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Roadster Battery Support and ModelS In the Future

Discussion in 'Model S' started by nleggatt, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. nleggatt

    nleggatt Member

    Dec 7, 2011
    Abbotsford, BC
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Roadster is now done production. No more. What does that mean for the battery that was designed for that car? Say I have a 2008 roadster and my batter dies in a 5 years. Will I be able to get a replacement from Tesla or am I out of luck?

    The reason I ask is because with a ICE, i can pick up a old beater of a car, or even a good condition car (minus the engine) and if need be swap out the old engine. With BEVs what happens if you can't get a new battery in x years (i know i know, tesla will be around). What if they say, hey we discovered a battery method of producing a battery pack, so we are discontinuing the flat pack that is compatable with the Model-S.

    I agree with a previous poster who said Tesla needs a Battery Commitment Pledge or something that guarantees future upgrades (even at a cost).

    Thoughts? (oh, and wahoo 3 posts in one day for me lol)
  2. Eberhard

    Eberhard #421 Model S #S32

    Oct 17, 2010
    #2 Eberhard, Jan 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
    Just swap in a new batterie with the than state-of-the-art technology.

    A lot of french cars has been upgraded from Nickel-Cadmium to Lithium-Ion packs
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Apr 2, 2010
    Ottawa, Canada
    Since Tesla sells a future battery replacement option with the car, it would seem they intend to keep building packs well beyond the end of vehicle production.

    Most likely they will simply refurbish old packs with new cells (and whatever other replacement parts may be required).
  4. strider

    strider Active Member

    Oct 20, 2010
    NE Oklahoma
    In the short term, Tesla will continue to support their owners with new or upgraded packs - why would they shut themselves out of that revenue stream?

    Also, just like 3rd party mechanics and hop-up shops exist for ICEs, the same will happen with EV's as they become more common. I'm sure companies are going to spring up that will refurb or replace old packs with new technology, etc. even after they get too old to be supported by the factory. It'll be even easier for Teslas since they use standard cells - I quite expect someone on this board will swap out their pack with 4kmAh cells once it goes out of warranty :)
  5. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

    Jun 20, 2011
    Los Gatos, CA
    In the U.S. there are regulations governing how long a company (if it is still in business) must offer replacement parts. Tesla will be under the same regulations as GM or Toyota. Will it be as cheap as going to a junkyard? Maybe not. So go to a junkyard. A used engine has wear on it and might break the next day. Same deal with a used battery pack.
  6. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

    Oct 13, 2011
    Delran, NJ
    They still have the roadster batteries for "sale" even after the car is no longer made. I believe if you give Tesla 12 K when you purchase the car, they will replace the battery with another battery in the future.
    The batteries do have an 8 year warranty so in that time Tesla should replace it free of charge.

    The only way that the Model S battery will no longer be available is if this far off situation happened.
    Tesla goes out of business AND does not sell enough cars to warrant aftermarket makers AND another company buys Tesla's patents and sits on the patents AND all the battery makers decide to no longer make the standard cells AND all of Tesla's battery assembly people go MIA AND the government blocks all websites for battery pack building (cars, laptops, RC cars, etc).

    Moral of the story is that I wouldn't worry too much about battery replacement since worse comes to worse when the time comes you'll be able to find someone, either Tesla, aftermarket, or yourself (strong mechanical, battery assembly and electronic background for the DIY) to refurbish your battery pack. Think of it like an engine repair shop, in that time (10-20 years from now), they will be obsolete; replaced by battery repair shops.
  7. protomech

    protomech Member

    Jan 25, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    Hard to say - there's little historical precedent to go by. Past EVs have been restricted to leases or extremely limited sales - EV1, RAV4 EV, Ranger EV, etc. I believe some RAV4 EV owners have replaced the packs, but I'm not certain

    Perhaps the best precedent for large-ish-format battery packs is hybrid battery packs. First introduced in the US in 1999, some of these cars are on a second pack or are due for replacement.

    Honda's early hybrid models (1G insight, civic hybrid) basically have the same hybrid powertrain. The 144V packs are typically 120 1.2V 6Ah or 6.5Ah NiMH cells. Pack failures have a couple of options: have the pack replaced at the Honda dealership ($4k seems typical), replace with a used pack from a wrecked hybrid (incl sometimes Prius packs), identify and replace individual failed cells, or replace with a newer technology pack.

    There is a NY operation that will replace the pack with new 8.0Ah cells with (supposedly) much lower internal resistance, meaning the cells stay cooler for a longer period of time. It's not a drastic improvement in capacity, but for closed-loop hybrids the capacity is less important than the ability to charge / discharge at higher power. (also why NiMH has traditionally been used instead of lithium).

    I don't know what options the Prius has for battery replacements, most of the user reports indicate that few battery packs have needed to be replaced.

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