Battery Warranty on the Tesla Model X (85 kWh): "8 years, unlimited miles". And the "Battery Replacement Option" after 8 years.

Battery Warranty on the Tesla Model X (85 kWh): "8 years, unlimited miles". And the "Battery Replacement Option" after 8 years.

Paul does business in many countries in Europe (UK, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Russia). Paul's company has 80 offices in most of the large cities in all these countries. Therefore, Paul travels every day with his brand new Mercedes Benz E Class, which is driven by his driver. They drive easily 120,000 km per year, and that means that they both spend a lot of their time on the road every day.

Paul agrees with the vision of Elon Musk regarding sustainable energy. Paul desides to buy the Tesla Signature Performance Model X (with the 85 kWh battery pack, AWD, etc). Paul also desides to have the "Battery Replacement Option" (let's suppose that option will be available for the Tesla Model X just like it will be available for the Tesla Model S). Paul wants his Tesla Model X to be delivered in January 2015 (suppose that Tesla Motors have confirmed to him that this will be possible). Till then he wants to be driven in his brand new Mercedes Benz E Class.

Tesla Motors will have established a number of Superchargers in Europe by January 2015. Not all, but enough for Paul and his driver to make long distance driving possible. So, as from the beginning of 2015, Paul and his driver can charge the Tesla Model X at the several Superchargers, and that's what they will do.

Suppose, that after 4 years (January 2019), they will have driven in total a bit more than 500,000 km in the Tesla Model X. And suppose that they will have charged the Tesla Model X at a Supercharger location about every day, and sometimes even twice per day, say 400 times per year. That would mean that they will have charged the Tesla Model X 1600 times at a Supercharger location in 4 years time. And after every year they notice that there is a clear difference in the number of km they can drive on a full charge. After 4 years they conclude that the number of km they can drive with the Tesla Model X is less than half as much km they could drive when the Tesla Model X was brand new delivered in January 2015. This is yet a hypothetical situation, but it is possible that this could just turn out to be a true situation, because of the use of Superchargers to charge the battery of the Tesla Model X 400 times per year, and because of the high number of km that they will have driven in the Tesla Model X.

Now, my questions are:

Question no. 1. "Will Tesla Motors replace the 85 kWh battery pack of the Tesla Model X, as a result of the Battery Warranty (8 years, unlimited miles) in January 2019"?

Suppose Tesla Motors have replaced the 85 kWh battery pack, and the following 4 years they do the same (drive 500,000 km in 4 years, and charge at Supercharger locations 400 times per year).

Question no. 2. "And will Paul be able to have the brand new 85 kWh battery pack replaced again in 2023 (so, again after four years) as a result of the "Battery Replacement Option" that he chose for when buying the Tesla Model X"?

Brian H | 10 February, 2013

1. No. Range reduction because of normal use is not covered.
2. Yes. He'll get what he paid for.

Benz | 10 February, 2013

@ Brian H

OK. Thanks for your reply.

What advise would you give to Paul as what he should do after 4 years (January 2019) and after having driven 500,000+ km with his Tesla Model X? Because you see, when the Tesla Model X was new, the range was about 400 km, and 4 years later (January 2009) the range has decreased to 200 km? So, what do you think that Paul should be doing to solve his problem of having a lesser range with his 4 year old Tesla Model X?

Brian H | 10 February, 2013

After 4 yrs? Write it off, or sell it for re-use by someone who doesn't need 400 km range.

Benz | 10 February, 2013

@ Brian H

OK, that would be a possible thing to do.

Suppose that I buy this Tesla Model X from Paul in January 2019. Will I be able to claim a brand new 85 kWh battery pack from Tesla Motors in 2023 as a result of the "Battery Replacement Option" that Paul paid for when he initially bought the Tesla Model X in 2015?

Brian H | 10 February, 2013

In 2023, yes. In 2021, or later.

Benz | 11 February, 2013

@ Brian H


The Battery Replacement option can be called upon after 8 years, right?

2015 + 8 years = 2023

Why already in 2021?

Brian H | 11 February, 2013

Lost track of your 2015 start date, was counting from present.

Benz | 12 February, 2013

@ Brian H

OK, can happen.

I remember having read (about two months ago) on the Tesla Motors website (regarding the detailed information about the Tesla Model S), that according to Tesla Motors after 8 years the capacity of the battery pack would be at least 70% or 80%. Do you know anything about that?

Brian H | 12 February, 2013

I read the same; sounds right.

Benz | 12 February, 2013

But I cannot find this peace of information any more on the Tesla Motors website. Has it been removed?

wile69 | 13 February, 2013

@ Brian H,
Are you saying it is considered "normal" or "not covered by warranty" for a Model X to only get half of it's original range at 4 years of use? What exactly is the warranty for battery degradation?
If the batteries in my Tesla failed to get me the quoted, "new" range while under warranty I would expect Tesla to do something about it - IE: replace the batteries or double the number of Super charging stations but, not tell me to trade in my four year old car.
I was hoping that the Model X would be my last car purchase - now your telling me to expect to trade it in at year four.

This is very discouraging :(

Tiebreaker | 13 February, 2013

Don't get discouraged. This is all speculation and mental acrobatics based on some extreme "what if" situations - 75,000 miles a year, 400 supercharges, arbitrary %50 loss of battery capacity etc. Tesla has not released yet any information of tha kind about the Model X.

Brian H | 13 February, 2013

You could degrade the battery to 70% in one year if you drove enough! Time is the lesser of two influences.

Benz | 14 February, 2013

@ Brian H & Tiebreaker & wile69

wile69 asked a rather important question: "What exactly is the warranty for battery degradation?".

What would be the answer to this question?

Brian H | 14 February, 2013

None, if it's within the normal range. It would be like insuring against old age happening.

Benz | 14 February, 2013

@ Brian H

"None, if it's within the normal range."

I am sorry, but I do not undestand what exactly you consider to be the "normal range". Could you be more specific about that?

Brian H | 14 February, 2013

Not terribly, but LiIon experts and industry consider 30% drop in 8 yrs about normal. 70% remaining is the usual cut-off for "end of (service) life".

Benz | 14 February, 2013

Would that mean that if the battery degradation is NOT within the normal range (30% is considered normal), that then the warranty for battery degradation comes into effect?

Brian H | 14 February, 2013

Assuming it is a battery flaw, of course. I hear the engineers allowed the usual 2:1 safety margin, and actually expect it to take 16 years to reach that.

Benz | 15 February, 2013

Well of course the Tesla Motors engineers will do a technical check-up before they deside if it really is caused by a battery flaw. And if they conclude that the 30%(+) degradation really is caused by a technical flaw, will the battery be replaced by a new battery pack?

And if a degredation of 30% normally is expected after 16 years, and this level of 30% degradation will have occured to a particular Tesla EV, then that is surely NOT within the normal range. And therefore, there will be some kind of a technical clarification for this 30% degradation after only 8 years. And the Tesla Motors engineers will of course find out how this could have happened, and that will be valuable information for Tesla Motors, because this information will help Tesla Motors to improve the EV's that Tesla Motors will manufacture from then on. And that would be good for both Tesla Motors and for the future customers as well. That's my opinion.

Brian H | 15 February, 2013

I think there's a sliding scale; it's not all or none. Details not available yet.

Benz | 15 February, 2013

A sliding scale. Interesting. I wonder when when details will be available?

Brian H | 15 February, 2013

When the replacement contracts are offered.

Benz | 16 February, 2013

I think it would be great if Tesla Motors would write a Blog about all matters specificly regarding/concerning the battery pack of Tesla Motors EV's. It would clarify a lot, I think.

Brian H | 16 February, 2013

It could even be titled, "Battery Assault. And."

foodman1.zf | 24 February, 2013

Replacement of the battery pack after 4 years of normal use not covered by the warranty is very troubling to me. The expense of replacing the battery at my expense makes the cost of ownership of the Model S extremely high. I believe the battery pack should be covered for 8 years 100K for defects in materials and workmanship and including normal use. Perhaps at the very least a prorata approach could be applied if premature replacement became necessary prior to the 8yr 100K period. Assuming proper maintenance has been performed. Since the battery pack is the power source much like the engine is is an ICE car. Replacing the battery pack after 8 years is like having to replace the engine in an ICE car. How much resale/trade in value does any vehicle EV or ICE have if the main power source needs to be replaced? The engines in todays ICE vehicles with normal maintenance can last 150K or longer. I believe based on the 2:1 safety margin mentioned above the battery pack could be warranted 150K/15years with a prorated replacement cost if replacement was needed sooner. Also if Tesla is going to be successful selling a $30,000 vehicle to the mass market the battery life issue becomes larger than life.

Benz | 24 February, 2013

Many people do consider it the most important part of the EV.

NumberOne | 24 February, 2013

If you read the pricing and options of the Model S carefully, you will notice that the battery is covered for 125k miles, provided that Tesla does not change that. The 85kWh version is guaranteed for 8 years and unlimited miles. Eventually batteries might be guaranteed for 15 years, but not yet. Such a warranty would cost manufacturers too much. LiOn Battery life is determined by charge cycles, so if you get the biggest pack available, and you have a garaged car, and you monitor that your ranged does not go down much over night, then it is entirely possible that your battery will last longer. I plan to drive 30 to 50 miles per day, so I may be able to charge my car every other day and never use much more than 1/3 of my battery between charges. Of course only time will tell if this is feasible, because Tesla does recommend plugging in every day.

roseland67 | 24 February, 2013


What does 75,000 miles/year equate to in fuel $ in Europe?

The "what if" scenario you propose may be a mute point if you compare these fuel costs to battery replacement.

Some quick math indicates that after 10 years
your fuel cost may be over $40k, no?

NumberOne | 24 February, 2013

One more thing that was going to say applies to what roseland67 said. I have been paying about $4000 per year for fuel, but have reduced my driving dramatically this year, so it should be half the cost, but even half the cost, would still be $20k over 10 years. Petrol is much more expensive in Europe than in the US, so 40k Euros over a period of 10 years is not so far fetched. Even when you factor in the cost of electricity, the battery pack is still far cheaper to replace than the cost of petrol/gas.

Benz | 25 February, 2013

That's why more and more people are going to buy an EV instead of an ICE vehicle. They just don't realise it yet. Wait till they start using their brains for doing some simple math.

Let me tell you this about how fast the prices of fuel have risen in The Netherlands.

These are the prices (per liter) on January 1st, 2009:
Petrol: 1.20 Euro
Diesel: 0.97 Euro

These are the prices (per liter) on February 24th, 2013:
Petrol: 1.87 Euro
Diesel: 1.54 Euro

That means that in (a bit more than) 4 years time these prices have risen:
Petrol: (1.87/1.20) by almost 56% !!!!
Diesel: (1.54/0.97) by almost 59% !!!!

I am sure that these prices will keep on rising in the future. Therefore, I am sure that in the coming years more and more people are going to buy an EV instead of an ICE vehicle.

Brian H | 25 February, 2013

It doesn't matter a whit how often you charge. Just how many total discharges you usage adds up to. 10 half discharges = 5 full discharges = 5 cycles.

NumberOne | 25 February, 2013

Thank you Brian.

As for the cost of fuel in much of the EU, the cost there is more than double than in the US . (1 Gal = $9.39US in Europe compared to around $4.00 in the US.) The overall annual cost might be similar however, because people in the EU typically drive smaller, more fuel efficient cars.

Benz | 25 February, 2013

This proves that in Europe economically it makes even more sense to drive an EV than an ICE vehicle.

Brian H | 25 February, 2013

Electricity is more expensive by about the same ratio (on average; a wide range in both, esp. in North America. Calif. has European power costs, e.g.)

Tiebreaker | 25 February, 2013

@roseland67 - I am not in Europe. Please read carefully: it is not my "what if". The point of my reply to wile69 is "Tesla has not released yet any information of that kind about the Model X." So don't get discouraged, this is all speculation.

Hi_Tech | 5 March, 2013

To put the numbers together with the "what if" scenario mentioned here, we get the following assumptions:
1. EU petrol price is roughly $9/gallon
2. Similar luxury vehicle gets roughly 30 miles/gallon
3. Paul (and his driver) drive about 75,000 miles/year

75,000 miles / 30miles/gal = 2,500 gallons of petrol required
2,500 gallons of petrol in EU @ $9/gallon = $22,500/year
In 4 year time (Jan of 2019), Paul has saved roughly $90,000 of petrol cost.
Of course there will be the price of electricity that Paul has to pay for when charging at "home" (or away from Super-Chargers), but that will be a very small figure compared to this savings.
Paul ends up buying a new and better battery for his Model X in Jan 2019 for roughly $20,000, which will get him 500km range, instead of the original 400km max.

Paul does the "Happy Dance" for being so financially smart by buying his Tesla! :)

Benz | 6 March, 2013

@ HiteshBhatt

Question no. 1. "Will Tesla Motors replace the 85 kWh battery pack of the Tesla Model X, as a result of the Battery Warranty (8 years, unlimited miles) in January 2019"?

As a result of the Battery Warranty, Paul will not need to pay for the new 85 kWh Battery Pack. That would be even better, I think.

Brian H | 6 March, 2013

No. Completely false. Only if an excessive manufacturing-related fault is found will the battery be replaced under warranty. Paul will pay full price for a new battery pack.

Timo | 7 March, 2013

Assuming he doesn't get anything from the old one. It is still useful battery, just capacity is less, and with recycling it at least has some material value.

If 85kWh battery has 70% of 85kWh it could still run my home for over a week, so it is still rather large UPS. Maybe sell leftover batteries to IT companies as large UPS? One is sufficient for running rather large blade system for at least several hours before forced shutdown, and you could stack a lot of those in small space (cooling and all) if you have several blade systems.

Brian H | 7 March, 2013

Yes, as I've mentioned, a 70% 85 is pretty much identical to a 60, with very slow degradation remaining.

Benz | 7 March, 2013

Elon Musk was yesterday in Oslo, Norway, at the Tesla Event. Somebody asked a question about Battery Warranty.

Elon Musk replied: "Our goal is that even after 10 years the battery pack still has a meaningful amount of energy."

How much capacity should the battery still have (after 10 years), in order to be able to call it "a meaningful amount of energy"?

Vawlkus | 7 March, 2013

Elon probably has a number in mind, but was afraid of getting his wrist slapped by George B. :)

Brian H | 7 March, 2013

The industry LiIon standard for "end of useful life" is 70% remaining capacity. That's probably the ballpark.

davisu | 9 March, 2013

Most folks average around 10k to 20k miles per year so at current fuel prices a battery change 8 years down the road is still better than paying for fuel. But if the battery cost is 20k and you saved 30k in fuel charges is that significant enough keeping in mind the cost of the recharges as well? Oh, and the cost to do the battery replacement.

So driving the car is unfetered by the cost of fuel. Will the car stand up to all the extra milage? Will the road salt eat the guts out of it?

If the model S were to come in at say $45k I'd jump in without question. But at $80k i'm inclined to look at the car in terms of longevity. I normaly keep my vehicles 15 to 20 years and i'd expect no less from a tesla. In fact, i'd expect more.

Tesla is right to suggest charging daily. Lithium ion batteries like to be kept charged up. And it just makes good practical sense anyway.

And speaking of practical sense, whats with the lack of rear floor mats and of all things, no spare tire? The tires don't go flat on a tesla...? cool!.

Kudo's to the tesla group. Here's hoping their order numbers sky rocket. And its interesting to note, that the lunar rover didn't run on gasoline but the guys that went to the moon had a hell of a good time driving it anyway.

Benz | 14 March, 2013

@ Brian H

"The industry LiIon standard for "end of useful life" is 70% remaining capacity."

That sounds likely to me as well.

That "70%" was also mentioned somewhere in the Tesla Model S specifications last year on their websit. But later on they removed it from the website.

Hi_Tech | 16 March, 2013

I did my first test drive of the Model S (85kWh, non-performance). Had my wife and 9yr old son in the car with me... we all had a huge "Tesla grin". The only bad part was that my test drive experience was cut in half, as I switched driving with my wife half way through. Well, I'll consider this as an investment in getting my wife to accept us buying it... It seemed to have worked quite well. We are Model X reservation holders, and now my wife is not sure she can wait until 2015 for our Tesla to come... really thinking hard on changing to Model S.

Okay, personal story aside, I did confirm the 70% warranty piece with the associate (not that I ever doubted Brian).

Also, noticed that doing the drive on a highway for about 7-8 miles (including couple quick bursts of excellaration) and the same amount back on inside roads (with my wife driving, turning off the regenerative braking), we still averaged rather decent energy usage. I think on a regular commute, it may be very possible to get over 300miles per full charge! So using that with 70% figure at 8 years (which I feel will not be hit until at least 10-12 years), it gets you about 240miles per charge. Really not bad at all.

Brian H | 16 March, 2013

70% of 300 is 210, not 240. But think of a 70% 85kWh as the same as a new 60kWh, and you'll be pretty close.

And, though the acceleration is excellent, excellaration is not a real word. ;)

Vawlkus | 17 March, 2013

I think it should be though Brian, it DOES sum up what the Model S doe sin a single word }B)

Hi_Tech | 25 March, 2013

hahaha... good catch Brian!
Kind of nullifies the points with these types of errors! Never been good at grammer/spelling, but the numbers issue from me is what really gets me!

That said, I still think that expecting 240 miles after 8-10 years of driving on the 85kWh battery is reasonable! :)