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

cduzz

Member
Jun 6, 2019
415
512
boston ma
Knowing what we know now about the battery replacement costs, the evolving battery technology, capacity capping, charge throttling, etc. (and this applies to any EV) why not lease instead of buying today?

It shouldn't really come as a surprise that expensive cars are expensive. Expect a car to lose half its value in 2-4 years, and half again in another 2-4 years, and another half again in another 2-4 years, etc.

Any new car is going to depreciate enormously in 4 years.

If you buy a new Model 3, it's maybe going to depreciate 22k in 4 years (the lifetime of the replacement battery warranty). If you buy a new model S, it's sure as taxes going to depreciate more than $22k in 4 years.

Contrary to other people, I think $22k to keep an otherwise good-condition S on the road is pretty reasonable. I'm far more alarmed about the S's tendency to break suspension components than the possibility that the battery may krump on year 9. After all, a replacement for my 9 year old S is likely to be a much more expensive car than another 9 year old S.

As far as lease vs buy, someone's going to buy the off-lease S; that's how I got mine (an off-lease 2016 90D bought in 2019, at the time tesla was still offering the 4 year B2B warranty if the car had less than 50k miles when you bought it). A current S long range will lease for $46k for a 36 month lease.

If you lease a car, you're paying 50% (or in that neighborhood, depending on the duration of the lease and expected value of the car at the end, etc) of the cost of the new car, and at the end of the lease you have nothing to show for it besides having been able to drive around for the duration of the lease.

Old cars and new cars are unreliable; you have *insurance* (in the form of a warranty) on a new car that manages the unexpected costs of repairing the car. I'm sure if you could buy a new car without a warranty it'd cost less than the same car with a warranty. If you buy an audi Q5 "CPO" but with an extended warranty it'll cost more than the same car without the CPO warranty. That added cost is the insurance policy in the form of a warranty.

We don't yet know the extent of the battery failures in the S platform. The first generation certainly has had some poor characteristics in the form of a high outright failure rate and caps put on it to keep them from catching fire. Many of these have been replaced with updated packs that address some of the failures, though probably not all of them.

Are later packs as unreliable? The 90s certainly have some weaknesses that may make them poor runners over the long haul. It's also possible that they degrade at a high rate but otherwise don't outright fail. I'd be sad if my car only went 150 miles in 2030, but if it still supercharges at some non-absurd rate it'd still be mostly usable and I'd keep using it or possibly think about buying a replacement battery.

Are the 100D packs unreliable? Tesla's had a lot more practice and a lot of beta testers (us); maybe they've got it figured out? I guess I'm a chump but if my car's still in good shape but has a rotten battery on year 9 (or 10 or 11) I'm inclined to keep it and just pay the freight on a new (not refurbished) battery to keep the car on the road rather than buy a new car. Ask me again in a couple years and I may sing a different song.

But hey, lots of people with an axe to grind, everyone's gotta air their opinions on the internet.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,247
7,290
Boise, ID
KBB has my private party car value at $20,000 irrespective of battery age (that is not a valuation factor).
That's not the right scenario. You are looking at your car, which still works. The topic is about a car with an already failed battery that is in non-working condition. In no way at all is that worth $20,000. So the rest of your statements based on this false premise are inapplicable. I'm not going to respond to the rest of your insults, but will just be reporting the comment for deletion.
 
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SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,470
2,097
Toronto,Canada
We don't yet know the extent of the battery failures in the S platform. The first generation certainly has had some poor characteristics in the form of a high outright failure rate and caps put on it to keep them from catching fire. Many of these have been replaced with updated packs that address some of the failures, though probably not all of them.

As of a poll I saw last year on this site (couldn't find it), the vast majority of 2013 Model S are on original battery packs.
Also, if you view this site (which I contribute my survey results to), it shows similar:

Meaning, the incidents of failed packs is a likely minority of 2013 cars. FYI that my own 2013 S is 95% original capacity and identical supercharging to new after 145000 km.
 

tes-s

Active Member
Oct 6, 2013
2,539
2,899
CT
As of a poll I saw last year on this site (couldn't find it), the vast majority of 2013 Model S are on original battery packs.
FYI that my own 2013 S is 95% original capacity and identical supercharging to new after 145000 km.
My experience is similar. 2013 Model S original battery pack, charges to about 92% of original capacity, supercharges a bit slower, with over double your mileage - 198,000 miles.
 

Zuikkis

Member
Aug 19, 2020
245
286
Finland
It is entirely possible that the mass produced battery cost is ~$100/kWh as a component of a new car. But as a stand-alone part to replace in an existing vehicle it may be more.

This is a very good point. Also it should be noted that new cars currently in production are using different kind of battery. You can't just take one battery out from the production line and stick it into a 2013 car. It's a different part, with much smaller production numbers.

Also batteries are huge, and difficult to store because they probably need to the charged once in a while.. So you really can't make a production run for 10000 pcs to get the production costs down, because it would probably take years to sell those.
 

cduzz

Member
Jun 6, 2019
415
512
boston ma
This is a very good point. Also it should be noted that new cars currently in production are using different kind of battery. You can't just take one battery out from the production line and stick it into a 2013 car. It's a different part, with much smaller production numbers.

Also batteries are huge, and difficult to store because they probably need to the charged once in a while.. So you really can't make a production run for 10000 pcs to get the production costs down, because it would probably take years to sell those.

If they're smart they won't have a large volume of finished spares for an enormously expensive asset like this. They've got really good telemetry coming in from their whole fleet.

Each battery represents $5k-$15k in raw materials, represents an entire S/X that could be sold at $40-60k in profits, etc. Each battery or asset on hand also represents stranded cash that can't easily be used to pay employees or suppliers. Some perspective on making things and keeping inventory.

A 2012 S can take a battery that was made yesterday, so they should make the battery for that S a week before it comes into the shop for a new battery. They can still trivially build these batteries because the whole plant to build the batteries still exists and is operating at full scale, and the suppliers for all the raw materials still make parts that work in the machine and produce a working battery.

Our (owners of OG S/X cars) Rubicon is when tesla shuts that manufacturing capacity down. Tesla has shown remarkable willingness to adapt old cars to new parts and make new parts for old cars.
 

henderrj

Member
Jun 16, 2014
939
761
Graham, WA, United States
A 2012 S can take a battery that was made yesterday,

Our (owners of OG S/X cars) Rubicon is when tesla shuts that manufacturing capacity down. Tesla has shown remarkable willingness to adapt old cars to new parts and make new parts for old cars.

Actually we do not know if Tesla can make batteries for all of the classic and refresh model S and x's on the road. That is probably part of the update of the line for the refresh. (Probably the part that's holding up the refresh.) That means the battery factory for the s and x, located in fremont, may in fact be shut down.

It is entirely possible that the old style battery can no longer be made with that equipment. Or (more likely) that they shut down most of it for upgrading and only have a small capacity to make them. I really don't think they can easily make old style s and x batteries at any volume at all.

I don't think we'll see the replacement cost of those batteries go down. The giga factory in Arizona makes 2170s only. These have never been adapted to the s and x, in fact never will be. They'll go straight from 18650 to the new "tabless" format.
 
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henderrj

Member
Jun 16, 2014
939
761
Graham, WA, United States
Also batteries are huge, and difficult to store because they probably need to the charged once in a while.. So you really can't make a production run for 10000 pcs to get the production costs down, because it would probably take years to sell those.

As I recall lithium ion batteries have an initial charge, that activates them. They can be stored for decades before that charge. Even then, if you charge a battery to 50% and have nothing connected to it, it can sit for probably a decade as well. So storage, as to charging, isn't so much of an issue, but the rest of your points are extremely good. It just costs way too much to make these things and leave them sit until somebody finally needs one.

I'm wondering if Tesla will eventually adopt a "we'll give you a trade in value" approach rather than "replace the battery" approach for all of the vehicles under warranty.
 
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SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,470
2,097
Toronto,Canada
A 2012 S can take a battery that was made yesterday, so they should make the battery for that S a week before it comes into the shop for a new battery

Your statement is not as true as you believe. The "100" pack is substantially heavier, and cannot be fitted in a 2012 S with air suspension. @wk057 highlighted some exceptions to the types of packs and how they are compatible between model years. Tesla is optimizing the capacity of packs they retrofit to both fit within weight requirements, and to maintain something similar to the capacity of the battery being replaced. This means the "production line" for such a pack can't be identical to the line used for new packs, and variance is generally a cost in manufacturing.
 
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cduzz

Member
Jun 6, 2019
415
512
boston ma
Actually we do not know if Tesla can make batteries for all of the classic and refresh model S and x's on the road. That is probably part of the update of the line for the refresh. (Probably the part that's holding up the refresh.) That means the battery factory for the s and x, located in fremont, may in fact be shut down.

It is entirely possible that the old style battery can no longer be made with that equipment. Or (more likely) that they shut down most of it for upgrading and only have a small capacity to make them. I really don't think they can easily make old style s and x batteries at any volume at all.

I don't think we'll see the replacement cost of those batteries go down. The giga factory in Arizona makes 2170s only. These have never been adapted to the s and x, in fact never will be. They'll go straight from 18650 to the new "tabless" format.

Tesla mostly doesn't make battery cells, they buy them from vendors. They've got some vendors on-site to build cells in joint ventures, but the cells in the S/X are made by various vendors in japan and shipped to Fremont and assembled into packs. They're an industry standard form factor used in a huge variety of applications. The tesla special sauce is the machine that builds modules and packs, and that stuff is all currently active in making new S/X cars. Eventually tesla may abandon that architecture and go to the 4680 cell / "structural" pack battery pack design. It is an open question if those will be physically compatible with the "OG" S platform (which they're still making).

I don't think anyone particularly cares about the cells put into their car's pack. As such, the origin of a cell is immaterial. Only that tesla can assemble them into a pack and put that pack under your car. As of now, all S/X cars use the same dimension cells as were used in 2012, and the packs are physically compatible (within weight constraints as discussed next).

Your statement is not as true as you believe. The "100" pack is substantially heavier, and cannot be fitted in a 2012 S with air suspension. @wk057 highlighted some exceptions to the types of packs and how they are compatible between model years. Tesla is optimizing the capacity of packs they retrofit to both fit within weight requirements, and to maintain something similar to the capacity of the battery being replaced. This means the "production line" for such a pack can't be identical to the line used for new packs, and variance is generally a cost in manufacturing.

I don't think I ever said "tesla will put a 100 pack under your 60/70/85/90", only that tesla's able to make a pack today that can fit under your car. There's every indication that these new packs are just a 100 pack missing 2 modules, meaning they're probably almost identical in manufacturing / testing to every other pack they're making, just with 2 modules missing and a lower voltage. The cost of manufacturing for these current packs is the module assembly, not the pack assembly (which is a metal tub with 14 or 16 modules in it and the doghouse).

We don't know much about future batteries from tesla; I've read that the new S / X batteries in the 2021 refresh are lighter / have lower capacity, which makes sense from an efficiency perspective; if you can get 400 miles of range from a 90kwh battery, it's better all around than if you need a 100kwh battery to get the same range. Maybe they've gotten the S to get better efficiency with better motors and other stuff so a smaller battery is all that's needed? Dunno, I don't read twitter.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,519
12,189
California
This is a very good point. Also it should be noted that new cars currently in production are using different kind of battery. You can't just take one battery out from the production line and stick it into a 2013 car. It's a different part, with much smaller production numbers.
While that's true, the extent of the "different" between the currently produced 100kwh pack and the new replacement 90kwh pack is basically "remove two modules". It's not like we're talking about some completely different boutique manufacturing line.
 
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MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
15,531
33,935
Oregon
While that's true, the extent of the "different" between the currently produced 100kwh pack and the new replacement 90kwh pack is basically "remove two modules". It's not like we're talking about some completely different boutique manufacturing line.
But do they even produce the 100kWh pack anymore? From what they have said the refreshed S&X have moved to a new pack design. We don't know if they will continue to manufacture the old 100kWh packs or if they will move all warranty replacements to the latest version of the pack design. And we currently know nothing about these new packs.
 

wk057

Senior Tinkerer
Feb 23, 2014
5,687
11,733
Hickory, NC, USA
As far as I'm aware, every S/X pack that is in the wild as of the latest car I've seen (less than 6 months old) can physically fit in every S/X ever made up to that point.

There are some exceptions as to what will function depending on the variations... but this is almost all software with the exception of trying to put a pre-mid-2015 pack into a mid-2015 or newer S/X due to the presence of the standby DCDC built into the packs around that point.

The weight differences are negligible, and all of the chassis were built to handle the heaviest packs. A 100 pack only weighs a few hundred pounds more than the lightest pack ever made, the original 60 pack. If the car has air suspension, this is a software tick. If not, it's swapping four coils to bring the car back into spec.

The software side is different, as packs won't work in configurations Tesla never actually produced (like a RWD 100, an AWD real 60, or a refresh 85) without some hacks. But this is 100% Tesla's choice not to make this possible. There's no technical reason nearly all packs can't function in every single S/X interchangeably.

Things like the airbag timing garbage spouted in the video people keep linking to is absolute nonsense. The airbag module programming is not pack dependent whatsoever. (Getting kind of annoyed at this particular outlet spreading misinformation constantly... it ends up causing me a lot of wasted time explaining truth to customers.)

TL;DR; - All S/X packs can work in all S/X to-date physically if Tesla allowed it in software.

Edit: Here is a spreadsheet I made to show compatibility to standard configs: Tesla Model S/X Battery Upgrade Compatibility
 
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ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,519
12,189
California
Things like the airbag timing garbage spouted in the video people keep linking to is absolute nonsense. The airbag module programming is not pack dependent whatsoever.
This sounded very suspect / excuse-y to me too. It seems less technical and more regulatory - or at least an interpretation of regulation that Tesla is using as a shield to not do something they aren't particularly interested in.

Remember when they did P90D to P100D upgrades for a hot minute and ended up having to do crazy stuff like swapping the Next Gen seats for Premiums to maintain crash homologation?
 

cduzz

Member
Jun 6, 2019
415
512
boston ma
As far as I'm aware, every S/X pack that is in the wild as of the latest car I've seen (less than 6 months old) can physically fit in every S/X ever made up to that point.

There are some exceptions as to what will function depending on the variations... but this is almost all software with the exception of trying to put a pre-mid-2015 pack into a mid-2015 or newer S/X due to the presence of the standby DCDC built into the packs around that point.

The weight differences are negligible, and all of the chassis were built to handle the heaviest packs. A 100 pack only weighs a few hundred pounds more than the lightest pack ever made, the original 60 pack. If the car has air suspension, this is a software tick. If not, it's swapping four coils to bring the car back into spec.

The software side is different, as packs won't work in configurations Tesla never actually produced (like a RWD 100, an AWD real 60, or a refresh 85) without some hacks. But this is 100% Tesla's choice not to make this possible. There's no technical reason nearly all packs can't function in every single S/X interchangeably.

Things like the airbag timing garbage spouted in the video people keep linking to is absolute nonsense. The airbag module programming is not pack dependent whatsoever. (Getting kind of annoyed at this particular outlet spreading misinformation constantly... it ends up causing me a lot of wasted time explaining truth to customers.)

TL;DR; - All S/X packs can work in all S/X to-date physically if Tesla allowed it in software.

Do you have any thoughts as to if a "legacy" S/X pack could be made out of 4860 cells without modules that would fit in the same space the existing pack fits?
 

wk057

Senior Tinkerer
Feb 23, 2014
5,687
11,733
Hickory, NC, USA
I added a link to an upgrade path compatibility spreadsheet to my previous post. Here's that link again: Tesla Model S/X Battery Upgrade Compatibility

Do you have any thoughts as to if a "legacy" S/X pack could be made out of 4860 cells without modules that would fit in the same space the existing pack fits?

I've run a Model S off of a Chevy Volt battery pack in the trunk. The form factory of the battery pack doesn't really matter as long as it can provide the power required. If the pack can do it, and it can be fit into the car somewhere/somehow... then there's no technical reason why it wouldn't work. Just need proper software/control hardware.

Do I think Tesla will offer an upgrade path? No.
 

AustinP

Active Member
Apr 6, 2015
1,222
971
Belgium
One could easily speculate that as both S and X will come with both the “old” battery tech and the new ones, and given that the car’s exterior is pretty much identical, leading to think it is structurally the same car... that the battery would be the same format. But this is pure speculation indeed.
 
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aerodyne

Active Member
Nov 19, 2018
2,523
2,217
Los Angeles
But do they even produce the 100kWh pack anymore? From what they have said the refreshed S&X have moved to a new pack design. We don't know if they will continue to manufacture the old 100kWh packs or if they will move all warranty replacements to the latest version of the pack design. And we currently know nothing about these new packs.
Only Elon knows, but he is on the record saying the refresh cars, with the exception of Plaid Plus, will continue to use the 18650 form factor...
 

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