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Model S - Charging less already?

Hi all. We received our 60KWH Tesla in April. Since then we have put ~4K miles on it. We usually charge it daily, to the 85% capacity as recommended.

It started out charging to about 185 miles (rated), went up a little in first few weeks to about 189 miles but never charged up to 85% of 230 miles which is ~195miles.

In last month, I have been seeing a slow degradation. Last time it charged up to only 179 miles.

I am not too concerned about it just yet but want to see if others are experiencing a similar pattern.


I have the same config but took possession in Feb/March time frame, and a bit over 5,000 miles on her.

Used to seem to stop at about 187, but lately been more like 181 to 183. Might just be my imagination though.

Its actually 85% of 60kwh. The miles remaining

I think the car uses your wh/m history to adjust what a rate mile is - there is some mixed info from Tesla as to whether this is true. Also the various firmware upgrades effect this (mine got much lower with 4.5). Regardless, the idea that the battery is weakening significantly after a few months is probably not true.

@vired99 - If you got the MS60 in April, the charging level was preset to 93%, not 85%. The EPA rating is 208, not 230.

If you perform a max charge the MS60 will go up to 212.

After the 4.5 update in the last month, the range charge was set to 90% instead. In essence, if you finish charging right before you take off in the morning, you should top out at 185 - 187 miles.

If your car finished charging at midnight and you don't take your car out till 8 AM, then you're certainly going to lose a few miles due to the standby draw of the on board electronics.

Overall, I think you are within range of the estimates. However, you can perform a max charge and check it right before it finishes charging to confirm.

the guy who was hired from standford to design the battery gave some really good info on the battery

at 1:10, he says the battery can last for 10's of 1000s of charges.

i wouldn't worry about the battery, plus tesla will warranty it.

i also read that after it goes down to a certain percentage, it doesn't go down anymore. i.e. if it takes it 5 years to go from 100% down to only 80%, it will pretty much stay there...

Markapetterman is right. The batteries will take a good 5 years to see any measurable change. The number your car gives you is the same as on an Ice car. It is an average that will change as your diving habits, the amount of Air conditioning you use, heat, lights, head wind, hill climbing, etc. The only way to be accurate is to see how many Kw you but in for the miles you have already driven between charges.

@Matthew - thanks for the suggestion. I will charge it up fully and see how many miles it shows.

BTW - I start charging at 11PM and usually look at the mileage @ around 7AM when my wife leaves for office.


Thanks everyone else who commented. Makes me feel better.

The Stanford video sounds really interesting in first few minutes of viewing.

Rated miles has nothing to do with your driving habits or history. It's a straight extrapolation of the EPA numbers based on remaining charge.

What is the threshold of battery degradation that Tesla will perform a battery change under the warranty?

I was under the impression that in the last update "shore charging" was enabled letting the car keep its electronics running using shore power over battery power. If that is accurate, as long as the cable is plugged in why should the car lose any miles after charging stops?

Unspecified. <70% remaining after 8 yrs??

Mathew98, I performed a full charge and the car charged upto 209 rated miles.

DMP, Brian, yes it seems Tesla is unclear on what %age loss would trigger either work on or replacement of the battery.

Here is some good news. It seems based on a survey of Roadster owners, they are predicting that the battery will hold 80-85% capacity after 100K miles.


@vired99 - So you're going 1 mile over the EPA #...

Don't let the 4.5 release (lower from 93% to 90% range charge) spook you.

I hate to break it to you guys, but the Tesla battery warranty does not cover degradation of the battery over time. The warranty language is clear and explicit about this, so don't get your hopes up. From the way the battery warranty reads, I believe it is covering you against a complete failure of the battery to function, not against performance degradation. Also, be sure to take note of the items that will void your battery warranty! Here, have a look and check the bold/italic portion for what I am talking about...


Battery Limited Warranty

The Model S lithium-ion battery (the “Battery”) is an extremely sophisticated powertrain component designed to withstand extreme driving conditions. You can rest easy knowing that Tesla’s state-of-the-art Battery is backed by this Battery Limited Warranty, which covers the repair or replacement of any malfunctioning or defective Battery, subject to the limitations described below. If your Battery requires warranty service, Tesla will repair the unit, or replace it with a factory reconditioned unit that has an energy capacity at least equal to that of the original Battery before the failure occurred. Your vehicle’s Battery is covered under this Battery Limited Warranty for a period of 8 years or for the number of miles/km specified below for your Battery configuration, whichever comes first:

  • 60 kWh - 125,000 miles (200,000 km)
  • 85 kWh - unlimited miles/km

Despite the breadth of this warranty, damage resulting from intentional abuse (including intentionally ignoring active vehicle warnings), a collision or accident, or the servicing or opening of the Battery by non-Tesla personnel, is not covered under this Battery Limited Warranty. In addition, damage resulting from the following activities are not covered under this Battery Limited Warranty:

  • Exposing the vehicle to ambient temperatures above 140°F (60°C) or below -22°F (-30°C) for more than 24 hours at a time;
  • Physically damaging the Battery, or intentionally attempting, either by physical means, programming, or other methods, to extend (other than as specified in your owner documentation) or reduce the life of the Battery;
  • Exposing the Battery to direct flame; or,
  • Flooding of the Battery.

The Battery, like all lithium-ion batteries, will experience gradual energy or power loss with time and use. Loss of Battery energy or power over time or due to or resulting from Battery usage, is NOT covered under this Battery Limited Warranty. See your owner documentation for important information on how to maximize the life and capacity of the Battery.

Here's the skinny:

Tesla's orginal numbers were shall we say "optomistic". A few weeks ago there was an auto-update that "corrected" the way the range was calculated. i went from 246 miles (80% charge) to 226 miles. The new number is now realistic (and actually quite easy to beat if you are not a speed demon).

I already have 25,000 miles on the car and am heading into month 10. i have lost an actual 2% of battery capacity. one should expect to lose 1% (from original) per 12,000 miles or 1 year of service. 10 years or 120,000 miles will loose you 10%. As batteries go, that is quite incredible.

Of course these are only projections; only time will tell.

Just don't worry about that first bump. We all felt it.

@AmpedRealtor....Your R dead wrong! The warranty doesn't cover NORMAL degradation, damage thru car accidents or intentional and obvious abuse. NORMAL degradation is considered as normal wear and tear which is not covered by any warranty, a standard practice by all manufacturers. But EXCESSIVE degradation is covered because it's considered as DEFECTIVE part/battery.

Same thing happened to me around the V4.5 upgrade

I use to charge:

Standard: 190 miles
Range: 208 miles

post V4.5

Standard or the daily recommended charge limit: 185 miles
Max limit or trip charge: 208 miles

@ justineet, can you point me to language from Tesla to that effect?

I am quoting the actual warranty language which does not contain any such qualifications as you have stated. The battery warranty very clearly states, without any confusing language whatsoever, that energy loss over time due to or resulting from usage of the battery is NOT covered under the warranty.

Unless you can point me to something in writing from Tesla, what you wrote is nothing more than wishful thinking and speculation on your part. Please show me where Tesla addresses "excessive degradation" and would consider that a "malfunctioning or defective Battery".

I am not trying to be argumentative, justineet, but you are putting out potentially misleading information that is in diametric opposition to what is stated in the battery warranty and presenting it to forum members as fact. I would appreciate it if you could back up your statements with an actual fact or policy language, as I have done.

This is the verbiage from TM's service blog:

Battery Warranty
The battery pack in your car is obviously very important and expensive to replace. In developing the Model S, we took great care to ensure that the battery would protect itself, always retaining a few percent of energy. If something goes wrong, it is therefore our fault, not yours.

Except in the cases of a collision, opening of the battery pack by non-Tesla personnel or intentional abuse (lighting the pack on fire with a blowtorch is not covered!), all damage is covered by warranty, including improper maintenance or unintentionally leaving the pack at a low state of charge for years on end. The battery will be replaced at no cost by a factory reconditioned unit with an energy capacity equal to or better than the original pack before the failure occurred.

The intent is to provide complete peace of mind about owning your Model S even if you never read or followed the instructions in the manual.


@ Mathew98 - thank you for posting that, this is important information. I wish Tesla would just incorporate some of this language into its warranty.

@ justineet - I am very "retentive" when it comes to contracts because I deal with those things all day long. Very often, a dispute or negotiation hinges on the exact phrasing of a specific contract term. So that's why I took the time to highlight that portion of the battery warranty, as it appears to cover all degradation without qualification. The other terms used in the warranty, such as defect or malfunction, are not specifically defined by Tesla. This leaves Tesla as the sole determiner of whether something meets its unpublished internal definition of "defective" or "malfunctioning".

Herein is my concern. When language is left open ended like it is in the warranty, and we accept that language by purchasing the product, it becomes very easy for Tesla to grant or deny remedies under the warranty on a haphazard basis and without reference to a specific standard. I'm worried that Tesla's health as a company, if it were to decline, would allow it to change how it interprets such blanket statements so as to deny warranty claims if it is losing money.

I'm probably over thinking this, but it's difficult not to over think a $106,750 purchase. In the end I'm not worried, but I am also accepting the warranty language at face value and would not expect Tesla to offer me a remedy if I experience a loss of battery capacity over time. For me, it's all about expectations and I want to make sure mine are reasonable.

AmpedRealtor....U should not read any line out of context. If you look to the sentence about u quoted in bold letters, it is clearly stated what they mean with LOSS OF POWER OR ENERGY not covered as a result of battery usage over time. It is clearly defined as GRADUAL loss of energy or power, not excessive loss of power or energy.

The Battery, like all lithium-ion batteries, will experience gradual energy or power loss with time and use.

Please re-read AR's initial post where he quoted the agreement:
"From the way the battery warranty reads, I believe it is covering you against a complete failure of the battery to function, not against performance degradation."
Isn't that in line with what you are saying? Where did he say it is not gradual?

I.e. he said that normal wear/tear of battery is not covered under the warranty.

@ justineet, I believe I said that. :)

@tpbi-ger....I think u r missing the point here. AD is equating gradual loss(Performance Degradation), which is not covered by warranty, with EXCESSIVE LOSS(Battery Defect/malfunction), which is covered by warranty. If you read his post a little bit closely, he's claiming the battery is only covered in the event of COMPLETE failure which is blatantly false. Excessive loss is NOT normal wear and tear. That needs to be clearly underlined! It's battery malfunction or defect! Equating excessive wear/loss with normal wear and tear is just plain wrong! Those r 2 different things. If UR ICE transmission breaks down after 5K milies, it's covered by warranty since that is considered manufacturer defect. But if it breaks down after 100K, it's not covered since that is considered normal wear and tear.

@ justineet, please don't speak for me or put words into my mouth.

Please re-read my posts. The wording of the battery warranty states that any battery degradation due to use of the battery is not covered under the warranty. Therefore neither gradual nor excessive loss is covered because nothing in the warranty mentions anything about "excessive loss" - those are your words. The battery warranty uses terms such as "defect" and "malfunction" where it discusses coverages. You are the only one equating "excessive loss" (however you define it, because Tesla surely hasn't) to be a defect. I don't believe Tesla ever stated this anywhere.

So what I am saying... if I am to go solely by the text of the battery warranty quoted above, no loss of battery capacity - gradual, excessive (as you, justineet, define it) or any other - is NOT covered under warranty. The only thing that is covered under the battery warranty is a "defect" or "malfunction". Justineet, you are the one saying "excessive loss" is the same as a "defect" or "malfunction", yet I see no such equivalency in the warranty nor any mention of "excessive loss" as you keep stating repeatedly. There is no such language to support your assertion in the actual warranty. Please re-read it and tell me where you see it, I certainly don't. u did NOT say that....u said except complete battery failure, ANY Power LOSS from battery usage -- whether excessive or normal -- is not covered under the warranty. That is patently false. Let's try not to pile up one misdirection after another. That's is not helpful to anyone.

@AD...I am not going to waste my time arguing with u in circles...I think people can read what u wrote and can make their own reasonable conclusion about what u wrote. I believe it's apparent to most people if not all.

R we into seconds or third seems to me...MR AD!

Fyi: in AR's first post: only the first paragraph is his, the rest is text from warranty. And at the end he bold'ed the sentence "Loss of Battery energy or power over time or due to or resulting from Battery usage, is NOT covered under this Battery Limited Warranty."
If you refer to that above sentence, than it is not his, but TM's wording.

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