How long do Tesla batteries REALLY last? Model S tested after 250,000 kilometres

One of the biggest mental hurdles to overcome when buying an electric car is the shelf-life of the battery. The battery – and the range they deliver – make up one of the most important buying decisions, and you don’t want to be left wondering what will happen if that range starts to plummet.

After all, a promised driving range counts for naught if your EV can only manage it for the first two years. 

The brands do their best to reduce those fears, of course. Tesla, for example, guarantees its batteries for eight years or 240,000kms, whichever comes first, on the Model S and Model X, with the brand promising 70 per cent battery capacity retention over that period. 

And if a recent test by Tesla Model S 70D owner, Branden Flasch, is anything to go by, that’s exactly what you’ll get. If not better.

Branden’s vehicle had reportedly travelled 234,964kms when he put it to the test – or just under the 240,000km ceiling – and the results of his test were very impressive.

The Model S in question was purchased in 2015, and its owner charged it to 99 per cent before the test, and then driving it until the batteries are completely depleted, measuring its kWh usage to check the battery’s depletion. The reported results have the Model S using 58.5kWh, roughly 83 per cent of their original 70kWh capacity.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that this is one well-driven Tesla. The average Australian drives around 13,000km per year. This Model S travelled more than three times that distance, at 46,800km per year over five years.