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Summary:

Tesla says that for the Model S, Tesla’s electric sedan that will start shipping this Summer, it would take an entire year to fully discharge (and ruin) the battery, starting from a 50 percent charge.

Customer rides of the Model S Beta

The Model S Beta

Tesla has responded in more detail to the case of the Tesla “brick,” where a blogger earlier this week wrote about several cases of early Roadsters that had been left without a charge for an extended period of time and had ruined their batteries. And Tesla says that for the Model S, Tesla’s electric sedan that will start shipping this Summer, it would take an entire year to fully discharge (and ruin) the battery, starting from a 50 percent charge.

Tesla says:

A Model S battery parked with 50 percent charge would approach full discharge only after about 12 months. Model S batteries also have the ability to protect themselves as they approach very low charge levels by going into a “deep sleep” mode that lowers the loss even further. A Model S will not allow its battery to fall below about 5 percent charge. At that point the car can still sit for many months. Of course you can drive a Model S to 0 percent charge, but even in that circumstance, if you plug it in within 30 days, the battery will recover normally.

For the earliest Roadsters (like Roadster 1.5) Tesla says that it would take over two months to discharge the batteries without being plugged in. Tesla has continued to develop its battery management technology since Roadster 1.5 and also enables drivers to receive alerts if their battery charges get too low.

So, unfortunately folks, if you’re going to buy an electric car, you’re going to have to keep it plugged in for the time required.

  1. If you park a gasoline car and don’t drive it for several months, its battery may become too discharged to start the engine.

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    1. Replacing a sealed lead acid in your car is a lesser issue.

      But more importantly, it turned out this blogger was *way* out in BS territory on that article. I can’t figure out why it got so much coverage, such that Tesla even had to respond.

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  2. Parking a gas car, or any other car for a long time is not a good thing either. Brake brakes can lock up and the rolling stock is just not designed for that. Is this a none-issue or are some people using cars in ways they are not designed?

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    1. Well, for the Roadster in particular, it’s a $100k sportscar. That means, pretty much automatically, that it’s *not* a daily driver, and letting it sit for a few months (for example during the winter) is not exactly something that should be unexpected.

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      1. If you parked your Roadster in your garage for a few months, why would you not plug it in? Tesla Motor’s technology has improved since the Roadster though and as a result, a Tesla Model S can sit for a full year by the way. Want to read more about that, go to:

        http://teslarumors.com/News-2012-02-25-013.html

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  3. Um, yes, you obviously have to plug in an electric car to charge it. So how exactly is this ‘unfortunate’?

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  4. Tesla say it will NOT brick after even a year!

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  5. Joseph Wallace Monday, February 27, 2012

    My brand new gas lawn mower did not last even the first winter. It would not start and the fuel system was all clogged up. I bought a battery cordless electric lawnmower and screw gas. Electric is much more reliable.

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