Let’s Look At Tesla Model S & X Battery Degradation

MAY 16 2018 BY MARK KANE 39

Tesla Model S and Model X owners can sleep well as battery capacity in these cars don’t change much over mileage.

According to the MaxRange Tesla Battery Survey, conducted for some time by Merijn Coumans in the Netherlands via the Dutch-Belgium Tesla Forum, it seems that battery capacity fades by around 5% in the first 50,000 km (31,000 miles) and then degradation slows down to just 1% per 50,000 km or so.

Read Also – Nissan LEAF 30-kWh Battery Degrades More Rapidly Than 24-kWh Pack

The trendline shows 91% of capacity left after 270,000 km (nearly 170,000 miles)! At least that’s the average.

If the trend continues that way, the 80% mark would be reached after 820,000 km (510,000 miles)… and still you can use the car with 80% range. Impressed? We certainly are.

Tesla Model S battery degradation data (Source: Steinbuch)

Tesla Model S battery degradation data (Source: Steinbuch)

Source: Steinbuch, MaxRange Tesla Battery Survey

Categories: Tesla

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39 Comments on "Let’s Look At Tesla Model S & X Battery Degradation"

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It’s impressive that so many people have more than 100% range. I wish someone could come and fix that on my EVs. 😛

That represents a proportion of the specified range. Sometime you get a car with a fraction more.

Or a driver who isn’t trying to impress everyone with it’s speed.

You style of driving greatly affects your mileage. Acceleration, Tire pressure, Windows up or down, A/C use, Weight all affect mileage and efficiency.

No that’s wrong. This is the actual energy content measured in the battery. If it’s over 100 percent it’s more than what Tesla is stating.

It’s a survey conducted on a Tesla forum …do you really expect the owners to actually measures energy content? Of course it’s about the range because that’s easy to observe.

“100% range” just means the EPA rated range. It’s not hard to exceed that with mostly in-city (and not much highway) driving, or conservative driving, or even using a bit of hypermiling technique.

YMMV (Your Mileage May Differ) applies to plug-in EVs, too!

The car should have ex. 75 kWh but batteries can’t be made exactly with 75 kWh since it’s hard to keep exact track of the chemistry in the cells. That’s why you often get slightly better battery then stated.

This has nothing to do with epa range or driving style.

My 2016 Model S 75D has lost ~6 miles in 45k miles.

At less than 200 cycles, it better…

I wonder if the Model 3 batteries will fare better.

They will do better. By how much, maybe a few percent

It would be nice to see a Leaf degradation chart from comparison.

Edit: found some info here: https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/nissan-leaf-battery-capacity-range
It looks like about 25% degradation after 50,000 miles. That’s more loss than the Tesla’s will have at 10x the miles.

this is why I advise ppl to pick up USED leafs. Basically, you can have them for a song.
Anybody buying leafs upfront is a fool.

When I first read your comment, I thought “USED” was an acronym LOL

In So. Cal, my 2013 Leaf SV, with almost 60k miles and 5 years of in service use, has degradation at about 15% ( + or – 1% ) of the 24 kWh pack (LeafSpy Pro).

There are a lot of different factors on the 24 and 30 kWh Leaf pack chemistries , over the previous seven Model years. YRMV.

Wondering if they looked at shear age as well.

That poor bastard with 74% at 7,000 km’s tho.

Could have been someone like me who bought their car in early Dec…. went from 10+ degrees Celsius to -5

Will Tesla sell replacement packs? I know they toyed w/the battery swapping, but what about people that just want to buy a new pack at some point and trade in their old pack?

they already sell the pack. Not a big deal. Just pricey at this time.

Really? I didn’t know that. I wonder if anyone has bought one yet, and what it cost. ALso, can someone upgrade from a small pack to a large pack?

I don’t think they actually sell replacement packs yet. However, Tesla has replaced or repaired packs for people that have lost more then a normal amount of range. And Tesla did offer a one-time upgrade for Roadster owners who were interested in a bigger pack, but that was a very expensive limited time deal.

They don’t really have a lot of motivation to offer replacements yet because the oldest Model S is 5-years old and, as this article shows, they hold their capacity well. So there really isn’t demand for them yet. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an offering at somepoint down the road though, when there is more demand.

Are there also such diagrams which have a 3rd dimension or separated diagrams for (ranges of) the usual charging power? Like always charging with 11kW (the charging rate when using Typ2 without any option) is something completely different than like if you can’t charge at home = like always have to use fast charging. And Tesla limits the fast charging power when used “too often” (whatever that is in numbers…), so it really seems to damage even the Tesla battery very much.


I pay no regard to charging speed or limits. I top off to 90% every day and at least 3 to 4 times a month I charge to 100% all while doing it as fast as the car will go. I mostly use L2 at 12kw daily and I supercharge at least 6 times a month.

Bjorn Nyland had to have his battery pack replaced under 100k Miles in both his Model S and Model X, of course small sample size.

That was for fault in the battery (BMS?). Not for degradation (which is the topic of this article)

He knows but he can’t waste an opportunity to bash Tesla just because it’s not the subject of the study.

No bashing anyone, that is just the facts…

Bjorn did a lot of towing and other high-drain stunts, so his battery cycled more in 66k miles (or whatever it was) than many people do in twice that.

Lithium batteries degrade gradually up to a point, then they fall off a cliff. Tesla’s big batteries get more miles per cycle, so they last a lot of miles. I still haven’t seen one exceed 200k miles without replacement or repair, though.

The graph with this article shows exactly the opposite of what you are saying; the rate of range loss slows over time with no indication of a “cliff” anywhere. In any event their performance is impressive!

The chart isn’t far enough or have data to show the cliff yet…

As MMF says, the chart only shows the “gradual degradation” part. The cliff is 800+ cycles (roughly 200k miles). Bjorn hit the cliff a lot earlier because his towing and hot-rodding meant fewer miles per cycle.

Bjorn and Tesloop both showed very minimal degradation when their batteries failed. That’s how lithiums fail, dendrite growth and such reach a point where they start acting erratically and the BMS shuts them down.

Yet I still hear haters with regularity tell me how EV’s batteries are being dumped into landfills like it’s cool.

Where do they continue coming up with this nonsense??

If you see “let’s rid of the EV tax credit because batteries are being dumped into landfills”, its high odds its from the Koch brothers…

“The trendline shows 91% of capacity left after 270,000 km (nearly 170,000 miles)! At least that’s the average.”

170K miles at 250 miles per charge is only 680 cycles. For a battery that is designed to easily last 2,000 cycles, it should be this good.

That is why large battery with good thermal protection naturally has its own biggest advantage. Less cycle counts.

a battery pack with 250 miles range should reach 2,000 cycles or 500,000 miles with around 65% to 70% capacity remaining if it is well protected.

So this range by survey is fraught with issues.

I have a 70D with 58k miles. Usually it runs to 230 if I fully charge. And 204 is my typical daily charge.
Now I did a very long trip where I fully charged and ran down to low. (FYI when I was trying, I got 145 miles using just 115) Then I fully charged back to typical daily. It went up to 208. When I have done this before, I have seen my usual 230 go up to 234 or so.

So what should I report?

Presumably I should report 234 since that is what it reads after I fully balance it. But how many people taking the survey know that? 10%?

The difference is 2.5% vs 4.2%. A not insignificant difference. My car is 3 years old next week. I live in NC which has a climate rating of 1.0 – meaning exactly average for the US in regards to battery life.

Leaf is down 1 bar but I have gotten 80 miles out of it recently and that is what it usually reports. 50k miles, 5 years, 2 months old. I would gather it is at 15% or so lost.

If you look at the instructions on the cited source you can see that the battery should be discharged to 0% then charged to 100% and then check the available mileage on range mode.
The issue with self reporting surveys is the human element, so take the information from the survey with a grain of salt, still if only 10% did the survey correctly it would mean that the results are underrating the battery capacity which seems hard to grasp seeing the results.

People do realize that the insane cycle life in terms of kms/miles, that Tesla’s battery delivers is not because the actual cycle life of the battery (in terms of number of cycles) is huge, but is largely down to the sheer size of the battery. Even at, say a cycle life of barely 1000 (for 20% degradation in capacity) with each cycle offering a range of 400km, the vehicle would have covered close to 350,000km. That is a lot more than a average user drives before he/she sells their car. I would be disappointed if Tesla’s battery offers anything less than 300,000 km before the battery degrades to 80% of its initial capacity.