While alternative energy sources have several benefits over fossil fuels, energy availability is still a critical issue. One proven method to remedy it is to use high-capacity batteries with more recharge cycles that can withstand the natural elements without sacrificing load capacities. That calls for some creative solutions that keep the balance between performance and safety.
Tesla has been at the forefront of it with its high-tech EV technology. While people complain about the cost, there is no denying that Tesla batteries possess plenty of potential. What’s even more impressive is the Tesla battery failure rate: why the battery failure rate is so low. If you’ve been wondering about this fact, then this article shall satisfy your curiosity.
Types of Tesla Batteries
Tesla has four main types of batteries for its range of electric vehicles.
Manufactured by Panasonic, the Tesla 1865-type lithium-ion battery consists of a nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) cathode. The battery is made from several cells merged together to increase its energy density. The 1865-type battery is designed for maximum range, which is why you’ll find it in trims like the Model S.
Tesla utilizes the 2170-type battery for its impressive load strength and high thermal stability. It is mostly similar to the 1865-type battery in structure, except that each cell is a bit bigger, and the cathode is nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM). LG Energy Solutions manufactures this battery for the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y.
A type of battery that Tesla only installs in its most expensive trims, the 4680 has a classified chemistry. You can confirm that it still uses a lithium-ion electrolyte, but Tesla has been tight-lipped on what kind of electrodes they install. This is the only battery type the company manufactures in the USA, with its Texas facility supplying it pre-installed on the Model Y. It has an impressive energy density for its weight and can last for more than ten years with minimal maintenance.
Utilizing a lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cathode, Tesla’s prismatic-type batteries are the most affordable variant that you get for the Powerwall or their EVs. Still, it offers a substantial range and can retain most of its maximum capacity, even after hundreds of thousands of miles. You can find it installed in entry-level versions like the Model 3.
You should know that the cathode is one of many elements of the battery. Tesla is constantly improving all parts, including the anode (silicon vs. graphite content) and the electrolyte.
Structure of Tesla Batteries
Tesla was inspired by the aerospace innovations of building airplane wings as fuel tanks instead of building the fuel tanks inside the wings. The engineers were determined to create a battery pack that is part of the body structure, linking the front and rear underbody parts.
Currently, most EV manufacturers build battery packs by combining cells into modules, which, when put together, form a battery pack. That battery pack is installed into the vehicle platform. The difference is that Tesla battery packs do not use modules. Instead, the company builds the entire battery pack as the structural platform of the vehicle, with the cells in a honeycomb structure.
Tesla released the structure on its official blog that looks similar to the image you can observe below.
Employing its expertise in big casting parts, Tesla can connect a big single-piece rear and front underbody to this structural battery pack. The design reduces the number of elements, and the total mass of the battery pack, enabling Tesla to improve efficiency and, ultimately, the range of its EVs.
Remember that Tesla is by no means the first manufacturer to do so. BMW and Mercedes-Benz have experimented with similar designs, but Tesla is going all-in by offering it for Powerwall systems and cars alike.
How Often Do Tesla Batteries Fail?
Tesla has one of the lowest failure rates among all mainstream EV manufacturers. Users and critics reported a loss of 5% after 100,000 miles of regular driving. It goes accordingly with the official claims from Tesla that the batteries lose 10% of their maximum capacity after 200,000 miles.
See full this video: How often do Tesla batteries fail?
Why the Battery Failure Rate Is So Low?
You can attribute the low failure rate of Tesla batteries to the following factors.
- High thermal and chemical stability: The most crucial aspect of Tesla’s battery is the chemical components. It utilizes sound science with materials available today to create high-density batteries that don’t heat up after hours of driving. The recharging doesn’t consume the electrolyte, while the solid-state form allows for valuable weight-saving measures.
- Impressively strong structure: The honeycomb structure is not just for show. It can absorb vibrations and sudden impacts familiar with regular driving experiences. Moreover, the modular design allows any failure to remain isolated, so the losses are restricted within a small area instead of spreading to the entire battery.
- Careful manufacturing and quality checks: All cars that leave Tesla’s Gigafactory are thoroughly checked for any faults, with extensive attention to detail of the batteries. The company employs qualified personnel for the job and tweaks its manufacturing units in regard to their feedback. That’s why Tesla is confident in providing a generous warranty for any unit leaving the showroom.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How long do Tesla batteries last?
Tesla claims their batteries can last between 300,000 to 500,000 miles, with over 1,500 recharging cycles, depending upon normal driving conditions. According to the Department of Transportation, an average commuter drives 13,500 miles annually. So, that gives the Tesla battery a life cycle of 22 to 37 years.
How much do Tesla batteries cost?
A Model 3 Tesla battery can cost up to $16,550 brand new. However, the total cost for replacement or repair after a failure totals around $13,000. The most expensive battery variants can set you back up to $20,000.
What kind of warranty do you get with Tesla batteries?
Tesla offers a warranty of 8 years or 150,000 miles with all its electric vehicles. During that period, all repairs or replacements that come about due to manufacturing defects are done free of charge. The manufacturer also claims 70% of the maximum battery retention during the same time frame.
Tesla has invested much into making its batteries as reliable as possible without sacrificing performance. So, if you’re concerned about Tesla’s battery failure rate: why the battery failure rate is so low is due to the advanced engineering the company is well-known for. That goes with their warranty policy and convenient service that you can avail of with just a few taps on your smartphone.
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