Why do ranges for Tesla cars vary by model?
After seeing how long each Tesla’s battery is supposed to last, you might be asking yourself why all of Tesla’s cars have differing ranges. Just like conventional gas-powered car makers, Tesla’s car models each have elements that make them unique, and subsequently impact how long their batteries last. Most importantly, battery size and car model each play a big part in determining a car’s specific range.
As a general rule of thumb, a bigger battery means more energy stored, therefore a longer range. For example, the Tesla Model S has a 98 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery, while the Model 3 is equipped with a 80.5 kWh battery. This makes sense, as the Model S has a much longer range than the Model 3 (405 miles vs. 267 miles, respectively).
At the end of the day, electric cars that use their stored energy more efficiently will get more mileage out of their battery. Aerodynamics, friction between tires and the road, drivetrain efficiency, car weight, and more all play a role. A Tesla model with state-of-the-art drivetrain technology (usually in newer models) and low weight will use stored electricity more efficiently than a model with an older, less efficient drivetrain and a bulkier frame.
Tesla’s car battery warranty
It’s one thing to know how long a Tesla battery could last, and it’s another entirely to know how long it should last with reasonable performance. This is where warranties come in – Tesla’s warranties cover a period of time OR mileage driven, and then guarantee that your battery will retain 70% of it’s starting capacity by that point. So, for the Model S, Tesla says that if your car holds less than 70% of its original battery capacity after driving it for 8 years or 150,000 miles (whichever comes first), you are eligible for “any repair or replacement necessary to correct defects in the materials or workmanship”, for free.
The lowest mileage warranty available from Tesla currently is their Model 3 warranty at 100,000 miles for 8 years. For context, that’s 12,500 miles a year, 240 miles a week, or 24 miles a day, which is still probably plenty for most car owners!