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Research finds that Model S and Model X batteries last even longer than we thought

Published Apr 16th, 2018 9:31PM EDT
Tesla Model S

If you’re a current or prospective Tesla owner worried about significant battery degradation, the good news is that you don’t have much to worry about. Though it’s a simple fact of physics that lithium-ion batteries lose capacity over time, some unofficial research from a group of Tesla owners in Europe suggests that Tesla vehicles can rack up quite a bit of mileage before any discernible battery degradation kicks in.

As noted via a tweet from Maarten Steinbuch, the latest data reveals that Tesla vehicles on average can rack up approximately 31,000 miles before a 1% drop in battery capacity is detected. Beyond that, the latest data reveals that Tesla vehicles that accumulate approximately 168,000 miles retain about 91% of their original battery capacity. Truth be told, that’s not too bad all things considered.

As illustrated by the chart below, you can tell that the trend line for remaining range teeters close to the 10% degradation level but may in fact level off before breaking that threshold. We’ll obviously have more insight as the study continues and more data points can be included in the calculation, but for the time being it’s safe to say that Tesla vehicles can accumulate a lot of mileage without taking a huge hit to battery capacity.

On a related note, Tesla is reportedly researching some next-level battery technology, an initiative spearheaded by leading battery researcher Jeff Dahn who, along with a team of about 25 engineers and researchers, inked a 5-year exclusive contract with Tesla back in 2015.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.