When researching this, one has to consider that Tesla's automobiles are relatively new. Afterall, they only launched in the early 2000s. So has there been enough time to judge an "older" Tesla? Not really, there aren't any major reviews of Teslas with significantly high miles (past the 150,000-mile mark).
So based on the research we did, below is our finding. I'll give you a "Cliff Notes" version of it below.
In 2018, a group of Dutch-based Tesla owners decided to document data about their Tesla cars. The data they collected was amazing.
After 50,000 miles (100,000 km), most Tesla battery packs experienced only a 5% loss in their capacity. This is quite spectacular. If you compare this to a BMW or Mercedes, these cars tend to have major repairs around this time. This is why used car lots are filled with these cars in the 50K range.
If the above loss in the battery were to continue, the Dutch group estimate that the battery would lose 90% capacity once it had about 186,000 miles on it.
Let's go over that #. Most Americans drive 12K miles a year. Let's increase that number to 17K miles. This would mean, it would take 10 years before the battery degrades to 90% loss.
The Model 3 battery is different than the Model S and Model X (for now). Tesla actually gaurantees the battery won't lose more than 70% of its charging capabilities. If you own a Model S or Model X, read about its warranty here.
TIP: Jeff Dahn (works for Tesla's battery division), said that if you charge your Tesla to 70% capacity instead of 100%, you could extend the life of the battery.
According to Elon Musk, the drive units in a Tesla should last over 1,000,000 miles. Pretty impressive.
There are reports of the drive system failing. But these are rare. Tesla is quite good at addressing any of these issues and fixing the issue to make the car owners happy again.
Tesla is always innovating. For instance, some of the earlier Tesla cars had noise coming from the drive systems due to the bearings. Tesla was quick to innovate by replacing the bearings with ceramic bearings (the same kind that's used in their Roadster). This update solved the problem.
Watch a video about Tesla's drive system below.
Feedback in Tesla forums shows that drivers of used or older Tesla's are quite happy with their purchase. Yes, you will miss out on some of the newest technology, but one should check if they care about this new tech before choosing a new Tesla vs an old.
Are you looking for a used Tesla? Search our inventory of used Tesla.
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