There’s always a lot of chatter about the phenomenal engineering and long-range performance of Tesla’s batteries. Their batteries have allowed EV drivers to enjoy ranges spanning from 267 miles for the Tesla Model 3 Standard to up to 405 miles for the Model S Long Range.
However, are these the only batteries that Tesla drivers need to know about? Should you be asking how many batteries are in a Tesla car? As it turns out, there is more than one battery in a Tesla…
Teslas Have Two Batteries
In addition to the main battery, which powers the movement of the vehicle, every Tesla features a second, smaller 12V battery that powers functions such as the car’s lights, windscreen wipers, and touchscreen display.
Depending on the Tesla model in question, the second battery is either a 12V lead-acid or 12V lithium-ion battery, with the latter being the newer option that Tesla has started to roll out.
When the smaller battery fails, you can anticipate being just as stuck as you would be with a flat battery in any old gasoline or diesel car, so it’s important to keep both of your Tesla’s batteries in good condition.
The Difference Between Batteries, Cells & Modules
Tesla drivers shouldn’t confuse the number of batteries in their cars with the number of cells or modules housed inside each Tesla battery pack.
The main battery of each EV holds thousands of cells organized into modules, that in turn operate together as a whole battery pack.
A Tesla has two batteries, with the main battery being comprised of multiple modules, and each of these modules containing multiple cells.
Battery Lifespan & Warranties
The main battery within any Tesla vehicle is covered by an extensive warranty and boasts a substantial lifespan when looked after correctly. With proper care, the main battery of your Tesla is built to last 300,000-500,000 miles or around 21-36 years.
|Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranty
|8 years or 150,000 miles (240,000 km), whichever comes first, with minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period
|Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive
Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive
|8 years or 100,000 miles (160,000 km), whichever comes first, with minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period.
|Model 3 Long Range
Model 3 Performance
|8 years or 120,000 miles (192,000 km), whichever comes first, with minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period.
The 12V lead-acid battery has a much shorter lifespan and will need regular replacement, just like it would in an internal combustion engine car.
However, Tesla is in the process of dropping the lead-acid battery in favor of a more modern lithium-ion unit, which will last much longer.
Speaking in an interview on the subject with Sandy Munroe, Elon Musk shared: “With the new S/X we’re finally transitioning to a lithium-ion 12-volt. It’s got way more capacity, and the calendar and cycle life match that of the main pack. We should have done it before now, but it’s great that we’re doing it now. This is one of those inside-baseball victories that’s kind of a big deal.”
This shift will certainly be good news for Tesla drivers, as they will be able to anticipate a similar lifespan from their vehicle’s second battery as that of the main unit, which will in turn reduce long-term maintenance costs. Not to mention, lowering the risk of getting caught out with a dead battery.
So, how many batteries are in a Tesla? The answer is two: the main battery and the smaller 12V battery.