While most drivers are used to being able to locate their vehicle’s battery either under the hood or in the trunk, the same can’t be said for Teslas. When we consider the substantial range of these electric vehicles and the sheer size of battery required, it’s not really surprising. So, where is the battery located in a Tesla?
The high-voltage battery pack that powers your Tesla is located under the floor pan of the vehicle. The wide, flat structure that houses the battery spans the full width and length of the vehicle’s undercarriage between the wheelbases of the car.
Tesla Battery Pack Weights by Model
|1,060 lbs (480 kg)
|1,183 lbs (536 kg)
|1,200 lbs (544 kg)
|1,700 lbs (771 kg)
In addition, Tesla cars feature a second, smaller battery that is responsible for powering the vehicle’s electronics. This battery is located behind the seats and facilitates things like the headlights, the in-car audio system, and powering up the vehicle each time you go to drive it.
Why Are Tesla Batteries So Big?
It might seem extreme to have potentially over half a ton of battery sitting underneath you in a Tesla. Still, this substantial volume of power storage replaces many parts in a conventional fossil-fuelled vehicle. In a regular car, this undercarriage of the vehicle would be home to its fuel tank and distribution system, drive shafts, differentials, exhaust pipes, and associated frame rails. In an electric vehicle, none of these components are required.
Instead, this substantial battery pack provides the necessary energy to fuel impressive ranges between charges. Tesla vehicle ranges vary between 272 miles for a Model 3 and 405 miles for a model S from 100% charging status.
Tesla Vehicle Ranges as Assessed by the Environmental Protection Agency
|Up to 405 miles (651 km) per charge
|Up to 330 miles (531 km) per charge
|Up to 272 miles (437 km) per charge
|Up to 333 miles (536 km) per charge
Advantages of Tesla Battery Placement
Each battery pack within a Tesla is comprised of thousands of battery cells grouped into a number of battery modules, which together form the complete battery pack. These are housed within a skateboard-like structure that provides stability and safety—not only to the batteries themselves but also to the structural integrity of the entire vehicle.
In addition to this structural advantage, the placement of Tesla batteries in the undercarriage of the vehicle contributes to a lower center of gravity. This low and broad weight distribution is advantageous for cornering and braking and allows the vehicle to better “hug the road,” which improves directional control and reduces the risk of skidding or oversteering.
How Is the Battery of a Tesla Accessed?
The placement of Tesla batteries can make them inaccessible to their owners. However, this is not problematic given that each battery offers such excellent longevity.
Each Tesla battery is built to last for a lifespan of 300k to 500k miles or 1500 charging cycles. For the average American driver, this equates to around 22-37 years of Tesla ownership. Plus, the vehicles also come with warranty coverage of either 8 years or 100,000-150,000 miles, depending on the model.
|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.
|All Used Models sold by Tesla
|Tesla used vehicles are covered by the remainder of 4 years or 80,000 km left on the Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty. After expiration, the Used Vehicle Limited Warranty provides additional coverage of 1 year or 20,000 km. If the Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty has already expired, the Used Vehicle Limited Warranty will provide coverage of 1 year or 20,000 km
This means that the vast majority of drivers won’t need to worry about anyone accessing their primary battery pack very often. However, when battery maintenance or replacement is necessary, the battery can be accessed from the underside at an appropriate service center with the Tesla up on a vehicle lift.
Hobby car enthusiasts should note that Tesla battery systems produce up to 300 volts of power, making DIY battery care not only inadvisable but also dangerous.
Ultimately, the location of the battery in a Tesla offers excellent driving advantages for EV owners, including better handling. This smart vehicle design also affords phenomenal driving ranges between charges and an infrequent need to access the battery packs themselves.