(Lack of) degradation in our Model S battery

(Lack of) degradation in our Model S battery

I’m posting this here instead of the S forum since there are likely more new folks contemplating an EV purchase.

In 2015, way wife and I drove our neighbor’s P85. We fell in love and we both immediately sold on getting one. We configured later that week, then flew to Vegas to look at the car colors in person (glad we did because we totally changed our config). While we waited 1.5 or two months for the car to be ready, my wife was affected by FUD at several times ... mostly related to battery longevity. I had to convince her several times that it’s be ok: either the battery would be great or Tesla would take care of it. Once we had the car, she loved it so much, she never thought about it again.

Fast forward to yesterday (almost 3 years and over 30,00mi later). I haven’t charged to 100% in probably a year or more (although I knew this was likely the case by extrapolating from our usual 80% charge). I decided to charge to 100% for fun before a date night to Santa Fe for our anniversary. 270 miles. That’s the same specification as it was when we bought it (85D). I’m just in awe at the efficacy of the Tesla BMS!

Have no fear. Take the leap!

gballant4570 | 07. Juli 2018

All indications are that Tesla battery degradation is far less significant than their warranty would suggest. Tesla's active battery thermal management is working well. The first item on the FUD list can be crossed out.

mntlvr23 | 07. Juli 2018

@djh +100
Thanks for the real life info - that is great!

Magic 8 Ball | 07. Juli 2018

Our Furd CMax Energi had 21 miles range when we bought it in 2013. Now it has about 10 miles.


ssarker | 07. Juli 2018

100% charge on our 60 kWh Model S:

207 miles in 2013
196 miles in 2014
196 miles in 2018

mntlvr23 | 07. Juli 2018

(now I wish that I would have charged my Model 3 to 100% right away to get a baseline.)

djharrington | 07. Juli 2018

Agreed. I still haven’t charged my 3 above 90%, iirc. Shows how little I worry about it now.

ssarker | 07. Juli 2018

@djharrington, @mntlvr23,
we didn't charge our Model S to 100% until several months after delivery. So, it's not too late! Actually, back then, there were only 2 options, daily versus trip charge.

mntlvr23 | 07. Juli 2018

I had heard a few people say their max charge was 306.

During my roadtrip, we never took it to 100% and rarely beyond 80% - though a few times it would get above 300 during a meal and we pulled out instead of waiting for the painfully slow last few miles of charge.

After the trip was over (car having > 20000 miles on it), I did do a full charge and the SC was complete shortly after hitting 306, and I was a little disappointed ....

.... but then a few days ago during a beach trip, I supercharged it to full again during a meal and returned to the car at 304 and decided to hang out and watch how high it would go. We watched it go past 306 and 307 and ended up charging a few minutes after 308.

So the max changed from 306 to 308.5 - niiiiiice

Red Sage ca us | 07. Juli 2018

douwe: I think that 'Furd' just wanted to trick you into buying an ICE.

Magic 8 Ball | 07. Juli 2018

Nah, it was the best candidate for HOV stickers for us.

I have been a Furd man for many years. Ran out of vaseline so....................

IntelSPE | 07. Juli 2018

So far I have done 3 full charge after getting delivery in first week of June and full charge miles were 309/310/312. Last one was 312 miles.

Frank99 | 07. Juli 2018

The day after i picked up in May, i SC'ed to 316 miles at 100%. A month later before a long trip, I charged at home and got 313 miles at 100%. The difference, I'm sure, it's due to the different chargers.

Red Sage ca us | 07. Juli 2018

douwe: Well, Vaseline is 'petroleum jelly', so... All the better to avoid Furds going forward! (Actually, I do hope Ford develops a proper long range heavy duty fully electric F-Series truck, as it would be 'bad' if Tesla were the only remaining pickup truck manufacturer in the U.S.)

Magic 8 Ball | 07. Juli 2018

Damn Red I never thought of that. I guess they got coming and going ; ).

jjgunn | 07. Juli 2018

After the video I saw from Jeff Dahn. I'm never charging my battery to 100% & I'm never letting it get below 20%
Your car is not a cell phone.

Also, It's good to S-L-O-W-L-Y charge your battery too. Constant/Always SuCh'ing "floods" the battery initially, then slows down nearing completion to extend battery life.

AZTesla | 07. Juli 2018

Thanks for sharing that jj. Does this imply that would be better for the battery to charge at 110V vs 220V assuming you have the time to wait?

carlk | 07. Juli 2018

Mine was recently 100% charged at 58K and got 257 range. 97% of the original range. Getting 205 miles range at 80% for as long as I can remember.

Occasional 100% charge is fine. Just don't let it to sit there for extended period of time. Drive away soon as it is reached and you will be fine.

dave5609 | 07. Juli 2018

Agree! I have an early 2013 Model S 60 kwh with 110,000 miles (Southern CA). Original range was ~ 208 miles and I can still get over 200 miles on a 100% charge. I typically do 80% from a 40amp outlet (daily) with 2-3 long road trips a year when I go to 100% and use super chargers. Car has been rock solid and amazing for over 5 years and I couldn't be happier with how the battery has held up. Currently waiting on delivery of a Model 3!

JAD | 07. Juli 2018

Tesla has an advanced battery management system so general battery assumptions don't transfer well. The car safely controls charge speed. The only thing you have to do is not leave the car sitting for long when fully charged or nearly empty.

jjgunn | 07. Juli 2018

AZTeslaGuy | July 7, 2018
Thanks for sharing that jj. Does this imply that would be better for the battery to charge at 110V vs 220V assuming you have the time to wait?
110 vs 220 isn't the big deal. Your amperage is. SuCh's bypass the amp setting. Wait until SuCh v3 comes. 1,000 mph charging.

If you charge using 110v @12 amps - you get 3 MPH in charge - that's too slow & while it will work, it's unnecessary to go that slow.

Nema 14-50 - 240v @50 Amps will get you 30 MPH in charge. And is great if you have that ability. I'm going to use 220v @16 Amps - which get me about 12-15 MPH & is probably conservative for our Tesla needs. Many choices out there for slower charging.

@raviundaraman (I'm sure I just butchered his screen name - apologies in advance) is the forum electrical engineer expert. I learned a lot from him already.

ravisundaramam | 07. Juli 2018

At home 100% charge once. Got 314 miles. Picked up the car with 308 miles charge and 6 miles on the odo.

RedPillSucks | 07. Juli 2018

To be fair, the Model S uses 18650 batteries that Tesla has been using for >10 years, while the Model 3 uses 2170 batteries with a different chemistry so its not clear that we can compare the longevity. Having said that, I'm not worried, and I completely
trust that Tesla has worked out the longevity issue with the new battery chemistry.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 08. Juli 2018

RedPillSucks: Tesla started using the 18650 battery cell format with the Tesla Roadster released in 2008, but by the release of Model S in 2012 the same form factor allowed a higher capacity by ~35-to-40%. There was a further improvement to capacity that allowed for 90 kWh and 100 kWh battery packs by 2015 and 2016. I expect that by 2020 Tesla will be offering tremendous range, in excess of 400 miles, for all their vehicles due to further improvements in battery design and consistent levels of reliability RE degradation.