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Tesla LONG term storage?


Oct 22, 2015
Washington D.C.
I'm in the military and I have a Tesla on order. In a year or two, I may have to do what we call a "short tour" to a region like South Korea, Egypt or Honduras. These are one year long tours in which you leave your family and possessions in the US. Typically if you are single like I am, the military puts all of your belongings into storage. This includes your vehicle.

My question would be; if my 90D is fully charged and then put into storage mode, will the battery be ruined after one year? Must the car be plugged in for long duration storage? I'd assume the military vehicle storage facilities don't have electric outlets for EV's. I would have to procure a storage facility myself that has an electrical outlet, if they exist. That may be preffereable anyway seeing as then I could put the car on jack stands and get the weight off the tires/suspension. Something that isn't done in regular storage.

Anyone have any experience with LONG term storage with a Model S?


Active Member
May 21, 2013
Florida, United States
You should set the car to charge to 50% and leave it plugged in, to help maintain battery health. Li-ion batteries last longer when they are kept close to 50% of their total capacity. Taking off the tires is also a good idea I think.


Roadster#433, Model S#S37
Feb 27, 2009
Talk to Tesla about this, but your best solution if you must put it in a storage facility is to disconnect the 12V battery. This is what folks do that ship their cars (months of travel). It is also what most folks do with their ICE cars. The only problem is that getting to the 12V battery in a Model S is a lot harder than with your typical ICE.

Disconnecting the 12V battery will make sure that the Li-ion battery stays disconnected from everything. The Li-ion self discharge rate is pretty small, but I would probably start it at 60% or 70%, just to leave some margin.

Good Luck!


CAN #312 VIN P06173
Nov 16, 2012
Ottawa, Canada
I would inflate the tires to max pressure on the sidewall (to avoid flat spot), keep the car plugged in, and the battery limiter to 50%. Be sure to lower the tire pressure to normal pressure before taking it out for a drive.


Jun 27, 2013
If you can't keep it plugged in and at 50% SoC, I'd second the recommendation for unplugging the 12v battery. That will open the contactor for the main pack and it would be the same as a battery on the shelf at that point.


Supporting Member
Jun 16, 2013
Cary, NC
I agree the best best is to ask Tesla, but if you do end up disconnecting the battery, you'll want to make sure that the car is stored somewhere that will not experience extreme temperatures as the active cooling / heating of the pack will be disabled with the 12V disconnected.

I'd still ask to see if there is a place it could be stored with a 110V outlet. I'd set the charge current to something low to prevent the breaker from tripping if someone else uses the circuit. Even then, you'll want to make sure someone can keep an eye on it because you could end up with a breaker tripping or someone unplugging the cable accidentally.


Aug 15, 2015
Maybe you could lend the car to a good friend or colleague for a small prize. If he pays you $10 a day and takes care of the car you don't have to worry about the battery and after the year you end up with a couple thousand extra dollars in the bank. I am not sure about the insurance, though.
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