Check Out This Used Tesla Model S With A Brand New Battery


What a fantastic battery upgrade, compliments of Tesla.

We’ve been eagerly anticipating the conclusion to our friend Sean Mitchell’s Tesla battery replacement story. As many of you know (and if not, you can check out the related video below), Sean bricked his used Tesla Model S battery mostly due to a lack of proper care. He has since admitted that and is using the situation as a means to educate people about proper EV battery care. Tesla batteries are known (and have been proven) to last a very long time in most cases. Sean’s situation is an outlier, but fortunately for us, new electric car owners can learn from it and get many of their battery anxiety questions answered.

Sean has been waiting to have the battery replaced on his used Tesla Model S. It finally quit on him at around 130,000 miles after he fast-charged it to 100 percent multiple times a day for about three years. Sean’s job requires many miles away from home, and his high-mileage 60-kWh battery pack just wasn’t enough to provide the range he needed. His only choice was to hit up Superchargers a few times a day and further degrade the battery pack. Even if he did know better, he really didn’t have another option. Good news! Now he does …

Fast forward to this week and Sean has received his new battery from Tesla. Not only was it free of charge, but the automaker also gave him a 75-kWh pack. He had been previously told that it would likely be limited to 60 kWh, to mirror the pack it was replacing. However, Tesla decided to give Sean access the battery’s full potential. Now, he will no longer have range issues, which will allow him to work his job and take better care of his new battery. Excellent!

We just spoke with Sean and he is enjoying the heck out of his new Tesla Model S battery. Nothing like another positive story for EV owners to share.

Check out the video above (Part 4) for all the details. Additionally, we’ve including Part 3 of the series below:

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28 Comments on "Check Out This Used Tesla Model S With A Brand New Battery"

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Shame he wasn’t able to get the 100kWh pack and pay the difference. I’m sure he would have loved to jump on that given how much mileage he does. Always better to use the middle portion of the battery for regular use. It’s not a big deal using the low or high end extremes of the battery once in a while but if you do it on a regular basis then you’re asking for trouble.

It makes me wonder – what would the cost difference be between buying a Model S 60 with a potentially bad battery and paying to replace the battery vs. buying a Model S S85?

I am just wondering how much time he is wasting if he is supercharging to 100% multiple times a day. This is a rare case that a decent hybrid would have better served him than an EV. A Prius could go 500+ miles easy on 10 gal fill up.

As always, it’s not just a question of optimizing, but what you’re optimizing for. Time? Out of pocket expense? Convenience? Something else entirely? (Thinking here of the BMW M6 Convertible I saw on the road yesterday, a 560 HP, $119K car that clearly has a notably different appeal than the cars we talk about here and drive in our real lives…)

Even though I’m about as militantly pro-EV as anyone here, I have to agree with your comment. A hybrid or PHEV likely would have been a more sensible match for this person’s (admittedly highly unusual) usage pattern.

Opinion please – I have 6-8x/month business trips, 175 – 275 mi one way, work day with no electricity available at destination and return trip home. So, figuring 2-3 supercharger stops and in winter probably running down to about 3% SoC before supercharging. Does this sound like similar set up for battery failure? (approx 28k business mi/yr) Now considering hybrid.

I had never heard of TMspy, I used to have LEAFspyPro and on my Chevy I just started using TORQUE so these smart phone APs are really starting to cover many different cars. I’ve also used a SCAN GAUGE unit that reads on it’s own little screen for many cars of all types. It would be nice if an automaker made more of this info available on their car screen. It’s all in the OBDII port why hide it?

Battery shouldn’t fail before 200k miles.
Having said that it’s good that Tesla assumed the defect and replaced the pack without costs.

Wasn’t the model S60 the version with a pack ready for 75kWh? I know that was the case for some versions, if this was such a version would make this model S even more relaxedfor taking more charges without issues.

Why trip information doesn’t show the average speed? I would like to see at what average speed those 280Wh/miles correspond to.

The 280wh/mi is summer driving on 21″ wheels – mostly around Denver but some mountain driving too.

Later S60 had software-limited 75 kWh packs; the early ones were actually 60 kWh.

“Battery shouldn’t fail before 200,000 miles” is a totally arbitrary request. I’m pretty sure most cars will have some failures in various parts of the power train before getting 200,000 miles. And that’s fine. At some point, trying to make things unbreakable just gets unreasonable…


Porsche gave up Diesel this year. Wish being granted, slowly! I love you, man.

From the looks on the app screen, the “new” battery had 45k+ miles on it. Could it have been refurbished but the Service Center told him it was a new one? The mileage on the old battery had 145k+ miles on it. Unless he’s driven 45k+ miles in the car since getting the new battery.

I noticed that after I posted the video. Refurbished is the first thing that came to mind when I saw it.

“Sean bricked his used Tesla Model S battery mostly due to a lack of proper care. ”

I thought Tesla allowed people to use 100% charging on SC daily if it needs to be.

130K miles is only about 650 cycles. I am surprised that it degraded that fast. So, how much capacity did it lose? I assume more than 30% to trigger the warranty.

Now, I am glad that Tesla stepped up to replace his battery. That is awesome. 60kWh battery only has 8yr/125K miles warranty. I am glad that Tesla stepped up to replace the battery beyond warranty. But this is still concerning that it degraded that quickly.

Does anyone has the information on how much capacity it lost?

His battery showed only 5.7% degradation. The pack’s problem likely has nothing to do with degradation but more likely to do with the contactor. There were plenty of 2013’s with contactor issues.

Why would contactor cause capacity/range issue he described in his last article? If contactor has problem, then the whole pack would fail.

You’re right, clearly that wasn’t the problem.

“130K miles is only about 650 cycles”

Pretty typical of the original batteries. Tesloop’s 2015 Model S90D started acting up at 194k miles or a bit over 650 cycles. That’s also consistent with typical consumer li-ion cells.

In late 2015 Tesla started talking about silicon in the anode. Tesloop has two 2016+ Model X 90Ds with 300k+ miles on the original battery. That’s about 1400 cycles. They have four others with 200k+, all on the original battery. Limited sample size, but I’d say the new cells last much longer. Congrats to Tesla/Panasonic.

Considering that NCA batteries are usually rated for 500 cycles or less, 650 really doesn’t sound that bad…

Tesla opted for the chemistry with the highest density, at the expense of some cycle life. And I think that’s fine. 130,000 miles in the worst case scenario (most people will get much more), really doesn’t sound bad at all.

The original pack specs were 61 kWh nominal with 58.5 kWh usable. As it ships, the pack may have more than that, but should settle into that pretty quick.

According to the BMS, his pack right before replacement had 55.2 kWh. It also appeared to be somewhat out of balance. So he’s had 5.6% degradation after 145,210 miles.

His issue isn’t degradation. I suspect this might actually do with the contactor and not the cell modules.

How accurate is the BMS? Tesloop’s car also had its battery replaced when it reported more range than the car got which leads it to run out of range couple times. Tesla reported it as “faulty sensor/SW” and “out of balance” issue.

It is way more accurate than the UI shows. I’ve seen the debug mode report SoC and temp. data down to the modules for sure. It was a quick look, so I don’t know about per cell.

An “out of balance” issue points to something far different than the contactors being worn out. Worn contactors would cause complete failure to charge, or overheating of the contactors/plug while charging. Neither of those problems were reported here.

Capacity degradation is only one of the possible problems caused by worn cells. The other is increasing internal resistance, resulting in inability to deliver power. That’s why a mobile phone with an old battery will often show a high charge state, but it suddenly drops as soon as you try making a call…

I haven’t watched the videos, though — so no idea whether this might be what actually happened here.

62,000+ kWhs to go 145k miles? Ouch, that’s 430 Wh per mile. For a Model S? What’s this guy doing, driving uphill all the time?

Hello, this article made me examine our Model S. It’s a 2014 60kwh battery with 101,000 miles. A full charge is now 167 miles. We only supercharge on long trips but that’s never more than 2 or 3 times per month. I contacted Tesla and referenced this article and how Tesla handled the situation for Mr. Mitchell. Their response was that our battery has no hardware faults, battery degradation is normal, and to please read the manual. I asked Tesla to explain the difference between Mr. Mitchell’s situation and our own and they declined. If possible, could you share how the process worked for Mr. Mitchell at the Colorado service center? Thanks.

This whole article seems weird. First if he quick charged once a day for 3 years that should amount to 220,000 miles minimum., but multiple times? Why does the “used car” only have 130,000 miles? Seems like it should have 400,000 miles like a taxi.

It is a happy story, glad he got a new battery and the battery went kapuut. There is no battery degradation warranty on the S and X models so you are at Tesla’s mercy.

Just curious, why does he get a new battery when thousands of other Tesla owners only have 50 to 60% battery capacity left?

Ok it has a Battery. Now how much does it cost? Haven’t read this yet.