Find Out How This Tesla Model S Is Holding Up After 400,000 Miles

JUL 28 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 49

This 2015 Tesla Model S P90D may have more miles than any other Tesla on the planet, but how did it get there?

We’ve reported about Tesloop’s high-mile Model S in the past. At the beginning of 2016, after less than a year in service, the car hit the 100K-mark. Not long after that, it passed 200,000 miles, with just over a year of service under its belt. Tesloop provides shuttle service in California, so it’s not hard to accumulate miles quickly.

Tesloop’s “eHawk” Model S averages about 17,000 miles each month, most of which are driven using Autopilot. According to the company (via Teslarati), maintenance costs have added up to less than five cents per mile. Over the course of three years, Tesloop has spent about $19,000 on servicing the car.

The total may sound like a lot of money, especially when considering $12,200 for scheduled maintenance and $6,500 for repairs, but it pales in comparison to other luxury cars. Based on Tesloop’s estimates, a Lincoln Town Car could cost you about $88,500 to maintain over 400K miles, while a Mercedes-Benz GLS class could set you back nearly $100,000 in repair costs to travel that many miles. These estimates approach 22 to 25 cents per mile.

Below is a breakdown of major repairs on Tesloop’s Model S:

  • Battery pack at 194,000 miles
  • Battery pack at 324,000 miles
  • Drive unit 36,000 miles

The first battery only saw 6 percent degradation before it was replaced, even though Tesloop visits Supercharger daily. The second battery didn’t perform as well, losing an estimated 22 percent before replacement. However, the company admitted that it charged the car to 95 or 100 percent every time, which isn’t recommended by Tesla and has been proven to deplete battery capacity more rapidly. After the initial battery replacement, Tesla service stated:

Found internal imbalance in HV battery due to consistent supercharging to 100% from a low state of charge (SOC) without any rest periods in between. HV battery has been approved to be replaced. Also recommend that customer does not Supercharge on a regular basis and does not charge to 100% on a regular basis. We also recommend that the customer use scheduled charging to start charge 3 hours after end of drive at low SOC.

The original drive unit must have been faulty since it was replaced so quickly. Fortunately, it was under warranty. The replacement unit has gone the long haul with no issues, achieving a whopping ~364,000 miles thus far!

Tesloop also opted for upgraded seats to better serve its customers. While this is included in the above maintenance costs, it wasn’t necessary. Nonetheless, the seats have lasted several years with 1000s of customers riding in the vehicle.

In the end, Tesloop believes this Model S will hit one million-mile status in the future, making it the first Tesla vehicle to achieve the milestone. The company also has a Model X 90D with over 300,000 miles accumulated. Its battery has only degraded about 10-percent and the rear drive unit was replaced at 300,000 miles. Company founder Haydn Sonnad recently shared:

Vehicle connectivity is about to transform the car ownership and user experience. We are close to the point where increasingly sophisticated autonomous driving features and deep connectivity are coupled with electric drivetrains that last hundreds of thousands of miles, a whole new approach to mobility can be offered, that will transform the economics of car ownership and usage, while offering a greatly superior customer experience.

Source: Teslarati

Categories: Tesla

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49 Comments on "Find Out How This Tesla Model S Is Holding Up After 400,000 Miles"

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This is the sort data that you can take to the bank. As time goes by and more and more Tesla’s are in the hands of consumers the bulb in their lizard brains will light up as they realize the cost savings these vehicles facilitate.
Besides 3-5X less maintenance cost is worth more than just the difference in the cost of maintenance.

Every time I go to the dealer for maintenance, it’s 3 to 4 hour ordeal. More than just upfront money cost, one’s time savings is worth a lot more, especially if one’s income is high enough to afford Tesla S, Mercedes, etc.

Last time i took my (soon to be gone last) gasser to a Lexus dealer they gave my a loaner on the spot for a hour wait oil change. Everyone can and should operate this way.

You ignore the time it takes to drive to dealer and back. If they gave you a rental, you are hit double with driving, because you drive to/from dealer in your car and then do it again with the rental. It takes 30 min to get to dealer with no traffic, so even a rental means 2 hours wasted.

True but in my case the loaner was used to get something to eat. As for Tesla, they also have the mobile service that can take care of minor things. For all the rest, you get the loaner for a day or 2 and shut up about it because the only other way is not to own a car at all.

Or go shopping or pay your bills.

Tesla came to my house with a loaner, took my car, serviced it, brought my car back and took the loaner back….

Now THAT is how it should be done: working around your schedule, not the dealer schedule. I doubt Mercedes, etc. do that for all service like routine oil change.

In the automotive industry, the brand new cars they loan out as a service loaner are thought of by the dealership as a sales expense.

You are probably thinking to yourself “BS, I was there to get service, not to buy a car”. That is true, but they just got you to test drive a brand new Lexus….

It is the same reason why Tesla has been updating their service loaner fleet to performance versions. Otherwise they would just use cheap rental cars for everybody.

True on the test drive a new lex. The problem was our Lexus is a hybrid and what they gave us was a poor regular gasser (same model ES) so that only reminded me how sucky they are and how much I wanna go full electric with my second car too. So i guess later this year when i will replace it with another ev i will have to send a thank you card to the dealer for reminding me what i have to do.

If you can afford a bolt, you can afford either a M3, or a used MS.

Bolt EV runs maybe $30-40k right now, Model 3 is $50-80k. M3 is a BMW. Comparing used cars to new is always an option, but isn’t really fair as warranty, etc, aren’t comparable.

Bolt on sale post subsidy is $22K. TM3 post subsidy is currently $40K. That’s completely different animal in price range. However, I can afford M3 and wanted one, but the damn thing wasn’t available. The option that I want, SR + self driving, still isn’t available, probably won’t be available for another year or two.

They give me a loaner so I don’t mind a dealer

Pretty impressive.

I wonder what year their Model X is, that has logged 300+k mi., with ONLY approximately 10% battery degradation? Maybe a 2016 or probably a 2017 Model X ?

From article: “…Tesloop has spent about $19,000 on servicing the car [Tesla Model S] [over 400,000 miles]… a Lincoln Town Car could cost you about $88,500 to maintain over 400K miles, while a Mercedes-Benz GLS class could set you back nearly $100,000 in repair costs to travel that many miles…”
——————-

That there is the biggest issue the franchise dealer network for traditional car makers have with pure EV cars… there is no mechanical ICE to maintain and EV regen braking means nearly no braking system wear… not good for a traditional service department.

Considering 1/2 or more of the profits are made at the service department for traditional franchise dealerships that’s a very big deal…

And to add insult to injury increasingly car owners are purchasing tires from places like Costco… because it’s more convenient and cost effective to have your tires replaced while shopping at Costco than make a special trip to the dealership service department.

Two things I wonder about: Why did Tesla decide to replace battery #1 when its capacity was only 6% down? Now that Tesla recommended they change their charging regimen, will they refuse to change the battery again if Tesloop keeps on “abusing” the battery?

I dont think tesla considers it abuse.

There was an earlier report a year back about a car from them that had its battery replaced at 200k miles due to a faulty bms software. I wonder if it’s this same car.

It is the same car. The battery was replaced bc the SW showed more range than the battery had and the car got stranded couple times…

Read the original Tesloop blog article that the Teslarati article referenced. I’m honestly not sure why Insideevs decided to use the Teslarati article as the source instead of the original blog post.

The battery would die a few miles after charging. Tesla told them it was a “firmware problem”, but it acted like a classic high cycle failure.

Interesting, so maybe it was a battery failure. Not sure why would they hide it, 200k miles is plenty for a battery.

How about a battery failure caused by a BMS software problem?…

We can only guess but that is also a possibility.

This car has gotten a lot of attention, and a lot of articles about it. As I recall, Tesla said that the BMS firmware problem was something that would be fixed by a software update (and it was), but rather than make the customer wait for that, they went ahead and replaced the battery pack.

It’s not like Tesla had to throw away the original pack. They could use that as a replacement in another car, as soon as the software was updated.

Of course they will say that but are we supposed to believe everything? I wanna see one go to 300k miles on one battery and then i will believe them.

It actually didn’t behave at all like a classic high cycle failure issue. They went from being able to complete their full long range loop, to having it stop soon after just charging. That is not at all what classic high cycle failure looks like. High cycle failure is much more gradual, especially with so many battery cells.

There are other EV’s out there with battery failures that have well documented classic battery pack failure in EV’s, if you need details.

Brings up several questions:

Obviously the second drive unit is superior to the first. What was the improvement?

Now why was the second battery worse than the first?

Why does Tesla recommend letting the battery sit for 3 hours until charging? I thought you only had to do that with Leafs.

If the cooling system for the battery is so great, why can’t you start charging it immediately?

During the 3 hours couldn’t they at least do some cell equalization if they don’t want to send huge amounts of current through the ‘tired’ battery?

Drive unit failure at 36k was probably “milling problem”. Tesla used different bushings or something in later designs.

Second battery might have been used. Or maybe just had some less-good cells.

Yes, the first drive unit was the bad washer in the drive unit that they had widespread problems with. All that had to be replaced was the metal bushing (washer in layman’s terms), but Tesla would typically just remove the whole drive unit and put a refurbished unit in, then take the old unit and refurbish the entire unit. That way customers weren’t stuck waiting for their cars to be fixed for a long time. It also gave Tesla a unique opportunity to go through and inspect their used drive units with various miles and various build lots, and do fault regression.

Second battery was a refurbished unit, and had a fault that caused range to drop much quicker than normal that they covered under warranty. *shrug* It happens.

“Now why was the second battery worse than the first?”

Well, Nix addressed your question in his comment below.

“Why does Tesla recommend letting the battery sit for 3 hours until charging? I thought you only had to do that with Leafs.”

Because Tesloop was, and is, using Superchargers for all their charging of this car. Nobody designs cars for that, not even Tesla. BEVs should be slow-charged except when they are driven beyond their range. Tesloop was/is using its Model S hard, and according to reports, was always recharged at a Supercharger.

It’s great to see this car has held up so well despite being used so hard for years.

Go Tesla!

I don’t have fast charging on my BOLT ev, but I’ll have to talk to my friend Brian regarding his Bolt. On that car I am not aware of any restriction whatsoever, other than tapering which Tesla’s do the majority of the time also.

It would be interesting to see more elaboration from Tesla on this point, as I’m sure my Canadian friends whose Tesla “S”‘s are just coming out of warranty, would be interested in the reason why Tesla mentioned this at this relatively late date.

Pushi, please go to the Tesla model 3 cooling strip down article and elaborate on your accusation you made against me there. I want it fully fleshed out.

Thanks for restating the obvious – I can read his response myself. There was no response to my last point, that of end cycle balancing – something that most other cars do – especially since Tesla said there was an “Internal Imbalance due to Supercharging”. The 3 hour wait while doing nothing mystifies me a bit – unless it is doing end-cycle balancing with the charging cord disconnected as my Roadster used to do. That is a question to be put to other ‘S’ owners – in other words, when disconnecting from either level 2 or supercharging, and letting the car sit for 3 hours, is the car just sitting there or is it doing something productive?

(My Bolt ev if still plugged in after charging is complete – will do end cycle balancing at a low current level. My ELR will cool the battery after charging is complete if it is still plugged in, even at the 900 watt charge setting. The Ford Energi products run the cooling fan at the end of charge. )

Tesloop runs through some of the hottest parts of the US, like Palm Springs (currently 105 degrees F as I write this, with temps to reach 112 this week). And they do long runs at highway speeds after back-to-back charging. The suggested wait is to allow the batteries to cool.

Again, this IS NOT A PROBLEM with typical users who may do this from time to time. This is advice Tesla is giving this company for how they are using their car. So if I hear any BS about “Nix says Tesla’s have to wait 3 hours every time they supercharge”, you have been forewarned…..

Ok then it is exactly the same issue as only Nissan drivers in TUCSON had a problem, and will not affect anyone else. Got it, SuperDope.

Now I wonder if someone actually knows the answer to my question.

Amazing! Great job, Tesla. Keep the awesome products coming.

My my. Had a second Leaf battery degraded like that you’d never hear the end of it.

By “like that” you mean last 130k miles with 22% degradation? Let’s see if the new Leaf can get the here because the old one…well you know the rest.

If Tesloop had a Leaf and drove it similarly hard it would last about a month, maybe, and take forever to charge..

You’re right; if any Leaf had a pack that stood up that well to being subjected to daily charging at Supercharger levels, Nissan would be shouting its triumph to the high heavens!

But okay, that’s not fair. Leaf battery packs, having smaller capacity, have to be cycled more often, so wear out sooner over a given number of miles.

OTOH, it is fair to point out that Leaf packs often wear out much sooner because Nissan chose a very poor battery chemistry, one which can’t take the heat… unlike the VW eGolf, which just like the Leaf uses only passive cooling, but doesn’t suffer from the kind of premature aging the Leaf does. But that’s not the subject here.

The maintenance cost could be even lower if they would stop loosing their keys to the car.
And they had some minor accidents as well (headlight damage, some scratches at the bumper).
Those happen during use, but should be counted separately in my opinion, but they are the fault of the operator.

Do they get free charging on them too?

AFAIK yes, the older Tesloop cars were purchased before the new policy for commercial supercharger use, so they are likely grandfathered in. Their excessive supercharger use might also be a reason for introducing that policy in the first place, before supercharger enabled trans-continantal courier services were started by others. On the other hand, heavy use of the cars on regular roads is likely resulting in valuable data for Tesla, and the high lifetime and low maintenance cost press coverage is probably well worth the expense for electricity.
Would be intersting to know how many of Tesloops customers decided to buy a Tesla after the ride to Vegas / back.
I mean, who ever can afford a personal interstate shuttle service to Vegas, has to have some money to spend.

To be fair, fleet operators know this is going to happen with employees driving ANY car. They track them as costs, well, because they are costs of doing business. And some cars end up costing more than other cars when employees inevitably lose keys or do damage they would be crazy to submit to insurance.

So for the purposes of fleet managers comparing different cars, the expenses are valid. Some other car could have had much less expensive keys or headlights and the bean counters would prefer that car instead if the savings were enough.

I don’t get why this car is featured so often seeing as it has had all relevant components replaced several times. Which parts of the car has actually gone the full 400k miles? The steel frame and aluminum panels, at best. Well whoopty-dee-doo, what an achievement!

I hear the engine oil is still original. You seem very disturbed by this achievement.

Okay, stop. Find me the Town Car with $400k+ miles. Because including “replacement cost” in the value “maintenance cost” feels like a cheat. Or is this the Town Car of Theseus?