What will end up in the scrapyard first: a Tesla car or its EV battery

Tesla insists you will never need to replace your battery.

I’ve heard my friends talking about not using conditioning in an electric car during summer just so that they could reach their destination. It does make sense since turning on heating or cooling in the car will significantly drain the battery.

That could become complicated, especially when you are planning a longer-distance trip with an electric car. What if there aren't enough charging stations on your way?

You might experience some or much inconvenience, but at least you are doing a favor to the environment, right? Well, while an electric car is undoubtedly a more environmentally friendly option than a vehicle that runs on gasoline, the production of the battery results in greenhouse gas emissions.

Naturally, you want to extend your battery life as much as possible.

As with any device, you can delay your battery's end-of-life by taking proper care of it, for example, draping your car with a temperature-regulating blanket, not charging it to complete (some recommend 20-80%), and not driving too fast in extreme temperatures.

The best selling electric car in 2023 was Tesla’s Model Y, with over 1.2 million cars sold. By the way, Model 3 also made it to the top three best-selling cars, with over half a million cars sold.

Tesla Y

If you own a Tesla or are considering buying one, you might be interested in knowing how long it will take to replace its battery.

Tesla’s 2023 Impact Report, published last month, talks about these two models, estimating that “a vehicle gets scrapped after approximately 200,000 miles of usage in the US and roughly 150,000 miles in Europe.”

That means you probably won’t need to replace your Tesla battery, given it has no factory defect and you don’t get into any accidents.

Even if your car is nearing the end of its lifespan, the battery should still be in good condition.

“Even after 200,000 miles of usage, our batteries in Model 3 and Model Y lose just 15% of their capacity on average, while batteries in Model S and Model X lose just 12% of their capacity on average,” Tesla states in the report.

Tesla battery

Other reports assess that its battery can last 35 years (up to 20 is more realistic).

So, you are now left not with the question of whether you’ll need to replace your EV battery, which can cost more than $10,000, but with what will happen to the battery when your car ends up in a scrapyard.

By the way, Tesla offers an 8-year warranty on the battery, so your car might still outlast it.

Anyway, when the battery is no longer good enough to power your vehicle (its performance drops to 70% or less), it can be used at home to store renewable energy and power smaller electronic gadgets, among other things.

A customer can also choose to alert Tesla about the end-of-life products, and the company will take it for recycling.

“Once the battery materials have been extracted from end-of-life products and refined into battery-quality raw materials, we then reincorporate them into new products,” Tesla noted.