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Tesla Roadster EVs accused of 'bricking,' Tesla responds

Tim Stevens
02.22.12
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Last night we were sent an interesting report about Tesla Roadsters falling into an unfortunate state -- a very terminal, very expensive state. According to theunderstatement a Tesla Roadster that is left to discharge completely, a process that could take many weeks, will need to have its entire battery pack replaced (pictured above) -- at a cost of approximately $40,000. There are said to be no countermeasures that can prevent this short of keeping your car topped up, and while that may sound simple enough, it becomes tricky if you need to put the thing in storage for a few months.

While we haven't been able to confirm all the "several" supposed cases of this happening, we did hear back from Tesla issuing a statement (after the break) that more or less affirms this could happen. Tesla uses a number of so-called "countermeasures" to prevent this, up to and including a representative from the company calling the owner should a battery pack trail dangerously low. Worryingly, though, this situation is said to be possible in both the upcoming Model S sedan and Model X SUV. Here's to hoping for a little more clarity on this issue -- and maybe a solution -- before those two come to market.

Update: Autoblog Green takes a closer look at the origins of this story.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]


All automobiles require some level of owner care. For example, combustion vehicles require regular oil changes or the engine will be destroyed. Electric vehicles should be plugged in and charging when not in use for maximum performance. All batteries are subject to damage if the charge is kept at zero for long periods of time. However, Tesla avoids this problem in virtually all instances with numerous counter-measures. Tesla batteries can remain unplugged for weeks (or even months), without reaching zero state of charge. Owners of Roadster 2.0 and all subsequent Tesla products can request that their vehicle alert Tesla if SOC falls to a low level. All Tesla vehicles emit various visual and audible warnings if the battery pack falls below 5 percent SOC. Tesla provides extensive maintenance recommendations as part of the customer experience.

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