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Keeping up with Corrosion: Battery pack rust protection the key to EV longevity, says MoneySense report

Toronto, Ontario — Any electric vehicle owner that plans to brave Canada’s wintertime roadways should pay serious attention to the health of their vehicles’ battery packs.

A Montreal-based owner of a Tesla Model S was shocked to discover they’d need to pay upwards of $20,000 to keep their EV functional.

The second owner of 2013 Tesla Model S sent a letter to MoneySense seeking advice following a hefty battery replacement estimate. With 213,000 kilometres on the odometer, the owner had noticed that the Model S’ battery range had dropped to approximately 150 kilometres, triggering an alert on the Tesla.

“I took my car to the Tesla service centre in Montreal and paid $420 for a diagnosis,” wrote the MoneySense reader. “Conclusion: the entire battery pack has to be replaced. The estimate…is $25,500 plus taxes.”

The owner said Tesla did not help them, as the eight-year/160,000 km warranty rule had expired.

MoneySense then contacted the repair shop where the reader had received the estimate to clear things up. The service department director recommended that Tesla Model S and X owners take their vehicle in for a complete battery reseal before the eight-year factory warranty on their battery expires. The service costs about $3,500, depending on the extent of the damage, but will nonetheless help your EV and its battery live out their final years, even in a high-corrosion environment.

The report points out that battery pack corrosion is by no means exclusive to Tesla vehicles, having been spotted on Nissan, Ford and Toyota EVs over the years, becoming the subject of a class action lawsuit in the latter case.

Oftentimes these cases of rapid or premature corrosion are linked to wiring defects that OEMs like Tesla don’t have clear solutions for, apart from carrying out full battery pack replacements.

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