How much does it cost to charge Tesla? Before deciding to purchase a Tesla, many consumers will need to know: “How much will it cost to charge this thing?” and “Will I save on gas?” It all depends on the Tesla model you buy and where you decide to plug in, but charging a Tesla generally costs significantly less than refueling a gas car. Slower, at-home charging at home tends to be cheaper than using high-powered, fast-charging stations. A slew of other variables can impact charging costs, but this guide offers a rough idea of what to expect for a Tesla.
How much does it cost to charge Tesla?
The cost of charging a Tesla depends on a few factors, including the model of Tesla, the battery size, the electricity cost in your area, and the charging method.
- Model of Tesla: The cost of charging a Tesla varies depending on the model. For example, the Tesla Model 3 has a smaller battery than the Tesla Model S, so it will cost less to charge.
- Battery size: The battery size also affects the cost of charging. A Tesla with a larger battery will cost more to charge than a Tesla with a smaller battery.
- Electricity cost in your area: The cost of electricity varies depending on where you live. In general, the cost of electricity is lower in rural areas than in urban areas.
- Charging method: The cost of charging also depends on the charging method. Charging at home is usually the cheapest option, while charging at a public charging station can be more expensive.
Here are some estimated costs of charging a Tesla:
- Charging at home: $0.04 to $0.08 per kWh
- Charging at a public charging station: $0.15 to $0.30 per kWh
- Supercharging: $0.25 to $0.50 per kWh
For example, if you live in an area with an average electricity cost of $0.06 per kWh and you charge your Tesla Model 3 at home, it will cost about $12 to fully charge the battery. If you charge your Tesla Model 3 at a public charging station with a rate of $0.20 per kWh, it will cost about $24 to fully charge the battery.
Here are some tips for reducing the cost of charging your Tesla:
- Charge at home whenever possible. This is the cheapest option.
- Use a time-of-use tariff if available. This allows you to charge your car when electricity rates are lower.
- Charge during off-peak hours. This is usually during the night or early morning.
- Use a slower charging method. Slow charging methods, such as Level 1 or Level 2 charging, are less expensive than fast charging methods, such as Supercharging.
The Cost Of Charging A Tesla At Home
Unless you have access to free charging—some early Teslas are grandfathered into the automaker’s free Supercharger access—plugging in at home is likely your cheapest option for charging a Tesla. In North Dakota, you can charge a Tesla Model 3 RWD from empty to full for just $7 at home, although that represents the best possible scenario. North Dakota has the cheapest electricity in the country at an average of less than $0.10 per kilowatt-hour, and the base Model 3 has a smaller battery than all other Teslas. Charging the bigger battery of a Model S or Model X with the most expensive electricity in the continental U.S. ($0.34 per kilowatt-hour in Connecticut) costs nearly $40.
But you can’t just compare the cost of charging an EV with the cost of filling a gas tank. An apples-to-apples comparison needs to consider how far your money will take you in each type of vehicle. As the table below shows, you can drive a Tesla for as little as a few pennies a mile. Someone driving a Tesla the national average of 13,500 miles per year would spend between $405 and $1,755 on charging if they always plugged in at home.
Your exact numbers will, of course, vary based on your electricity cost and your vehicle’s real-world efficiency, which is affected by things like weather and your driving style. For a more accurate picture based on where you live, check out our story on how much it costs to charge an electric car in each state.
How much does it cost to fully charge a Tesla at a charging station?
At a Supercharger, charging costs vary based on the speed across four tiers and are based on time — not range or energy added to your vehicle. Charges will also change based on electricity costs.
The current rates will show in your Tesla app when navigating to a Supercharger.
On average, a Tesla will charge for about 4.5 cents per mile, according to EnergySage estimates, depending on local electricity costs. A full charge will run you about $15.52 on average, the site says, though costs vary for each model and battery size.
At these rates, the cost of charging a Tesla is about three times cheaper per mile than the cost of fueling a gas-powered car.
Is supercharging still cheaper than gas?
The cost of charging a Tesla is more than three times cheaper per mile than the cost of fueling a gas-powered car.
EnergySage estimates that it costs $614.95 to charge your Tesla per year. In comparison, gas-powered cars cost an average of $1,850.42 to fuel per year.
Tesla Superchargers also charge an “idle fee” if a car remains plugged in after it is fully charged, in order to serve more customers efficiently. If a vehicle parks at a Supercharger past a full charge being reached, idle fees start being charged. If the vehicle is moved within five minutes of the vehicle reaching a full charge, the idle fee is waived.
Does Tesla offer free charging?
Some Tesla vehicles include free charging, which is sometimes added as an incentive when purchasing. Free charging is also available through Tesla’s referral program.
How many miles does a Tesla last on one charge?
The range of Tesla vehicles varies based on model, but they average around 300 miles. Tesla’s longest-range vehicle is the Model S, which can go more than 400 miles on one charge. Tesla’s shortest-range vehicle is the Model 3, which can go 279 miles on a full charge.
How much does your electric bill go up with a Tesla?
Your electric bill won’t go up much with a Tesla. When charging at home, you’ll be paying the same rate for that electricity as any other appliance in your house. And if you’re charging overnight, rates may be lower because of lower demand.
How long does charging a Tesla take?
The Tesla Supercharger is the fastest charging option when you’re away from home, allowing you to charge your car up to 200 miles in 15 minutes.
At home using a wall connector, you can get up to 44 miles of range for one hour charged.
If you’re using 220V, it should take several hours to charge your Tesla.
How often do you have to charge a Tesla?
The carmaker recommends charging your vehicle overnight at home and keeping the Tesla battery at around 90%.
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