Tesla says it has put 2017 battery packs in brand new 2021 cars in strange warning

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JANUARY 13: Electric motor on a Tesla Model X full electric car chassis demonstration model on display at Brussels Expo on January 13, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. The platform is fitted with the electric motors for the rear and front wheels and shows the empty space in the middle where the battery packs are fitted on the production models. (Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images)

Tesla has been adding a strange new warning about putting battery packs as old as 2017 in brand new 2021 Model 3 vehicles for sale.

With just a few weeks before the end of the year, Tesla is in the middle of a delivery wave to get the inventory as low as possible.

CEO Elon Musk has told employees that they don’t have to go all out as they usually do this quarter, but the automaker is still trying to reduce inventory to improve its financials.

This includes selling demo and test drive vehicles.



Tesla sells those vehicles as new in its inventory, where they started to show up over the last few days.

Several people have been pointing out a very strange warning that Tesla has been adding to some of those Model 3 “demo” vehicles:

“This vehicle was built with a battery pack manufactured as early as 2017. While this pack was brand new when the vehicle was built, the cells have reduced capacity due to their age and you can expect up to 12% reduction in range from current production specifications.”

We were able to find several of those Model 3 sold in “new inventory” as demo vehicles on Tesla’s website:

The warning appears on Model 3 vehicles that are listed as 2021 model year and have just over 1,000 miles on the odometer – presumably for test drives.

It’s a strange situation that is hard to explain.

Tesla makes it sound like they had old battery packs dating back to 2017 that they decided to install in new 2021 vehicles.

It’s hard to know why without Tesla disclosing it, but the automaker doesn’t accept questions from the press anymore.

Furthermore, the automaker doesn’t seem to be heavily discounting those vehicles as the prices are quite high, but that’s the case across the industry right now.

Electrek’s Take

It’s hard to know for sure what happened here without Tesla commenting any further.

Tesla mentions both the packs and the cells in the warning, but it specifically says that the whole packs were manufactured as early as 2017.



Why would Tesla be sitting on battery packs made back in 2017, which was super early in the Model 3 production ramp-up?

And why would it decide to put them in cars now?

Sure, it needs more batteries. We know that battery production is a bottleneck, but what made them not put the packs in cars until now?

Your guess is as good as mine. Let us know in the comment section below.

2017 was early in the ramp-up of Model 3 production.

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