The time has come, the battery on your Tesla is not what it used to be, and you want to replace it. Even though Tesla designs its batteries to last a long time and the company recommends that you don’t replace the battery, it’s sometimes unavoidable.
Now and then, a battery will sneak past quality control that is made of defective materials or wasn’t assembled correctly. Or maybe you drive long commutes and have worn your battery down with travel. When this is the case, your battery won’t keep a charge. If you want to replace the battery before its estimated lifespan is up, you should know how much it costs to do so.
Battery Replacement Costs
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, tweeted last year that a Model 3 battery module, not the battery pack, will cost anywhere from $5,000-$7,000. As of now, the battery module averages more around $10,000-$12,000. And this is not counting the cost of labor to physically replace the battery.
Replacing a battery on a Tesla is probably one of the most expensive repairs or replacements you’ll make. Because the cost of manufacturing these batteries is still reasonably high, so are the retail prices. In 2019, it cost $159/kWh to make a battery, and in 2010, it was $1,100/kWh. Even though manufacturing costs have fallen, there is a long way to go to hit Musk’s goal of lowering these costs below $100/kWh by 2023.
Tesla’s batteries are incredibly efficient and should last, according to Musk’s same 2019 tweet, 300,000-500,000 miles. The chances are that you won’t have to buy a new battery directly out of pocket because Tesla covers battery replacements under their Battery and Drive Unit warranty.
Tesla Battery Warranty
Tesla covers battery replacements under its Battery and Drive Unit warranty but has precise guidelines for Models S and X, 3, and Y (Standard, Standard Range Plus, Long Range, and Performance).
The warranty also applies to used Tesla vehicles. The used vehicle’s mileage and age are carried over to the remaining life of the warranty. If you buy a 3-year-old Model S Tesla at 20,000 miles, your warranty is now good for five more years and 130,000 miles.
Tesla won’t consider your battery replaceable unless it cannot retain more than 70% of its charge. The warranty also only covers up to 8 years or a set amount of miles, whichever you hit first. Fortunately, if you aren’t a frequent long-distance driver, you shouldn’t have to worry about going over your mileage limit anytime soon.
Mileage limits covered under warranty are:
- Models S and X: 150,000 miles
- Models 3 and Y Standard/Standard Range Plus: 100,000 miles
- Models 3 and Y Long Range/Performance: 120,000 miles
If you’ve purchased a battery separate from the car, it is covered under the Body, Parts, and Paint Repair Limited Warranty. The warranty covers the high voltage battery up to 4 years or 50,000 miles.
Battery Maintenance Tips
Owners will rarely have to replace a Tesla battery — they have an excellent track record for lasting as long as their expected lifespan. If you want to help maintain your battery to make sure it lasts as long as Tesla promises, you should follow these essential battery health tips:
- Beware of extreme temperatures, especially heat. A battery that’s too hot can pose a safety hazard. Avoid charging at high noon on a hot day—Park in the shade or in a covered carport to reduce direct heat on the EV.
- Don’t let your battery fall under 10-30% charge.
- Set your charging limit to 90% and charge the battery every night.
Following these tips will not only help to preserve your battery, but it’ll improve your driving range as well.
If you have to replace the battery on your Tesla, go through your warranty first. Otherwise, you’ll be reaching in your pocket for over $10,000, and that’s money you could save towards your next Tesla!