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Battery upgrade after few years

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Right_Said_Fred, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. Right_Said_Fred

    Right_Said_Fred Model S - Sig. 283 EU

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    I've reserved a European Signature with 85 kWh battery pack. It's likely that Tesla will introduce even bigger packs in the future (as battery technology progresses and prices per kWh drop). Is it reasonable to expect that Tesla will offer these larger packs as a paid upgrade/retrofit for existing cars? Or is it unlikely they will fit? Any ideas on the subject? (I know I'm asking for speculation here)
     
  2. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I believe they said there is no technical reason why they can't offer battery upgrades in the future. They haven't decided on what they'll do with that yet of course though.
     
  3. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    Or at least if they have decided they aren't poaching current sales for future best case scenarios.

    I'm hoping the battery pack design is long lived and in 10-15 years I can upgrade to a larger pack, even though realistically I should be just fine with a 40kwh battery.
     
  4. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I don't know about larger packs? They would have to make them the exact same form factor as the current Model S generation. I think they will probably get different pack sizes when the car generation steps up. I would fully expect you to buy another 85kWh pack.

    This is my hope as well. I am planning on getting the 40kWh (I still may consider trying for the 60kWh) pack and running it for about 6-8 years, then hopefully buying an 85kWh pack (or larger) and keeping the car for another 6-8 years.
     
  5. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    A larger pack with the same form factor is meant to be e.g. >85kWh capacity. Panasonic already lists a 4,000mAh cell to come after the 3,100mAh cell used for the 85kWh Model S pack. But it is slightly heavier.
    For the Roadster, there was a battery replacement warranty that you could include within 6(?) months after new car sale. It guarantees that Tesla will provide a compatible battery pack after 7 years, with either same weight more capacity or same power+capacity, less weight. Something similar might be in the pipeline for Model S. If you plan to use your Model S for more than 8 years (=the Model S battery warranty period), such an option might prove well for you if offered by TM.
     
  6. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    Tesla has said they intend to offer a replacement battery pack for the Roadster. So if they have plans for the Roadster I am sure they will do so for the Model S. What Tesla has not commented upon is the cost, capacity and weight.

    Because cells have continued to improve they could offer a pack that has 20% more range, or keep the range the same and shave thge weight by about 20%. The lighter pack would mean faaster accleration and better handling. But range is always nice so we can't lose. Unless of course it is priced through the roof.
     
  7. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Also the fact that this same physical pack will be used on Model S, Model X, and perhaps one additional vehicle means that Tesla will have many vehicles with the same for factor. It will be very lucrative for them to offer upgrades in future years.
     
  8. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    Do you really expect to still be driving your car in 15 years? Have you ever had a 15-year-old car that was worth making major repairs/upgrades to? In 15 years you will want the newer technology, which will include features we have not yet thought of.

    I'm not aware of any car manufacturer that has ever offered to upgrade older cars with newer technology, though they all offer replacement parts for a decade or so. The Roadster pre-paid battery replacement plan merely promised a replacement pack as good as the original. It does not promise a newer battery type, though Tesla could choose to do that if they found it in their interest. Basically, there will be replacement batteries available, just as you can get a new clutch or transmission for your stinker. If you have bought the plan, you've already paid for it. Otherwise, you pay cash.

    Nissan told me, way back when I was reserving the Leaf they never delivered, that there would be an optional battery upgrade later, to a longer range, but I regard that as more of the same dishonesty they bombarded me with throughout my futile wait for the car.

    Perhaps (???) you'll be able to upgrade a 45 or 65 kWh Model S to one of the larger packs. But I highly doubt you'll ever be able to upgrade beyond what's available new today. You will definitely be able to replace your pack with an equivalent one, probably for a decade or so. At some point they'll stop making parts, as every car maker does at some point. Fifteen years sounds to me like a long time to make parts for any car, though there will be used parts at junk yards. (Though how long a battery pack lasts in a junk yard before it "bricks" is another matter.)
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I drove my Land-Rover Series III from 1972 to 1991. I never felt the need for upgrades because the other 4x4 out there didn't have anything that would have made it better--every one had worse mpg, worse stability, worse off-roadability, and much higher cost. I might still be driving it today except that the stiff clutch caused a repetitive stress injury in my left knee so I had to sell it. As far as I know it's still out there and running as well as it ever did. The aluminium body looked the same in 1991 as it did in 1972 (the paint was a bit more oxidized though).

    In the Model S with the ability to upgrade the displays obsolescence shouldn't be a problem. As far as the battery goes, as long as it has the same form factor and the same output voltage there shouldn't be any problem with upgrading it. Just because it hasn't been done before doesn't mean it's technically impossible. At most a software upgrade to be able to monitor the new battery capacity.

    I'll admit that I'd like a car that didn't look like it was designed in the 1890s.
     
  10. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    There's a poll for that: How long are you determined to keep your Model S for?
     
  11. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    Not impossible at all. But developing, testing, and building a pack to maintain a form factor that they may have moved away from a decade earlier, to sell to owners who still have their car 15 years later and are willing to spend big bucks on a new pack, might just not be worthwhile, for the limited number of sales.

    Definitely possible. But I doubt they'll choose to do it.
     
  12. frequencydip

    frequencydip Sig 100 - #52

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    The early Teslas will become classic cars, they will be around for ever. If Tesla doesn't offer battery packs aftermarket suppliers will... If the time comes and Tesla or a aftermarket supplier hasn't made a significant improvement to the pack one of us will home brew new pack modules... Making battery packs is not rocket surgery they just weigh a hell of a lot..
     
  13. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    But - How long will you drive? is a different question than what will you spend on an older car.

    I believe that people will keep their Model S for 10-15 years - and probably 100-200K miles. The question is who will put a $15K-20K upgrade into a car with that much mileage? I do think there will be an upgrade market - but I think it will be small. There are people who go to Dinan and put $25K into customizing a 5-10 year old M3 - but not a lot.
     
  14. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Well, if the choice is spending $15 to $20K on a battery or spend $90K on a new Tesla (assuming that my current Tesla is fine, there isn't any thing in the new one that totally obsoletes the old one, and that Tesla prices haven't dropped by 50% for a new Model S) I'd certainly replace the battery.

    My expectation is that a Model S will easily give 1,000,000 miles of useful life by only replacing the battery every so often and perhaps one drive train replacement/rebuild. An old fashion car has to be replaced much more frequently because there are more interdependent parts that all require service.

    Of course, if I had umpteen million in the bank, I'd just buy a new Model S every year or two and never worry about it.
     
  15. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    A million miles? Cars wear out long before that, even without considering the drive train, which can be replaced in any car. There's bearings and tie rod ends and axles and steering gear and and all kinds of non-drive-train stuff that people are always complaining about to Tom & Ray. Most cars are off the road by 200,000 miles and it's extremely rare for a car to make it to a quarter of a million. I think it's unrealistic to expect a million miles from a Model S, even with battery pack replacements.

    And most people buying Teslas today are forward-thinkers and gadget geeks who want the best and the latest, and in 15 years there will be cars with features we have not yet even thought of, and the sort of people who want a Model S today will want the latest and best in 15 years, which if I knew what it was going to be and told you, you'd laugh at me.
     
  16. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    Well - we can all hope that Tesla is going to change the world (even more than they are already changing the world) - but I think cars are still going to depreciate. A 2000 BMW 750 iL with 150,000 miles is worth about $7000 in California. A 12-year old Tesla with 150,000 miles will probably be worth about the same. I don't see a lot of people putting $15,000 into spiffing up old BMWs like that for daily drivers. They buy them for $7K and live with whatever problems they have.
     
  17. evmile

    evmile Member

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    Tesla Model S has some unique features which may allow it to be a long term car.

    The aluminum body may not rust very much if at all. The electric motor may last well over 100,000 miles.

    My guess the interior will be the most wear prone part of the car. In particular the seats will wear out.

    My guess the white HOV stickers - if continued will keep the car alive as a HOV lane commuter indefinitely. EVs are unique in this regard.

    Certainly people keep Porsche 911s alive in California indefinitely and I could see the Model S having a similar appeal.


     
  18. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    As of now - all California white stickers expire in 2015.

    Anyway, as I said - I have no doubt people will be driving them for a long time. I just don't think there is much of a market for upgrades on 10-15 year old cars. Many of the 911s on the road are weekend cars and don't see a lot of use - but even the ones that are daily drivers tend to just get regular maintenance and not much more.
     
  19. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    I suspect Elon doesn't think like the normal market makers in this industry. He's an industry disruptionist... for good. I'm betting that he plans to use this form factor for the next couple of years' models, and it would be in his company's interest (via happy customers and stronger resale value) to come out with an improved pack, in terms of cost, range, and/or weight. I would expect to see it announced within 3 years time. Half of business succes is marketing timing.

    He's not out there to live off the iPad/iPhone/smartphone model, where next years model makes this years unit obsolete... not with 50 - 90k investments. He's out there to take out the gasoline model, and get EV into everyone's garage and keep it there. I read somewhere recently that "most" or "many" Prius owners aren't buying a new one when they're done with them, they're going back to a pure ICE. That undermines the success of the hybrid, and I'm sure no one wants to see this happen to EVs.
     
  20. frequencydip

    frequencydip Sig 100 - #52

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    Electric motors should have the life span of a million miles compared to a ICE motor or 100-200k. The Prius suffered greatly due to the Toyota recall not because drivers didn't like the car.
     

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