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

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,386
3,358
Phoenix, AZ
What are you talking about? Replacing your battery out of warranty ADDS value to the car ; )

Yes, it also costs a sizeable fortune, but your statement is inaccurate.
Replacing my 2013 P85's battery costs more than the car is worth. My statement is 100% accurate and something every would-be Tesla owner should seriously consider. M3/Y will depreciate significantly over time due to tech advancements and Tesla has shown zero desire to make battery replacements affordable for any of its platforms.
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,386
3,358
Phoenix, AZ
So much for Elon's promise 6 years ago that replacement battery costs would be a fraction of the $22K price tag quoted back then. Appears to be exactly the same cost.

This is why I won't keep my P85D past 8 years and why I can't buy a new one. When I drive 50K miles a years, the new battery warranty would expire in 3 years. I keep my cars for 8 to 10 years. I'd consider a new Tesla if I could buy an extended warranty on the battery for 8 years 300K miles.

Now all that said, I've driven little during Covid. If it stays that way, then I wouldn't be able to justify the cost of a premium EV in the first place.
Elon has always been a liar. Why does this surprise anyone?
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,386
3,358
Phoenix, AZ
Our first V3 Supercharge with the NEW 90 kWh battery in our 2012 Signature Edition P85 Tesla Model S


We went to the Thornton Supercharger which is V3 and and should deliver upto 250 kW. Driving from Cheyenne, Wyoming in 70°+ weather, and destination programmed in to pre-condition we were hoping for faster charging than what we get in Cheyenne, which is V2 (150 kW maximum).


We arrived with 20 percent SOC (State Of Charge) and were underwhelmed by the result, 115 kW. We charged for 12 minutes and were at 52 percent SOC, which actually is much better than our original battery. We'll see if Tesla can do anything to improve this, but even if they can't, it maintained greater than 100 kW during the entire charging session. Our old battery would have had a maximum rate of 88kW and during most of the charging session would be 30 - 45 kW.


The only source of our disappointment was the expectation created by what the representatives from Tesla stated about the upgrade battery performance. They need to either be more realistic or figure why our battery is not operating in the manner they said it would (V3). Had they told us that it would perform like this (V2), we still would have picked the upgrade instead of a remanufactured replacement, but would not have any sense of disappointment about it. I hope sharing this information helps others who are considering options if their Tesla High Voltage battery is out of warranty and needs replacement.


You're never going to get more than ~115-120 kW because the wiring internal to your vehicle was never designed for higher current. Changing your battery doesn't change that. It's a well known fact that Tesla service people are often morons who make sh*t up. I'm afraid they sold you oceanfront property in Arizona.
 

TwistedGray

Model S VIN: 00070
Mar 12, 2021
239
222
Monterey Bay, CA
Replacing my 2013 P85's battery costs more than the car is worth. My statement is 100% accurate and something every would-be Tesla owner should seriously consider. M3/Y will depreciate significantly over time due to tech advancements and Tesla has shown zero desire to make battery replacements affordable for any of its platforms.
That is true that the battery is more than the car is worth, but replacing the battery still adds value to the car, obviously. It won't add $22k value, but to say it does not add value is inaccurate. You're also selling it with a 4yr/50k battery warranty at that point, so yah it adds value.
 

cduzz

Member
Jun 6, 2019
415
514
boston ma
That is true that the battery is more than the car is worth, but replacing the battery still adds value to the car, obviously. It won't add $22k value, but to say it does not add value is inaccurate. You're also selling it with a 4yr/50k battery warranty at that point, so yah it adds value.

There's a difference between market value and replacement value.

If I've got a car that I've owned for the past 6 years and it needs a $22k in order to work. Cargurus seems to be selling 2012/2013 Ss for $25-$35k; one with a dead battery is worth 10k?

My options are:
  1. spend 2 months and $5k (or more) to Gruber it. Maybe it'll work fine for months/years, maybe not. I don't get a warranty and maybe I've ruined the battery (or maybe Gruber will tell me the battery isn't viable and they'll need to put another one in for $XYZ)
  2. replace the car with another "comparable" 8 year old S. It'll cost between $10k and $20k depending on the scrap value of the dead S and the purchase price of the replacement S. I won't get a warranty on anything.
  3. replace the car with another used car; that may be a wash if I can find someone willing to give up their 2002 corolla with no bumper, or an eGolf with 200k miles on it. It may be pretty expensive if I want a Bentley Bentayaga.
  4. spend $16k and get a refurb battery and 1 year warranty (on the battery)
  5. spend $22k and get a new battery and get a 4 year warranty (on the battery)
  6. spend between $15k and $50k and get a new car after scraping / trading the old one. Maybe you get a Citroën or a Golf or a standard range M3. You'll get a warranty of some sort on the whole car. Getting a 2021 3 or Y or S will cost between $28k and a whole lot more, though a standard range RWD 3 is probably pretty comparable to a 2012 S (better in many ways, worse in a couple), and would be $39k - trade in.

So, how much is your money worth, how much is your time worth, how much is your agony worth?

Inertia is a huge force here. If I can drop my wonky S off at the service center, drive around a loaner for a week or two, and pick up my old car with my boogers under the seat, and I'm $22k poorer but I get a 4 year warranty, that's a pretty compelling choice, if I feel good about the rest of the car (which I may or may not, depending on how f'ed up the rest of it's been in the past 6 years).

Rage is also a huge force. If I've gotten sick and tired of shoveling money into the damned thing, I'll just hire an arsonist to deal with the car and take the insurance money and buy a Corolla. (this is a joke; seriously kids, don't commit insurance fraud. It's illegal. Also TikTok will rot your brain).

But, the price is the price. Tesla may or may not reduce it, but I'd be surprised if it went down substantially. It may be that tesla's able to make some battery packs at $150 per kWh (or $100 per kWh), but I'd be surprised if the "cells from japan, assembled into a low volume high complexity pack in california" packs have seen the same price reductions as Tesla's other products. Maybe in the distant future when there are tons of S cars out there with rotten packs they'll make lower cost replacement packs? Maybe in the distant future they'll just tell you to buy a new car. The future's one of those things that's difficult to predict.
 

TwistedGray

Model S VIN: 00070
Mar 12, 2021
239
222
Monterey Bay, CA
@cduzz The quote below is what I chimed in about. @AmpedRealtor states that replacing the battery makes the car worth less than nothing. (I think Amped is amped up on something, giggles...yes, I am that mature.)


RIDICULOUS profit for Tesla on that andr eason enough to stay away from Tesla products. Replacing a battery out of warranty after a few years will basically make your car worth less than zero. I've never had that happen to any ICE car I've owned. This is a serious issue which Tesla needs to address. I can't wait for all the M3/Y owners to start complaining when they find out a new battery in 5-7 years is going to cost them more than the resale value of their vehicle.
 
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Dec 27, 2015
120
451
Cheyenne, WY
UPDATE: May 3, 2021 - I got a call from one of the Service Technicians at the Superior Tesla Service Center. Aside from an apology for the prior miscommunications, he explained much, and per my request followed up with an email so I would have a record of our discussion. Here are excerpts from the email I received, which accurately reflects what we discussed as it pertains to the HV battery:

"Just wanted to follow up and try and provide a summary of what we discussed over the phone regarding the new HV battery we recently installed in your vehicle. I do apologize again for the miscommunication about the charging rates. Unfortunately, even though the battery itself is capable of charging at a higher rate, the other charging components installed in the vehicle are not capable of charging higher than what you are currently seeing under ideal conditions. This is something we definitely should have communicated better with you and I am sorry for that.

I asked one of the high voltage battery engineers about the change in voltage from 400 to 350 and found out the internal architecture of this battery is different than what your vehicle originally had installed. This new architecture actually allows for improved performance than your original battery was capable of at a slightly reduced voltage. This is due to some different battery cell chemistry as well as improvements to other hardware within the battery. These changes create a more consistent voltage during acceleration (less voltage drop) and improved and more consistent current flow to the drive unit increasing the performance of the vehicle.

The last thing I would like to mention is that the battery you have is completely brand new, no remanufactured or used parts are present, even the housing is a completely new piece. I hope this helps explain a little more about your battery. If you do have any further questions I can answer, please feel free to reach out."

I appreciate the communication and clarifications. We would have done the same repair with this information, but our expectations would have been different. I am satisfied with this response from Tesla.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,804
7,615
Visalia, CA
...This is why I won't keep my P85D past 8 years and why I can't buy a new one. When I drive 50K miles a years, the new battery warranty would expire in 3 years. I keep my cars for 8 to 10 years. I'd consider a new Tesla if I could buy an extended warranty on the battery for 8 years 300K miles...

In 2012, Tesla announced a pre-paid $12,000 Battery Replacement (any time after 8 years).

I thought after 9 years, the battery would be cheaper than that $12,000 pre-paid plan so does it mean the battery cost has not changed that much all this time?
 

Veggen

Member
Dec 22, 2011
134
108
It means Tesla is not interested to sell battery packs or keep older cars on the road for a reasonable cost.
That is a shame, since it blows the whole sustainability proposition to pieces.

The promise of being able to upgrade the battery for a reasonable cost was a major selling point when I got the car 8 years ago.
I still have some hope Tesla will come up with something eventually.
Until then buying a new Tesla is not going to happen.
Fool me once...
 
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SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
2,987
9,269
MI
It means Tesla is not interested to sell battery packs or keep older cars on the road for a reasonable cost.
That is a shame, since it blows the whole sustainability proposition to pieces.

The promise of being able to upgrade the battery for a reasonable cost was a major selling point when I got the car 8 years ago.
I still have some hope Tesla will come up with something eventually.
Until then buying a new Tesla is not going to happen.
Fool me once...

It sounds like Tesla may be working on a new v3 battery for the roadster. Hopefully battery costs for old S/X will come down too at some point. 22k for a new 90kw battery is steep.

 

Droschke

Active Member
Mar 8, 2015
2,471
4,373
Future
In 2012, Tesla announced a pre-paid $12,000 Battery Replacement (any time after 8 years).

I thought after 9 years, the battery would be cheaper than that $12,000 pre-paid plan so does it mean the battery cost has not changed that much all this time?

Currently, if I recall it correctly, it costs them a bit over $100/kWh. At cost, a new 90 kWk pack, including transportation, labor, etc. shouldn't be more than $12K these days. The profit added for a $22k pack appears to be huge.
 

cduzz

Member
Jun 6, 2019
415
514
boston ma
Currently, if I recall it correctly, it costs them a bit over $100/kWh. At cost, a new 90 kWk pack, including transportation, labor, etc. shouldn't be more than $12K these days. The profit added for a $22k pack appears to be huge.

Tesla makes *some* packs at $100/kWh. No reason to think these packs are cheap.

The current 100D packs use the same 18650 cells as were used back when they were making roadsters. Different chemistry, different suppliers (maybe), different specs, but same physical dimensions. The 100 pack (and the 90 pack, with 2 fewer modules) is substantially the same otherwise. Better design, better execution, but still requires a bazillion made-in-japan cells to be tested then glued together and wired up with a craptillion little welds (in northern california), etc. Also, tesla only needs to make.... 15 thousand of these packs a year, at most? The per-unit manufacturing cost for these is probably quite large, but they're put into cars that sell for $70k at least. These S/X packs probably cost quite a bit more than a battery system made in huge volumes in china using a (relatively) small number of prismatic LFP cells.

All of the cost optimization going on at tesla is on newer generations of designs, and not much of that has trickled back into the S. Eventually they'll use the bigger cell types (lowering cell cost by making them in-house and at high volumes). If they bother to make an OG compatible pack using these new cells, we'd see cost reductions, but until that happens I'd be surprised if the replacement cost go a lot lower than the current 22k. Hopefully they chose that cell size because it *can* be made to fit under an OG S/X, though it does look like it might be a tad too tall to actually fit. We'll see?
 
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Droschke

Active Member
Mar 8, 2015
2,471
4,373
Future
Tesla makes *some* packs at $100/kWh. No reason to think these packs are cheap.

The current 100D packs use the same 18650 cells as were used back when they were making roadsters. Different chemistry, different suppliers (maybe), different specs, but same physical dimensions. The 100 pack (and the 90 pack, with 2 fewer modules) is substantially the same otherwise. Better design, better execution, but still requires a bazillion made-in-japan cells to be tested then glued together and wired up with a craptillion little welds (in northern california), etc. Also, tesla only needs to make.... 15 thousand of these packs a year, at most? The per-unit manufacturing cost for these is probably quite large, but they're put into cars that sell for $70k at least. These S/X packs probably cost quite a bit more than a battery system made in huge volumes in china using a (relatively) small number of prismatic LFP cells.

All of the cost optimization going on at tesla is on newer generations of designs, and not much of that has trickled back into the S. Eventually they'll use the bigger cell types (lowering cell cost by making them in-house and at high volumes). If they bother to make an OG compatible pack using these new cells, we'd see cost reductions, but until that happens I'd be surprised if the replacement cost go a lot lower than the current 22k. Hopefully they chose that cell size because it *can* be made to fit under an OG S/X, though it does look like it might be a tad too tall to actually fit. We'll see?

So, you think it costs them more than $12K to produce/install these 350v 90kWh packs? I stated my number, what's yours?
 

cduzz

Member
Jun 6, 2019
415
514
boston ma
I think they have already said straight-up that the 2170 cells can't be retrofitted back into the S and X for that reason, so it's not going to happen until they redesign those vehicles.
The 2170 probably can't be put into an S pack if you package it the same way the 18650s are packaged. The 4860 cells are designed to be glued together and used without being in modules in a pack like the 3 layer deep nesting doll style in the roadster/S/X/3/Y design.

I can't find the skateboard dimensions quickly, but I suspect that the 4860 cells glued together without being in modules may fit inside the existing battery dimensions, with only (battery(cell)) as opposed to (battery ( module ( cell) ) ).

As far as cost goes -- The total cost for something like a tesla battery is probably a pretty closely guarded secret. You can go ahead and take it apart and guess at just the bare BOM -- looks like we're at 444 cells * 14 modules = 6216 cells, which on ebay cost $140 for 100 of them. If you buy them from www.18650battery.com they're between $4 and $10 per cell. I imagine volume discounts save some money, buying from a reputable place with quality assurance makes them cost more money. Let's say the raw cell is ... $2, we're looking at $12432 for just the raw materials not including the electronics, the boxes, the cooling, the tooling to stamp out the sheet metal, the robot gluing machine, the robot testing machine to test the cells before you put them into a module, the robot welding machine to make 12432 little tiny spot welds, the machines to do the testing, or the person eating a sandwich watching the whole calliope make the monkey dance, or rent for the whole shooting match deep in the heart of fantastically inexpensive silicon valley.

You can say but but but they get their cells for $0.38 cents per! I'd guess that a place like 18650battery.com doesn't have stock, just drop-ships from vendors, and the vendors are selling spare garbage they've got left over that didn't pass QA or that was from an accidental overage, IE they're not actually selling at what it'd cost if you wanted to lock in a good supply of parts for years at a time.

You also have to inventory the thing, ship it around, install it, etc. So yeah, saying their cost is $12000 is probably wrongobongo.

*also* as a simple matter of business acumen, I'd make the (possibly incorrect?) observation that if you're selling a thing at less than 2x gross costs, you're probably going to be going out of business pretty fast. Now, if you *are* selling at 2x gross, amazon's going to try to eat your lunch, because they've gotten damned good at managing tight margins, but you, joe bloke running a corner foo store, probably need to be selling at 2x gross, or you need to be keeping "drive a truck for amazon" as a backup plan when you hit a rough patch.

But hey, go ahead and make a battery pack for $10k! Being pissed at the russians overcharging is how we got spacex, right?
 
Last edited:

Droschke

Active Member
Mar 8, 2015
2,471
4,373
Future
The 2170 probably can't be put into an S pack if you package it the same way the 18650s are packaged. The 4860 cells are designed to be glued together and used without being in modules in a pack like the 3 layer deep nesting doll style in the roadster/S/X/3/Y design.

I can't find the skateboard dimensions quickly, but I suspect that the 4860 cells glued together without being in modules may fit inside the existing battery dimensions, with only (battery(cell)) as opposed to (battery ( module ( cell) ) ).

As far as cost goes -- The total cost for something like a tesla battery is probably a pretty closely guarded secret. You can go ahead and take it apart and guess at just the bare BOM -- looks like we're at 444 cells * 14 modules = 6216 cells, which on ebay cost $140 for 100 of them. If you buy them from www.18650battery.com they're between $4 and $10 per cell. I imagine volume discounts save some money, buying from a reputable place with quality assurance makes them cost more money. Let's say the raw cell is ... $2, we're looking at $12432 for just the raw materials not including the electronics, the boxes, the cooling, the tooling to stamp out the sheet metal, the robot gluing machine, the robot testing machine to test the cells before you put them into a module, the robot welding machine to make 12432 little tiny spot welds, the machines to do the testing, or the person eating a sandwich watching the whole calliope make the monkey dance, or rent for the whole shooting match deep in the heart of fantastically inexpensive silicon valley.

You can say but but but they get their cells for $0.38 cents per! I'd guess that a place like 18650battery.com doesn't have stock, just drop-ships from vendors, and the vendors are selling spare garbage they've got left over that didn't pass QA or that was from an accidental overage, IE they're not actually selling at what it'd cost if you wanted to lock in a good supply of parts for years at a time.

You also have to inventory the thing, ship it around, install it, etc. So yeah, saying their cost is $12000 is probably wrongobongo.

*also* as a simple matter of business acumen, I'd make the (possibly incorrect?) observation that if you're selling a thing at less than 2x gross costs, you're probably going to be going out of business pretty fast. Now, if you *are* selling at 2x gross, amazon's going to try to eat your lunch, because they've gotten damned good at managing tight margins, but you, joe bloke running a corner foo store, probably need to be selling at 2x gross, or you need to be keeping "drive a truck for amazon" as a backup plan when you hit a rough patch.

But hey, go ahead and make a battery pack for $10k! Being pissed at the russians overcharging is how we got spacex, right?

Worst case (may be):

The pack cost: 90 kWh x $150 = $13,500

"Tesla was achieving a cost per kWh of $150 for its Model S battery pack, it would mean that the battery pack costs $15,000 since it has a capacity of 100 kWh."

 
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howardc64

Member
Oct 19, 2013
172
74
Seattle
- Small battery capacity EVs died in the west due to range and battery degradation. Car became disposable due to high battery replacement cost (relative to car price)
- Large battery capacity EVs don't have huge range degradation. Nevertheless, Teslas trending disposable due to the high battery replacement cost @ somewhere < 150k miles (again, relative to car price)

Larger battery doesn't seem to be yielding much greater longevity so far be it for different reasons. No manufacturer seems interested in cheaper battery repairability. Perhaps statistically a lost cause? (1 cell fail, others not far behind?)

Seems cheaper smaller battery capacity city range EVs is a better mass market solution given the same manufacturing resources (say battery kWhr) GM's China JV is pumping out 10kWhr 100mi range Mini EVs (basically no safety feature hence super light) faster than Tesla total volume @ $4k/unit. Battery range surely toast at 50k mi but @ $4k, just get another one. Might not be the fancy car we like but fits the original stated goal of saving the planet... :)
 
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cousin_IT

Face provided by boredhumans.com
Oct 27, 2020
243
175
Netherlands
This was never actually offered. I asked very soon after the announcement. No response thus far.
It does sound like a compelling offer, I'd seriously consider it. Perhaps in due time Tesla (or a 3rd party) will offer a replacement battery at a more compelling cost ratio. For now there are not many options sure but I think battery revision companies will be just as common as gearbox revision specialists in the near future.
 

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