Battery Upgrade

Battery Upgrade

Just wondering if our Tesla vehicles like the M3 could ever have a battery upgrade? So lets say Tesla comes up with a 110kwh, could it be possible to buy the new battery for extra range? Or is this not possible? Just curious.

stingray.don | 21 février 2020


I don’t see that happening. It would be more practical to trade in the car for the new model.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 21 février 2020

I don’t know about that. They’ve designed the car to facilitate warranty replacement of batteries, so I doubt the complexity of swapping them outweighs a full new vehicle.

Joshan | 21 février 2020

Musk says that Tesla wouldn’t replace a whole battery pack, but they will offer battery module replacements for between $5,000 and $7,000.

Tesla specifically designed Model 3 to focus on battery module replacements instead of changing the whole battery pack.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 21 février 2020

^ bingo. I presume newly designed (higher capacity) modules will be compatible with the baseline pack. For balancing purposes one may be unable to have old and new modules intermingled, but in theory could change them out for less than the cost of a new vehicle.

Bighorn | 21 février 2020

He has since said that the modules are not replaceable and it was a mistake in architecture.

Joshan | 21 février 2020

thanks Bighorn!

Joshan | 21 février 2020

any further info on how that would affect replacement or costs?

vmulla | 21 février 2020

A battery upgrade on the 3 would not make practical sense because of the labor costs and trade-in losses on the battery

It's more practical to upgrade your car instead of just the battery.

Bighorn | 21 février 2020

Presumably a whole battery and whatever the going rate of that would be. Nobody is buying a battery at retail for the foreseeable future. Even 7 year old cars are not routinely finding an upgrade path outside of module failures.

Bighorn | 21 février 2020

It’s kind of like getting a new battery for your iPhone 3 vs getting an iPhone 11.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 21 février 2020

Bighorn | February 21, 2020
He has since said that the modules are not replaceable and it was a mistake in architecture.

Huh. Alright then.
Odd that it took them so long to figure that out.

andy.connor.e | 21 février 2020

As long as the car can improve, which Teslas can, replacing the battery is viable.

Like @Bighorn said about the iPhone, the thing is obsolete in 2 years. No point getting new battery. | 21 février 2020

@Bighorn - the Best example I've heard yet!

vmulla | 21 février 2020

I keep telling folks that my car's battery might have a usable life well past my lifetime :)
I'm guessing the worst case deterioration in my lifetime might look like 60%? (Totally guessing) That's still a more usable car than my brand new 2015 Leaf.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 21 février 2020

Not sure I buy the iPhone analogy. Most phones are specifically designed to make replacement difficult, and to be quickly obsoleted. Tesla cars are meant to last, and they had a goal to make replacement simple, although they seemingly failed in at least one approach.

derotam | 21 février 2020

Ok so I'll comment. Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't manufacturers at least in the US required to provide replacement parts for something like 20 years? If that is true, do you really think that Tesla is going so maintain the exact same cell technologies for 20 years versus updating the technology but just in the same form factor as will fit in the older vehicles?

andy.connor.e | 21 février 2020

I've heard that before. | 21 février 2020

I expect in 20 years, our current Teslas will be so obsolete that I can't imagine sinking $10K for a new battery into a car that is likely worth $5K.

On a 20-year-old ICE car, how many people spend $10K to replace the engine and transmission? It most cases the car is scrapped as soon as either one dies.

The problem with 20-year-old cars is all sorts of stuff is going bad on any car. Seats are falling apart, rubber seals are shot, the suspension is likely on it last legs, a portion of the 50 or so small electric motors has died, there scratches, dents, windshield pockmarks and more. The technology is way out of date in both safety and operational improvements. I get that there are rare exceptions when people spend $50K to restore a $5K car, but for 99.99% of owners with a 20-year-old car, as soon any anything slightly expensive is needed, it's ready to be towed to the junkyard.

bjrosen | 21 février 2020

If you have to replace the entire pack it makes no sense. If faced between a $20-$25K upgrade or just trading the car in for a new one with a bigger pack the trade in makes much more sense. In the future someone will be selling an EV with a modular batter pack which will allow you to add packs later. Supposed the battery module was 25KWh, the base car would come with two giving you a 200+ mile range. If you could then add another for $5000 or two for $10000 that might be very attractive. If I could buy another 25KWh for $5000 I'd do it in a heartbeat. This car wasn't designed to do that

Bighorn | 21 février 2020

@MAB iphone batteries are a lot easier to replace than a Tesla's. Heck, I've replaced iphone batteries a couple times.

I can't imagine anybody is going to drive enough to get the capacity down to 60%. A failure is more likely before that threshold comes. I think the current 3 batteries have a lifetime of 300-500k miles. | 21 février 2020

@bjrosen - One of the Chinese car companies plans to do modular batteries, but don't remember all the details or the company. I expect it will add some expense though, as you need more electrical connectors and cooling fluid connections. You may also need more structural materials when packs are missing as the Tesla pack is also a structural member in the car. It will be interesting to see if it comes to the market and how well it works in practice. It seems viable, especially to make a low-end option, such as a 100-mile range version that can be upgraded.

vmulla | 21 février 2020,
In 20 years our Teslas will be more advanced than other cars the same age, and have less wear because of lesser things to break :) so the traditional line of thought for upgrading has to be modified a bit.
I'm not countering your observation, just adding a little more context to it ;)

Bighorn | 21 février 2020

Maybe BYD for their commercial applications?

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 21 février 2020

Bighorn | February 21, 2020
@MAB iphone batteries are a lot easier to replace than a Tesla's. Heck, I've replaced iphone batteries a couple times.

I have too. Screens as well. Of course a car battery is more difficult to replace than a phone battery, despite the former being designed as an easy replacement and the latter being designed as a difficult replacement.

TeslainME | 21 février 2020

Thanks for all the input. My analogy is like RAM in my computer. Different beasts I know. But if my computer comes with 8 GB of memory. I go online and by 32GB and install myself . My thinking he is that this fall a 110 KWH pack is available for XXX amount of money. No problem just make an appointment and this fall, they swap out the battery, I pay for it and now I have more range. Not wait 20 years. This fall (hypothetically of course). Would you do it? And could it be done (I bet it could).

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 21 février 2020

^EV traction battery of course, not a car LV battery which is trivial.

Czardmitri | 21 février 2020

Didn’t Musk have a event where he showed off a battery replacement as faster than getting gas a couple years ago?

Bighorn | 21 février 2020

S has a swappable battery. 3 could be upgraded if they maintained the form factor, but it won’t be offered until batteries are produced in surplus which is several GFs away.

bjrosen | 21 février 2020

Tesla did experiment with battery swap stations before they built the Supercharger network. NIO does it in China, it takes a few minutes to swap batteries and you can have a bigger battery swapped in. I'm assuming that those batteries are rented rather than owned but I'm not sure. I read somewhere that some European EV, maybe the Zoe, has rented batteries. Renting instead of owning changes the economics of swapping batteries.

jefjes | 21 février 2020

@Czardmitri- That was tried for the Model S but most owners didn't seem to like the idea of swapping out the battery that they know how well it was maintained and charged with one they had no knowledge of. I kinda see their point and it could become a warranty nightmare for Tesla.

sheldon.mike1010 | 21 février 2020

Most of our batteries will be fine for more than 8 years.
By then, it will be time for newest Model 3.

mrburke | 21 février 2020

In 8 years we won't need batteries in cars.
They'll be powered by Mr Fusion

craigfaust | 29 mars 2020

I have a 2019 model S. STD range. Can I buy a 100 kWh battery module to replace my current 75kwh. They have them on EBay for less than 2,000. I just want to boost range and 0-60. Who can swap out the module?

stingray.don | 29 mars 2020


As was stated previously in this thread, just trade in the car and get what you want. | 29 mars 2020

@craigfaust -

1. You do realize you're in the Model 3 forum?
2. Yes, you can swap out, but realize these are 1200 pound monsters, that require special equipment to remove and replace and everything needs to be torqued properly.
3. The 100 kWh battery has different electrical connections than older battery packs, so the connector would need to be replaced in the car after the old battery is removed.
4. Currently, Tesla will not sell you a different size battery or do such a swap.
5. I'd have zero trust in any battery sold for $2,000. Either it is physically damaged, degraded, or has other internal problems. More likely someone has removed the battery modules and they are selling a frame or it was water damaged and unusable.

@stingray.don has the right answer.

Lonestar10_1999 | 29 mars 2020

It would be instructive for the forum if craigfaust went ahead and purchased the EBay battery and had a swap out by a non Tesla mechanic. What could possibly go wrong?

Xerogas | 29 mars 2020

@Lonestar10_1999: "It would be instructive for the forum if craigfaust went ahead and purchased the EBay battery and had a swap out by a non Tesla mechanic. What could possibly go wrong?"
Sounds like a great episode for reddit

jordanrichard | 29 mars 2020

Craigfaust, there is no 100 kWh “module”. Also, this guy on E-bay selling a 100kWh pack for $2,000, does that come with a bridge in NYC?