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Service says $22k for new battery on 2012 Model S

rns-e

Member
May 5, 2013
478
145
Denmark
Likelihood and statistic probability is great for an overall discussion, but it does not change that for the individual owner it is question of 0 or 1, and when it's 1, it's expensive. When it's 1, statistic probability is completely irrelevant to you. Getting hit by a bus is extremely unlikely, but still people are getting hit by buses every day.

The likelihood of getting a bad cell increases with the age of the battery pack and with nearly 8000 cells and when only one bad cell is needed to make the entire battery pack nonoperational, then we will see more owners experience an expensive failure, however small the individual component failing is.
 

CyberGus

Not Just a Member
May 5, 2020
820
1,771
Austin, TX
Then you'd need to switch to a pack design with a fraction of the range such that individual cells (and few of them presumably) were packaged in larger number of modules which could auto-detect and isolate.

How about we design a chip to monitor an individual cell's performance? If you could get the cost down to a few pennies each, then they could be incorporated directly into the cell manufacturing. A form RFID/NFC could be used to convey data back to the BMC, and individual cells could be instructed to switch themselves off.

Damn, I should patent this lol
 

No2DinosaurFuel

Active Member
Apr 16, 2015
1,383
712
San Diego, California
I suspect the Gruber repair is something that you do before selling the car. No amount of statistical talk would convince me that something else wouldn't happen at some point in a relatively quick time. Whether it is a bad batch or a hot spot on the battery or whatever. And I have taken a few college statistical classes and make decisions with less emotion than the average person. For example, no extra warranty ever. This a minority opinion on TMC.

So what do you think average owner would do when faced with a car with a $20k value and a dead battery? It has a $5k repair that has zero warranty to get it up and running again. Doesn't really matter if the proverbial lightning doesn't strike twice. That car is sold for $20k within 3 months. Particularly given that Tesla may charge $35k to replace the battery (ie no core).

When that Gruber repaired car gets sold to an unsuspecting buyer, hopefully the battery lasts a good amount of time. But when stories come out that it doesn't, the $20k for an older Tesla is a pipe dream. Can you imagine the angst when a battery dies a year later and Tesla says - nope - we won't accept the core? After taking it apart and charging you for it.

Heck, I have 2 years left on my battery warranty but worry about resale value 2 years down the line. My car is only worth $25k now (to my estimation) so getting down to $15k in 2 years isn't bad. And then rolling the dice is probably right. But no way does my car get a $5k repair after the battery warranty, it gets salvaged. Now a $10k Tesla battery with warranty? Sure. But not a $20k one unless it was 8 years and that included newish charging speed and degradation warranty.

The fact that Tesla won't warranty a $20k battery beyond 4 years and presumably no charging speed and degradation warranty speaks volumes to what they think the lifespan will be after reman. And that Gruber doesn't warranty at all, also speaks volumes. Gruber should at least sell warranties at $1k a year or something reasonable.

Does anyone remember when Elon talked about buying a battery 8 years down the road for $8k? And then getting 8 more years of warranty? How far we have fallen.... (understand that I might have those details a bit off and it did involve buying the battery preemptively so time value of money and all that)
Yeah definitely agree here in terms of running a hugh risk owning tesla after warranty. I think if there are enough backlash on those early owners hopefully tesla changes their stance and lower the battery cost. It seems to me they haven't even after all these years.

As for warranty on thr battery, it is a crap shoot really. Gurber can't warranty it because they don't know if another cell will fail afterwords. They are selling a service not something physical so warranty can't apply here. As for tesla, sure they can sell warranty, but given how they have data on this, you are right on why they refuse to do unlimited miles.

In any case the only solution is battery rental where the risk is no longer on the customer but with battery manufacture.
 

No2DinosaurFuel

Active Member
Apr 16, 2015
1,383
712
San Diego, California
How about we design a chip to monitor an individual cell's performance? If you could get the cost down to a few pennies each, then they could be incorporated directly into the cell manufacturing. A form RFID/NFC could be used to convey data back to the BMC, and individual cells could be instructed to switch themselves off.

Damn, I should patent this lol
I am sure Tesla and others have thought of this. Or at least have try to implement something. To isolate each cell. However the main problem is cost, space, risk, and complexity IMO. You will need FETs or some type of fuse on each cells to isolate. If you think about it, FETs have their own problems. There will be leakage and after years of uses, it might do more harm than good. If you use fuse, then you will need reset able fuses because you don't want to accidentally open the fuse and have no way to reset it. But again those have their issues. Also if you do such methods you also have to build in current control because if the cells are not matched, there can be in rush of current in or out damaging others. Then there is the reliability issue. What is the say that isolating circuit you have won't fail before the battery? Space will increase also so you can't pack as many in there. So the best solution is probably the simplest solution which Tesla has implemented with their short circuit fuse. It is simple and does not need any circuitry to maintain.

So going back to solving this problem. Like I said before a couple of ways.

1) use big prismatic cells or just bigger cells so you use less cells so repairs is easier/cheaper like Nissan leaf. There is other trade offs if going this route so not really the best solution. But you can see some of this already as Tesla is slowly increasing the size of their cells over the years.

2) make battery pack replacement so cheap it doesn't really matter to people. Will require heavy or full automation and economy of scale IMO.

3) rental model so battery manufacturers only rent the battery to you. They are responsible for the replacement should anything go wrong. This is the most likely, but no doubt Tesla will make sure their packs are million miles plus before venturing here. And right now, I don't think they have that confidence yet. Maybe with their new cells.
 
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MXLRplus

Active Member
Mar 11, 2020
1,589
2,430
Eastvale, CA
How about we design a chip to monitor an individual cell's performance? If you could get the cost down to a few pennies each, then they could be incorporated directly into the cell manufacturing. A form RFID/NFC could be used to convey data back to the BMC, and individual cells could be instructed to switch themselves off.

Damn, I should patent this lol
The pragmatic solution is to continue to refine the manufacturing process for the cells to produce less variation in the 'flyers', that is the samples outside the normal distribution curve. It should be approached in three directions: The chemical uniformity of the materials, the uniformity of the processes, and better final acceptance methods. And of course failure analysis to track down why a particular cell is different than it's siblings, but often that is too late to avoid large costs. Making a uniform product is how we have made such huge gains in automotive MTBF numbers over the years.

Why? Because making 'smarter' cells doesn't actually fix the problem, it only reports it after the fact.
 

r1200gs4ok

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,357
454
Irvine
At some point the range loss, battery degradation, will come into play though, right?

I'm unfamiliar with their solutions, but does their fix address range loss or just there to keep the car propelled forward?
speaking of range loss......my June 2019 M3 AWD LR has never seen the 324 as advertised yet alone the 312 that most see....best was 302 at 2800 miles......now I have 11,250 and battery capacity is 285 and my teslafi graph is heading straight to the toilet.....the like vehicles are in the low 300 mile range and teslfi shows the count to be over 255....we have the new cells but Tesla says everything is normal....who knows....
 

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
2,864
8,791
MI
speaking of range loss......my June 2019 M3 AWD LR has never seen the 324 as advertised yet alone the 312 that most see....best was 302 at 2800 miles......now I have 11,250 and battery capacity is 285 and my teslafi graph is heading straight to the toilet.....the like vehicles are in the low 300 mile range and teslfi shows the count to be over 255....we have the new cells but Tesla says everything is normal....who knows....

Sometimes charging to a 100% and driving down to near zero helps reset the range a bit I have heard.

I also noticed with my MS, the biggest decline of range happen in the first few years and then it slows down.
 

CyberGus

Not Just a Member
May 5, 2020
820
1,771
Austin, TX
The pragmatic solution is to continue to refine the manufacturing process for the cells to produce less variation in the 'flyers', that is the samples outside the normal distribution curve. It should be approached in three directions: The chemical uniformity of the materials, the uniformity of the processes, and better final acceptance methods. And of course failure analysis to track down why a particular cell is different than it's siblings, but often that is too late to avoid large costs. Making a uniform product is how we have made such huge gains in automotive MTBF numbers over the years.

Why? Because making 'smarter' cells doesn't actually fix the problem, it only reports it after the fact.

I should have known...deploying cells with internal circuitry was patented 25 years ago by Apple:

 

SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,426
2,060
Toronto,Canada
The likelihood of getting a bad cell increases with the age of the battery pack and with nearly 8000 cells and when only one bad cell is needed to make the entire battery pack nonoperational, then we will see more owners experience an expensive failure, however small the individual component failing is.

A turbocharged motor, transmission, catalytic converter and linked parts easily exceeds 8000 in a gas car. And many parts "move" in that complicated system. Somehow, people keep buying them?!

Whereas my 8 year old Model S has a battery pack with thousands of individual parts (cells), put together and working reliably over 140,000km with "no oil change, timing belt, valve lash, muffler" maintenance... who knew?!

Yes, there are battery packs not as healthy as mine seems to be, and yes, the probability may catch up with me, but so far, it seems like there is a reasonableness to the argument here that there isn't a fundamental issue, but just a factor of how long until the probability of a bad cell, or BMS board or whatever catches up with the owner. And then they require repair for thousands of dollars. Sounds similar to what I experienced with my gas cars, age affects the requirements for maintenance.
 

rns-e

Member
May 5, 2013
478
145
Denmark
A turbocharged motor, transmission, catalytic converter and linked parts easily exceeds 8000 in a gas car. And many parts "move" in that complicated system. Somehow, people keep buying them?!
No they don't exceed 8000, not even remotely close. I'll be surprised if you can find even close to 1.000 parts in those things you mentioned there :) Have you ever worked on a turbo, and engine or transmission? There is actually surprisingly few parts in those parts and if one fail you can more often than not change that individual part or have it refurbished. I.e. a turbo will cost a few hundred bucks to have refurbished as good as new at a specialist.

The point with the battery is that one part has about 8000 individual points that potentially can fail and render the whole part dead. Yes it can be taken apart, but not as easily as an ICE and certainly not by your average DIY. The whole design of the battery pack sounds very good with individual modules etc. but the design is basically non serviceable. Talking about Gruber can disconnect the single cell that is bad for about $5,000 - that is a $100 part within a $22,000 part. $5,000 is not a good price for that, but that is the best price a third part can do - i.e. non serviceable design.

I'm not comparing it to an ICE, I'm just saying Tesla should do much better in thinking in long term service of such an important part or offer a very low exchange price for nonoperational batteries.
 

aerodyne

Active Member
Nov 19, 2018
2,186
1,628
Los Angeles
I think we can all agree that having a structural battery pack as touted in the new cars will only make repair more expensive and problematic.

With a mileage limit on the warranty, and no more FUSC, can't save enough to pay for a new pack after 8 years.

To misquote Elon, maybe the best Tesla is an old Tesla...with unlimited Mile Warranty and FUSC.
 
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aerodyne

Active Member
Nov 19, 2018
2,186
1,628
Los Angeles
speaking of range loss......my June 2019 M3 AWD LR has never seen the 324 as advertised yet alone the 312 that most see....best was 302 at 2800 miles......now I have 11,250 and battery capacity is 285 and my teslafi graph is heading straight to the toilet.....the like vehicles are in the low 300 mile range and teslfi shows the count to be over 255....we have the new cells but Tesla says everything is normal....who knows....
Try not to exceed the mileage limit on the warranty, and hope for a module failure before the degradation gets too bad.
 

cduzz

Member
Jun 6, 2019
383
432
boston ma
A couple thoughts;

First concern for depreciation on a $100,000 high tech car is cute and misplaced. Mostly, the more expensive the car, the more complex and expensive it is to repair. Exhibit A is any 2003 audi. Some are still on the road, but I'd gamble that the mortality rate for a 2003 Audi Allroad is substantially higher than for a 2003 Corolla.

Second, repairs should be evaluated on the expense and the likelyhood that you'll have to turn around and spend a comparable amount of money on the car for another project within the lifetime of the repair for the first thing.

So with a 2003 allroad, if you replace the turbos because they're leaking, how likely is it that the transmission or the suspension is going to take a huge dump before the turbos leak again?

A $5000 repair to the battery gives you a net spend of $5000 and no warranty and no "core" but a car that probably works roughly as well as it did 2 days before it failed.

A $20000 replacement battery gives you a net spend of $20000 and will probably work better than the day before the battery failed, and a 4 year warranty on the battery (the motors or suspension or MCU or XYZ may still fail of course).

This business of the value of the core is a bit silly; you have no core with a gruber repair, that doesn't make the gruber repair $20k ($5k to gruber and $15k for the core you don't get to keep).

If tesla properly supported 3rd party repairs, there would be a more robust supply of rebuilt batteries with warranties. We're in early days, hopefully such services do turn up.

Ultimately, a fresh 90 battery for $10,000 installed seems like good value if the rest of the car is solid; more expensive the math doesn't work out as well, but for some people and some cars and some situations, $20k is probably still viable.
 
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aerodyne

Active Member
Nov 19, 2018
2,186
1,628
Los Angeles
Earlier post suggested sensors on each cell. While that does not sound practical, one could have a bench tester that would measure all 444 cells in a module, for a given number of cycles. Snip off the fuses for the problem child cells, and you would perhaps have a viable product.
 

howardc64

Member
Oct 19, 2013
172
73
Seattle
Hear a lot of comparison between Tesla and ICE car high repair cost. Can speak to this since I do lots of DIY ICE car repairs (All DIY for last 20 years include higher mile Euro premiums)

The comparison quite different with Tesla because high ICE repairs costs are typically mostly labor cost and supported by plenty of DIYers with sweat equity. This is how 100k+ mile used Euro premium market are supported. EV battery repair's high cost comes from asset price with severely limited in-field repair availability. Tesla funds this high cost replacement asset for 8 year and shift to consumer after. It is true 10 year old Euro premium will depreciate towards 20% of original price given the high shop repair cost. Tesla probably end up with about same level of depreciation with perhaps even worse repair cost with so few cost effective solutions. This is a shame really, all longevity service on this car is snipping the contact to 1 bad cell, maybe a swap/rebuild bad module board (usually just a couple of small electronics components) inside the battery, maybe a bad bearing inside the motor ($10k replacement cost from Tesla)

EVs do benefit tremendously on wear+tear from much more efficient thermodynamics compared to ICE. Fundamentally should last much longer than ICE with minimal service cost. All the high repair cost are arising out of lack of in-field serviceability. Manufactures have not solved this for the HV battery. And Tesla's issue goes beyond the HV battery from restricted endpoint P&L (profit+loss) which hinders solutions arising from the field. Tesla still very much operate as a silicon valley startup/company with all decisions from HQ.

Finally, perhaps the design team discussed long term battery cell failure statistics 10+ years ago. Any sane company leader would have said at the time... guys, we are in early series funding round of a startup...
 

SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,426
2,060
Toronto,Canada
battery is that one part has about 8000 individual points that potentially can fail and render the whole part dead. Yes it can be taken apart, but not as easily as an ICE and certainly not by your average DIY...I'm not comparing it to an ICE, I'm just saying Tesla should do much better in thinking in long term service of such an important part or offer a very low exchange price for nonoperational batteries.

Tesla has made strides in simplifying the hardware, some of which helps with repair, especially in terms of parts reduction and location of primary systems or parts that degrade between roadster, S and 3. The Model 3 computer is easily repairable and removeable compared to my old MCU in the S. I agree Tesla should keep designing with an eye to ultimate reparability.
 

cduzz

Member
Jun 6, 2019
383
432
boston ma
Earlier post suggested sensors on each cell. While that does not sound practical, one could have a bench tester that would measure all 444 cells in a module, for a given number of cycles. Snip off the fuses for the problem child cells, and you would perhaps have a viable product.

I'd argue that in a mature EV market there will be shops that buy old packs, take them apart, test them, and put together rebuilt packs with various warranties.

Such a shop would certainly have a rig like what you describe, would have a bunch of different sub assemblies and would be able to build packs for different purposes out of parts on hand.

It's the wild west right now because these things are in demand for all sorts of non-car purposes. Vendors are having a hard time making parts for new cars, so they're restricting supply.

On the other hand, everyone is racing to be able to build bazillions of cells and modules. The price on new parts is likely to fall.

My hope is that eventually tesla will offer new packs at a reasonable price because they'll have the supply problems ironed out. With the 350v 85/90 pack, they're making strides in that direction (that seems to be the single pack they give to almost everyone, and occasionally software limit you to 70/75).

Anyone do the math to see if those fat cells they're putting in the cybertruck will fit in a legacy S sled form factor?
 

aerodyne

Active Member
Nov 19, 2018
2,186
1,628
Los Angeles
Hear a lot of comparison between Tesla and ICE car high repair cost. Can speak to this since I do lots of DIY ICE car repairs (All DIY for last 20 years include higher mile Euro premiums)

The comparison doesn't work with Tesla because high ICE repairs costs are typically mostly labor cost and supported by plenty of DIYers with sweat equity. This is how 100k+ mile used Euro premium market are supported. EV battery repair's high cost comes from asset price with severely limited in-field repair availability. Tesla funds this high cost replacement asset for 8 year and shift to consumer after. It is true 10 year old Euro premium will depreciate towards 20% of original price given the high shop repair cost. Tesla probably end up with about same level of depreciation with perhaps even worse repair cost with so few cost effective solutions. This is a shame really, all longevity service on this car is snipping the contact to 1 bad cell, maybe a swap/rebuild bad module board (usually just a couple of small electronics components) inside the battery, maybe a bad bearing inside the motor ($10k replacement cost from Tesla)

EVs do benefit tremendously on wear+tear from better thermodynamics compared to ICE. Fundamentally should last much longer than ICE with minimal service cost. All the high repair cost are arising out of lack of in-field serviceability. Manufactures have not solved this for the HV battery. And Tesla's issue goes beyond the HV battery from restricted endpoint P&L (profit+loss) which hinders solutions arising from the field. Tesla still very much operate as a silicon valley startup/company with all decisions from HQ.

Finally, perhaps the design team discussed long term battery cell failure statistics 10+ years ago. Any sane company leader would have said at the time... guys, we are in early series funding round of a startup...
JB Straubel is working cell recycling on his new company conveniently near Sparks NV. I would like to think he has an iron in the fire...
I'd argue that in a mature EV market there will be shops that buy old packs, take them apart, test them, and put together rebuilt packs with various warranties.

Such a shop would certainly have a rig like what you describe, would have a bunch of different sub assemblies and would be able to build packs for different purposes out of parts on hand.

It's the wild west right now because these things are in demand for all sorts of non-car purposes. Vendors are having a hard time making parts for new cars, so they're restricting supply.

On the other hand, everyone is racing to be able to build bazillions of cells and modules. The price on new parts is likely to fall.

My hope is that eventually tesla will offer new packs at a reasonable price because they'll have the supply problems ironed out. With the 350v 85/90 pack, they're making strides in that direction (that seems to be the single pack they give to almost everyone, and occasionally software limit you to 70/75).

Anyone do the math to see if those fat cells they're putting in the cybertruck will fit in a legacy S sled form factor?
65mm minus 80mm is -15mm, reduced ground clearance...
 

TwistedGray

Model S VIN: 00070
Mar 12, 2021
181
178
Monterey Bay, CA
I think we can all agree that having a structural battery pack as touted in the new cars will only make repair more expensive and problematic.

With a mileage limit on the warranty, and no more FUSC, can't save enough to pay for a new pack after 8 years.

To misquote Elon, maybe the best Tesla is an old Tesla...with unlimited Mile Warranty and FUSC.

Bingo! I'm happy with my 9 year old OG Tesla with a new battery (but then again, it came to me with the new battery, sooooooo). I wonder what it's worth on the open market.

...

Ultimately, a fresh 90 battery for $10,000 installed seems like good value if the rest of the car is solid; more expensive the math doesn't work out as well, but for some people and some cars and some situations, $20k is probably still viable.

Where did you get $10k from?
 

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