Image: Tesla

A Tesla owner in Finland by the name of Tuomas Katainen has blown up his Model S with dynamite after receiving a disturbingly high quote for an out-of-warranty battery replacement.

As shared by YouTuber Pommijätkät (a channel that’s popular for blowing all kinds of stuff up), Katainen decided to turn his electric vehicle into scrap metal after realizing that the $22,000 that Tesla wanted for a replacement battery pack could have just gone toward a used Model S, which goes for around $35,000 euros in Finland, according to coverage by Electrek. The video shows Katainen’s white Model S lined with sticks of dynamite before exploding in a blaze of glory.

“With Model S production starting in 2012 and higher volumes not coming until 2014, only recently have those vehicles started to come off their powertrain warranty,” Electrek noted in its coverage. “We have seen quotes from Tesla for battery pack replacements between $20,000 and $30,000. That’s a lot of money, but the good news is that Tesla’s battery packs have been known to last a long time.”

“However, even if the problem is not necessarily battery degradation, the battery packs simply fail sometimes, and it’s expensive to replace those early packs.”

Source: Pommijätkät (via Electrek)

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26 Comments

  1. And this surprises people? Batteries are expensive, they always have been. And anyone believing an Elon Musk time table for prices to come down as he thought — well, he may eventually be right, but I don’t think he’s ever kept a schedule and is extremely over-optimistic with every date he sets.

    All that talk of EV’s being cheaper – they absolutely are. Right up to the point where you need to replace the biggest consumable item: the battery. This is also what is going to make the Used Car market for EV’s extremely challenging.

  2. Electric vehicles are starting to show real promise, but I don’t think they are quite ready to replace gasoline engine based vehicles. This is one prime example of why that is.

  3. And dealer service replacement of an out-of-warranty modern internal combustion engine costs … ? Let’s not just throw a large number out there for wow factor without comparative context.

    This was a stunt for attention, pure and simple. Did they price environmental clean up of the toxic debris? Probably not.

  4. [QUOTE=”Ditchinit, post: 45609, member: 4253″]
    And dealer service replacement of an out-of-warranty modern internal combustion engine costs … ? Let’s not just throw a large number out there for wow factor without comparative context.

    This was a stunt for attention, pure and simple. Did they price environmental clean up of the toxic debris? Probably not.
    [/QUOTE]
    Around 4-6k depending on the engine. A more direct comparison would be out of warranty costs for diesel engines in trucks. Those can cost 10-15k in some cases. For something like a Ford F-350 Super Duty, dealers would probably remove the entire truck body and access the engine at the frame. It is very expensive in terms of parts and labor. The difference is the service life on a diesel engine like that can be upwards of 500,000 miles or more.

    You aren’t likely to see the same kind of service life out of Tesla batteries.

  5. [QUOTE=”Ditchinit, post: 45609, member: 4253″]
    This was a stunt for attention, pure and simple. Did they price environmental clean up of the toxic debris? Probably not.
    [/QUOTE]

    Agreed, this is a stupid stunt. The car would still have resale value for parts even if the battery was dead. Never mind the total and complete waste of just blowing the thing up, and the debris created.

  6. [QUOTE=”Dan_D, post: 45614, member: 6″]
    For something like a Ford F-350 Super Duty, dealers would probably remove the entire truck body and access the engine at the frame.
    [/QUOTE]
    As someone that works at a Ford dealership I see this when the diesel trucks are in service.

  7. [QUOTE=”Burticus, post: 45615, member: 297″]
    Agreed, this is a stupid stunt. The car would still have resale value for parts even if the battery was dead. Never mind the total and complete waste of just blowing the thing up, and the debris created.
    [/QUOTE]
    Apart from the battery – there isn’t a whole lot worth anything else in there. The motor/driveline is.. $2-3k maybe?, which isn’t too bad. Body panels & seats are worth what they always are at PIck-N-Pull. Tires and rims? And that’s pretty much the entire car right there.

    Blowing up the car – yeah, dumb stunt. The fact that battery is a consumable item and replacement is prohibitive is ~ a real problem.

  8. [QUOTE=”Niner51, post: 45635, member: 106″]
    As someone that works at a Ford dealership I see this when the diesel trucks are in service.
    [/QUOTE]
    The way they are built it makes things much easier to reach if you have to tear into the engine.
    [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 45636, member: 96″]
    The fact that battery is a consumable item and replacement is prohibitive is ~ a real problem.
    [/QUOTE]
    It’s why I said that electric vehicles just aren’t there yet. Range is still a bit of a problem as well.

  9. [QUOTE=”Dan_D, post: 45614, member: 6″]
    Around 4-6k depending on the engine. A more direct comparison would be out of warranty costs for diesel engines in trucks. Those can cost 10-15k in some cases. For something like a Ford F-350 Super Duty, dealers would probably remove the entire truck body and access the engine at the frame. It is very expensive in terms of parts and labor. The difference is the service life on a diesel engine like that can be upwards of 500,000 miles or more.

    You aren’t likely to see the same kind of service life out of Tesla batteries.
    [/QUOTE]

    Even less to have your engine rebuilt, depending on what’s needed.

    People also seem to forget that the electric motors in Tesla’s also fail. As far as I know they come as a unit, or a whole axle assembly, that cost around $10,000 to replace.

  10. [QUOTE=”Ditchinit, post: 45609, member: 4253″]
    And dealer service replacement of an out-of-warranty modern internal combustion engine costs … ? Let’s not just throw a large number out there for wow factor without comparative context.

    This was a stunt for attention, pure and simple. Did they price environmental clean up of the toxic debris? Probably not.
    [/QUOTE]
    How often is a motor needing replaced as opposed to a battery? I suspect a battery has a far more definitive service life than a .otor ghat can have parts and pieces replaced as needed.

  11. [QUOTE=”Grimlakin, post: 45647, member: 215″]
    How often is a motor needing replaced as opposed to a battery? I suspect a battery has a far more definitive service life than a .otor ghat can have parts and pieces replaced as needed.
    [/QUOTE]
    Kinda to that point:

    A IC engine is not considered a consumable part. It is made up of many parts – some of which ~are~ consumable – such as the oil, filters, rings and bearings to some extent. But replacing an entire engine is not a typical preventative maintenance or considered routine – that’s usually only done because something broke.

    Same thing would go to the motor on a Tesla – that thing probably has a bearing or something that is designed to wear slowly over time and be replaced, rather than replacing the entire drive train assembly. Although I admit I don’t rightly know. Brake pads, tires, cabin air filters – all parts designed to wear and be replaced.

    That said, there are no internal parts** on a battery pack that can be replaced. And by it’s very nature, it will wear over time.

    **Well, I suppose if you wanted to get technical, the battery is made up of thousands of cells and you could replace individual cells, but each one of those cells has a finite lifecycle, and they all are going to see equal use, so apart from failure – when one is used up, pretty much all of them are going to be at end of life.

  12. [QUOTE=”Dan_D, post: 45614, member: 6″]
    Around 4-6k depending on the engine. A more direct comparison would be out of warranty costs for diesel engines in trucks. Those can cost 10-15k in some cases. For something like a Ford F-350 Super Duty, dealers would probably remove the entire truck body and access the engine at the frame. It is very expensive in terms of parts and labor. The difference is the service life on a diesel engine like that can be upwards of 500,000 miles or more.

    You aren’t likely to see the same kind of service life out of Tesla batteries.
    [/QUOTE]
    This model X had over 400,000 miles as of 2020:

    [URL unfurl=”true”]https://electrek.co/2020/05/11/tesla-model-x-extreme-mileage-repair-maintenance/amp/[/URL]

  13. [QUOTE=”Endgame, post: 45656, member: 1041″]
    This model X had over 400,000 miles as of 2020:

    [URL unfurl=”true”]https://electrek.co/2020/05/11/tesla-model-x-extreme-mileage-repair-maintenance/amp/[/URL]
    [/QUOTE]
    They don’t mention anything about current battery life or status of current range. And most of the repairs they mention have nothing to do with the mileage — needing to change out seats in less than 4 years?

  14. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 45657, member: 96″]
    They don’t mention anything about current battery life or status of current range. And most of the repairs they mention have nothing to do with the mileage — needing to change out seats in less than 4 years?
    [/QUOTE]
    The more you sit in the seats the sooner it will wear out. 400.000 miles is more than enough to wear down a car seat. You can see many car seats in reputable long established brands falling apart after 200.000. So if tesla’s lasted twice that that’s pretty good.

  15. And this is why EVs will never become classic cars like cars from 60-80s are now. It costs almost nothing to get one running. An EV that sat for 15 years instant battery replacement, that nobody will want to do. So how good are EVs for the environment really?

  16. [QUOTE=”MadMummy76, post: 45658, member: 1298″]
    The more you sit in the seats the sooner it will wear out. 400.000 miles is more than enough to wear down a car seat. You can see many car seats in reputable long established brands falling apart after 200.000. So if tesla’s lasted twice that that’s pretty good.
    [/QUOTE]
    I’ve had a lot of trucks go 300-500k miles, I’ve never had to replace a seat. Stains, sure. Fart smell, definitely. Padding a bit worn in, yeah. But broken on the slide rails and needs to be replaced or will eject the passenger – never. I’ve never owned a car, so maybe they are different? I kinda doubt it though. I would expect a cheap Yugo seat to be nothing more than a pillow duct taped to a frame, but I’d expect something better in a LUXURY SEDAN that the Model S is than cheapo Office Max grade furniture.

    And on this particular report – it was the rear seat – that doesn’t even necessarily always get passengers. If you are going to pick your battles, you should pick something worth while. This, in particular, isn’t worth defending Tesla over.

    I will also say, in your defense here and in all fairness – this is one car and one report. That doesn’t necessarily mean that every Tesla seat out there is bad. But the glaring omission of any discussion of battery health is … telling. More so than any dollar figure on incidental repairs and maintenance might be.

  17. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 45661, member: 96″]
    I’ve had a lot of trucks go 300-500k miles, I’ve never had to replace a seat. I’ve never owned a car, so maybe they are different? I kinda doubt it though. I would expect a cheap Yugo seat to be nothing more than a pillow duct taped to a frame, but I’d expect something better in a LUXURY SEDAN that the Model S is than cheapo Office Max grade furniture.
    [/QUOTE]
    You personally drove multiple trucks to 500K miles? How much do you actually drive?
    I’m certain that in 400.000 miles most other luxury brand will show wear and tear on their seats, especially if the people who use it don’t own the car and so don’t care about it.

    Trucks are usually made to be more durable rather than comfortable, so those seats might last longer, if I think of it, I’ve never seen any pickup seats coming apart at the seams or the springs loosing their rigidity. But I’ve seen many cars with just 100-150k on the clock where the driver’s seat looked like an explosion took half of it out.
    [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 45661, member: 96″]
    And on this particular report – it was the rear seat – that doesn’t even necessarily always get passengers
    [/QUOTE]
    If you think just for a second, you’ll realize that an EV racking up 400.000 miles in just 4 years was probably used as a taxi or uber. Which the article actually confirms that it was used as a people hauler. So there were people constantly occupying the rear seats, it didn’t just disintegrate on its own.
    And BTW the article mentions malfunctioning as the reason, so the seat wasn’t actually worn out but probably the electronics sesponsible for moving it had issues. And I’ll call out tesla for that because mechanical issues shouldn’t necessitate replacing the seats as a whole. Just replace the failing component, not brand new seats for $5000, that is ridiculous.
    [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 45661, member: 96″]
    If you are going to pick your battles, you should pick something worth while. This, in particular, isn’t worth defending Tesla over.
    [/QUOTE]
    Oh, my battle is always defending reason, I have no love for tesla.

  18. Batteries that size can be repaired, testa motors can be repaired. Its a matter of regulations to force them to allow it.

  19. They have a whole separate article on the battery. I thought it was linked from the first article?

    [URL unfurl=”true”]https://electrek.co/2020/06/06/tesla-battery-degradation-replacement/amp/[/URL]

    Spoiler:
    Now as for this specific high-mileage Tesla Model X. It’s a Model X 90D, which when new had an EPA rating of 257 miles (414 km).

    Today, it gets 230 miles (370 km) on a full charge, which means a 10.5% degradation in battery capacity.

  20. EV are the future. Period.

    You all sound just like the people who complained about the car powered by a gas engine. But instead of claiming the horse and carriage will never go away, you’re claiming cars w/ internal combustion engine is here to stay, and never replaceable, forever!

    You’d be silly to think that 20 years from now batteries for cars wont be 1/5 of the price they are now as well as people who can repair, rebuild and build them in their garages.

  21. It’s clear to me some people in here have no idea what TF they’re talking about.

    I know of, have owned, driven, sold PLENTY of luxury vehicles with well over 200k miles. I don’t remember ever having to replace a seat. Seats in my last Benz looked brand new when I sold the car with just over 100k. I’d see no reason they wouldn’t go another 200k looking the same. Leather in my last truck with 137k on it looked perfect when I traded it. My friends 2003 XC90 seats with over 300k on them still look fantastic.

  22. [QUOTE=”LeRoy_Blanchard, post: 45665, member: 137″]
    EV are the future. Period.
    [/QUOTE]
    EV may be the future. I’m ok with that. I’d like to have a PHEV as my next vehicle.

    I just don’t like it when things get misrepresented. And there is always a difference between what’s the the facts today, and what might be possible in the future – remember back when everyone thought flying cars were the future?

  23. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 45668, member: 96″]
    EV may be the future. I’m ok with that. I’d like to have a PHEV as my next vehicle.

    I just don’t like it when things get misrepresented. And there is always a difference between what’s the the facts today, and what might be possible in the future – remember back when everyone thought flying cars were the future?
    [/QUOTE]

    The difference between flying cars and EVs today is EVs actually exist. Personal flying cars have never made it past prototype stages.

    The electric motor has been around for a long time and it’s been tried and true. The only thing that is just now starting to catch up are batteries.

    As a testament to just how far batteries have come you can buy all the battery “cells” today and build your own custom battery pack yourself. I wouldn’t be surprised it someone hasn’t already done a custom battery for an EV (or even a hybrid) vehicle with off the shelf battery and electronic parts.

  24. [QUOTE=”Riccochet, post: 45667, member: 4″]
    It’s clear to me some people in here have no idea what TF they’re talking about.

    I know of, have owned, driven, sold PLENTY of luxury vehicles with well over 200k miles. I don’t remember ever having to replace a seat. Seats in my last Benz looked brand new when I sold the car with just over 100k. I’d see no reason they wouldn’t go another 200k looking the same. Leather in my last truck with 137k on it looked perfect when I traded it. My friends 2003 XC90 seats with over 300k on them still look fantastic.
    [/QUOTE]
    Do you take care of your car as well as you do a rental? Do most people? I think that should be the basis of comparison, right? How would a Benz look after 400k miles rented out with Avis?

  25. [QUOTE=”Endgame, post: 45664, member: 1041″]
    They have a whole separate article on the battery. I thought it was linked from the first article?

    [URL unfurl=”true”]https://electrek.co/2020/06/06/tesla-battery-degradation-replacement/amp/[/URL]

    Spoiler:
    Now as for this specific high-mileage Tesla Model X. It’s a Model X 90D, which when new had an EPA rating of 257 miles (414 km).

    Today, it gets 230 miles (370 km) on a full charge, which means a 10.5% degradation in battery capacity.
    [/QUOTE]
    Here’s a different take:

    [URL unfurl=”true”]https://www.thedrive.com/tech/43592/heres-how-a-tesla-model-s-holds-up-after-424000-miles[/URL]

    The Tesla previously received a new battery under warranty at around 250,000 miles, meaning that the car now has 180,000 on its current battery pack. Since its pack replacement, the car’s original range of 240 miles has dropped to between 180 and 200 miles on a full charge, meaning a loss of as much as 25 percent.

  26. [QUOTE=”Dan_D, post: 45638, member: 6″]
    It’s why I said that electric vehicles just aren’t there yet. Range is still a bit of a problem as well.
    [/QUOTE]
    I agree with this sentiment, although I did pass a Tesla on I35 in KC with California tags. I was a bit surprised by that.

    Wonder how many stops they made with that trip and when exactly when they can get their ass out of KS.

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