How Much Does it Cost to Charge a Tesla? – Calculator

by Guest Contributor

Unlike your portable digital devices which are charged relatively free-of-cost, charging a Tesla car is not as simple as plugging in its charger and simply leaving it alone to recharge. Sure, the Tesla cars provide ample amounts of environmental benefits, but how much does it cost to charge a Tesla?

Tesla Motors or simply Tesla, Inc. has revolutionized the automobile industry inside-out! A few decades back, our preceding generations had so much hope and vision for the kind of technologies the post 20th century would bring to the table, most notably the levitating cars.

Well, it is well past the year 2000, and by now it is safe to assume we don’t have the technology ready to manufacture hovering cars, or at least not on a major commercial scale. The closest thing we have come to achieving a “futuristic” car concept is that of the Tesla Model line-ups.

Tesla is the first automobile manufacturer to fully implement the concept of utilizing electricity to run a car and manufacture them on a mass-production scale. This, obviously, presents a more practical, eco-friendly, and more importantly, a future-proof mechanism, as opposed to feeding your car with the traditional non-renewable sources of energy. One more crucial advantage of Tesla electric vehicles is that you do not have to concern yourself with the fluctuating hike of petrol/ diesel prices.

However, this does not necessarily indicate that you are completely free from any fuel charges, well, batteries, in this case. Since Tesla models run entirely on electricity, you will need to charge its batteries before you can take it out for a long drive. The concept works equivalent to any device using Lithium-Ion (rechargeable) batteries, most notably your smartphone.

Cost to Charge a Tesla

One of the persistent debates across the automobile platform concerning a Tesla car is how much the owner is actually saving from not having to make brief stops at every gas station or is he even saving at all? Well, first, to clear the air – Yes! You do save a good amount of your pocket expenses by opting for a Tesla car, but, at the same time, it is not a completely free transaction either.

The cost to charge a Tesla car depends on a multitude of technical and environmental aspects such as –

  • How frequently are you using the car?
  • What model of Tesla are you currently using or are planning to purchase?
  • What is the battery capacity of your Tesla model?
  • Which charging mechanism are you employing – your domestic home charging port or the Tesla Supercharging point?
  • The electricity cost (of course).

All these factors play their respective crucial role in contributing to the final cost of charging your Tesla electric car. Different Models of the Tesla electric vehicle line-up come with a fluctuating list of specs and, thus require distinct charging needs as well. The cost to charge a Tesla Model 3 could greatly differ from the cost to charge a Tesla Model S. Let us take the Tesla Model X, for instance. This particular model over its lifetime had battery capacities ranging from 60 to 100 kWh. Let’s take the 100 kWh variant for a more convenient calculation. So, how much do you think it will cost you to charge up your Tesla Model X from 0 -100%?

Note: Ignore the time duration, as that depends mainly on whether you are using your domestic home power supply or a standard Tesla supercharging point. In layman’s terms, the time to charge a Tesla at home differs from the time to charge a Tesla at a Supercharger.

The average cost of electricity also varies from one country to another, state by state, and even city by city; so, you will have to take that into account. For instance, the average cost of power per 1 kWh in the United States is roughly about 13 cents; whereas, the cost of the equivalent power supply in the UK fluctuates between 14 -15p. Now, the standard real-world miles capacity of the Model X Long Range is somewhere around 328 miles. So, assuming you need to charge up your car from a completely drained out 0%, the cost to fully charge Tesla Model X would be approximately $13 in the US, and about £15 in the UK. This means your car will set you back by about 3.9 cents for every mile you cover, and $3.90 for every 100 miles.

Depending on how much the average cost of other traditional fuels (petrol/ diesel) is priced in your respective region, you can crunch out the difference. For an average American Tesla Model X owner, he/she can walk off with a Tesla full charge cost for the equivalent cost of purchasing four gallons of gas, which makes for a significant saving on your pocket expenditures. Tesla owners in countries such as Canada, Australia, and Korea pay almost the same price to charge up their EV.

So exactly how much does it cost to charge a Tesla? Well, due to the variation of power costs in different areas, the total cost of charging a Tesla is not constant. For instance, the average cost of power in Chile is as low as 70 Chilean pesos, which means a driver in Chile can easily charge up his Tesla Model X (100kWh) fully with as minimum as $7 only.

On the other hand, an electric vehicle owner in Scandinavian countries such as Denmark does not share the same sentiment. The average power cost rises up to a maximum figure of 31 euro cents/ kWh, which translates to an astounding cost of approximately $40 for a full charge. The same unlucky fate is applicable to a German electric vehicle owner as well.

These Tesla cost to charge quotes are just a rough estimation based entirely on the rate of power cost/ kWh of the respective countries. To know the exact cost of charging a Tesla in your specific state or city, you can make use of a suitable Tesla calculator tool. However, a large proportion of the cost of charging a Tesla also depends on the source of charging point you’re making use of. There are two ways to charge up your Tesla electric car – home charging and Tesla Supercharging point.

If you know your electricity rate you can easily estimate what it would cost you today. Using our Tesla charge cost calculator (below) you can find an almost exact price for your situation. Knowing how much you drive you can easily estimate your monthly cost to charge a Tesla by changing the “miles” field. Every electric vehicle is different and every public charger has different pricing. You can however dive in depth into the generalization of electric car charging with more information.

One feature helping to mitigate your Tesla charging costs at home is the ability to choose between two completely different set-ups. You have the option to use either the standard domestic power supply or you can set-up your individual solar charging station. If you choose to simply utilize the domestic power supply, the total cost will be identical to the quoted pricing mentioned above. The accepted standard charging efficiency of a Level 2 home charging station is about 85%. Hence, all the charging cost calculations are all based on the figure as well. Tesla home charging stations cost roughly $50-$250 to have installed. This can drastically increase depending on where you’d like to have the charger installed. Finding a Tesla charger installer is simple as Tesla’s use a standard 240v outlet such as the one used for your dryer.

However, the cost to charge a Tesla at home can dip down even further if you choose to install a home solar charging station. Of course, this comes with a serious limitation of excessive capital investment. Some of the basic equipment you will need to set up your Tesla solar charging station successfully are-

  • The electric vehicle supply equipment
  • Installation cost, and
  • Cost of solar panels.

The average cost of a standard EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) ranges from $200-$1,000, while solar panels can set you back by about $7,000 or above. The total installation cost can also vary anywhere from $300-$1,300 as well. The average magnitude of power you can harness from a solar panel charging station will depend on the extent of sun exposure your specific location receives. For example, a 1 Kilowatt solar panel installation in Las Vegas can generate power up to a maximum of 4kWh in a day.

To put this in perspective, if you want to charge your 100 kWh Tesla Model X Long Range with a standard 328 miles, you would need to install a solar power station with a power rating capacity of at least 12-14 Kilowatt on a location that receives average sun for the majority of the year. Setting up such a configuration of the solar power system in your home can, in turn, cost you up to $18,000. You will have to calculate as per your specific electric vehicle battery rating and estimate the capacity of the solar panel system and the total cost as well.

One of Tesla’s benefits is the mass variety of ways to charge. Whether it be a standard 120V outlet, a 240V, a Tesla home charger, or a Tesla Supercharger, the options are almost endless. Unlike gasoline vehicles, you aren’t restricted to having to visit the gas station once a week. With chargers spread throughout, you’ll almost never have to go out of your way. And if you’re going on a long trip, Tesla Superchargers are there to save the day.

According to the official Tesla Supercharger map, there are over 1,600 Superchargers stations around the globe, helping to keep the Tesla supercharging cost stable. This also makes it extremely convenient for Tesla owners to plan a long trip. The recently launched European Model 3 is the first car in the Tesla car line up to come with a CCS charging port, which means you can basically plug it into other available charging stations without the use of an adapter instead of simply depending on the nearest Tesla Superchargers.

As apparent by the name, Tesla supercharging allows you to charge up your car at a quicker rate as compared to the traditional home charging station. The cost also varies depending on the Tesla Supercharger locations.

So how much does it cost to Supercharge a Tesla? Normally, when you plug in your car in to a Supercharger, the Tesla Supercharger price will be based on either per kWh consumption or per minute. The kWh billing is a simple and straightforward method (as mentioned above). The average cost of per kWh billing in the United States is $0.28 per kWh. But keep in mind the Tesla Supercharger fee will vary by location.

Whereas, the per-minute billing method is made up of two different sub-billing process – tier 1 and tier 2.

The tier 1 billing method applies to those cars that are charging at 60 kW or lesser or when a car is sharing Supercharger power with another vehicle as well. The average cost of tier 1 charging in the United States is $0.13 per kWh.

The cars charging above 60 kW are billed under the tier 2 category, and the average cost is $0.26 per kWh in the United States.

Are Tesla Superchargers free? It is important to note that currently the Model S and Model X come with free unlimited supercharging. As a Tesla owner you also are given the opportunity to earn free Supercharge miles through Tesla’s referral system.

A supercharging station with a rate of about $0.32 per kWh can cost you about $13 to fully charge the Standard Range Plus variant of the Tesla Model 3. A suitable Tesla Supercharger cost calculator tool can help you crunch out the exact figure to charge you Tesla vehicle depending on your specific state supercharging rate. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a simple, easy-to-use Tesla calculator that would help you do the math? Oh, wait… there is.

One drawback to Tesla Supercharger stations are their cost. While more that the cost to charge a Tesla at home, it comes with one major benefit. The Tesla Supercharger charge time is exponentially faster than elsewhere. The new Tesla Supercharger V3 allows for 250 kW charging with no splitting. With these extraordinary Tesla Supercharger speed, a Model 3 can gain 75 miles of range in a mere 5 minutes. This marks another industry leading feat for the electric car manufacturer. Tesla Supercharger V3 locations are starting to spread across the globe with plans to convert all current stations as well. These Tesla Supercharger cost are identical to the prior with the added benefit of faster charging.

Sadly, there is no Tesla supercharger for home, yet. Who knows, maybe one day we will see faster home charging as well. There is however a Tesla Supercharger phone charger.

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