Tesla Model S durability: cars with 250K and 300K miles still humming along happily


2017 Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S

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The latest reports on Tesla Model S durability and reliability should likely be considered a win for the Silicon Valley automaker. 

High-mileage cars aren't unusual, but we're only now starting to see the first truly high-mileage examples of electric cars.

With less maintenance required compared to cars powered by internal-combustion engines, it's interesting to see how electric cars stand up to the test of time and usage.

DON'T MISS: Tesla Model S battery life: what the data show so far

In Finland, one Model S is still humming along after surpassing the 400,000-kilometer (250,000-mile) mark.

According to Helsingin Sanomat, the 2014 Tesla Model S has been in taxi service since delivery, which has led to that mileage in just three years.

The owner says the motor was replaced at one point, as were quite a few Model S motors under warranty, and the 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack has been serviced under warranty.

2017 Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

After some time, the battery pack refused to charge and would then only register about 60 kilometers (37 miles) of range.

Tesla offers an 8-year / unlimited-miles limited warranty on the battery and drive line, which came in handy.

The most significant news is the battery degradation figure.

CHECK OUT: Electric car battery warranties compared

After 250,000 miles, the Model S registers just 7 percent degradation and still charges to 230 miles.

That's only 20 miles fewer than its original 250-mile range rating.

Better yet, a second Model S has reached the 300,000-mile mark—in just two years—due to its service in the Tesloop ride-sharing service in California, according to Electrek.

2015 Tesla Model S 70D, Apr 2015 [photo: David Noland]

2015 Tesla Model S 70D, Apr 2015 [photo: David Noland]

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The service offers rides between Southern California's major cities, and the company believes it's saved thousands of dollars in fuel by using only Tesla electric cars.

Its fleet relies on free Supercharger charging stations and any additional expenses have gone towards maintenance.

The company did not report on its battery degradation, but noted that its cars travel around 17,000 miles per month.

As electric cars' batteries reach the limits of usability, debates over what to do with them have surfaced.

Some argue recycling is the best option, while others believe repurposing them to act as "second-life" batteries in other applications is more economical.

Tesla Model S at Supercharger site in Ventura, CA, with just one slot open [photo: David Noland]

Tesla Model S at Supercharger site in Ventura, CA, with just one slot open [photo: David Noland]

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Many automakers have begun to repurpose automotive battery packs in various ways: storage for charging stations, home-energy storage, and more.

Tesla sells its own lineup of PowerWall home-energy storage solutions, but uses brand-new battery packs.

[hat tip: Pasi Miettinen]

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