Does Mileage Matter on a Tesla? (Explained)

Before buying a used car, one of the first things to consider is the mileage. But recently, there has been a debate about whether the mileage is still an important factor to consider when buying a Tesla.

The short answer is No, due to how an EV has fewer components compared to a gasoline car. However, I will explain it in greater detail below, but before that, here is what you have to know about mileage. 

A Tesla Model X Plaid (Photo credit: Tesla)

What is Mileage?

Mileage is the total distance a car has covered since it was manufactured. Mileage differs from Mile per Gas (MPG), which measures how far a vehicle will travel per gallon of gas. MPG shows how good a car’s fuel economy is, but the mileage can be used to measure how good the car is.

The longer the car has been driven, the higher its mileage. The total mileage of a car is often displayed on the dashboard along with the speedometer and fuel gauge. 

Most cars can reach up to 200,000 miles, and with good maintenance, they can go as far as 300,000 miles in their lifetime. On average, most cars cover around 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year.

This is generally considered good mileage, and you can use these figures to check if a vehicle is in good condition. For example, If a car is five years old, you’d expect between 60,000 to 75,000 mileage. 

Anything too low could be a tell-tale sign of past problems, and anything too high shows overuse. So using the mileage, you can determine the car’s age, driving condition, and driver’s habit. Bad roads and careless driving are likely going to produce very low mileage.

Does mileage matter for a Tesla?

A few decades ago, nearly all vehicles were powered with gasoline. But now, we have hybrids (powered by gas and electricity) and Electric Vehicles or EVs that run primarily on electricity. 

Gasoline vehicles have so many mechanical parts that wear over time. The drivetrain of an internal combustion engine has more than 200 moving parts, whereas that of an EV is just around 20.

So buying a gasoline car comes with overhead expenses that may include the cost of changing the plugs, brake pads, oil filters, fuel pumps, belts, brake calipers, fuel pumps, and many other moving parts that wear with usage. 

This is why mileage is very important for a gasoline car, but for an EV like Tesla, it is not. First, the number of moving parts is less, and the replaceable parts like the battery can last very long.

Tesla has about 17 moving parts, a non-traditional gearbox that uses a single gear compared to the multiple gear system used in a standard gasoline vehicle. Regenerative braking increases the lifespan of mechanical brakes on a Tesla. 

One Tesla owner reported reaching up to 250,000 miles on one set of brake pads, underscoring what Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet that Tesla’s brakes would not need to be replaced for the “lifetime of the car.” As you can see, the idea of using the mileage does not matter so much for an EV like Tesla, it is just a number. 

What is high mileage for Tesla?

Tesla display showing range (Photo credit: Tesla)

932,256 miles (1,500,000 km) that’s the longest known mileage on a Tesla, precisely the Tesla Model S P85. The owner, a German by name Hansjörg is known for pushing Tesla to its limit, and his bravery has given other EV enthusiasts data from which they can deduce the lifespan of a Tesla and its high mileage.

Hansjörg is kind enough to provide reliable information regarding repairs and replacements made to the car during this period. 

Prior to hitting this milestone, Hansjörg’s Tesla model S had its battery packs changed three times, and the electric motor changed four times.

The original battery pack was replaced after 180,000 miles (290,000 km), the second pack was replaced after 93,000 miles (150,000 km), and the third battery pack lasted up to 932,256 miles (1,500,000 km). It took three electric motor replacements to reach 680,000 km and a fourth one to get it to 1,000,000 km and beyond. 

This data makes it possible to guess what would be high mileage for a Tesla. If we are to roughly divide the distance covered by the number of times the parts were changed, then each battery pack would last for 300,000 miles (about 500,000 km), and each electric motor would last for 200,000 miles (about 300,000 km).

These are impressive figures for an Ev. But do not forget that the Model S P85 is one of the older versions of the Tesla Model S manufactured in 2014. 

Hansjörg achieved his 1,500,000 km mileage on January 6, 2022. A lot has improved in 8 years since the Model S P85 was manufactured. So newer Teslas are expected to exceed this milestone because EV technology has improved. If that is the case, then “high mileage” for Tesla could be equivalent to the lifetime of most gasoline cars which is within 150,000 to 200,000 miles.

Do Teslas have a mileage limit? 

When it comes to sheer numbers, Tesla seems to have broken every known record and not just on paper. It almost looks as though it can take anything you throw at it.

There are two main reasons for this. The first is that Tesla has very few moving parts that can wear over time, and secondly, its technology is improving every year. Although it is true that Tesla has a very long lifespan, it is not infinite. 

One of Tesla’s strong points is its battery. Over the years, there has been consistent improvement in the performance of Tesla’s battery. Considering that for EVs battery life is key, then the best way to access Tesla’s mileage limit is by looking at how long its battery can last.

Tesla’s batteries have a lifespan of 300,000 to 500,000 miles before they need to be replaced. Since the average mile traveled each year is between 12,000 miles to 15,000 miles, a Tesla battery could last for at least 20  to 33 years. 

Do Teslas depreciate with mileage?

No. Teslas have a high resale value, at least much better than most other EVs and even some gasoline vehicles. Its low maintenance cost and long lifespan lend it a good second value.

But the problem with Tesla is Tesla. As EV technology improves, the cost of production drops. So each new Tesla model is slightly cheaper than the previous models. This is generally a good thing since it means more options for buyers. 

But the low prices of newer Teslas Models disrupt the second value of an older model. Because, well, buyers have more options. So, instead of buying a used Tesla Roadster, you could go for a cheaper but brand new Model 3 or even a Model S. This forces the second-hand value of the more expensive Roadstar down to a level at which buyers won’t be tempted to go for the newer models. 

Also, the idea of depreciation is more of a psychological thing when applied to EVs. Even with the knowledge that Teslas do not depreciate with mileage, years of dealing with gasoline cars have programmed our minds to mentally flinch at high mileage numbers. So if you have racked up high mileage on your Tesla, you may find its price is much lower than expected. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How many miles will a Tesla last?

From Hansjörg’s achievement, we can see that a Tesla can last up to a million miles. But you may need to replace the batteries and several other components during this time. However, if you are not considering replacing the parts, you may look at 300,000 miles to 500,000 miles. 

How many miles do Tesla batteries last?

According to Elon Musk, Tesla’s batteries could last 300,000 to 500,000 miles. There are also rumors of a million-mile battery. This battery can last up to 1 million miles before it needs to be replaced. This is good news for Tesla, which is working with the researchers that made the claim. However, it would be a while before we see such a battery in actual performance. 

How many miles do Tesla engines last?

There is currently no specific data for the lifespan of Tesla engines. But Tesla users on many forums speculate it could last up to 4 million miles. This is because many users have already clocked a million miles with the original electric motor still intact. 

Is it a good idea to buy a Tesla with over 100k miles?

Yes, buying a used Tesla that has clocked up to 100k miles is still a good deal. You still have about  200,000 to 400,000 miles in it, and that is more than anyone can ask for, especially if you are using it for regular commute, 


EVs have been around for a few years, but there is still so much we don’t know about them. Tesla is, without a doubt, one of the most popular EVs, so it is not surprising that many people are searching for information about them. This article addresses the common questions about Tesla.

However, it is not possible to answer all the questions that you may have. So if you have more questions, let us know in the comment section below.