Study: Frequent Supercharging doesn’t Affect Tesla Battery Longevity

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Filed under Automotive, EV News, News, Tesla

A recent study has emerged, challenging the conventional wisdom that frequent Supercharging has a detrimental effect on Tesla battery longevity. Historically, concerns have loomed over the impact of frequent DC fast charging, particularly through Tesla’s Supercharger network, on the lifespan of electric vehicle (EV) batteries. In response to these concerns, Tesla had issued warnings in the past.

This fresh investigation, conducted by Recurrent, delves into the fascinating realm of battery degradation, drawing on a vast dataset from over 12,500 Tesla vehicles in the United States. Surprisingly, the findings challenge the notion that frequent fast charging adversely affects battery life. In essence, the data suggests that there’s little to no substantial discrepancy in battery degradation between vehicles frequently subjected to rapid charging and those undergoing infrequent instances of it.

Providing further validation of these findings, Tesla’s recent update concerning battery degradation is equally illuminating. It reports that Tesla vehicles experience only approximately a 12% loss in battery capacity after covering an impressive distance of 320,000 kilometers. Furthermore, the study unveils that this phenomenon extends across various Tesla models, including the Model 3 and Model Y. The research even scrutinizes extreme scenarios, comparing the charging habits of vehicles that fast charge over 90% of the time with those that indulge in fast charging less than 10% of the time. Astonishingly, the results reveal no statistically significant range degradation disparities between these two groups of Teslas.

Although Tesla’s current owner manual no longer addresses the impact of frequent DC fast chrarging on battery longevity, it does acknowledge the potential for a marginal decrease in peak charging rates after a substantial number of DC Fast Charging sessions. This decrease is attributed to factors such as battery temperature, charge levels, and the natural aging of the battery. Importantly, these changes are entirely consistent with the principles of battery physics and may only add a few extra minutes to the total Supercharging duration over time.

The study, however, does underscore the importance of considering extreme temperature conditions, be it scorching heat or frigid cold, in relation to battery performance. Remarkably, this finding is not exclusive to electric vehicles but holds true for conventional internal combustion engine-powered vehicles as well.

This study contributes significantly to our understanding of EV battery performance and charging practices. It defies previous assumptions by suggesting that frequent Supercharging appears to have a minimal impact on Tesla battery degradation. Nonetheless, it remains prudent for EV owners to remain vigilant about battery health, particularly during extreme temperature conditions, as these factors can affect both traditional and electric vehicles alike.


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