Tesla has now begun offering data on how long its batteries take to wear out to the public. And the news, at least as Tesla reports it, sounds good: the batteries for the Model S and Model X degrade only 12% after 200,000 miles.
Battery life has been one of the most pressing issues facing Tesla and the electric vehicle (EV) market as a whole. Lithium-ion batteries, which power EVs, are notoriously difficult and costly to manufacture due to the fact that they necessitate the mining of materials such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel.
Lithium-ion batteries are also difficult to recycle, as the infrastructure is still being developed. Although some companies, including one started by one of Tesla’s co-founders, have been making strides, the practice of recycling EV batteries is not yet commonplace.
Tesla has struggled throughout its existence to keep up with the demand for the product. That struggle has often been tied to its ability to continually produce brand-new lithium-ion batteries. Although the company has previously been committed to manufacturing everything in-house, it recently made a deal with an outside company to supply its cars with several necessary components.
Overall, it’s a good thing that Tesla’s batteries last as long as they do, and hopefully, making this data available to the public will help convince the portion of that public that is still on the fence about EVs to make the switch. Although the impacts of mining for lithium and other difficult-to-come-by minerals are serious, they still pale in comparison to the negative environmental effects of traditional gas-powered cars.
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