Tales from a Tesla Model S with 450,000 miles: Battery life, durability, and more

Tesloop's 2015 Model S has 450,000 miles on it and is still going strong. | Image: Tesloop

The quality and durability of Tesla’s vehicles are not just talking points for fans of the all-electric car manufacturer – they’re traits that prove themselves time and again as a benefit of the ownership experience. In a recent example, a 2015 Tesla Model S that’s driven almost 450,000 miles shuttling passengers over long distances was shown to be still running strong and ready for more travel, according to a video overview posted by the founder of the company that owns it, Tesloop.

Tesloop is a connected mobility company for Tesla owners that’s currently developing an open-source mobile app called Carmiq. The company previously operated as a Tesla-only ride share service, offering trips between various cities in southern California and Las Vegas. The long distances involved in Tesloop’s operations put its Tesla fleet to incredible endurance tests, and aside from wear-and-tear seen in most vehicles with similar milage or less, the company’s experience with its 2015 Model S was very positive overall and it still drives well today.

“I think this is the only car that I can confidently say drives better today than it did three years ago and after 450,000 miles. And that’s due to the over-the-air software which has updated the car with Autopilot…The general driving feel of it is still really good…I think it would be very hard to tell this car has this many miles on it if you didn’t know,” Haynd Sonnad, founder of Tesloop, commented in the video.

Nicknamed “eHawk”, Tesloop’s Model S was built in June 2015 and has required a few repairs and major services during its lifetime. Some were paid for by Tesloop as part of its day-to-day business needs, such as tire replacement, and several others were paid for by Tesla under the car’s warranty, such as high voltage battery replacement.

Tesloop’s 2015 Model S has 450,000 miles on it and is still going strong. | Image: Tesloop

spreadsheet documenting all of the Model S’s service and maintenance experiences was published alongside its video overview for specific details. As listed, the most notable major events over the vehicle’s life time were the front drive unit replacement at 36,404 miles due to a part failure and two main battery replacements, one at 194,237 miles, the other at 324,044 miles. All three replacements were covered under the car’s 8-year, unlimited-mile warranty.

The first battery pack the Tesla Model S had experienced 1.2 miles of range lost per 10,000 miles while being driven about 17,000 miles per month and was replaced due to a battery chemistry issue. The second pack was losing about 4.7 miles every 10,000 miles driven, and its replacement was due to a defect in the battery assembly. The current battery is a 90 kWh pack and showing a loss of about 2.4 miles of range per 10,000 miles driven; however, about midway through the mileage, the car was transitioned from a long distance shuttle to a daily rental car, so the averages may not be a great reflection on its efficiency. At about 126,000 miles into the new pack, eHawk’s battery degradation is around 9%.

Also worth a mention are the brake pad and rotor replacements made for all the Model S’s wheels at 225,351 miles despite the average tire replacement taking place about every 53,000 miles from the long distances driven during regular use. The total owner cost for repairs after nearly 450,000 miles was listed as under $13,000, and general vehicle repairs came in at under $15,000.

During Tesla’s Autonomy Day investor event, CEO Elon Musk estimated that a new battery pack set to go into production next year would operate for one million miles with minimal maintenance, and the improvements are being driven by the company’s march towards its autonomous Tesla Network robo taxi service. Tesloop’s early adoption of Tesla’s vehicles may have meant the company’s most advanced technology wasn’t immediately available to take advantage of, but considering the results seen at 450,000 miles with an older variation, the quality and durability of Tesla vehicles have already proven themselves worth ownership at any stage of development.

To see Tesloop’s full overview of its 450,000-mile, 2015 Tesla Model S’s condition, watch the video below.

Tales from a Tesla Model S with 450,000 miles: Battery life, durability, and more
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