Tesla has released new data showing that battery degradation over high mileage is limited, which is good news, but we have obtained more data that shows that not all of Tesla’s battery packs are created equal.
Battery degradation, which represents the loss in capacity and range over time with increasing mileage, is one of the biggest concerns of new electric vehicle buyers.
We have occasionally seen some interesting data about battery degradation gathered by Tesla owners but rarely anything directly from Tesla.
This week, the automaker released its ‘2019 Impact Report’ and as part of it, Tesla shared a rare chart showing energy retention.
It only includes Model S and Model X vehicles up to 200,000 miles, which have been on the road for longer than Model 3 and Model Y:
It shows around 10 to 15% battery degradation between 150,000 to 200,000 miles, which is in line with what owners have reported in previous crowdsourced reports.
However, the data is about all Model S and Model X vehicles, but things get more interesting when you break it down by different battery packs.
Tesla doesn’t release this data, but the company had a massive data leak back in 2017.
I can’t go into more detail right now about the leak because it’s not my story to tell, but a source who had access to the data figured out that Tesla’s 90 kWh battery pack degraded much faster than the 85 kWh battery pack that it was replacing.
They shared the data with us and we represented it in this chart that we first shared as part of our latest episode of the Electrek high-mileage EV series:
People had a lot of questions about the data and what it shows, so we decided to go into more detail here now.
Each point on this chart represents a Model S or Model X in Tesla’s customer fleet at the end of 2017. We have tens of thousands of data points directly from Tesla, which is arguably the best data ever released about Tesla battery degradation.
The ‘Y’ axis represents the current usable battery capacity of the car in kWh pulled from Tesla’s own battery management system and the ‘X’ axis is the total use of the battery pack in kWh since the vehicle was new.
It shows that the 90 kWh battery pack (green) starts at ~85 kWh of usable capacity and drops on average by about 6 kWh after 20,000 kWh or 235 cycles, which should represent over 60,000 miles.
As fo the 85 kWh battery pack, it starts with a usable capacity of about 80.5 kWh and it drops on average to about 77 kWh after 20,000 kWh.
It means that for the first few years of use, the 90 kWh battery pack degrades almost twice as fast as the older 85 kWh battery pack.
This is something that Tesla Model S and Model X 90D owners have been reporting anecdotally for years, but now we have the data to back it up.
Why it is happening is harder to understand, but it is happening.
Tesla’s own chart looks really good and I believe it is accurate, but I think it’s also interesting to look at different battery packs.
There’s no doubt that the degradation in the 90 kWh battery pack is much more aggressive, but there are a few silver linings.
Over time, the degradation of all battery packs, including the 90 kWh packs, levels and degradation slows down.
Therefore, while the 90 kWh drops much faster at first, it should still be able to last a long time and it’s likely why it is not dragging down Tesla’s average so much.
Secondly, Tesla discontinued the 90 kWh battery pack and replaced it by the 100 kWh.
While we don’t have the same amount of data on the newer battery pack, it doesn’t seem to degrade as fast as the 90 kWh pack.
As for the “why”, the answer seems to lie with the chemistry.
Tesla’s battery pack design didn’t change much from 85 to 90 kWh, but Tesla achieved a greater density with a new chemistry, which seems to be a worse chemistry when it comes to longevity.
After the 90 kWh pack, we have seen Tesla with a renewed focus on longevity with recent chemistry developments for its “million-mile battery”.
I think Tesla is going to be good with battery degradation going forward, but it’s still a bummer for 90 kWh battery pack owners. Tesla had replaced some of those packs, but owners with replacement packs are reporting the same problem.
Maybe Tesla should consider replacing the packs with newer 100 kWh packs instead of 90 kWh packs? What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
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See 2021 Cadillac Escalade Get Driven With Blocked Windshield
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade test units are out and about, and first drives have already been orchestrated. A handful of journalists and YouTubers have started pouring out content about the full-size luxury SUV. That includes us with our Escalade First Drive Review.
The Fast Lane, however, took a different route and made videos that are out of the ordinary. We’ve seen the channel do some off-roading with the Escalade, something owners won’t probably do when they get their hands on one.
This time, The Fast Lane Truck does a review with the Escalade’s bevy of tech toys. And as crazy as you would expect from the channel, the folks there tried to drive the SUV with a blocked windshield and front windows. How? By using the Escalade’s VR function displayed on the instrument panel. The resulting video was bonkers, which you can watch on top of this page.
Speaking of, the driver was able to go around the course without issues, twice even, and you can see in the video that he even reached speeds of up to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) before coming to a halt.
Before you raise your pitchforks, let us all be reminded that TFL Trucks did the test on a close course, so the test looked safe. Although as expected, both the driver and his passenger felt queasy after the virtual drive. But overall, at least now we know that you can still drive the new Escalade even if your windshield got broken – so as long as the front camera’s intact.
See the full crazy test on video and let us know what you think through the comments section below.
Fancy Acer Book RS By Porsche Design Comes With Carbon Fiber Cover
Porsche RS models are revered for their performance both on and off the race track, as they are admired for their flurry of carbon fiber materials. Porsche Design is back with another collaboration to showcase its styling prowess – this time it’s with Acer and its latest laptop.
Named the Porsche Design Acer Book RS, this fancy laptop signifies a new partnership between the two brands, something that fuses Porsche Design’s functional design philosophy and engineering mindset with Acer’s technological innovations and deep-rooted knowledge in the global computer segment.
The high-end notebook comes with a minimalist design, but a closer inspection reveals a 3k carbon fiber cover, striking a contrast against the diamond-cut CNC-machined chassis. With the use of this lightweight material normally used for race cars, the entire Acer Book RS only weighs 2.76 pounds (1.25 kilograms) while only measuring 0.63 inches (15.99 millimeters) thin.
Underneath the classy body, the Porsche Design Acer Book RS is equipped with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics and optional discrete NVIDIA GeForce®MX350 GPUs and 16 GB of RAM. The 14-inch FHD IPS3 touchscreen is covered with a layer of Antimicrobial4 Corning Gorilla Glass with an immersive 90% screen-to-body ratio.
The Porsche Design Acer Book RS will be available in North America with a starting price of $1,399.99. A premium package, which comes with equally great-looking accessories such as premium package i7 notebook, travel pack, and mouse, will be priced at $1,999.99. This chic Acer laptop will also be available in Europe and in China.
This isn’t the first time that Porsche designed a gadget. Back in 2018, a Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS came into fruition, which had a price tag that started at $1,800.
GMC Hummer EV’s WTF Mode Does A Weird Song And Dance Before Launching
First thing’s first. What the heck is Watts to Freedom? In short, it’s the GMC Hummer EV version of Tesla’s Ludicrous Plus launch mode, both in function and in its gimmicky nature. What does that mean? Ludicrous refers to Ludicrous speed from the classic 1987 Sci-Fi spoof Spaceballs. Meanwhile, the acronym for GMC’s Watts To Freedom is WTF, and we’re sure you know what else that stands for. But wait, there’s more
Engage WTF mode in the recently revealed GMC Hummer EV, and you won’t just launch to 60 mph in three seconds. For starters, the truck will hunker down a couple of inches before putting its GM-estimated 1,000 horsepower (735 kilowatts) to the ground. That’s a functional component of going fast, but less functional are the sounds that emanate from the Hummer EV’s speakers and animations that pop up on its digital screens.
GMC doesn’t offer a specific description of what this means, but the B-roll footage below takes us through the process starting at the 28-second mark. Once activated, a low-pitch humming sound reverberates through the speakers, and a snazzy animation on the main screen morphs to a third-person view of a Hummer EV poised on a space-themed runway. Meanwhile, the dash displays “Watts To Freedom” with stars and bars, along with a message that advises “repeated usage will cause accelerated wear on vehicle.” The driver can choose cancel or let’s go, which isn’t quite as catchy as I want my mommy or bring it on but hey, you get the point.
Selecting let’s go puts the system into motion. The truck lowers (which is also shown on the instrument display) and the driver is eventually prompted to press the brake and accelerator. This is the interactive part, as the driver must brake hard enough to get the all-important green checkmark to then floor it, all while the sound increases in both intensity and annoyance.
With the pedals mashed and the Hummer EV ready, release the brake and it’s off to the races. Presumably, drivers will be concentrating on the road while sprinting to 60 mph, so they won’t see the mini starfield flashing on the digital instrument board next to the speed readout. However, everyone will hear what sounds like the USS Enterprise going to warp speed through the speakers. At least it’s more pleasant than the low-resonance buzzing that starts it all off.
Is the GMC Hummer EV fast? Yes, it certainly is. However, experiencing all the pomp and circumstance that’s not at all similar to Tesla’s various quirky Easter eggs could easily be considered gimmicky in the best of circumstances. We’re at least curious to try it all in person as opposed to seeing a close-up on a video, but we suspect these aspects of WTF Mode might have more than a few people asking WTF GMC was thinking with all this.
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