Higher Mileage Roadsters

I've been doing some research about high mileage Roadsters as I'd like to know how well they have held up. So far the highest mileage Roadster I've found mentioned online was at with roughly 67,000 miles back in mid April. The article doesn't say much about how reliable the car has been, but I wouldn't take it into consideration anyway cause it is "Validation Prototype 11". Does anybody else have over 50,000 miles on their Roadster? If so, have you had any major problems? I've read that the battery pack loses %30 of it's capacity after about 50,000 miles. Has anybody personally verified this? Thank you in advance for your responses!

Thanks evjc, I did read the article, very interesting and the Tesla Roadster is a "bad" looking machine. That's bad in a good sporty sense. Looks like a road racer.

This guy will be the kind to watch on the high milage thing, hope he does do the maintenance to get the high miles even though he doesn't "baby" the car. Volvo actually recomends in manuals to drive the cars kind of hard, which I seldom do. I don't get on the open road that much anymore. Guess we will have to wait and see on the high milage thing, but I wont be surprised , no more than I know about cars, that there will be some very high milage Tesla's out of people who just like to keep their cars and not make car payments. My neices husband is a general surgeon and he drives vehicles the same way until he gets everything out of car he can as he just is busy and just wants to get from point A to point B and not interested that much in checking out new stuff to buy. His interest in his work is his passion not vehicles.

What maintenance searcher? :P
Oil changes? Nope

Timing belts? Not got them

Filters? Only 1 in the car, and that's for the A/C

Coolant? No loss systems in the battery and motor. MIGHT need replacement. Might.

Undercoating? Plastic bottom, no open metal to corrode

Transmission fluid? No transmission to need it

Brake fluid? With regen it's doubtful you'll ever need to change this, OR your brake pads.

I know you already know about some of these, it just struck me that noone on the forums has ever bothered to list the maintenance that ICEs require that EVs just plain DON'T. Maybe we should start a thread for that and see how long we can make it :)

It's good to change the brake fluid every 5 years as it collects moisture and corrodes parts.

The roadster has a gearbox, but you will probably have to replace the oil every 100k miles or so.

Tha maintenance is very minimal compared to an ICE.

Thanks Vawkus and qwk for the somewhat amazing information< Sounds like the true Ev's will be real contenders in the high mileage category. I had read comments previously about the low maintenance but you information just made it fresh. This should work out good.

evjc, I'll definitely keep an eye on that post. Vawlkus, I've heard that Roadster owners are supposed to have their cars serviced once a year (or every 12,000 miles) for around $600. See here:

Yeah, that's to top up the windshield washer fluid & check for programming updates.

They also download the car's history for long term modeling, but I don't really count that as maintenance; it's research :)

IIRC the maintenance part is the cleaning of the PEM and engine (air cooling). Cleaning the PEM requires that they remove it and then clean it, because fans are in bottom of the PEM not visible to outside.

Model S does not have that, because it uses liquid cooling for both PEM and motor.

I'm at 29k miles and the pack has lost about 10% of its capacity. I don't really miss it, even on long-distance road trips, because the charging rate used to slow to a crawl on the final 10%. Now it charges relatively fast to the 90% that I've got.


JackB, so when you charge in standard mode you still get the full 195 miles (80% of 244), correct? I would think that a 10% loss would only affect charging in range mode which should have dropped from 244 miles to about 220 miles.

This higher mileage stuff I am very interested in, that's why I am a Volvo nut. Will definitely be watching out for news in this area.Very interesting to see how Tesla is going to work out with the high mileage thing. If it works out well and works out well for all the future Model S, Bluestar etc. Then Tesla will have a sure fire winner and the production strategy will have proven to be excellent and quite profitable I believe. I liked the way BrianH put it the other day "Tesla is going to run before they walk".

Get the quality established well and all the other pieces will fall in line.

For another data point my Roadster has 22k miles after 28 months, and now charges up to 185 miles in std mode. This is a drop from the original 196 miles, but how this relates to actual battery capacity decrease given all of the variables involved (including the firmware change mentioned above) I can't reliably comment.

I've seen a significant correlation between the ambient temperature when you charge your car and the ideal range after the charge. The warmer the temperature the *lower* the ideal range you end up with. (Living in California the ambient temperature is never really cold. Maybe something different happens at the other end of the temperature range.)

It looks like the only jobs left will be brake guys, wiper guys, electric motor guys and body guys.

I never looked at it this way before.

Doing some more research today, I see Toyota bought $50,000,000 worth of Tesla stock, and that Toyota and Testa are bonding on the development of an all electric Rav4.

To bad for America once again that the only companies with business sense are foreign.

It will be interesting to find out what this merger will mean to the country.

At this point, it's not a merger between Toyota and Tesla, just an investment and work agreement between the two companies.

Scott C;
That works out to about 2.5% per year, or 2.7% per 10,000 miles, which is pretty much on track with the Tesla figures.

Scott C;
Correction to above: extrapolates to 84% capacity after 7 years, or 76% after 100,000 miles. Somewhat better than promised.

Assuming Scott C's Standard mode ideal range miles are taken at 100% charge, and the degradation is linear, my calculations show 83% battery capacity after 7 years. After 27 months and 18K miles with my Roadster, the battery degradation appears to be more or less linear. Data for my Roadster predict 79% battery capacity after 7 years. Both values seem to support Tesla's forecast of an 80% battery after 7 years. The 100K miles forecast are not very meaningful since, for both Scott C and me, we will have well over 7 years on our cars by then. But for completeness, Scott C's data appear to forecast 74% battery capacity and my data forecast 61% battery capacity.

I just brought a Tesla Raodster in San Deigo, CA 2 weeks ago. I made two trips from San Deigo to Yuma, AZ which is 185mile trip. On full range charge it was 237miles first time and by the time I reach Yuma, AZ, was left with 27miles chare.
Coming back yesterday from Yuma, AZ after full charge in range mode it was 236miles and once I reached 170miles, I got a warning that, battery is almost empty, must charge ASAP. I was able to make it home though. I was traveling at 62miles an hour first 95 miles which is relavtively flat terrain and last 80miles was more hills and I was driving at 50 to 55miles/hr. The weather was quite bad in the mountains with quite a bit of snow and wind. I was quite nervous, whether I would make it to home without car being stalled on the freeway. My wife was following me in another car behind me as I was not sure how this is going to workout. I will be making these trips on a regular basis. I hope my battery won't degrade too soon. This is the first time on the forum. Hope to learn more from my Tesla friends on this forum.


If you want to save charge drop that 62mph to 58mph. That's enough to drop your energy consumption from 261.6Wh/mile to 243.3Wh/mile. For 95 miles that makes 1833.5Wh saved which is about 7.5 miles worth of charge. Snow probably increased rolling resistance quite a bit, which also makes range a lot less than it is in ideal conditions.

I will try to drive at that speed on my next trip and see how things go. I will be making about atleast 3 trips a month from Yuma to San Diego. Thanks for the advise.


Divesh, I have a 2008 Roadster with 19K miles. Based on my experience, you should be able to make a 185 mile trip on a full Range charge as long as the trip doesn't have a significant uphill (without a corresponding downhill) component, you don't make a lot of high acceleration starts, and you keep your freeway speed at 60 MPH or less.

Timo is correct that the slower your drive, the more miles you can get out of the battery. You can find the graph he is using on the Tesla Motors website under Enthusiasts, Blog, 2008 Blog Archives, Roadster Efficiency and Range Dec 22, 2008 Blog.

As you have probably discovered, when the battery reaches 10% capacity remaining in Range mode, the predicted miles remaining display disappears. At this point you have 24 Ideal Range miles remaining. You can see from the graph that you should be able to obtain Ideal Range performance at about 53 MPH.

Based on my experience and data Scott C has shared on this forum, the battery degrades approximately 2.4% to 3.0% per year. Happy motoring. Let us know how your future trips go.

Roadster Sport 27,500 miles (28 months)
Ideal Range after standard charge: 182 miles
(charging at 85F ambient)

To reiterate what the original poster was saying, can some of you Roadster owners comment on how well your vehicle has held up during ownership? Looks like we have good info on mileage, but I (and I think the OP) are also interested in what kind of maintenance requirements, headaches, that kind of thing you may have had to deal with.

Of course, what I'd love to hear is that you haven't had any issues ;) As a potential Model S owner, I'm concerned about adopting something so early in the production cycle without any guidance on overall vehicle robustness.


Other than bending rims on potholes, I doubt you'll hear much.
I think there was an issue with some of the headlights fogging up, but I haven't heard anything else.

Bear in mind that the Roadster served to prove and test the electrical core of Tesla's design concepts. You can assume that most potential weaknesses have been identified will no more impact on Model S. Whatever you hear is not necessarily of any relevance for Model S.

Most problems I heard of were caused by non-Tesla specific parts, such as e.g. tire pressure monitors, door locks etc. that can fail on any car. Electronics, battery and motor seem to be very reliable.

Model S will be produced in a different location, on new machinery and with new staff. To get overall quality to a high standard early on will be a major job. If the Roadster experience is any guide, you can expect good after sales service, no fundamental flaws and rather fewer problems than with most other newly designed cars. The intrinsic mechanical simplicity of an electric drive train does help.
- Alfred

So you want to know about reliability other than batteries....

I've had my Roadster almost three years and in the last two years the only service other than the annual check was when I drove over a 4-inch piece of aluminum that punched a hole in the sidewall of a tire. As far as can can tell I'd have gotten a flat tire in that situation regardless of what I was driving.

The first year there were a lot of glitches. All of them were minor. All of them were handled by the service department in a way that made me feel good about Tesla every step of the way. (I would have said they handled them flawlessly, but it did take three replacements of the navigation unit for them to figure out the problem was caused by a mispositioned antenna. If they were flawless they would have figured this out the first time.)

No no, that's exactly the stuff I want to know. If I'm choosing to buy a 1st generation car, I'll have to expect some of those little things as they get up to speed with their process.

My nightmare would be Tesla telling me it's gonna cost me $300 to import one of their road-crews to come to my house and fix a car that doesn't start, or a sunroof that leaks, that sort of thing. I would expect that the premium I pay for the vehicle will also gain advocacy for me by Tesla's maintenance and/or customer service personnel.

Sounds like they're customer-focused which is great to hear. I love their vision and I want to do my part in supporting it...of course, I also want to drive that cool car that they've built ;) I'm so excited for the thing, I feel like a salesperson at work telling all my buddies about it.

X Deutschland Site Besuchen