Our friend Sean Mitchell of All Things EVs decided to gather up some data to try to get an idea of how often a Tesla's battery packs fail and need replacing. He also put together a follow-up video with similar data related to Tesla's electric motors (it's embedded at the end of the article).
Some people may be apprehensive about buying a Tesla or any electric car because they're simply not sure how long the batteries will last. We've read plenty of misinformation claiming an EV's battery will die and then people will be out $20,000 for a replacement.
While this could certainly happen in rare instances, the battery packs in EVs are not only expected to last for many years and many miles, but they also have a warranty that lasts at least 8 years or 100,000 miles. In the event your electric car's battery needs replacing after 8 years or 100,000 miles, chances are you got your money's worth, and if you owned a gas car for those years and miles, you probably had to pay for a number of repairs and/or replacements.
With all of that said, Sean sourced information from nearly 200 Tesla owners across the globe to get a general idea of reported battery and motor failures. He is aware that his data is incomplete and that he doesn't have a large enough sample for this to be scientific. However, he is working to collect much more data, and that was actually the goal of putting out these videos. You can actually take Sean's survey, which will submit data to help him out.
Some people have also pointed out that even if many more Tesla owners submit battery and motor data by completing the survey, the results will still likely be skewed. People who have had issues with their Tesla battery or electric motor are probably much more likely to check out the videos and click on the survey. In addition, people who haven't yet bought a Tesla or another EV may find the content interesting, though they won't be able to assist by providing more data via the survey.
As you can see, the task Sean has set out on isn't easy, and there may be no way to get enough data for it to be truly compelling. However, we still find the topic interesting, we're glad Sean is investing time in it, and we're excited to follow along to learn what we can from the incoming data.
Please check out the videos, and if you own a Tesla, share your wisdom with us in the comment section below. Perhaps more importantly, take a few minutes to take Sean's survey so that we can make this Tesla battery and electric motor data more robust and useful going forward.