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)?

Erlend Haga | 26 July 2010

About a year ago the press speculated in a replacement cost of around 5000$. Don`t know which batterypack, probably the smallest one. Still its pretty cheap :)

bg from az | 26 July 2010

I would also speculate as new battery technology breakthroughs occur that Tesla and their vendor neutral policy would quickly incorporate longer lasting batteries that have a longer range that would simply "plug" into their current battery cavity. See recent article regarding solid-state batteries on Technology Review:

bg from az | 26 July 2010

I would also speculate that Tesla's vendor neutral policy would allow them to quickly incorporate new battery technologies (such as solid-state batteries) that last longer, and have a longer range (more charge) that can be designed to simply plug into the existing battery cavity of Tesla Motors' cars. There are some solid-state lithium batteries recently discusses in Technology Review that are in the initial experiemental phase that can carry up to 4 times the energy density as current high-end batteries.

dasky4eva | 27 July 2010

Thanks for starting and picking up this discussion! I'm personally very interested in this topic because my main goal is to cut fuel costs. I commute 80 miles daily so it's a big toll on gas, oil changes, the time to get gas every couple of days. I'm on the reservation list, but a big question mark for me is the lifetime use of the battery.

Anyway, my first comment here, thanks for the info and the wonderful community!

Daniel Chin

vanbc | 31 July 2010

Slightly off topic but within the realm of battery. What type of exchange program is in place for the battery? Is tesla going to safely recycle/dispose of it or is that burden on our shoulders and pocket?

Brian H | 4 August 2010

It should cost you <$2/day with the 'S', and you would be recharging only small amounts per day, maximizing battery life. You could easily get away with the smallest, least expensive battery option, IMO.

travel4nutin | 7 August 2010

What would one expect when a battery is swapped out? Will the car lose it's memory? If so to what extent? Would one just have to reset the clock and radio presets or will the owner have to have their keys reprogrammed from a specialist? Would the car need to be receiving power during a battery exchange? Sorry for all the questions but I couldn't get these answered over the phone.

DartLady S77 | 28 August 2010


I asked this question at the Tesla test drive in Vancouver two weeks ago and was told the batteries are >95% recyclable.

Shogun | 21 October 2010

Travel4nutin, as far as the car losing it's "memory", I seriously doubt it. Most configurations these days are stored in some type of non-volatile ram that does not depend on being hooked up to a battery or any other power source. So, things like radio presets and other personal setting should be retained.

Now, as far as the clock goes, there may be a small rechargeable battery that is only used when primary power is disconnected. These tiny batteries normally have a life span of somewhere around 5 years or so. As long as it's easy to replace I wouldn't care at all, but, if setting the clock is the only thing you have to do when you swap out the main battery, I wouldn't consider that a major pain either.

My old Acura Legend had a theft proof radio. Once the main battery power was removed you had to enter the anti-theft code otherwise the radio was just a lead weight. I could never remember the code and always had to call the Acura dealer. But, I think it only happened two or three times over the 250k miles I had the car.

stevie_a | 23 October 2010

Hello all first poster here so be kind

I am in the UK and I am a big car enthusiast love new and classic cars
I have a BMW at the moment as well as an old Triumph TR7 DHC
I don't know if I will ever be able to afford the Tesla but that doesn't stop me looking at it an finding out all I can about it.

Now my question :

1. I also wonder how much the batteries will cost in UK pounds, how much would we pay today??
2. What size are the battery's???
as it states that it is only a 1 minus battery change

Timo | 23 October 2010

Battery weights several hundred kilos. That ~one minute change is with robotics and automatic swapping platform.

Battery cost is a bit mystery, because that changes a lot depending of the chemistry you use, and when you ask. Few years from now you might get over double energy density batteries at same price they cost now. Few years from that and you get double that in same price. It's like Moores law and it is advancing a bit faster than with computers currently (OTOH, with li-ion batteries there are real physical restrictions that can't be broken which are relatively close unlike with computers that can get few times faster with quantum physics).

For now it is probably somewhere close to 380£/kWh ($500/kWh), and it is dropping fast.

Timo | 23 October 2010

Make that "few times faster" few fantastictrillionzillionwhatever times faster give or take few million.

bcn0209 | 30 October 2010

The battery pack will be a major headache issue. 300 miles range with a brand new pack is realistically going to translate into a 250 mile range vehicle at 1 year.

Li-Po batteries have tremendous capacity however; as a former Dell product engineer, I have had extensive exposure to battery technology in portables. Li-Po batteries begin to gradually lose peak capacity slowly almost immediately. They lose a percentage point or so over the first say...100-200 charges, so, within 1 year, your pack will be down from a 300 mile range vehicle to a 250 mile range vehicle. By the time you get to 3 years, you will need a new pack because your car will probably not be able to make 200 miles. If Tesla does not tell customers this fact, people will be PISSED OFF! Think about your Laptop for a moment...after two years how long did the battery last? How about your cell phone? Its not the motors, the car or anything that will wear out, its the capacity of the battery that will leave you furious. There is no way that after 3 years you will be getting 300 miles per charge if you started out at 300 miles.

Tim10 | 30 October 2010

Bcn0209, I don't believe Tesla is going to use Li-po batteries, at least not for the 160 or 230 mile packs. Also if you are doing 100 to 200 charges then you may have driven upto 30,000 to 60,000 miles with the 300 mile pack. That's considerably more miles than an average years driving, so a lose in capacity should be expected given the battery life data Tesla states. Agree that Tesla could be more upfront about aged mileage as not sure most people would fully understand this.

SteveU | 30 October 2010

FWIW, I've driven my Roadster for 23 months with no measurable decrease in battery capacity. As they say, "your mileage may vary."

Timo | 30 October 2010

@bcn0209, that "250 miles at 1 year" might be correct for some batteries, but not for Tesla batteries. It's going to be more like after ten years, not one. Bigger battery means less DOD cycles.

@Tim10, Roadster battery degradation is mentioned in the Roadster FAQ. Or was mentioned...can't find that FAQ in new website.

Dan5 | 31 October 2010

@bcn0209- From what I've read, the batteries are lithium cobalt oxide. Li-Co batteries are MUCH more robust than Li-Po batteries.
Secondly, the way Tesla designed the charging controller for the batteries makes the Li-Co batteries less sensitive to degradation.
Thirdly, the have a cooling system installed in the batteries which makes heat "damage" less of an issue. Considering the charging conditions, heat exposure, charge discharge cycles, I would say a laptop batteries is "abused" compared to a Tesla battery
You also have to ask yourself about the projected "useful" life, a laptop is 3 years, a car is between 10-15 years. Logically, there's no reason to go with the "better, more robust, more expensive" materials in a laptop- the "good enough" rule applies, but for a car a cheap laptop type chemistry is not good enough.

Ideally, I would be pushing for a Lithium Titanate batteries in the cars since they are even more robust than Li-Co, but that battery chemistry is too new.

Brian H | 1 November 2010

Your arithmetic isn't even close to correct as it stands. If someone is recharging nightly, 1-200 charges per % point drop works out to about 2.5%/annum. 2.5% of 365 is ~9 mile drop, to 291 mi., not 250.
There's a newfangled device out called a "calculator". You should get one.

Brian H | 1 November 2010

Typos: above, corrected and with linebreaks:
bcn0209; Your arithmetic isn't even close to correct as it stands. If someone is recharging nightly, 1-200 charges per % point drop works out to about 2.5%/annum. 2.5% of 300 is ~9 mile drop, to 291 mi., not 250. There's a newfangled device out called a "calculator". You should get one.

Brian H | 1 November 2010

Speaking of calculators, I adjusted one number and forgot the other:2.5% of 300 is a 7.5 mile drop, to 292.5 mi., not 250.

Mark Z | 19 February 2013

"A Battery Replacement Option will be available for purchase soon. The option allows you to pre-purchase a new battery to be installed after eight years for a fixed price: $8,000 for 40 kWh batteries, $10,000 for 60 kWh batteries, and $12,000 for 85 kWh batteries."

Michael S | 20 February 2013

I drove my Roadster for over 2 years before I got my Sig. I noticed only a 2% drop in max range (5 miles) and standard range (3 miles) in that time. Take that for what its worth.

dahtye | 20 February 2013

I'd actually like to keep my old battery. Just think about this:

If a 85KWhr battery is at 50% of capacity, it's of little use for the MS (especially when I'm expecting 240 miles of std range). But a 40KWhr capacity battery could be used to power my home in the daytime while charging at night using lower cost electricity. All this would take is a place to store the battery (complete with it's conditioning circuits and coolant) and a new inverter that converts the battery's DC to AC. The most energy I use on a daily basis is 30KW. Max usage at any time is about 4KW in one hour, so the max rate is not as high as the max rate that the car draws during acceleration.

Cost for electronics and installation should be less than $3K (as DIY). Probably more of a science project or hobby since it would take me over 5 years to recover my costs. But it's worth thinking about.

Brian H | 20 February 2013

I assume you mean 30kWh, max daily total.

Would part of that be recharging your Model S over night? ;)

Kleist | 20 February 2013

@dahtye - that is exactly what TM/SolarCity plan to do with the used batteries: grid storage with batteries already paid for.

dahtye | 20 February 2013

Brian H, yes, 30KWHr max current daily use, not including charging my MS since I charge at work. Last month I charged at home only about 10KWhr (~1 hr on a my NEMA 14-50).

@ Kleist - I wonder if TM will allow me to keep my old battery or if they expect the old one in return for the price they are charging for the new battery. If no, at least the old battery won't go to the landfill.

Kleist | 20 February 2013

The old battery is too valuable for the landfill - and can be recycled for a profit. For the pre-paid option I would guess the return battery is included in the price calculation... so I would assume no.

Brian H | 20 February 2013

Ya, I knew "bug-free" was overstating it. But the point that QC costs time stands. D'you think those who did get a buggy car would now wish they'd taken enough time to prevent them?

Superliner | 20 February 2013

Don't see why Tesla would not allow you to keep your old battery, You bought it! you own the car, you own the battery. Might have to eat a substantial "core charge" though.

Brian H | 21 February 2013

The phrasing is "replacement". That may imply turning in the old one.

Note that a 70% 85kWh car is a 60kWh car, that probably degrades slower than a new one.

Chuck Lusin | 21 February 2013

Hte replacement cost was 8K, 10K and 12K for the 40, 60, and 85. This is proboply close to the true cost, before the huge markup for the larger battery.

Prices from here:

Brian H | 21 February 2013

There's 8 yrs of interest on top of that, plus an estimated 8%/annum drop in cost per kWh. So you can at least double those figures for Present Value.

village33 | 21 February 2013

It will be a fraction of the cost of replacing or extending the life for 8 years of a Panamera/like car. Guaranteed.

Dr. Bob Reinke | 24 February 2013

Because the Dollar is becoming more worthless, it is difficult to place a number on the price of a battery in 8 years. However, I reacently recieved a Newsletter from my Alma, in it an article covered their work on automotive propulsion batterys. The belief is that a that some of the longest range batterys (85 kw) of today (300 mi) will be replaced with batterys of 600 to 1000 mi range in the near future. A lot depends on how long it takes to go from the lab to the production line. Fuyture storage could also be in the form of Super Capacitors. Capacitor charge rate is nearly instant. Dependant only on the source power availability volume. Certainly faster than filling the gas tank. And likely very much cheaper.

Brian H | 25 February 2013

Dr Bob;
As discussed often here, capacitors are fast, but shallow. They have poor "energy density", both "gravitmetric" and "volumetric", but mostly the latter. They are light but take up lots of space, making them impossibly awkward for cars. They can improve efficiency and durability by acting as buffers, and sparing batteries the strains of spikes in charging and discharging, though.

Kleist | 25 February 2013

From lab to automotive quantities 10 years min. You have to realize that TM alone this year consumes about 5% of all Li ion produced in the world (160M out of 3.2B in all shapes and forms).

eq1 | 25 February 2013

I posted something similar to this yesterday in another thread, but it's relevant here, too. Basically, I think people are greatly underestimating the complexity and difficulty of moving from one battery system to another, that is, you'll never be able to 'simply' drop in an upgraded, new-technology pack once yours has degraded. The software and some hardware are made for your sized pack and battery chemistry. Any battery change will require other changes, probably many, many changes, and perhaps so many that it won't be feasible. Put it this way, according to TM there will be no option for 40kW battery owners to upgrade to a larger 60 or 85kW pack. If we can't even do that, what are the chances of upgrading to a completely different battery chemistry, for some unknown future technology? Slim...

dtesla | 25 February 2013

I have never though about getting a bigger battery when it becomes available. I plan to trade up to the 200Kw MS (when available (10 years?)). I want all the new features I don't have now, that my future MS will provide.

Brian H | 25 February 2013

Reminds me of a problem I once had with a used Civic. It kept blowing fuses and electrics. My favorite service guy spent hours trying to find the cause, and finally replaced a $1 battery fuse, refused other payment, and sent me to an auto electric specialist. He found the car was actually a rebuild, and a 90A Toyota alternator had been installed instead of the 60A Honda original! The improvement was negative.

That uber-honest mechanic, Ken Chu, is still in business in Vancouver, BC, I believe, as Samson Motors. I have referred many there over the years. :)