HomeGuideStudy Involving 14,000 Tesla Drivers Finds Just 64% EPA Range After Three...

Study Involving 14,000 Tesla Drivers Finds Just 64% EPA Range After Three Years

Tesla promised a lot when it released their electric vehicles about the EPA range etc. However, reality tells a different story, with significant battery degradation akin to what many iPhone users experience.

Just like smartphones, an electric vehicle’s battery weakens over time. Eventually, this degradation leads to a much quicker decline from full charge to zero, unless the battery is replaced.

Tesla Model 3 Y Range Degradation

EV Batteries Degradation

Currently, there are two major types: Li-NMC batteries using lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxides are the most common in EVs. The lithium iron phosphate battery (LFP) is on the rise, reaching 41 % global market share by capacity for BEVs in 2023. LFP batteries are heavier but cheaper and more sustainable.

Study by Recurrent Auto

There has been a full research on this topic being conducted by Recurrent Auto, conducting tests and reviews amongst 14,000 Tesla drivers researching various models including Model 3, and Model Y. They have compared the range of fleet data vs EPA and not Battery Retention.

The problem though is a fresh Tesla only delivers 64% EPA of what they actually promised. Well, now you might say that’s fair every battery needs replacements after a period of time but what if we tell you, that even if the is totally unused, has no miles even then it shows only 70% EPA of what Tesla EVs actually portrayed they would. But this is not the problem with just Tesla, all other EV companies such as Nissan, Chevrolet also found similar returns in EPA.

Tesla Range Degradation

Recurrent reports that the methods used for measuring such aspects are not correct in its foundation itself.

Battery Longevity

The lifespan of EV batteries varies. Recurrent’s data indicates that among EVs purchased before 2015, 13% of owners have had to replace their batteries, with this figure rising to 30% for vehicles from 2011-2012. For those bought in 2016 or later, the replacement rate drops to just 1%. Advances in technology over the years have significantly enhanced battery durability.

From lab observations, lithium batteries typically follow an S-shaped degradation pattern. They initially lose charge capacity quickly but then enter a long period of stability before finally deteriorating towards the end of their life cycle.

At first, battery capacity dropped down heavily in the initial days but it stays in the dropped state for quite a long time and is very stable on that one.

Recalls and Battery Retention

Recent years have seen major battery recalls, such as those for Chevrolet Bolt EV and Hyundai Kona Electric, both necessitating comprehensive battery replacement programs funded by the manufacturers. Excluding these recalls, battery replacements remain rare within the Recurrent community, affecting only 2.5% of all cars, an increase primarily attributed to older vehicles.

In response to concerns about battery longevity, Martin Viecha of Tesla’s Investor Relations highlighted a Tesla study on X, which reports that Tesla EVs retain 80% capacity even after 150,000 miles. Recurrent’s studies also note that DC fast charging does not negatively impact Tesla’s battery lifespan, unlike other brands.

So, should Tesla owners worry about their vehicle’s battery life? Currently, no. Today’s models exhibit excellent battery retention rates. While slight battery drainage occurs, it remains stable, which is a testament to the ongoing advancements in EV technology. However, it is crucial for EV owners to recognize that no battery lasts forever and that actual performance might not always meet the promised EPA standards.

Saurav Revankar
Saurav Revankar
Saurav is a distinguished expert in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, known for his in-depth knowledge and passion for sustainable technology. With a particular focus on Tesla, he provides insightful analysis and comprehensive reviews that make complex EV topics accessible and engaging.


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