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Battery Replacement Cost?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Dan Detweiler, Jan 12, 2017.

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  1. Dan Detweiler

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    I guess I am filled with open ended questions these days, but I am floored by the double standard regarding EVs in general and Teslas specifically.

    Why do people feel the need to include the cost to replace the battery pack in their analysis of operating expenses for an EV? You never see someone talk about engine replacement on an ICE. Even if something does go wrong with the battery on a Tesla it is covered under warranty for 8 years. I don't get it. Am I missing something?

    Dan
     
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    • garsh

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      Everybody is used to their phone & laptop batteries losing too much capacity after 2-3 years. The Nissan Leaf didn't help the situation, as it too had similar battery degradation issues.

      The fact that Tesla batteries show very minimal degradation after 5 years has been a very unexpected surprise. In the case of a Tesla, you would not have to factor in battery replacement. Also, keep in mind that Tesla's battery warranty does NOT (and never did) cover capacity degradation.
       
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      • TrevP

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        #3 TrevP, Jan 12, 2017
        Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
        @Dan Detweiler The reason is that the only exposure people have to lithium-ion batteries is cell phones which have a shelf life of about 2 years. Therefore they assume EV batteries behave the same way.

        We all know that's not true. It's a matter of educating them with facts and science and breaking the "my iPhone 4 battery only lasts 3 hours" myth through communication.

        One last thought: Yes Model S has an expensive battery (upward of $40K was number mentioned in the past) but that pack was not designed with economies of scale or optimal efficiencies in mind. The battery pack of the Model 3 is the most expensive part of the car but they're cutting the base cost of the car by 50% from the Model S. There's some serious optimization and cost savings going on here.

        Besides, battery costs are dropping like crazy so in 15 years when you might need to replace it the prices will have come down so much that factoring a price right now is moot. Best to deal with it when the time comes.

        The recent Gigafactory event for investors proves that Tesla has costs in check because they're eliminating all the middle men and making the cells themselves. Can't say that about LG Chem and Samsung SDI that everyone else is using. There are markups involved.
         
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        • Rick59

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          Dan, it's because you're not cynical enough. Tesla haters will use any argument to put down Tesla cars.
           
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          • BigBri

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            Even if you consider battery replacement Tesla has already said they can recycle a vast majority of it and they'd just have to run the materials thru the same process, there isn't a lot of waste with a spent Tesla battery and it looks like it'd need to be an insane amount of driving to really hurt the capacity THAT much. Chances are the most expensive part of battery replacement would be the labour and freight to get it back for recycling.
             
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            • Steve C

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              I wonder if they will show how many Ludicrous+ launches a car has done when purchasing used or CPO. You wouldn't want to be the buyer of the Model S P100D that's always at the drag strip and not know it.
               
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              • BigBri

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                Good point. Hopefully we can expect an added layer of transparency with CPOs as the usage data will be available to Tesla.
                 
              • CrB

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                Hi Everyone,

                I actually do want to know the cost for replacing a model 3 battery, but haven't been able to find it. I have some time before my reserved spot comes up and would like to better understand the cost of ownership before I commit. Do you know if that data is available from Tesla? Or perhaps a timeline for when they will provide it?
                 
              • garsh

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                If that's what you're worried about, then don't worry about it. Tesla batteries do so well (as far as degredation) that you'll never have to replace it during the car's lifetime.

                It would be equivalent to worrying about the price of a whole replacement engine in order to understand the cost of ownership of buying a new combustion vehicle.
                 
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                • CrB

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                  Hi Garsh,

                  Thanks for responding. I tend to own cars for as long as possible. My current car is 11 years old with over 233K miles on it. I understand the comparisons you mention (I of course bought my current combustion vehicle despite any future risk to replacing parts and/or entire engine) but I also suspect I'll own the model 3 long enough that I'll eventually have to replace the battery. The current model 3 battery warranty supports that (8 yrs / 100K miles). Based on my driving habits I'll hit 100K miles in under 5 years so the unknown cost of a battery replacement is still a concern for me.
                   
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                  • garsh

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