Former Tesla boss gives his estimate of battery life

JB Straubel, the co-founder and former chief technical officer of Tesla, says batteries in electric cars should last around 15 years before needing to be replaced.

The most frequently asked question about electric cars is their battery life. After how many kilometers or years should you replace the battery of your electric car? We are not talking about autonomy like the Tesla Model S which managed to travel 1,210 km with a revolutionary new battery, but about life. What should be the average number of charge/discharge cycles of an electric car battery?

A Tesla car – Credit: Matt Henry / Unsplash

This question does not yet have a precise answer since electric cars are relatively recent on the market. There is not enough data to estimate battery life. Nevertheless, according to Jeffrey Brian Straubel, the battery of an electric car should last at least 15 years approximately. Co-founder of Tesla, JB Straubel was technical director of the car manufacturer for fifteen years.

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Tesla co-founder specializes in recycling lithium-ion automotive batteries

During a recent interview at CERAWeek 2022, JB Straubel gave his opinion on battery life of electric cars. He stated that: ” it’s a subjective thing depending on people’s goal for the car, but i think it [la durée de vie] should easily be 15 years in most cases. I think the battery life will probably follow the life of the vehicle. Personally, I think people are less likely to fit a new battery in an old car. “.

Trained as an engineer, JB Straubel was Head of Tesla Battery Development until 2019. His comments are therefore based on his professional experience with Tesla. Apart from defective batteries, Tesla batteries that are replaced often belong to cars with a lot of miles on the odometer. They therefore already have a relatively good longevity. Moreover, changing the battery of your Tesla costs a fortune if the warranty is no longer valid.

Finally, JB Straubel has been closely monitoring the end of life of electric car batteries since he founded Redwood Materials in 2017. His company specializes in recycling automotive lithium-ion batteries. Ford and Volvo are already working with Redwood Materials to recycle their batteries. Currently, a few tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of electric cars reach the end of their life each year. Within the next 15 years, this number could exceed the millions. The recycling of automotive batteries will therefore become increasingly important.

Source: Electrek

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