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Tesla: Model S (and X) can be parked for a year without bricking

And now the official, long-form response from Tesla Motors on the bricking issue, which can be boiled down to: plug it in, please.

On the Tesla website, the company has addressed reports that up to five Tesla Roadsters have been turned into gorgeous paperweights that need a $40,000 repair because their batteries were discharged too low. The official but unattributed article (unless we’re supposed to believe that “Tesla Motors” actually wrote the piece) says that bricking is “an irrational fear based on limited information and a misunderstanding of Tesla’s battery system.”

While noting that electric vehicles need, in general, far less maintenance than vehicles with an ICE and that, in any case, all vehicles require some sort of maintenance, Tesla asks its owners to remember to charge the car. Not at all times, but regularly. Here’s where things get interesting, when Tesla lays out some definite times for how long its vehicles, including the upcoming Model S and Model X, can be left unplugged:

The earliest Roadsters will take over two months to discharge if parked at a 50 percent charge without being plugged in. From that starting point, Tesla has consistently innovated and improved our battery technology. For example, a Model S battery parked with 50 percent charge would approach full discharge only after about 12 months. Model S batteries also have the ability to protect themselves as they approach very low charge levels by going into a “deep sleep” mode that lowers the loss even further. A Model S will not allow its battery to fall below about 5 percent charge. At that point the car can still sit for many months. Of course you can drive a Model S to 0 percent charge, but even in that circumstance, if you plug it in within 30 days, the battery will recover normally.

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