight! This forum lives from different opinions or there would be little to discuss. The big howl reveals you hit the bulls-eye.

Yes this looks a bit like religious hardware discussions. EV to-be-owners hope and pray that their batteries will live a long time. Any adverse statement is just heretic. TESLA's battery longevitoy is still to be proven, though Roadster owners report better-than-stated battery degradations.
I put some serious money in this car and am looking forward to own one of the first ones.

Let's wait and see.

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