Leased - Always 100% Charged OK?

Leased - Always 100% Charged OK?

My Model 3 is on lease, with no option of keeping it after 3 years. Should I care about battery degradation? I don't need full battery for daily commute but I want to. Just an extra piece of mind if I suddenly have to go somewhere far.

legna_fo_htaed | June 20, 2019

In 3 years it'll be a part of the fleet. Not your issue what battery degradation happens in that time. If I was leasing I'd probably supercharge as much as possible.

kvn.wong2 | June 20, 2019

If I was leasing I would just do what’s convenient (ie Supercharge when I want and charge to 100%)

EVRider | June 20, 2019

It takes a lot longer to charge to 100% than to 90%, so why do it if you won't need the extra range?

When I leased my first Model S, I wasn't planning to buy it at the end of the lease, but I still took care of it. Suppose Tesla changes the leasing rules so you can buy the car after all?

vmulla | June 20, 2019

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - the 3 Rs for a better Earth.

Being good to the battery touches all 3 of those Rs.

So, charging to 100% regularly is not ok by folks like me who are passionate about environmental conservation.

Effopec | June 20, 2019

I would just do 90%. You'll still get full regen and what are the odds that 100% would get you someplace that 90% wouldn't?

pkmantmc | June 20, 2019

- Even if Tesla changes policy to give me option to buy, I may go with Y anyway.
- Won't Tesla recondition the battery when they take back the car?

It's a phys thing. Coming from ICE, I know a full tank can go ~400 miles and I know I'm never more than a few miles away from a gas station (I live in SoCal). With 3 SR+ of just 215 miles on "Daily" full charge, it just doesn't feel reassuring, and I find myself constantly checking nearest SC locations and their availability. Not that 240 miles is that much better, but at least it's better. Not quite range anxiety but clearly not yet comfortable with always starting the day with "tank barely half full".

vmulla | June 20, 2019

Good discussion. I want you to come back here in a couple of months. Folks like you become the best advocates for EVs, especially around range anxiety.

ElectricAlex | June 20, 2019

Standard range, so you want to charge to 100 all the time. As mentioned, it takes longer to charge that last 10%, and regen braking will not work at 100, so whycharge to 100?

Choose 95 at most and you save time and don’t lose regen.

ricksastro | June 20, 2019

100% is annoying with the lack of regen. Stick with 90 to 95.

kevin_rf | June 20, 2019

Funny, I looked at my usage over the last few weeks and decided to bump my nightly charge limit down to 70%.

Like everyone is saying, go to 90% for full regen. You'll enjoy the drive more.

FISHEV | June 20, 2019

Yikes! Don’t be evil. Just charge to 80% unless you have a real need to charge to 100%. Tesla will resell it to someone who is stretching financially to do the right thing and get an EV and poor person gets an abused car.

M3phan | June 20, 2019

And if you have to suddenly, impulsively, go somewhere far, you’ve got the supercharger network and destination chargers so that’s not an issue.
Take care of the battery, take care of the car, and you’ll take care of a future used car buyer.

Los Angeles | June 20, 2019

Whats your daily commute? I bet even if you double that and then double again it would be less than 80%. And how often does someone pick and just make a run to Vegas.

vmulla | June 20, 2019

@Los Angeles,
We need to live on hope - and being prepared for Vegas is a good thing ;)

M3phan | June 20, 2019

Vegas...reminds me of a joke just aired on an nbc commercial for a new comedy show:
“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Yeah, well what happened in Vegas turns 5 in February.”

pkmantmc | June 20, 2019

Good discussion so far....

Argument 1 - Take care of battery for future buyer
I thought Tesla will recondition the battery, like they do for used Tesla, right?

Argument 2 - Last 10% takes longer to charge
I charge at home and have 12+ hours so that’s irrelevant to me.

Argument 3 - Why charge to 100% when you don’t need to?
Why not? I charge all my mobile devices fully. Furthermore, I have solar on roof that produces excess electricity 9 months out of a year but I can’t get paid due to CA’s rules. So why not splurge a bit?

Argument 4 - No regen if 100% charged
I don’t get this one. I am using regen for braking but don’t know how is this relevant.

It seems that the Sentry Mode is drawing quite a bit of power. My daily round trip commute is ~30 miles but I come home with ~175 miles left (start the day with 215 miles). I lose 10 miles a day just parking? Rather start the day with extra juice then.

Right now I’m still charging at the factory setting of Daily max (215 miles) but it’s bugging me. Maybe I’ll get over it soon, or maybe not.

kevin_rf | June 21, 2019

The lack of regen above 95% means the car brakes differently, instead of dumping the energy in the battery it dumps the energy in the brake pads. It drives a little different. Above that threshold, the batteries can not take additional energy from light braking. You will notice the difference while driving.

Also, reconditioning does not mean putting new batteries in, the battery does not suddenly become like new. Case in point, my original Prius battery lasted ~350,000 miles, the reconditioned battery I replaced it with lasted 28,000 miles. The batteries have a finite life.

vmulla | June 21, 2019

Actually, go ahead and charge it to a 100% every single time? We need a data point for durability under extreme usage circumstances.

lbowroom | June 21, 2019

How much energy you use from your solar array depends on the miles you drive, not how full your battery is while you drive.

FISHEV | June 21, 2019

"I thought Tesla will recondition the battery, like they do for used Tesla, right?"

Theres no such thing as "recondition" li-on batteries. They have a definitive life span. The one on your car will be shortened by the charging to 100%. It doesn't sound like you drive much so the Tesla sits around at 100% with small discharges. That will likely not degrade the battery that much faster than living between the 20's (20%-80%) as you are not doing full discharges on the battery which is the other half of the degradation equation.

On the regen, when battery is 100%, the regen goes off as no place for the captured energy to go. This only lasts until you go a few miles so you probably never noticed the small alert or any lack of regen.

foodking | June 21, 2019

what about knowingly degrading the battery faster than necessary? It's just wasteful. Do you rent cars just to redline and do burnouts knowing it's someone else's problem? I would never let you borrow my car or anything else.

I can understand the range anxiety. I personally went from 500mile range ICE to 310 with a 100mile daily commute, but just going to work once should show you it's not a problem.

vmulla | June 21, 2019

You just said what many of us really wanted to say :)

tm4000m | June 21, 2019

Does your lease cover worn brake pads\rotors? You will need to do a full brake job on the car (inside of the 3 year lease) if you charge past 90%. You most likely will not need to do the same brakes if you only charge to 90%. Do the battery a favor, and save yourself $$. Charge to 90% and enjoy the car! Congrats!!

FISHEV | June 21, 2019

"You will need to do a full brake job on the car (inside of the 3 year lease) if you charge past 90%."

That's total bunk. The lack of regen lasts only a few miles. You'd have to drive like Forumla E and be mashing the brakes beyond regen for years to get at the Tesla brakes.

tm4000m | June 21, 2019

You called me out, there is no data to back this up. I agree. My bad. It was a knee jerk reaction to the idea of PK damaging a Model 3 for no real gain besides a little fake peace of mind. In all honestly, I would charge to 90% for a couple weeks, see how that solution fits your lifestyle, and then decide if the additional 30 miles range has any value whatsoever. Personally I have gotten so used to the regen brakes, that I avoid things that make them unavailable.

andy.connor.e | June 21, 2019

Since you lease, it wouldnt matter at all to YOU. But, the next person that goes to drive it will have to inherit what you've left them with. Its like if you leased an ICE and you changed the oil every 10k miles instead of every 5k. It wont matter to you because you only drive it for 2 or 3 years, but the next person that will own it will have the problems.

M3 fo MF | June 21, 2019

OP, your full battery is 240 miles. Following good battery practice and charging tp 90% is 215 miles. The difference is 25 miles. Let’s say there is the one time you want to go to Vegas. Adding 25 extra miles at a supercharger will take you less than 5 minutes.

Why would you daily charge tp 100% and purposely wear out the battery over this. Be a good person to this those around you and stay within the recommendations of Tesla. Carma is a bitch.

M3 fo MF | June 21, 2019

OP, your full battery is 240 miles. Following good battery practice and charging tp 90% is 215 miles. The difference is 25 miles. Let’s say there is the one time you want to go to Vegas. Adding 25 extra miles at a supercharger will take you less than 5 minutes.

Why would you daily charge tp 100% and purposely wear out the battery over this. Be a good person to this those around you and stay within the recommendations of Tesla. Carma is a bitch.

dmastro | June 21, 2019

OP, you're paying to rent the car for 3 years - not any of us responding on this thread - and I don't think there are any restrictions on how much you charge the battery. It's America - do as you feel ethically and morally comfortable doing, as it seems that's what you're asking.

Magic 8 Ball | June 21, 2019

The car will warn you if you are charge abusing it.

pkmantmc | June 21, 2019

Thanks for the explanation on regen. However since the car draws power as soon as it's in motion, with A/C blasting, music playing and Dashcam recording, any normal regen I'd produce (I don't drive like an Andretti) should go back to the battery that's already depleting.

Good to know that as long as I don't deplete the battery too much on a daily basis, degradation is not that big of an issue. As stated, my daily commute is only ~30 miles. I will use it on extended road trip eventually..... yes, Vegas, baby.... but then I will definitely charge it full.

The brake pad replacement thing is kind of funny. I'm on my 4th lease and have not replaced brake pad/disc on any of the 3 previously leased vehicle. Once again, my last name is not Andretti, or Unser or Rahal. I'm a normal middle-age dude and drive like one.

The subject of moral obligation is touchy. On one hand, I'm not a douche-bag. On the other hand, why can't I do what I want to do with my 3, as long as I'm not violating any rules? I drive normally so all my return leases were in good condition. I do maintenance but I stretched out, instead of always follow the service indicator light. So for my leased 3 that will eventually be sold as used, the buyer will be getting a good vehicle but he/she should also not expect it to be as good as new and Tesla will still warrant the battery. What's wrong with that?

I see it as hold the door for the person behind you. Whether you do it or not should not define who you are. I certainly don't think anything less of the person in front of me if he/she doesn't hold the door for me, and I sometimes don't feel like holding the door for the person behind me.

Wasn't expecting this discussion to become a moral one or judge of character, but I do see the point. There are many very-nice and very-considerable people in the world, but more are like me; just an average dude.

spuzzz123 | June 21, 2019

So , forgetting about moral obligation... 3 years is a fairly long time. The warranty is only enforceable if you fall below 70% of rated range. I have no idea what keeping a full charge all the time will do but is it worth the risk of you getting stuck with a 230 mile range car and a remaining 2 years on your lease? How many times in the past 5 years have you had to make an unexpected trip of more than 250 miles that a 15 minute supercharger stop would have cost you dearly? It’s rare or never for me but everyone’s life is different....

djroberts | June 21, 2019

I think you should treat it as if you own it but perhaps a bit more relaxed. They may end up allowing you to buy it after all.

spuzzz123 | June 21, 2019

Oh by the way, one general thought is that Tesla wants to take these cars that come off lease and put the. Into company owned “robo taxi” use. Not sure how realistic that is but my point is you may not be screwing over a private buyer.

spuzzz123 | June 21, 2019

+1 djroberts a lot of lease deals have changed terms in favor of driver at lease end...

vmulla | June 21, 2019

I don't expect true robo-taxis in 3years, but I expect a Tesla only car rental company. Much like bird scooters, Turo car rental.
Who in this forum would rent a gas guzzler if an AP enabled 3 was available at the airport after you land?
Suddenly ever SC is a rental location. What I'm imagining isn't a stretch at all, and is much more likely than true robo-taxis.
Bottom line, I fully expect every leased car to be recovered without an option for buy out.(as advertised)

pkmantmc | June 21, 2019

OK, moral obligation aside, FISHEV mentioned something about not doing the full discharge may not degrade the battery much at all. I will dig more into that.

Only 2 weeks in and I'm already learning that driving an EV requires more thoughts and conscience than ICE... morally, technically, mathematically, philosophically...all sorts of other "llys". It will be an interesting 3 years.

FISHEV | June 21, 2019

"I'm already learning that driving an EV requires more thoughts and conscience than ICE."

I'd say more patience and commitment. Most put up with the hassles of EV ownership because they want to cut their fossil fuels use. I think that's why you got so many "moral obligation" replies because for many if not most Tesla buyers its a moral issue.

pkmantmc | June 21, 2019

@FISHEV - thanks for the kind words.

A bit hard for me to take the moral criticism since I've done my part in cutting fossil fuels use by installing solar panels. However with solar, there's not much too think about and I enjoy not paying a dime to the utility company in nearly 3 years. Owning a Tesla is so much more complicated.

FISHEV | June 21, 2019

"A bit hard for me to take the moral criticism since I've done my part in cutting fossil fuels use by installing solar panels;"

And driving a Tesla...putting a lot of money to "mouth" likely more than many. I've done the same. End of the day, the lease is between you and Tesla and you can do whatever contract says you can do. Lease cars might get ridden hard and put away charged but that's the deal.

For a lot of us, going EV is a financial and ADL push so a used Tesla coming off lease looks attractive to an EV crusader. Getting a used car with usage issues while trying to do the right thing is unfair and I think that's what a lot of the reaction is about.

Daryl | June 21, 2019

One point not being addressed here is that overcharging a Li-ion battery increases the risk of combustion. Tesla's charging circuitry should prevent overcharging, but especially in a hot environment I would not regularly charge to 100%, just to further reduce any risk of a fire.

Wilber | June 21, 2019

pkmantmc - I just want to reiterate what spuzz says. If you charge to 100% every night, that will likely degrade the battery significanly within the first year. So, you will be the one wit a car with reduced range for another2 years. Also, please realize that 'range' means something different for an EV that you can plug in at home every night and have at least 80% every morning. With a fossil fuel car you dont have that advantage. Intead you wait til it gets down to 25% or so and then slog to one of those noisy dirty gas stations. Also, EVs arent all that complicated. Just realize you are learning an entirely new kind of vehicle. You are going thru the same kind of learning curve you did at age 16 whenver you learned to drive. Very soon it will seem rather simple, and you will probably decide to just charge to 80% every night. If you do want to charge to 100% for a while, i suggest you set the time so that the car finishes charging within an hour of leaving for work in the AM. This minimizes damage from 100% charging. Good luck and enjoy!

pkmantmc | June 21, 2019

Ok, it is now dangerous to charge 100% all the time due to increased risk of combustion. A lot of you really don’t want me, or anyone other Tesla driver, to fully charge. I get the point, I really do, and I thank many of you for your explanation (while some comments are a bit silly and nonsense).

But it still begs the question, it it’s really that bad to fully charge all the time, why doesn’t Tesla simply not allow full charge? Just program it to show 100% but really at 90%? Why leave it to us to apply self-discipline? You know with ICE cars, the the range estimation is buffered. When the car shows zero mile left, it usually can go 5 - 10 miles more. I had it happened a few times.

Or perhaps Tesla is already doing it? Maybe my SR+ has the same battery pack as the LR version but capped at 240 miles? I know they did that to the lower range S back in the days.

FISHEV | June 21, 2019

“it it’s really that bad to fully charge all the time, why doesn’t Tesla simply not allow full charge?”

It not about Tesla but about the tech of li-ion batteries. It’s no different than advising owners on how to have less wear on tires, engines, brakes, transmissions etc. Just suggestions. Owners choice.

LIke your wanting to charge to 100% every day. You want to do and you can do it. It will have some marginal effect on the battery depending on a lot of other factors, how far you discharge being the main one. You as informed user decide how you want to use it.

kaffine | June 21, 2019

The reason Tesla lets you is batteries are expensive and they want to claim as much range as possible. They already block some of the charge to prevent a complete discharge as that will kill the battery. They would rather be able to advertise the extra range while asking you not to use it. Now they get the benefit of the extra range they can claim while most wont charge to 100% daily anyways. They do have plenty of pop up warnings to try and get people to not charge to 100% daily.

I had a 170 mile daily commute with the exception of winter when I had something else after work I only charged to 90% daily. Most of it is I didn't see the need, I got home with range left in the summer it was normally around 70 miles in the winter it might be 20 miles. Still enough for me to run a few errands on the way home and if really needed I could just slow down and gain extra range. Granted I wasn't using Sentry or cabin overheat protection.

The other reason I didn't charge to 100% often is I didn't like not having regen brakes. My commute was mostly highway but the first 5 miles was on surface streets so I wouldn't have regen while driving on surface streets when I was manually driving the most. Once I got to the freeway the lack of regen for a bit wouldn't matter as I was using TACC so it didn't matter..

There is no real reconditioning of the battery. If there is a major issue with the battery then Tesla would correct it before selling it used.

I think after a month you will get used to it and not worry about charging to 100%. However if not it is your car charge it to 100%.

kevin_rf | June 22, 2019

They should really display 100% charge as 110%. That way, we won't have these silly discussions.

Wilber | June 22, 2019

The reason Tesla allows us to charge to 100% is that sometimes it is ok to do. For instance, if you have an especially long trip and the first supercharger is quite far away, you would want to charge to 100% to maximize your chances of getting to the supercharger with no problems. I have seen an official blurb from Tesla on this, but it has been a few years since i saw that. They say to charge to 100% occassionaly is no problem. They do recommend to start your journey within and hour or so of attaining 100%, because battery damage comes from just sitting for a long time with 100% charge.

Tyerc | June 23, 2019

Regen braking is one of the joys of driving the car IMO. If you lose Regen braking at 100% charge to 90%.

Kenz | June 23, 2019

90% is fine. You will love regen. At 100% no regen.
10 - 90% is better for the battery.
Why charge higher if you do not need it.

ATX_TM3 | June 23, 2019

To state what others have said a bit differently... If you care about getting 100% of your charge for extra "piece of mind," you'll likely shoot yourself in the foot. There is a reasonable chance the battery will degrade 5%+ in the first year stealing your "peace of mind" without ever using it. So, do you A) want the phycological comfort of 100% on the screen with 90%-95% usable capacity, or B) have the real knowledge that your 90% charge = ~90% and you can access that extra ~10% in the limited cases that extra 24 miles is absolutely needed. For me, B) knowing I have access to as much usable capacity as possible when needed gives me much more peace of mind.