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New Tesla Model S battery pack warranty sets new benchmark for EVs

Tesla Model STesla Motors has raised the bar for electric vehicles by now offering an eight-year unlimited mileage warranty for the battery pack in the Model S sedan.

The warranty includes eight years unlimited mileage for the Model S’s 85 kwh battery pack and eight years or 125,000 miles for the 60kwh pack (whichever comes first), as reported by the Detroit Free Press

“We don’t think anybody could put enough miles on to kill the (85 kwh) pack. That could turn out to be wrong, but we have half-a-million miles on one in the lab,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk, is quoted as saying in the report. “Even the 60 kwh customers will be able to take it well over 200,000 miles.”

According to the Detroit Free Press article, Tesla Motors will replace the battery pack in the Model S free of charge for eight years if it happens to fail – aside from deliberate damage to the back.

Many of the other carmakers offer eight-year warranties on their EV battery pack, but Tesla’s is more extensive when it comes to mileage.

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The warranty is significant considering that one of the biggest consumer concerns when considering an EV, aside from the usual range anxiety, is the cost to replace the battery.  According to Green Car Reports, while a battery pack typically last the duration of the vehicle, the replacement pack in a Toyota EV is about $4,000 minus a core credit of $1,350 for returning the old battery.

While difficult to exactly nail down, Plug-In Cars estimates the replacement 85 kwh battery pack for the Model S could cost as much as $34,000. 

Tesla’s decision to address that cost concern up front with a lengthier battery pack warranty likely eases some of the anxiety of buying a Model S.  However, the move could also benefit consumers eyeing other nameplate EVs as well as more carmakers consider the payoff of following Tesla’s lead to make their electric cars more appealing.