If you’re wondering how much a Tesla battery would cost to replace in 2023, you aren’t the only one. Tesla’s battery packs deserve scrutiny both for longevity and and replacement costs; after all, they’re the main component of a Tesla! And we covered Tesla’s battery life in a previous blog post, this time we’re aiming for that second factor: the cost of replacement.
Tesla’s parts pricing list is not an open book, and no official guide on repair or replacement costs exists. But with current battery prices hovering around $153 per kWh and with information from a few Tesla owners who have produced a Model S or Model 3 battery replacement service bill, we can make some decent estimates on how much a Tesla battery replacement costs.
First, let’s explore battery replacement expenses by model through estimated pricing for parts and labor. After that’s out of the way, we’ll answer a few questions about Tesla’s battery warranty, list signs that a Tesla battery may need to be replaced, and discuss how possible battery replacement costs can affect your quest for a used Tesla.
Tesla Model S Battery Replacement—How Much Does It Cost?
While battery replacement reports from stateside owners of the Model S outside of warranty are few and far between, we have found a few cases where a full battery replacement visit has cost up to $20,000. That sounds pretty high, but the breakdown in price shows that the Model S battery itself costs somewhere in the realm of $12,000-$15,500.
Additional replacement parts, such as connectors and wiring, are sometimes needed, most of those being in the $20-$200 range. Finally, depending on whether there is damage to be repaired or a complication in the replacement, battery replacement is reportedly taking anywhere from 3 to 13 hours. As labor costs at the Tesla Service center have been reported around $175-$200 per hour, that’s an additional $525-$2,600. It sounds excessive until you remember that all these personnel are handing a high voltage system, and the overhead for their insurance and facilities compliance is pretty steep.
Bottom line: the cheapest estimate for an out-of-pocket, uncomplicated battery replacement on the Model S should cost about $12,000-$13,000 for the battery, $100-200 for miscellaneous parts, and $500-600 for labor. This puts the grand total at around $13,000-$14,000 for a full Model S battery replacement.
Fun fact: at one point, Tesla had considered battery swapping stations as an alternative to Supercharging. They claimed they could swap out a Model S battery in about 3 minutes and were getting faster. Too bad it wasn’t sustainable; we kinda dig the idea of battery swap roadtrippin’ but sadly, that never came to fruition (and doesn’t look like it will anytime soon).
Tesla Model X Battery Replacement Cost – What You Can Expect to Pay
We’ve honestly not seen any repair bills for the Model X that give details on a full battery replacement, but it’s safe to assume that the price is similar to battery replacement on the Model S.
With reports of Model S repairs for the same issue taking between 3-13 hours, battery repair labor costs on the Model X could run at about $500-$2,500 at a labor charge of $175-$200 per hour. These numbers really depend on the reason for the battery replacement, as the replacement itself shouldn’t be an overly complicated procedure.
A new Tesla battery for a Model X with a 100kWh battery pack should run over $15,300 if we base our pricing scheme solely on current $153 per kWh estimates. As Tesla almost exclusively uses remanufactured packs, the true price should be slightly lower. This scenario places our lowest Model X battery replacement estimate at $13,000 for the battery, $100-200 for miscellaneous parts, and a potential $500-$600 for labor. In other words, the lowest estimated price for an out-of-pocket, uncomplicated battery replacement on the Model X is about $14,000.
How Much Does a Tesla Model 3 Battery Replacement Cost?
We’ve seen at least one service receipt that puts a Model 3 battery replacement at $13,500 for just the battery pack (for a 75 kWh remanufactured battery, labor not included). With battery sizes ranging from 50kWh to 82 kWh, current battery price estimates put new Model 3 batteries closer to $7,000-$11,000, still lower than the $13,500 on our example invoice.
Why is this nowhere near the $5,000-$7,000 quoted by Musk in 2019 (and picked up by Google whenever someone asks what a Model 3 battery costs)? Well, he clarified that the $5,000-$7,000 was per module, not per battery pack. The battery pack on the Model 3 is made up of 4 modules, so the estimated price for a pack replacement is a whopping $20,000-$28,000. Makes $13,500 sound pretty good, doesn’t it?
As Tesla ramps up production of the Model 3 and constantly works to improve their battery design, it’s quite possible that the prices will fall dramatically in the next few years. For now, our lowest out-of-pocket cost estimate for uncomplicated battery replacement on a Model 3 is approximately $13,000 (assuming $12,000 for the battery alone, $100 for the miscellaneous parts, and $500 for labor).
Tesla Model Y Battery Replacement – Total Cost Including Labor and Parts
Battery replacement costs on Tesla’s Model Y are an enigma…and that’s a good thing. Reports of a Model Y needing a new battery are virtually absent.
Does this have something to do with how new the Model Y still is? Absolutely.
However, like the Model 3, Model S, and Model X, reports of unusual degradation or warrantied battery replacement on the Model Y are very, very low.
As the Model Y battery pack is similar to the design of the Model 3, battery replacement costs will likely also be similar. At current estimated prices, the cost for a new 75-82kWh battery pack on the Model Y would come in at about $10,000-$12,000. With miscellaneous parts and a labor charge of around $500 for a 3-hour replacement added, a more accurate low estimate for a replacement of the Model Y’s battery pack is around $11,000-$13,000.
How Do I Know if My Tesla Battery Needs to Be Replaced?
Tesla’s batteries are designed to outlast the body of the car itself. This means they should retain usable driving capacity well past 500,000 miles. But how do you know if a Tesla battery pack needs replacing?
There are a few basic warning signs:
- A sudden drop in driving range, more than 20%
- Degradation of range over the 30% warranty criteria
- Failure to hold a charge at all
- A notification from Tesla that there is something wrong with the battery
While this obviously isn’t an exhaustive list, we’d like to note that battery problems other than degradation are typically issues that would send you straight to the Service Center (problems with charging, sudden loss of range, or an entirely dead battery come to mind). In other words, a Tesla likely won’t have a slow buildup of issues that precede a battery replacement.
However, the good news is that data is in favor of Tesla’s batteries holding up extremely well over time. Plus, at this time, most Teslas are still within the terms of their battery warranty.
(A quick shout out to our friends at Gruber Motor Company! If you haven’t heard, they’re the Tesla battery replacement experts! If you need a Tesla battery replaced out of warranty, they are the best of the best! Check out their latest Model S battery replacement video below.)
Are Tesla Battery Replacements Covered Under Warranty?
It’s always a good idea to know what warranty will actually cover before the battery on your Tesla becomes an issue or if you are looking into buying a pre-owned Tesla. If you’ve read this far, then you know that a replacement battery for a Tesla isn’t cheap.
Tesla covers manufacturing defects regarding the high voltage battery and associated equipment for 8 years and 150,000 miles (whichever comes first). This means that if a part fails, such as a battery cell or a high voltage cable, Tesla will cover the parts, labor, and other expenses surrounding the repair (such as a loaner vehicle and, in some cases, towing expenses). There are a couple of important exceptions to the mileage limit; pre-2020 Model S and Model X vehicles are covered for 8 years and unlimited miles (unless the battery is a 60kWh or 40kWh pack; then, it’s 8 years / 125,000 miles).
Tesla has also added a warranty clause that covers battery replacement due to degradation. Most of Tesla’s vehicles are covered by warranty if the battery loses more than 30% of its original capacity during the warranty period. The exception to this clause is the original Tesla Roadster, but all first generation Roadsters have aged out of their original warranties.
For more information on the battery warranty, such as conditions that void the warranty or failure of the battery warranty to transfer to new owners, see our Ultimate Guide to Tesla Warranty Coverage.
Should I Be Worried About the Batteries in a Used Tesla?
If you haven’t already heard about Finland’s Tuomas Kaitanen and his decision to dynamite his 2013 Model S rather than face its repair bill of over $22,000…well, let’s just say he wasn’t happy that the car he had only recently bought used wasn’t as great a deal as he thought. Most of the bill was reportedly for a full battery replacement.
Katainen’s 2021 repair quote is the highest we’ve heard of on a Model S, and his story is a great example of what a buyer should pay attention to when buying a used Tesla. We have to wonder, in Katainen’s case, what were previous repair issues on the Model S? How had the previous owner(s) charged the it, generally? Was the repair shop (not a Tesla service center, according to most reports) giving an accurate replacement cost? Would Tesla actually have certified the non-Tesla shop repair (and justified the bill) if Katainen hadn’t decided to keep his money in favor of some pyrotechnics? We don’t know the answer to most of these questions.
The video of the Tesla’s explosion, of course, presents a sensational story that’s less about actual answers and more about blowing things up. Good for entertainment, bad for real-world numbers.
So should you be worried about the battery on a used Tesla? We don’t think so, but like any used vehicle, it always makes sense to ask questions. In reality, the battery on a used Tesla deserves just as much scrutiny as the engine on a used internal combustion vehicle does. You’d be wise to take a look into the health of the Tesla’s battery, to ask the owner questions about charging habits, and to know a little about Tesla batteries in general. For the best peace of mind, a pre-purchase inspection by a Tesla Service Center can give you excellent decision-making info about the battery health of the used Tesla you are considering.
The cost for a new battery on a Tesla, or on any EV, is pretty high (it is the most expensive part of the EV, after all). However, with real-world data suggesting that Tesla battery packs hold up exceptionally well over time and the knowledge that many Teslas are still under their original battery warranty, your search for a used Tesla doesn’t have to be an anxious, nail-biting experience.
If you’re ready to start your search for a used Tesla Model S, Model X, Model 3, Model Y, or even a Roadster, be sure to check out our listings page. We’ve seen everything from original Roadsters to practically un-driven Model Ys, and more Teslas are listed daily. Whether you’re looking for something that’s still within Tesla’s battery warranty or are only interested in that Midnight Silver Metallic paint no matter the year (hey, we like that one too, we won’t judge), you can find it on Find My Electric!