Even though the Model Y is just over a year old, it’s quickly risen to the top of the EV sales charts.
This is no surprise as it fits in perfectly in the hotly contested compact SUV market and is also quite affordable — for a Tesla.
It also comes with all the fantastic tech, performance and styling that only Tesla can deliver.
But how many years of service can you expect from the Model Y?
We’ll cover this and much more in this article, read on to find out…
Here is the short answer to how long a Tesla Model Y will last:
The Model Y’s batteries can last from 300,000 to 500,000 miles. If you drive 15,000 miles annually, it can theoretically last 20 – 33 years. Tesla also tested the drive units to last up to 1 million miles. Both of these major components also come with an 8-year/100,000 mile warranty.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Tesla Model Y?
The Model Y started delivery in early 2020, so there aren’t too many high mileage examples as of yet.
But since the Y shares a lot of components with the Model 3, such as the chassis, batteries and drive units, you can expect similar reliability and longevity from both models.
Being an EV, the model Y’s drivetrain should require less maintenance than a vehicle with an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). It doesn’t have an engine or a traditional transmission that are subjected to lots more heat and friction which increases wear and tear on their individual parts.
Most people are more concerned with the Model Y’s batteries which are rated to last up to 1,500 cycles with minimal degradation.
If you consider the estimated range of the Long Range and Performance models (326 and 303 miles respectively), you can reasonably expect the batteries to deliver over 450,000 miles and still have roughly 80% of life left in them.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust on a Tesla Model Y?
Like other Teslas, the Model Y comes with a 12-year Body Rust Limited Warranty.
But it has lots of conditions and becomes void if you do any rustproofing.
The Model Y and Model 3 use a lot less aluminum than the more expensive Model S and X — making them more susceptible to rust and corrosion.
But the rear chassis and rear inner wheel wells are made out of aluminum so you’ll have less rust issues in these areas.
There are lots of Model 3s that have gone past 100,000 miles without issue — and some have over 300,000 miles. So you can expect the Model Y to last at least that much before any major rust issues become a concern.
One of the most common complaints about Tesla vehicles is the thinness of the paint.
This makes them more susceptible to rock chips and scratches, which exposes the bare metal underneath to oxidation.
In fact, in the short time the Model Y has been on the road, owners have already reported seeing rust spots on different body panels.
If you want to avoid premature formation of rust on your Model Y, here are a few things you can do:
- Wash the car regularly, including the underside
- Apply paint protection such as ceramic coating or paint protection film
- Install mud flaps to protect the body from road salts and debris kicked up by the tires
- Apply rustproofing to the underside of the vehicle
- Keep the car garaged to protect it from the elements
- Address chips and scratches as quickly as possible by using touchup paint
How Long Does the Tesla Model Y Last Compared to Similar Car Models?
Let’s take a quick look at how the Model Y’s reliability stacks up against other electric SUVs.
Model Y vs. Mustang Mach-E
The Mustang Mach-E is a direct competitor to the Model Y. Both SUVs are priced similarly, and both promise to be fun and cool looking EVs.
In the short time the Mustang Mach-E has been in the market reviewers and owners seem to be happy with its overall build quality.
Compared to the Model Y, you’re probably going to see fewer paint issues, panel gaps, and other build quality issues with the Mustang because of Ford’s extensive experience in auto manufacturing.
We expect both vehicles to last 300,000 – 500,000 miles before requiring new batteries.
- Consumer Reports gave the Mustang Mach-E 3 out of 5 while early Model Ys a received a ‘Not Recommended’
- Edmunds gave the Mustang Mach-E 5 stars for reliability and 4 stars for the Model Y
- The Mustang has an 8-year/100,000 mile battery warranty while the Model Y offers an 8-year/120,000-mile warranty
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Ford Mustang Mach-E Last?
Model Y vs. Hyundai Kona Electric
The Hyundai Kona has been out since 2019 and has a good track record for reliability.
It’s also significantly more affordable than the Model Y.
The drive units and batteries on both vehicles should last up to 300,000 miles.
There aren’t too many reports of Kona Electrics having gone over 100,000 miles as of yet, but many have racked up over 50,000 miles with no issues.
- Consumer Reports gave the Hyundai Kona Electric average ratings for predicted reliability
- Edmunds gave the Hyundai Kona Electric 5 stars for reliability and 4 stars for the Model Y
- The Kona Electric has a slightly longer 10-year/100,000-mile battery warranty
Winner: Hyundai Kona Electric
Model Y vs. Volvo XC40 Recharge
The Volvo XC40 Recharge is slightly more expensive than the Model Y.
It’s also newly released so there aren’t too many high mileage examples.
But Volvo has been making the gas, diesel and hybrid XC40s since 2017, so the platform is quite solid.
Build quality for the EV models should be very good as well.
Given Volvo’s experience in the auto industry, we feel the XC40’s interior should also hold up much better than the Model Y over the years.
- Edmunds gave the Volvo XC40 Recharge 3 out of 5 stars for reliability while the Model Y scored higher at 4 stars
- It comes with an 8-year/100,000-mile battery warranty
How Reliable is the Tesla Model Y?
Tesla has learned a lot from its older models and since the Model Y is their latest offering, you can expect them to have worked out a lot of the build quality issues they’ve had to deal with in the past.
Since it’s an Electric Vehicle, it will also require less maintenance over time since the Model Y’s drive units are much less complicated and have significantly less parts than a typical internal combustion engine.
Reaching 100,000 miles should be no issue, and lots of Tesla owners have driven older models past 300,000 miles.
Complaints about the Model Y’s build quality seem to be mostly cosmetic such as paint issues, and don’t affect major mechanical components.
So you shouldn’t have to worry about being stranded by a drive unit or battery failure — as long as both are properly maintained and serviced.
Tesla Reliability Compared to Other Brands
Source: Consumer Reports
The Best and Worst Years for the Tesla Model Y
The worst year for the Model Y is the 2020 model.
Build quality and paint issues seem to be a common complaint for this first production year.
The best year for the Model Y is the current 2021 model.
It’s got updated interiors and is due to get a better battery.
We also assume that Tesla has already learned a lot from the problems they’ve encountered with the first model year.
What About Recalls for These Models?
According to the NHTSA Recall website, the 2020 Model Y has a total of 5 recalls while the 2021 model has only 3 recalls.
Here are the recall campaigns for the Model Y so far:
- Recall for roof trim and inadequately tightened bolts
- Certain 2020 to 2021 Modell Ys have a recall for loose brake caliper bolts
- Early Model Ys had a recall for improperly tightened suspension bolts in late 2020
- Certain 2020 to 2021 Model Y vehicles have a seat belt recall
- 2020 Model Ys also have a recall for inoperative trailer brake lights
Tesla Model Y Model Year List
The Model Y only started production in January 2020, so there are only 2 model years so far.
- 2020 Model Y
- 2021 Model Y
Despite being only 1 year old, Tesla is already introducing improvements to the 2021 Model Y such as better dashboard finishes, a redesigned center console, and a new battery.
Is the Tesla Model Y Expensive to Maintain?
The Model Y will require less maintenance compared to a similar SUV that uses an internal combustion engine.
It doesn’t need any oil changes and you’ll only need to rotate the tires and clean the brakes every couple thousand miles.
At the 2-year mark, you’ll just need to replace the cabin filters and have the brake fluid checked — both minor jobs which should cost less than $500.
How Long do the Brakes Last?
The Model Y’s brake pads last much longer because having regenerative braking means you really don’t need to use them that much.
As soon as you lift off the gas, the car will slow down and use the vehicle’s kinetic energy to charge the batteries.
This means the brake pads can last over 5 years and the brake system will only need periodic cleaning.
How Long do the Tires Last?
A set of tires will last you around 20,000 to 25,000 miles in the Model Y.
Teslas and other performance oriented EVs tend to wear out their tires more.
This is due to the instantaneous power that the motors can deliver which exerts a lot more force on the tires.
To make a set of tires last longer and make sure they wear out evenly, you also need to rotate your tires every 6,250 miles or if tread depth difference is 2/32 in or greater, whichever comes first.
How Long do the Spark Plugs Last?
The Model Y doesn’t use any spark plugs because it’s a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or a Pure Electric Vehicle.
It doesn’t need spark plugs to ignite fuel.
How Long do the Transmissions Last?
The Tesla Model Y doesn’t use a traditional transmission and is basically a single-speed vehicle.
Tesla has tested the Model 3 and Model Y drive units to last up to 1 million miles in what are most likely lab conditions.
With proper maintenance, you can easily reach 500,000 miles in the Model Y without any major drive unit issues.
What is the Range of the Tesla Model Y
The Long Range version of the Model Y can go up to 326 miles on a single charge while the faster Performance model can go up to 303 miles.
The Standard Range Model Y has been discontinued.
How long Do Tesla Model Y Batteries Last
The Model Y’s batteries can last over 10 years and still have a lot of life left in them.
If you take the Model Y’s typical range of 300 to 350 miles and add it up over 1,500 charge cycles — which is the minimum it’s rated for — you can theoretically drive it over 450,000 miles using the original batteries it came with.
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Will an Audi e-tron Last?
How Long Does the Tesla Model Y Take to Charge
The Model Y can be charged using a standard 120v or 240v wall socket, a dedicated Wall Connector, or using a Tesla Supercharger.
|Charger Type||Range per Hour of Charge||0 to 100% Charge|
|120 volt / 15 amps||3||3 to 5 days|
|240 volt / 32 amps||30||8 to 12 hours|
|Wall Connector||44||7 to 8 hours|
When hooked up to a Supercharger the Model Y gets an additional 150 miles of range every 15 minutes.
What About Insurance Cost?
According to MoneyGeek, insurance rates for the Model Y cost an average of $2,800 annually.
Some policies can go as low as $1,600 while others can go over $3,600.
Of course, this all depends on your age, state, driving record, and lots of other factors.
You may also be interested in our article: how long do Tesla Model S last?
Tips to Prolong the Life of your Tesla Model Y
- Don’t drain the battery to 0%
- Avoid charging over 80% unless you’re preparing for a long trip
- As much as possible you should charge it at home versus via a Supercharger
- Rotate your tires
- Use regenerative braking to extend range
- Address paint issues upon delivery
- Avoid leaving it outside in extremely cold or hot weather