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Tesla releases Model 3 warranty with new 70% battery capacity retention guarantee

As Tesla is starting regular Model 3 deliveries this week, the company released the full warranty document for its new electric vehicle.

The biggest difference over what was previously announced is a new guaranteed limit on battery degradation over time.

After the launch of the production version of the Model 3, Tesla announced that the vehicle will have a New Vehicle Limited Warranty for 4 years or 50,000 miles (80,000 km), like the Model S and Model X.

The difference was with Drive Unit and Battery warranty. Like Model S and Model X, the warranty on the Model 3 powertrain is 8 years, but unlike Model S and Model X, the Model 3 does have a limit on mileage:

  • 100,000 miles (160,000 km) for the ‘Standard Range Battery’ version
  • 120,000 miles (192,000 km) for the ‘Long Range Battery’ version

But with the release of the full warranty, we now learn that Tesla also added a guaranteed minimum 70% retention of battery capacity over the warranty period.

That’s new to Model 3 only.

For comparison, Tesla warns that it does not cover battery degradation from “battery usage” under its Model S and Model X warranty:

“The Battery, like all lithium-ion batteries, will experience gradual energy or power loss with time and use. Loss of Battery energy or power over time or due to or resulting from Battery usage, is NOT covered under this Battery Limited Warranty. See your owner documentation for important information on how to maximize the life and capacity of the Battery.”

It hasn’t really been a problem so far since data from early Model S and Model X vehicles show a trend of reaching 150,000 miles before coming close to a 10% capacity loss.

But a guaranteed capacity under warranty can be reassuring to some buyers and the competition in the same price range as the Model 3 is also offering a similar battery capacity retention warranty.

For example, the Chevy Bolt EV offers a guaranteed limit of 60% of the capacity over 8 years or 100,000 miles and the Nissan Leaf guarantees roughly 66% capacity over the same timeline (100k miles/96 months for the 30kWh pack).  The 2018 Leaf will have similar warranty protection, though the specifics aren’t yet released.

Tesla placed its own battery capacity retention warranty a little higher than the competition. The company also says that they expect the actual battery capacity retention to be similar to what they are seeing on Model S and Model X over the 8-year warranty period, which they say is “greater than 80%.”

We read through the rest of the Model 3 warranty and it appears to be fairly standard, but here it is in full if you want to take a look:

[scribd id=367645206 key=key-QXupYZhqadki5VYyShcu mode=scroll]

Electrek’s Take

Battery degradation is often a big concern for new electric vehicle buyers. To a certain degree, the Nissan Leaf might be to blame since it had a lot of issues in that regard, which is why Nissan has a much more comprehensive battery capacity warranty now.

But Tesla’s vehicles arguably have a much more advanced battery thermal management system than the Leaf and data from early Model S vehicles has been really encouraging.

My own Model S, which is one of the first 2,000 vehicles ever made, only lost about 6% capacity over 5 years.

With this said, there have been some outliers that have seen greater capacity losses and having a battery capacity warranty can be reassuring in those cases.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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