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After Market MS60 Battery Upgrades?

After Market MS60 Battery Upgrades?

I purchased my Model S 60 new in 2013, and after almost 6 years and > 50k Miles, still love the car. My battery shows only minimal degradation (184 => 181miles on its daily charge routine, less than 10 full charges in five plus years), and the car still looks new after being garaged for its entire life.

My only concern is the range. I take the occasional trip from Atlanta to the Georgia coast or up I-85 to Raleigh, NC, and the supercharger routine adds at least an hour to each trip. And I know all the tricks to minimize total charging times on trips. Not that I don't appreciate the fact that the Superchargers are there, and their numbers growing in the Southeast. But I have heard for years about the impending growth in battery capacity, and continue to wonder when my time will come.

Tesla has intentionally downplayed offering increasing battery range to existing early vehicles (the later model S 60 => 75 upgrade was a software thing), I assume to get me to purchase a new vehicle, and I am sure that there would be some manageable technical issues in an upgrade. But my 2013 has some features no longer available that are really important to me. Most significantly my honest to goodness big frunk! Most of the response to the recent post on frunks were amusing and presumably related to the current mini frunk which is challenged to carry a brief case! My early model has real storage, which I use regularly. I have no interest in the autodrive feature, no desire for 4WD, and my MS60 has more than enough power. Still love my 2013 MS60!

So, has anyone heard of any efforts to create after market batteries for us early adopters? Warranty is of no concern, and I would think that there are more than a few of us out there who would pony up for a 100 Kwh or greater battery. Tesla seems to have little interest, even though I would think that it would add some needed product demand for the giga factory. I have seen the EBay offerings, which I presume are salvaged batteries from retired vehicles, and they would even upgrade me to an 85 Kwh battery. But if I do it, I want to go all the way to 100 Kwh or hopefully more. Any rumors of Chinese or other foreign manufacturer interest in meeting this market?

I wonder if there are other Tesla early adopters who share my desire?

TeslaTap.com | March 3, 2019

I doubt there is enough of a market to interest anyone other than a few salvage people. Figure the market is perhap 10-20 packs per year - not enough to interest any third party to take the risks and costs of development. To make a replacement pack economical, the third party would have to re-create all the tooling and robotic assembly similar to what Tesla uses, which could cost millions. Then they would need to get cells, which Tesla/Panasonic does not sell as it's a joint design. Some alternative might work ok, but the charging/discharging profiles would likely be different, requiring some major software engineering changes.

The 100 kWh pack uses a different connector than the 60/75 packs and battery cooling changed quite a bit too. I doubt very much that a 60 -> 100 conversion can be done without a lot of effort and additional costs. I'd stay with an 85 or maybe a 90 pack as an upgrade. I'd only go with someone that has done it before and knows how to update the software (a major effort in it's own right).

Also remember that a battery replacement kills any Tesla battery warranty too. So you're 8 year warranty on your current pack is lost. It might also affect your resale value (having a non-standard configuration), but it sounds like that is not a concern for you.

Good luck with whatever you end up doing. I have a few more notes under Tesla Retrofits for pack replacements: https://teslatap.com/modifications/

Anthony J. Parisio | March 3, 2019

Check out Rich rebuilds on YouTube. Maybe you should contact him.

akikiki | March 3, 2019

OP you can go over to teslamotorsclub.com and contact user wk057. He's done extensive rebuild and upgrades on his own cars and as I recall, he was performing battery swaps for others. I've read nearly all his post on this own work. I'd trust his work over most of those folks on ebay. I think he uses ebay to offer his services, so you might have seen him over there among others.

Hughlenny | April 16, 2019

Thanks for the post! I'd in a similar boat and would love to upgrade our battery pack!

reed_lewis | April 16, 2019