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How Much Does it Cost to Charge a Tesla - and How it Compares to Other Vehicles

How Much Does it Cost to Charge a Tesla - and How it Compares to Other Vehicles

If you're in the market for an electric vehicle, you're probably considering getting a Tesla.

As one of the leading EV manufacturers in the industry, Tesla has cemented its status as an innovator, producing models more powerful than the next. So, it's just fitting that you're betting your hard-earned money on a high-performing workhorse.

But before signing that check, you might have one question lingering in your mind: "how much does it cost to charge a Tesla?"

Sure, you're already familiar with how much filling up an internal combustion engine (ICE) costs, but EV charging is a different playing field!

In this blog post, we will explore the cost to charge a Tesla, how it compares to other electric cars and gas vehicles, and examine the factors that impact the charging cost.

The cost to charge electric vehicles

One of the main benefits of owning an EV is the potential savings on fuel costs compared to gas vehicles. The cost to charge electric cars can vary depending on the model, the battery capacity, the local electricity rates, and the charging method. In general, charging your EV at home is the most cost-effective option, and public charging stations may be more expensive.

To estimate the cost to charge your EV, you can use a simple formula:

Cost to charge = (battery size in kWh) x (cost per kWh of electricity)

For example, if you have a 60-kilowatt-hour battery and your electricity rate is $0.23 per kWh, it would cost approximately $13.80 to fully charge your battery.

According to the national electricity prices as of February 2023, rates vary from a low of $0.10 in Idaho to a high of $0.28 in California. Here's a breakdown of the cost to charge some of the popular EV models in the market based on these prices:

  1. Chevrolet Bolt: The Chevrolet Bolt has a battery size of 66 kWh and can cost between $6 to $19 to fully charge depending on your electricity rates.

  2. Nissan Leaf: The Nissan Leaf has a battery size ranging from 40 kWh to 62 kWh, and can cost between $4 to $18 to fully charge depending on your electricity rates.

  3. Ford Mustang Mach-E: The Ford Mustang Mach-E has a battery size ranging from 68 kWh to 88 kWh, and can cost between $7 to $25 to fully charge depending on your electricity rates.

  4. Hyundai Kona Electric: The Hyundai Kona Electric has a battery size of 64 kWh and can cost between $6 to $18 to fully charge depending on your electricity rates.

  5. Kia Niro EV: The Kia Niro EV has a battery size of 64 kWh and can cost between $6 to $18 to fully charge depending on your electricity rates.

  6. Volkswagen ID.4: The Volkswagen ID.4 has a battery size of 82 kWh and can cost between $8 to $23 to fully charge depending on your electricity rates.

  7. Audi e-Tron: The Audi e-Tron has a battery size ranging from 71 kWh to 95 kWh, and can cost between $7 to $27 to fully charge depending on your electricity rates.

  8. Porsche Taycan: The Porsche Taycan has a battery size ranging from 79 kWh to 93 kWh, and can cost between $8 to $26 to fully charge depending on your electricity rates.

How Tesla vehicles compare to other EVs

On average, Tesla models consume approximately 34 kWh of electricity per 100 miles, which equates to 34,000 kWh over 100,000 miles or a maximum of 170,000 kWh over the car's lifespan. Thanks to the Tesla battery's charging efficiency of around 94% and discharge efficiency of 90%, the amount of electricity required is notably low. So, Tesla owners need not worry about their electricity rates ballooning.

According to the national average cost of electricity, charging your Tesla comes up to only $13.96, which is approximately $0.05 per mile for all Tesla models.

Following the numbers from the previous section, here's a breakdown of how much it costs to charge your Tesla:

Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S is a luxury sedan with a range of up to 405 miles on a single charge and a battery size ranging from 75 kWh to 100 kWh.

Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X is a luxury SUV with a range of up to 371 miles on a single charge and a battery size ranging from 75 kWh to 100 kWh.

Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y is a crossover SUV with a range of up to 330 miles (long range model) on a single charge and a battery size ranging from 75 kWh to 100 kWh.

Tesla Supercharger vs Destination Charger

Tesla offers two main types of charging stations for its EVs: the Supercharger and the Destination Charger. Tesla Superchargers are high-speed charging stations that can charge a Tesla EV up to 80% in around 30 minutes, while the Destination Charger is a slower charging station that is typically located at hotels, restaurants, and other public locations.

The cost of charging at a Tesla Supercharger varies depending on the location and the local electricity rates. In general, it is more expensive to charge at a Supercharger than to charge at home. The cost can range from $0.28 to $0.36 per kWh, which could cost between $20 and $30 to charge a Tesla Model S or Model X from empty to 80%. Just recently, Tesla announced it is giving three years of free Supercharging for buyers who take delivery by June 30, 2023.

On the other hand, Tesla Destination charging is often offered as a complimentary service for customers of the associated business or location. However, some may require payment or have restrictions on usage time.

To address the challenges faced by Tesla drivers in accessing crowded Superchargers, Lectron has introduced the powerful CCS to Tesla Adapter. This adapter provides Tesla owners in the US with an alternative DC fast-charging option, allowing them to conveniently access any CCS charger.

Factors that affect the price to charge a Tesla

1. Your electricity source

The cost of electricity can vary depending on where you live and your electricity provider. Some areas have higher electricity rates than others, which can affect the cost to charge your Tesla.

You can choose between your utility's standard offering or explore alternative sources such as community solar, community choice aggregation (CCA), or a green power plan (GPP). Generally, you may charge your Tesla at a lower annual cost with community solar. However, the utility's standard offering may have a lower cost compared to a CCA or GPP.

For an even cheaper charging cost, you can consider using a rooftop solar system to charge your Tesla. After the system is paid off, charging your EV becomes essentially free!

If you're wondering how much electricity it takes to charge a Tesla, it depends on various factors such as the battery size, charging speed, and the efficiency of your Tesla model.

2. The size of your Tesla’s battery

The size of your Tesla's battery can affect the cost to charge it. EVs with larger battery capacities require more electricity to charge, resulting in higher costs. Take the Tesla Model S for example. The EV battery size ranges from 75 kWh to 100 kWh, which translates to between $8 and $28 for a full charge, depending on your area's electricity rates.

It is worth noting that the size of the Tesla battery can affect both the charging price and the Tesla battery cost.

3. The type of charger you use

The type of charger you use can also affect the charging costs of your Tesla. The Tesla Supercharger network typically charge more per kilowatt-hour (kWh) than home chargers or public Level 2 chargers.

4. Where you live

Your location can also impact the cost to charge your Tesla. Some areas have higher electricity rates or additional fees for EV charging. Based on the national average, Idaho has the most affordable electricity rate at $0.10 per kWh, while California has the most expensive rate at $0.28 per kWh.

5. When you charge your Tesla

The time of day and day of the week can also affect the cost to charge your Tesla. Some electricity providers offer lower rates during off-peak hours, which can be an advantage if you can schedule your charging accordingly.

Is charging a Tesla cheaper than refueling a gas car?

In the United States, the average cost of electricity is approximately $0.23 per kWh, compared to the average price of gasoline, which is around $3.58 per gallon.

To put that into perspective, filling up an average 12-gallon gas car model will cost around $43. Assuming a 30-mile range per gallon, a full tank can provide a total range of 360 miles. If you drive the national average of 1,183 miles per month, you will have to refuel more than three times, spending around $142 per month. Fuel costs vary per state, so these numbers could still go up, depending on your location.

In comparison, driving the same distance as an electric car would cost nearly 40% less. For instance, charging a Tesla model costs approximately $0.05 per mile, resulting in a monthly cost of only $59!

FAQs

  • Is it free to charge a Tesla at a charging station?

    No, it is not always free to charge a Tesla at a charging station. The Tesla Supercharger and Destination Charging networks may require payment or have restrictions on usage time. Some public charging stations may also require payment or offer free charging for a limited time. However, Tesla is offering 3 years' worth of free supercharging for customers who will take delivery by June 30, 2023.

  • Is charging a Tesla cheaper than gas and car maintenance?

    In general, charging a Tesla is cheaper than refueling a gas vehicle and maintaining a gas engine. Though EVs have a higher upfront cost than traditional cars, they have fewer moving parts and require less maintenance, which can save money on repairs and upkeep in the long run. The only major concern among EV owners is battery replacement.

  • How much does your electric bill go up to charge a Tesla?

    The cost to charge a Tesla can vary depending on the model, battery size, and local electricity rates. To calculate your Tesla's energy consumption: first, find out the average number of miles you drive in a day and your vehicle’s battery size. Then, use the formula:

    Battery size (in kilowatt-hours) x the Average number of miles driven per day / 100 = Kilowatt-hours per 100 miles.

    If you drive around 40 miles per day and your Tesla has a 75kWh battery, the calculation would be:

    75kWh x 40 m / 100 = 30kWh per 100 miles

    This indicates that your Tesla uses 30 kWh of energy for every 100 miles you drive. Following the Tesla average cost per mile of $0.05, this translates to $1.5 for every 100 miles.

  • How much does it cost to fully charge a Tesla at home?

    The cost to fully charge a Tesla at home can vary depending on the model, battery size, and local electricity rates. However, based on the average cost of electricity in the US, it could cost between $9 and $12 to fully charge a Tesla Model S, Model X, or Model Y battery at home.

     

Looking for affordable charging solutions for your Tesla? Be sure to check out Lectron's collection of Level 1 and Level 2 Tesla chargers, adapters, and other accessories!

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