Battery Replacement Cost

Battery Replacement Cost

Once the battery goes out of warranty, and diminished charge life becomes annoying, what is the expected replacement price (for each battery size)?

Straight Shooter | July 28, 2010

Hard question. Here is why.

At the rate batteries are improving, why would you put 3yr old (or longer) tech in your pride-and-joy? In that timeframe they might not even be making those batteries any longer. Any inventory supply has been sitting on a shelf for months or years, so the quality is unknown. Look for a Production Date on the barttery for sure.

Even new, they should be deeply discounted as there would be better batteries available. I would not pay 1/3 of the original price, that is for sure.

That means most likely you would be installing the newest line of batteries, with extended ranges and shortened recharge time, in you car. Nodoby can tell you how much these cost, and if they do, it is only a WILD guess.

William13 | August 1, 2010

Currently prices for the battery (lithium ion laptop)in the roadster is dropping 10-15% per year.

Brian H | August 4, 2010

Yes, nano-electrodes and internal "banding" and so on could result in batteries with less heating, faster charging, 5-10X the capacity, AND lower cost by the time the current set goes off warranty. Totally new ballgame.

RalfS | September 8, 2010

Hi Everybody!

Maybe I'm wrong, but I didn't find an answer regarding the above asked question ... ;-)

Therefore let me ask it in another way:

In a dark lonesome street on a dark moonless evening, my battery pack was stolen by two frowning bad fellows.
And - bad luck - my insurance won't pay!

How much do I have to pay for a new battery pack? Now, today ...?

I'm still burning Gasoline in my Alfa V6, but the Model S really makes me thinking about changes ... ;-)

Jerry | September 8, 2010


Assuming someone can pry a 900lb energy storage system out of the car and that your insurance won't pay (my insurance covers it), Tesla has said that the replacement cost is about $30,000. That being said, you can buy the pre-paid replacement option for $12,000. The reason for the discrepency is due to the fact that the expected life of the battery is about 10 years at which the future value of the $12,000 upfront is closer to $15,000. Also, the expected cost of the battery in the future is projected to significantly lower.

I hope this helps. FYI, I have a Roadster for 18 months now (love it) and have a Signature Model S on order. I have found the service to be impeccable as well.


ChadS | September 8, 2010

I'll bet the bad fellows are frowning because the battery pack weighs a lot more than they expected.

Sindre | September 8, 2010

And considering Tesla said that the battery will be quick-swap removable from underneath the car it is very possible that the battery is taller than the cars groundclearance. Hence they might also need to jack up the car, release the battery and pull the 900lbs battery out all without the alarm going off, and the car sending textmessages to you about someone braking into the car. I wouldn't worry too much, but perhaps change insurance company.


walter_simons | September 9, 2010

Model S which able to go 300 miles has included battery or it is required for extra batteries? No need change the battery during traveling 300 miles?

Robert12 | September 9, 2010

As I understand it, the Model S will go approximately 300 miles on one full battery charge.

Brian H | September 9, 2010

As usual, more, or less, depending on driving conditions and speed, etc. Recall that a Roadster was coaxed even further than that in an Australian EV competition.

Timo | September 9, 2010

As Brian H said, it depends of speed, conditions and what ancillary systems you use.


With 15-20mph Roadster could go 400 miles in good conditions. With 75mph only about 170. In other words you get a lot bigger range in slow city traffic than in highways.

Brian H | September 10, 2010

Which is the reverse of ICE vehicles; highway driving is better for them (stop-start is really hard on gas engines).

Gary Nichols | September 24, 2010

To make a truely efficient electric one must concider distance. Gas has the advantage due mainly to refueling times. Current electric technology can only hope that the traval times are within the charge range. Future electrics would benefate over gas if the vehicles used a stop, drop, replace, then go style battery system. This would eliminate the concern for the latest battery tech type as all the manufacture would need to develope is a system that the owner would drive onto, pay the cost for a recharged replacement, then the old battery is dropped down and out the new replaced then off you go to the next refueling stop. The true winner of this type of refueling is the one who designs it first and can get other electric manufacturers on board. This was how the first gas transportation system got started. This is how the electric will take over. I think this is what they have designed into the Tesla "S" now it is time to get other manufacturers on board. Remember Beta V/S VCR who won and why!

Dan5 | September 25, 2010

I agree with Gary on his comment. If they could make it like the Blue Rhino propane tanks, that would be great. The problem I see is that the designs of the battery packs are not universal- The roadster has them in the "trunk" and the S is supposed to have them beneath the floorboards. The floorboard design is a much better design from a drop and swap perspective.
The problem with these designs is that they are new technology. In order for the new technology to function in a drop and swap scenario, ALL the battery manufactures have to have battery sizes which are the same (which probably can not be done in the floorboard design). Or the stations have to have a few of each battery type (that would cause all sorts of logistical issues). Presently, the battery designs are all different.
I have a feeling that Tesla is going to win out verses the other manufactures because of the increased range and then they can control the "format" along with the look of their cars

ChristianG | September 28, 2010

I personally don't believe in changing the battery... like stated by the otheres, every car will have it's own battery pack type.. if not they'll all have to be the same.. how many cars are out there with the same gas tank?

So it's either reload while on the road or having speed rechargers wich are able to transfer those insanly high voltages to your car in a very safe way...

Roblab | October 1, 2010

I don't know about the rest of you, but long distance driving is a pain in the ... for any car. Who does roadtrips anymore? All you need to know is whether your car will make it to the airport.

Timo | October 2, 2010

If I calculate my ~400mile "road trip" which I would be making at least once a month complete door-to-door time and all the time using flying to get to destination I get there maybe one hour faster flying than with car. Train is a bit over one hour slower.

Car is way more comfortable, I can take breaks any time I want, can do sight-seeing and just enjoy and I'm not tied to any kind of timetables. You can't do any of that in train or in plane.

Then there is a real "road trip" which is completely different thing than just plain getting from place A to place B is absolute impossibility with anything else than a car or motorcycle. I prefer car for comfort.

ChristianG | October 4, 2010

Well there are situations where public transport or Airplains just don't work. Especialy if you don't go to the big city the airport always is a few houres away. Adding to that, flying needs check in, security checks, waiting for luggage. Also there arn't that many flight to a destination a day.

So long story short I'm the type of guy who likes to be at the destination. I drive somewhere to do something. So it's getting in a vehicle and drive there till you're there.

This is not what I drive regurarely and it's probably lass than 1% of what I drive, but it's something wich I'll probably have to handle differently in the future.

BYT | October 4, 2010

FAQ's talk about a battery pack you can replace in under 1 minute as the goal. I don't see a 900 lbs. battery pack being a part of the Tesla plan or am I missing something?

Quoting Jerry above, "Assuming someone can pry a 900lb energy storage system out of the car..."

Without the pictures we can all only assume how it will look, swap out like? I picture a panel under the trunks floorboard near where the spare tire will be to replace the strung along bank of “AA” shaped battery packs.

Timo | October 4, 2010

That battery weights around 400-450 kg no matter how you calculate. You can't swap it under one minute. It is done by robots like they do it in Project Better Place. Battery will be a flat heavy plate under the floor and into middle of the car.

There are pictures of Model S design in blogs. Check them out.

James13 | November 5, 2010

Think abut it. The Nissan Leaf has sold-out 20K units in advance. It goes only 100 miles with a stiff breeze behind it. The car gives EVs a bad name. Boston to NYC (East-Coaster here): 220 miles. Tesla: One stop for coffee along the way with even the smaller packs and you are set for the rest of the ride. Bigger pack? Glide into The Big Apple with the AC roaring, Baked Beans still warm. The point: while I am fascinated by the math - of drag force proportional to the square of the speed, etc... I see the range of all Tesla batteries to be well-above what we all imagined possible just years ago, and well-above any fear-inducing range limitations. - Model S 1064 | November 10, 2010

With Regards to the BetaMax vs VHS.

VHS due to the porn industry choosing the cheaper VHS cassette format to distribute porn on.

So are you saying that Tesla should invent some sort of fast battery swap system that involves a complimentary porno magazine to read whilst you wait? :)

Timo | November 11, 2010

Car wash instead of magazine, but with same girls in same outfits. Might be popular. Or not. I would believe that there would be complaints about too fast battery swap though.

Donald L | November 11, 2010

30,000 dollars battery cost for a 50,000 dollar s-model is absolutely insane and will loose potential customers including me. i wanted to get one until i read this and that delivery is pushed back to 2012. if Tesla is going to attract future customers this absurdity has to be addressed.
also the fact that they state that a 5 min battery change is possible. this is and can only be possible by Tesla authorized shop that has the equipment to handle 900lb battery swap. there is no way in h*** i or any one else could change a 900lb battery in my garage even with an hoist system and car lift in 5 min.

qwk | November 11, 2010

@DonaldL - The battery is nowwhere near 30k. Please don't talk out of your a$$. By the time the car needs a replacement, which will be years down the road, I'm sure it will be cheaper than buying gas.

As for the losing customers comment, as soon as more people find out about the model s, it will sell out the first few years of production.

Why are you here if all you are going to do is whine?

BYT | November 11, 2010

To Donald and qwk, I see both sides of this argument, on one hand yes, if Donald believes that the cost to replace the batteries are $30k then this would most definitely be a concern but on the other hand qwk has a point in stating that the cost to manufacture these batteries will go down over time, how much it will go down nobody knows. Take into consideration all the parts that drive the Model S and you have basically the electric motor and the batteries with the electric motor being the much cheaper of the two and therefore the battery makes up well over 50% the cost of what moves this car. We all speculate and pose questions, it doesn't hurt to share an opinion but let's try not to put each other down. We all have one thing in common, a very strong interest in this car and the company so let's keep our focus on that. I would hate to share an opinion for fear of ridicule myself. Pose facts as facts, opinions as opinions and enjoy the Tesla Forums... :)

qwk | November 11, 2010

The 30k figure was a quote from 2008. Right now a battery replacement for the Roadster is 12k up front. This is not an actual cost, but is prorated.If your battery goes bad in 7 years, you pay nothing extra.<7yrs its more $,>7yrs you get $ back. Even if your battery went bad in 2 years(warranty expiration), you are not going to pay 18k difference. This is for a 53kwh roadster battery. The Model S battery is estimated to be 42kwh, so the cost is even less. I didn't mean to put anybody down, but I don't like people who don't do their research. The battery is also not meant to be swapped in your driveway.

Timo | November 11, 2010

IIRC someone said that it currently costs somewhere around $15k for Tesla to build up their Roadster battery pack. Even with $12k battery replacement option Tesla is probably making profit in those after few years.

Especially since there are batteries from now several companies coming with over 400Wh/kg energy densities. Over twice the Roadster cell energy density IIRC. After just few years cost of the battery pack will go down a lot. It's nowhere near $30k.

qwk | November 11, 2010

^^ Yes, I bet the cost is somewhere around 12-15k. A company that is in business to make money is not going to sell a battery replacement for 12k if they are going to lose money on it. Meanwhile they have that money(interest free)as capital to fund expansion.

Another thing to remember is that your old battery pack is worth $$$$, to use as energy storage for solar and wind systems.

Vawlkus | November 12, 2010

Or just to recycle the battery. Remember, the lithium in the battery is 100% recyclable. Once we have enough batteries being produced, I wager we see battery refurb business start to spring up. I mean heck, there are already a few guys in their garages that do battery pack recycling & upgrades for Prius owners. Once enough electric cars hit the road, there'll be enough business for guys that do that to open up full time shops for battery work.

ChristianG | November 17, 2010

While some of my friends are still sceptic about the life duration of the tesla batteries (they work with rechargeble batteries themself), I think I just have to put some trust in Tesla there. Another problem wich noone has adressed yet is that the battery packs are highly custom made... so who tells us that that kind of battery pack is around in the future still. Technology is a bitch that way, it's allways hard to find stuff for old electronic stuff...

Vawlkus | November 18, 2010

I worked almost exclusively with Lithium Ion laptop batteries for a good long time while I was servicing computers & laptops, and I have no problem believing Tesla's lifetime numbers for their battery packs.
Most laptop users abuse the hell outta their batteries, so they don't last. Tesla's put just about every concievable battery protection device they could, so it should be fairly easy for people to get the most out of Tesla's battery packs.

Mark Petersen | November 18, 2010

and on the positive side, they use a standard cell inside, it would be posible to open up the battery and replace all the cells
just in cases Tesla isn't around to do it

Brian H | November 18, 2010

Well, it's all sealed and water-cooled and electronically hooked up and so on ... I doubt you'd be up to popping in new cells.

BudlyDeWright | December 6, 2010

- Battery Pack Longevity -

There are working models of the Baker Electric Automobile still in existence today. These Baker electric automobiles are still running today using their original storage (battery) cells. I believe, actor J Leno drives a Baker Automobile

If Thomas Edison could design rechargeable storage batteries which have lasted nearly one hundred years, why can't a battery pack be designed today which would never require replacement?

Edison battery = (Ni + Fe immersed in KOH solution)

Yes, of course, I understand that the physical dimensions and physical weight of an electric automobile powered by Edison cells alone would be the size of a lorrie (tractor trailer truck ...for you Yanks) but why even bother designing something that is going to eventually fail. Why bother designing something that will be prohibitively costly to replace?

If it didn't make sense to T A Edison... why is it "acceptable" to we fools today? Think about it! Has "planned obsolescence" so indoctrinated us that we are unable to employ the same wisdom of inventors, like Edison, who have gone before?

I assert:

"Light Weight" should not be a battery pack design objective.
"Small Size" should not be a battery pack design objective.
"Quick Replacement" should not be a battery pack design objective.

"Longevity" SHOULD BE the primary design objective when designing a rechargeable battery pack for an automobile... as Edison well knew. Of course... then no Motor Car Company could make a dime selling replacement battery packs.

I wouldn't care if my electric car were the size of a 1990 Caddy Fleetwood Brougham Limo as long as the battery pack lasted 100 years. It would, however, make finding suitable parking quite challenging... would it not?

searcher | December 6, 2010

Agree with you on all points, seems maybe some good objectives to work on. But unfortunately we don't have Nikola Tesla with us today. Of course you know he was working for Edison and invented a lot of the stuff Edison got crdit for{check it out}. I have stated this before on this site but Tesla would invent a lot of the stuff and Edison would run out and get the patent and thus the credit. Don't know if some of Tesla's diseases or what had an unusual effect on his brain thus making him a kind of unusual genius. Don't think we have his near equivalent today thus will have to struggle along with what we have. Bet if you did some research good chance lot of stuff you mentioned was Tesla's stuff. As I have mentioned something similar to this before. I Tesla were looking at some of your challenges he would think "peanuts" I can do all that. Would recomend you read up on some of his lore. Think you would find it fascinating. Admire this company to honor this man with his name for their motor company as the poor genius was jilted out of so much in his prolific lifetime.

Timo | December 6, 2010

I assert:

"Light Weight" should not be a battery pack design objective.
"Small Size" should not be a battery pack design objective.
"Quick Replacement" should not be a battery pack design objective.

"Longevity" SHOULD BE the primary design objective
I agree for two: Quick Replacement and Longevity. However light weight and small size are absolute necessity to get BEV done in first place. Even "longevity" is far far behind those two, because without those two BEV would not exists at all. If you have a two-seater that weights several tons and has size of a truck to go 100miles, would you buy it?
I wouldn't care if my electric car were the size of a 1990 Caddy Fleetwood Brougham Limo as long as the battery pack lasted 100 years.
That's exactly what you would get, except that is way too small for batteries that last 100 years....unless you are happy with getting less than 50miles with those batteries and performance of golf cart.

It is enough to have longevity for batteries to last around 100kmiles.

Vawlkus | December 7, 2010

The only reason the Edison is still using it's original cells is because it doesn't get driven that often. What wears a battery out is the constant use & recharge cycles. If you don't drive the damn thing, and keep it plugged in, the battery in any current BEV WILL last you 100 years and more. There's just no point since you're not DRIVING it anywhere.

qwk | December 7, 2010

Actually Lithium batteries deteriorate over time fairly quickly, even when plugged in and not used.

searcher | December 7, 2010

timo I see what you are saying on the design objectives. Two out of four isn't too bad for me though,ha. Didn't mean to throw any dispersions on our current crop of techs, they are a pretty savvy bunch I know. Wasn't too happy to hear about the lithium batteries longevity thing qwk brought up.

Brian H | December 8, 2010

?? TeslaMotors must be nuts to guarantee theirs for 10 years, then.
I think yer fuluvit.

Vawlkus | December 8, 2010

@qwk: it's BECAUSE they're plugged in that the lithium batteries are deteriorating. Go back and reread my earlier statement (Nov 18 one further up the page).

qwk | December 8, 2010

Full of it? LOL. Do some research before you spout off. Tesla does NOT guarantee their battery for 10 years. Why do you think that you can BUY a replacement for the roadster to be replaced @7 years?

Lithium batteries have a shelf life. No way around it.

Vawlkus | December 8, 2010

Battery links have already proved that Lithium doesn't have the half life that you're claiming qwk, thus I say unto thee: prove it.

qwk | December 8, 2010

I wish some of you would just do a simple google search on some of these very basic questions. Anyway here you go.

Under shelf life. BTW tesla uses Lithium Cobalt batteries.

ChristianG | December 14, 2010


Actualy, all this points are adressed by the battery pack. It's heated/cooled to an acceptable temperature by the pack. Also there are different charge modes, where the standard charge mode will not fully load the pack.

Don't really remember the excact percentage but they somewhere claimed that after 7 years the capacity will still be 70% wich is a loss of around 4% per year. Thats around what Wiki expects if the battery is handled correctly...

The possibility that your battery will lose 4% or more per year is defenitely something to consider, but right now the figures seem acceptable to me. But maybe it's only the fanboy in me speaking.

But it's also a bit scary that the only way to get the 100% range again is to replace the pack. On the other hand in a few years there might be a good marked for used car-battery-pack sand replacing the pack will not be as expensive as it seems now.

qwk | December 14, 2010

The point I was trying to make is that lithium batteries have a shelf life. You have to have the roadster plugged in or else it will KILL the battery. If you take a new roadster, plug it in to the wall in storage mode without EVER driving it you will get approximately this scenario in standard mode.

year1 180mi
year2 171mi
year3 162mi
year4 154mi
year5 147mi
year6 140mi
year7 133mi
year8 126mi
year9 120mi
year10 114mi

These figures are assuming a 5% capacity loss, which is the AVERAGE for an idle pack. Actual results may vary a bit.

Vawlkus | December 14, 2010

Incorrect qwk, Tesla incorporates cutoffs to preserve battery life. That's something your average laptop does NOT have.

Brian H | December 15, 2010

Laptop battery packs are very badly thermally managed, almost not at all. Hence their crappy performance.

qwk | December 15, 2010

LOL, I wasn't talking about laptop batteries.

ALL lithium cobalt batteries have a SHELF LIFE!
It is true that Tesla's pack keeps them at an optimum temp and charge, BUT they still degrade over time.

The above posted scenario might be the worst case, and we don't know yet what it is, BUT you can't expect little to no degredation. That is just foolish.