Tesla Batteries: Everything You Need To Know

From range and performance to cost and maintenance, this is your ultimate guide to Tesla batteries. We’re going to explore all aspects of the Tesla power pack, so you can better understand your vehicle and make informed decisions about charging, battery maintenance, and what to look for when buying a Tesla.

Types of Tesla batteries

Tesla batteries come in a variety of types, each with its own unique characteristics. They vary by size and chemical make-up, and different types of battery are used in different Tesla models.

Battery Chemistry

The most common type is the lithium-ion battery. This type of battery has a high capacity and a low self-discharge rate, meaning it will retain its charge even when not in use.

The second type is the nickel–cobalt–aluminum (NCA) battery, which Tesla uses in its high-performance models. NCA batteries offer longer range per charge than lithium-ion batteries, while being lighter weight and with lower production costs due to their simpler manufacturing processes.

Battery Sizes

Tesla batteries come in four main sizes: 18650, 2170, 4680 and prismatic.

The 18650 battery is the most common type of Tesla battery and it is used in various Tesla models from the original Roadster to the Model S and Model X. This type of battery has a cylindrical shape with a diameter of 18mm and a length of 65mm.

The 2170 battery was introduced by Tesla in 2016 and has an even larger capacity than the 18650 due to its higher energy density and longer life cycle. It can be found in the Model 3 and Model Y and boasts thermal management capabilities that allow it to be safely charged at higher rates without overheating.

The 4680 Tesla battery cell was announced by Tesla in 2019 and can be found in Tesla Model Ys made in Texas and Germany, as well as the upcoming Cybertruck.

This type of cell has an even larger capacity than both the 18650 and 2170 cells due to its increased size – measuring 46mm wide x 80mm long – allowing the battery to store more charge while being lighter weight than traditional lithium ion cells.

All of the above are cylindrical battery cells. However, Tesla also uses prismatic batteries, which are rectangular in shape. These cells are currently found in the Model 3 and Model Y.

Prismatic cells offer high power output compared to other types due to their unique design which allows them to deliver large amounts current quickly. This is particularly useful during acceleration and when climbing hills.

However, prismatic battery cells tend be heavier and less efficient overall when compared against other types such as those mentioned above, so they are typically only used on certain applications where extra power is required.

The number of battery cells located inside each model varies, but generally speaking there will be between 40 – 100 individual cells located under the floor of the vehicle.

The 12V Tesla Battery

It is important to note that all Tesla models have not one but two batteries: A high voltage lithium ion battery pack, located beneath the floor of the car, and a smaller secondary 12 volt lead acid battery for powering onboard accessories like lights, wiper blades, etc. These 12V batteries are also used to start the main battery pack when it is in a low state of charge.

The 12V Tesla battery is made up of lead-acid cells that are connected together in series and then enclosed in a sealed plastic case. Each cell has an electrolyte solution inside which helps store energy and provide electrical current when needed. The number of cells contained within each Tesla’s 12V battery varies depending on the model but typically ranges from 6 to 8 cells per unit.

Replacing your Tesla’s 12V Battery can cost anywhere between $200-$400. If you choose to replace it yourself make sure you follow all safety instructions provided by both manufacturer and retailer.

Range and Performance

Tesla batteries are designed to provide long-range performance and reliability.

  • The Tesla Model S has a range of up to 405 miles on a single charge
  • The Model 3 has a range of between 305 miles for the standard model up to 374 miles for the Long Range model. The Performance spec is in the middle, with a range of 340 miles.
  • The Model X has a range of 348 miles as standard.
  • The Mode Y ranges from 267 miles as standard up to 331 miles with the Long Range spec, or 319 miles with the Performance spec.

The figures above are the manufacturer’s specs and the actual performance you experience in the real world may not exactly match these ranges. How far your Tesla will travel on a single charge depends on several factors aside from just the model and battery type. These factors include environmental conditions, driving conditions, terrain, battery age, and your driving style.

Fortunately, even though you might not get Tesla’s full quoted range out of your battery, you don’t need to worry about suddenly running out of battery. Your Tesla has a number of features that prevent this from happening.

One of these features is “Range Assurance”. It alerts you when you don’t have enough battery for your planned journey and uses GPS data from your phone and navigation system, as well as real-time traffic information, to help you find charging stations along your route.

The Tesla battery warranty covers defects in materials or workmanship for 8 years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first). This is longer than most other electric vehicles on the market.

While some elements of your car’s battery performance are dictated by the model and battery type, there are steps you can take to make your Tesla battery last longer, both in terms of range on a single charge and in terms of lifespan.

Overall, Tesla batteries provide excellent range and performance compared to other electric vehicles on the market. With their generous warranty coverage and advanced features like Range Assurance, they offer drivers peace of mind when traveling long distances without worrying about being stranded due to lack of power or finding a place to recharge quickly enough along their journey.

Tesla Battery Technology

Tesla battery packs are constructed with a combination of high-energy density cells, advanced cooling systems, and specialized software that helps optimize their performance.

Tesla has made significant advances in battery technology over the years. For example, they have increased the energy density of their batteries by more than 50%, allowing them to store more energy while taking up less space. This has allowed Tesla vehicles to travel further on a single charge than ever before. Additionally, Tesla’s advanced cooling system helps keep temperatures low during charging cycles which increases safety and extends battery life.

When compared to other electric vehicle manufacturers, such as Nissan or Chevrolet Volt, Tesla’s battery technology stands out for its superior range and efficiency ratings as well as its ability to quickly recharge from empty in just minutes at one of their Supercharger stations located around the world.

Tesla’s Key Battery Suppliers

Tesla has two key battery suppliers that provide them with the batteries needed to power their vehicles.


Panasonic has made various types of battery for Tesla. The company originally produced Tesla’s 18650 battery, before moving on to the newer 2170 batteries. In 2023, Panasonic will begin mass-producing the newest and largest 4680 batteries

Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL)

CATL is the world’s largest EV battery manufacturer by market share. The Chinese company produces batteries for several EV brands, including Tesla’s 4680 battery and the iron phosphate LFP battery, which is primarily used in Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

Health and Maintenance

As the most important part of any electric vehicle, it’s important to keep your Tesla battery in good health and working as it should. Fortunately, there are several ways to check the health of a Tesla battery and to help it last longer.

One way to check the condition of a Tesla battery is through its range and performance. If you notice that your car’s range has decreased significantly or if it takes longer than usual for your car to reach full charge, this could be an indication that something is wrong with your battery.

You can use apps to monitor your battery’s performance over time and detect any potential issues early on before they become serious problems.

The type of Tesla batteries used also has an effect on how well the battery performs over time, so it’s useful to know what kind of cell technology you have installed.

Preconditioning Tesla Batteries

Preconditioning is a process that helps maintain the performance and longevity of a battery by bringing the battery up to temperature ready for charging.

The preconditioning process is particularly important when driving in extreme temperatures or using your car frequently for short trips.

You can manually set your Tesla to precondition its battery (Tesla recommends doing this about an hour before a cold-weather journey) or you can use the car’s Smart Preconditioning feature. Your Tesla will also automatically precondition the battery when you enter a Supercharger as your destination.

Preconditioned batteries have been shown to retain more energy capacity, resulting in increased range per charge cycle compared with non-preconditioned batteries under similar conditions and usage patterns.

Recycling Tesla Batteries

Tesla has made recycling its batteries a priority, and – while there are still improvements that could be made – it has developed a process that is both efficient and environmentally friendly.

How Does Tesla Recycle Batteries?

When you recycle your Tesla battery, the battery cells are disassembled and sorted into their individual components. The cells are then put through a series of processes including mechanical shredding and chemical leaching which separate out all of the metal components from one another so that they can be recycled separately.

This recycling process separates out metals such as cobalt, nickel, manganese, aluminum and copper which can then be reused in new batteries or sold on the secondary market.

Once this is done, any remaining plastic or rubber components are disposed of safely according to local regulations.

Benefits Of Recycling With Tesla

By recycling your old battery with Tesla, you help reduce air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, while also helping preserve natural resources, as fewer raw materials have to be mined for new batteries when older ones can simply be recycled instead.

Recycling also helps to create jobs in communities where these facilities exist, as there is always work involved in sorting through used batteries and separating out their individual components.

Battery Costs

Tesla batteries are expensive to manufacture, install and replace.

A new battery will cost around $20,000 depending on the model and size of battery, while a remanufactured battery pack will cost around $10,000.

However, Tesla batteries have an estimated lifespan of up to 500,000 miles or 8 years (whichever comes first). This is much longer than other electric vehicles on the market which typically last around 200,000 miles before needing replacement parts.


Tesla batteries are a revolutionary technology that have transformed the electric car industry. They offer superior range and performance and with proper care and maintenance, they can last for decades before needing to be replaced.

As Tesla continues to innovate its battery technology, we can expect even more efficient models in the future that will help to extend the range of electric vehicles and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.