How much does a Tesla battery replacement cost?

How much does a Tesla battery replacement cost?

Tesla car plugged into a charging station and with the Falcon doors open.
Aleksey Potov/

One of the biggest apprehensions of future Tesla electric vehicle owners is the prospect of battery replacement. Here we’ll see how much this repair really costs, why it’s not always necessary, and what you need to keep in mind to protect yourself.

The True Tesla Battery Replacement Cost

Battery replacement is probably the most expensive repair an electric car driver can undertake. Teslas are particularly notorious for their high repair costs, including the time it takes to replace a new battery if something goes wrong.

That said, it’s worth noting that most EV drivers won’t need to replace their car’s battery. Many electric vehicle manufacturers, Tesla included, back their batteries with an 8-10 year or 100,000 mile warranty. Complete failure is very rare and almost always covered by the manufacturer.

Tesla will even cover the cost of battery replacement if the charge capacity drops below 70% during the warranty period, which is also very rare. EV batteries tend to retain most of their charge capacity, even over hundreds of thousands of miles over their lifetime.

In fact, Tesla claims that its electric vehicles can retain 90% of their charging capacity even at 200,000 kilometers. Data from UK research firm NimbleFins seems to support this claim: the company has studied over 500 models, with those at 150,000 miles retaining 90. per cent load capacity and those over 200,000 still holding around 80 per cent load capacity. ability.

If your battery fails, loses charge, or suffers covered damage during the warranty period, you won’t have to pay for the repair. It’s when a battery is damaged in a way not covered by warranty that the costs become high. The average cost of replacing an out-of-warranty Tesla battery can range from $10,000 to $20,000 or more, depending on the severity of the damage.

This cost includes not only the battery, but also parts and labor. A Tesla invoice shared by Current Auto shows a full Tesla Model 3 battery replacement costing over $16,000; $2,299.27 went to labor, $14,251.40 to parts cost, and the battery itself cost $13,500.

Read your warranty carefully

Tesla’s warranty is designed to cover things like manufacturer defects that cause battery failure or a drastic decrease in no-fault driver performance. The company’s warranty also covers fire damage, even if a battery fire is caused by external factors.

If the damage to your Tesla’s battery is not covered by the warranty, it will be transferred to the insurance to (eventually) pay part of the cost. The driver must pay the difference, if his insurance pays anything, out of pocket. If the insurance doesn’t pay, you’re stuck with the entire bill.

This can be compounded by the fact that Tesla sometimes suggests complete battery replacements for issues that don’t require it. Automotive YouTuber Rich Rebuilds experienced this when he helped someone avoid a $22,500 repair bill for a total battery replacement in their Model 3.

Tesla wanted to replace the entire pack, but after diagnosing the problem, replacing a few faulty modules for only around $5,000 was a better solution. Stories like this and others have generated a lot of flack for Tesla and spurred discussions around a consumer’s right to repair, like what happened when Apple released the iPhone.

Should you try to replace it yourself?

The short answer: absolutely not.

Unless you have the training, skills, and tools to repair an EV battery, you’ll likely end up doing more harm than good. It’s best to take it to the dealership and at least get a quote, or a mechanic with the skills to diagnose and repair the vehicle. Messing up a battery replacement on your own can end up costing you a lot more money for other repairs, so leave it to the experts.

Want to know more about the experience of owning an electric car? Read our explanations on the ease of finding charging stations and the effects of the cold on electric vehicles.

RELATED: How does cold weather affect the battery life of an electric car?

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