Breaking down Tesla charging station costs
When Tesla revealed the all-electric Model S, auto and tech enthusiasts alike scrambled to get on the waiting list. In the same spirit as the sportier Roadster, the Model S boasted world-class acceleration, cutting-edge technology, unparalleled safety, and most importantly, the ability to drive with zero tailpipe emissions. The early Model S success enabled Tesla to grow and introduce the best-selling Model 3 in 2017.
Now, as Tesla prepares to release the equally affordable Model Y even more consumers are migrating to the Tesla camp. Many of these new converts claim that the larger upfront investment will be offset by lower operating costs over the lifetime of the vehicle. For an EV owner to fully understand how do electric cars work and the costs to charge a Tesla, we have shared everything you need to consider about the Tesla charging cost before you make the switch.
“Zero cost” public charging
In 2008, Tesla announced its all-electric sedan, originally codenamed “WhiteStar,” which is now known by consumers as the Model S. At the time, most experts welcomed and praised Tesla’s innovative new electric car technology, and many also asked probing questions like: How would it be charged? Where would it be charged? How much would Tesla charging cost?
It wasn’t until September 24, 2012, until those questions were answered by a Tesla press release, which stated:
Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) today unveiled its highly anticipated Supercharger network. Constructed in secret, Tesla revealed the locations of the first six Supercharger stations, which will allow the Model S to travel long distances with ultra fast charging throughout California, parts of Nevada, and Arizona.
The technology at the heart of the Supercharger was developed internally and leverages the economies of scale of existing EV charging technology already used by the Model S, enabling Tesla to create the Supercharger device at a minimal cost.
The electricity used by the Supercharger comes from a solar carport system provided by SolarCity, which results in almost zero marginal energy cost after installation. Combining these two factors, Tesla can provide Model S EV owners(1) free long distance travel indefinitely.
Unfortunately, Tesla no longer offers free unlimited access to its Supercharger network to all of its new customers. The policy with the free unlimited supercharging has changed a few times, but here is an overview a Tesla EV driver should know:
- Model S Model X: Early adopters, which ordered a Tesla Model S or Model X before January 15, 2017, and had a delivery before April 15, 2017, were granted unlimited access to the free Supercharger network. During this policy change, Tesla began offering every new Tesla owner 400 kilowatt-hours of electricity credits each year for Model S and Model X orders after January 15, 2017. Then August 3, 2019, Tesla offered free unlimited credits for orders again.
- Model 3, Model Y Cybertruck: These vehicles do not currently come with free charging network access to the Tesla Supercharger network upon purchase. However, Model 3 users that received a referral link on or after October 1, 2019, can earn 1,000 miles of free Supercharging after their purchase of a new Tesla car. Tesla referral program details are here: https://www.tesla.com/support/referral-program
Breaking down Tesla charging stations cost
Tesla supercharger cost can be better understood by separating them into two categories: public EV charging stations and home EV charging stations.
The Tesla Superchargers located along the electric vehicle network resemble futuristic gas pumps and are capable of supplying electrical power at up to 72 to 250 Kilowatt (kW). Per Tesla, pricing will happen in one of two ways:
Kilowatt/hour This is Tesla’s most common payment method. This system is tied to the cost of electricity, which fluctuates based on electricity markets’ supply and demand. According to Electrek, “Tesla is moving away from its per state/region pricing structure to implement a per station pricing structure to get more comprehensive based on local electricity rates and demand charges.”
- Using that 28¢ per kWh figure, filling up a 100kWh car at a public charging station would cost you 28. Comparatively, the current national average for regular unleaded gas is at 5000.66 per gallon.
- For a 12-gallon vehicle that would cost 31.92. It is also important to consider that Tesla likely has an extended driving range compared to most 12-gallon cars when evaluating pricing.
Billing/minute At a Tesla charging station where billing at kW/hour is impossible, Tesla applies a billing per minute model that uses two tiers to account for changes in charging speed.
- Tier 1 – This tier is for Tesla vehicles charging at or below 60kW or any vehicle; or for any vehicle that is sharing Supercharger power with another vehicle. Typically, tier 1 costs half the price of a Level 2 charging station.
Although the cost can vary by location and change throughout the day, currently, it would cost an EV driver 13¢ for every minute during this charging session.
- Tier 2 – Or level 2 charger is for Tesla vehicles that have more than 60% of their total kW charge, the price is doubled to encourage users to reach that threshold and then finish charging later at home or work. Currently, that would cost 26¢ per minute spent charging.
In addition to the direct charging fees, Tesla also might impose an Idle Fee should your vehicle linger in its station after being fully charged. According to Tesla:
“Idle fees apply to any car occupying a Supercharger if the station is at least 50% full and once the charging session is complete. If the car is moved within 5 minutes of the charge session completion, the fee is waived. To be clear, this is purely about increasing customer happiness and we hope to never make any money from it.”
Charging a Tesla: How Much Will It Cost How Long Will It Take?
Ready to embark on the Tesla adventure? Owning an electric car is a different experience than owning a gasoline-powered one, and many questions come along with it. One of the main reasons people shift from gasoline to electric, is reduced running costs.
But how much does it really cost to run a Tesla, and perhaps more importantly, how long does it take? Here’s a quick rundown of charging costs and times when owning one of Elon Musk’s electric machines.
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Costs vary with location and how you charge
The first thing you need to know about owning a Tesla, or any electric vehicle for that matter, is that charging costs will vary depending on how you charge your vehicle, but also where you live in Canada. Let’s FOCUS on the three major provinces where EVs are currently sold the most: Quebec, British Columbia, and Ontario.
Charging at home is the most affordable and convenient
The most affordable and convenient way to charge a Tesla, or any electric vehicle for that matter, is at home. Most, if not all EV buyers purchase a level 2 (240 volt) home charger to do this.
The best practice when owning an electric car is to plug it in the evening before going to bed and unplugging it in the morning like a smartphone. This typically takes between 8 and 12 hours depending on the model you own. And because the charging cycle is happening during off peak hours, energy consumption rates are typically lower.
Charging a Tesla in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia
Home charging costs will vary from one province to the next, but also according to your energy company’s rates. For instance, Hydro Québec’s rates are set at 6.155 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) during the first 2,480 kWh consumed. Assuming you own a Tesla Model 3 powered by a 53-kWh battery, it would cost you anywhere between 3.00 and 4.00 to fully charge your Tesla overnight from your home charger.
In Ontario, where the province’s electricity rates are set at 8.2 cents per kWh during off-peak hours, a similar scenario would come out to roughly 5.00.
In B.C., where electricity costs 9.39 cents per kWh during the first 1,350 kWh consumed, expect to pay anywhere between 5.00 and 6.00 for an overnight home charge.
Tesla Supercharger and public chargers
While on the go, you’ll need to rely on public charging stations to fill up your Tesla. Luckily, Tesla has a well-established charging network called the Supercharger. The network’s chargers are scattered across Canada and can easily be found via the Tesla app or your car’s infotainment system.
Tesla offers different rates and deals for the Supercharger service. For instance, we’ve seen Tesla offer a free one-year trial to all new Model 3 buyers. Otherwise, Tesla rates typically hang around 26 cents per kWh (this is an estimate and rates vary from each charging station according to their power).
If you’re not using a Tesla Supercharger, public chargers are also available. It’s however important to underline that some of these chargers could require a special adapter to connect to your Tesla.
Rates for public charging installations typically from one company to the next. Some will bill you per kWh, others, like Quebec’s Electric Circuit grid for instance, bill you per minute, or per hour. As we write this, EV owners typically pay no more than 20.00 to charge their car on a public charger in Canada.
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We’ve already established that on a level 2 home charger, a Tesla takes anywhere between 10 and 12 hours to fully charge. But charging times will be considerably quicker at a Tesla Supercharger or on a level 3 (400 volts) public charger.
Charging times vary according to the car’s charging capacity and the charger’s ability to supply it. EV charging speeds are typically measured in kilowatts (kW). For instance, if a charger has a charging speed of 250 kW, but the car can only receive 100 kW, the charger will reduce its speed to adapt to the car’s limitations. The amount of power the charger can send to the battery determines how long it takes to charge it.
The following chart shows the charging speed of all current Tesla models:
Model 3 Long Range AWD / Performance
Factors Affecting Charging Your Tesla
Tesla currently offers four-passenger cars in the luxury EV segment: the flagship Model S large sedan, the Model 3 small sedan, and the Model X and Model Y crossovers. While there may be a little variation in terms of how much it’ll cost to fully charge each of these models, the cost per mile is generally consistent.
This means that, on average, it will cost you a similar amount to drive a mile in any of these Tesla models. However, it’s important to note that the cost of charging electric vehicles (EVs) is not solely determined by the brand or model. Other variables come into play, such as the battery capacity, the miles of range you want to add, and the cost of electricity in your area.
These factors influence the overall expense and should be taken into consideration when calculating the cost to charge an EV, regardless of the brand.
The cost of charging an electric car varies based on the electricity rates set by utility companies. Electricity rates are typically measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The rate you pay per kWh depends on your location and the specific utility company you are subscribed to. Rates can also vary based on peak and off-peak hours, time of year, and any available incentives or rebates.
Charging a Tesla electric car in the USA is generally more cost effective than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, and the exact cost will depend on various factors such as electricity rates, charging options, and individual driving habits. Charging at home using a standard outlet or a Level 2 charger is convenient and can be affordable.
Electric utility service costs in the United States can vary significantly based on where you live. Different states and regions have varying electricity rates. To illustrate this, let’s consider North Dakota and California as examples.
In North Dakota, consumers typically pay slightly over
Does Charging a Tesla at Home Increase Your Electric Bill?
Cost Of Charging Your Tesla
To calculate the approximate cost of charging your Tesla, you need to know your electricity rate and the energy consumption of your vehicle. Tesla cars display energy consumption in kWh per mile driven. You can multiply the energy consumption by your electricity rate to estimate the cost per mile or total monthly charging costs.
A famous Youtuber Shelby Church, shares the ordeal of how she keeps track of her Tesla Model 3 charging on her YouTube channel. She uses EV Energy App to track her energy consumption and charging needs. She just has to sync the app with her Tesla to get real-time tracking of how much energy is being used by the EV whenever it is plugged in to charge.
Having a 50kWh battery capacity, she says the charging costs her 36.14 if her charging hours are 162kWh according to the charging app. The app has the option to link in the utility company to calculate the actual cost of charging costs. So, her electricity uses comes down to roughly 36 for every 700 miles.
Also, App users have the option to calculate the cost manually by jotting down the electricity rate for every kilowatt hour. Pretty neat and easy for everyone to keep track of the electricity charging costs of their EVs.
Shelby does talk about how charging at home or station differs from the total cost of charging among other factors including peak hours and off-peak hours. Also, she mentions how people owning a Tesla don’t really mind paying a bit extra for charging. Even Tesla says 4,300 gas savings on 6 years of ownership on its website.
Another YouTuber, Travel Tesla Dad, shares how he keeps track of his two Tesla cars charging using the Charge Stats feature in the Tesla app. According to his stats, he spends 85 to charge 428kWh on his Model 3, charging completely at home. However, he shares the stats of charging the Model Y at home and charging stations for 45 for 463kWh.
Annual Cost Of Charging
The cost of a full charge and the associated cost per mile can vary among different Tesla models. For the Tesla Model 3, the cost of a full charge ranges from 7 to 32, resulting in a cost per mile of
What To Expect In The Future?
The impact of charging your Tesla on your electric bill depends on two key factors: the electricity cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in your area and your driving habits. Essentially, the higher the electricity rate from your energy provider, the more it will cost to charge your Tesla at home. Additionally, the more you drive, the more frequent charging you’ll need.
On average, Americans drive around 1,200 miles per month. Tesla vehicles typically have battery capacities ranging from 50 to 100 kWh, with an average range of approximately 267 miles.
Considering the average electricity cost per kWh in the United States at
In conclusion, the cost of charging your Tesla and its impact on your electric bill depend on various factors. The electricity cost per kilowatt-hour in your location and your driving habits play a significant role. Higher electricity rates will result in increased charging costs, while more extensive driving will require more frequent charging.
The cost of charging your electric vehicle at a charging station is heavily influenced by the type of charging station you choose. Electrify America stations, for example, typically charge ranging from.31 to.43 per kilowatt-hour. These stations follow a pay-per-use model.
On the other hand, there are charging stations like Volta stations that operate on an ad- and retailer-supported model, making them completely free to use. Some places even offer to charge for free, and some have super peak hours with additional charges on standard charging uses in their premises.
Tesla’s Supercharger network provides fast-charging options for long-distance travel. By understanding your local electricity rates and energy consumption, you can effortlessly calculate the approximate cost of charging your Tesla. How much do you pay to charge your Tesla, do share the cost of charging in your areas in the comment section.
.16, if you were to charge your Tesla at home exclusively, the estimated increase in your monthly electric bill would range from approximately 35.92 to 71.84.
Electric motors have a remarkable advantage over gas engines in terms of efficiency, making electric vehicles (EVs) charged at home a more cost-effective choice compared to comparable gas-powered vehicles. In an EV, an impressive 87 to 91 percent of the consumed energy is efficiently utilized to propel the vehicle forward.
On the other hand, a gas vehicle typically converts only 16 to 25 percent of the energy into actual movement. While gas-electric hybrid powertrains can narrow the cost gap to some extent, even highly efficient hybrids like the 57-mpg Toyota Prius often fall short in terms of operating costs when compared to the most economical Tesla Model 3.
The inherent efficiency of electric motors contributes to the affordability of running an EV, making it a compelling option for cost-conscious drivers.
.03 to.10. This translates to an annual charging cost ranging from 405 to 450,350, and so on.
Charging At Home
For most EV owners, charging your electric vehicle at home is a super convenient and budget-friendly option! All you have to do is plug your car into a Level 1 three-prong 120-volt household outlet, a 240-volt outlet (like the one your clothes dryer uses), or a Level 2 electric car charging station that’s been installed.
The best part? The daily price of electricity doesn’t vary much between these charging levels, so you won’t be breaking the bank. However, if you want the fastest and most convenient option, a Level 2 charger is needed.
It’s like having a supercharger for your EV! So, whether you go with Level 1 or Level 2, you’ll be cruising along with affordable and hassle-free charging.
Cost Of Charging At Home
According to Tesla’s charging calculator on their website, the Wall Connector proves to be a cost-effective option. Taking into account a daily driving distance of 50 miles, the charging cost for a Model S would amount to 66.05 per month.
Similarly, a Model 3 would cost 58.74 per month, while a Model X would require a monthly expenditure of 77.61 for charging. For those driving a Model Y, the charging cost would be 66.05.
These estimates are based on the national average for residential energy, which stands at.15 per kilowatt-hour at the time of writing this post.
If you drive around 30 to 40 miles per day, Tesla suggests that you can use a regular 120-volt wall outlet for charging your vehicle. It’s a convenient option if you can leave your car plugged in overnight. This method costs about half as much as a Tesla Wall Connector and doesn’t require any installation.
Plus, you can take it with you and use it wherever there’s a 120-volt outlet available. Just keep in mind that this option charges your car at a slower rate, giving you around three miles of range per hour of charging. It’s a good choice for people who don’t drive long distances daily and want a simple and affordable charging solution.
Charging At A Station
For electric vehicle (EV) owners who don’t have the convenience of home charging, relying on public charging stations becomes essential. Level 2 public charging stations and Level 3 DC fast chargers are the go-to options when you’re on the road and need to recharge your EV.
Public charging is especially important for individuals living in multiunit housing complexes where installing personal charging stations is not feasible. Most electric vehicles, including Teslas with the appropriate adapter, can be charged using Level 2 public chargers.
.9 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity, while in California, the average cost is over.25 per kWh.
These figures highlight the substantial disparity in electricity across different regions. On a national level, the average cost of electricity per kWh in the United States is approximately.16.
Home charging options include using a standard 120-volt household outlet or installing a higher-powered Level 2 charger. The charging rate and cost will depend on the charging equipment used.
Standard 120-Volt Outlet
Charging your Tesla using a standard 120-volt outlet is the slowest charging option but is often sufficient for daily driving needs. The charging cost is similar to the cost of other household electrical devices. However, it may take longer to achieve a full charge.
Level 2 Charger
Installing a Level 2 charger provides faster charging times compared to a standard household outlet. These chargers require professional installation and use a 240-volt power supply. While the cost of purchasing and installing a Level 2 charger is an upfront investment, it can significantly reduce charging times.
Tesla’s Supercharger network provides fast-charging capabilities for long-distance travel and convenience. Supercharging stations are strategically located along highways and major travel routes, allowing Tesla owners to quickly recharge their vehicles. Supercharger rates are typically slightly higher than home charging rates but are still generally more cost-effective than traditional gasoline refueling.
The cost of charging a Tesla can vary across different states and utility companies. Some regions offer lower electricity rates or time-of-use plans that offer reduced rates during off-peak hours. It is important to research and understand your specific electricity rates to accurately estimate the charging costs.
How much does it cost to charge a Tesla Model S?
The Tesla Model S is similar to the Model X in that it also has the Long Range and Plaid currently on the road. Both of these options come with a 100 kWh battery, which is also the same as the Model X. However, the total estimated mileage range is different on the Model S trims compared to the Model X. Here, the Long Range has a 405-mile estimate, and the Plaid has a 396-mile estimate.
Using the same information about the average cents per kWh for residential usage, we can calculate how much it would cost to charge a Model S battery from 0% to 100%. Here’s an estimate of how much it costs to charge a Tesla Model S at home with 85% efficiency for Level 1 and 2 charging and at a charging station with 100% efficiency for Level 3 charging:
- Level 1 and 2 charging: About 16.10
- Level 3 charging: 26.00
These numbers end up being exactly the same as the Model X because you have the same 100 kWh battery in the calculation. However, you can expect the cost per mile to be different since the ranges of the vehicles are slightly varied.
Here’s what the cost per mile looks like on the Model S Long Range and Plaid:
The Model S Long Range also beats out the Plaid here because of its longer estimated range, which slightly decreases your cost per mile. However, the more powerful Plaid’s range is only an estimated nine miles less than the Long Range — so the difference in cost per mile isn’t huge.
Tesla also plans to drop the Long Range moniker from the next Model S trims along with the estimated range. The upcoming Model S will be available by September 2022 and will have 375 miles of range. While the updated Plaid trim will have 348 miles of range.
How much does it cost to charge a Tesla Model Y?
The Tesla Model Y weighs less than both the Model S and Model X, which is possibly why it’s equipped with a smaller battery. Both the Model Y Long Range and Performance trims come with a 75 kWh battery. The Long Range has an estimated 326-mile range, while the Performance has an estimated 303-mile range.
Since these numbers are different from what we’ve seen on the Model X and Model S vehicles, we should see a big difference in the total cost of a charge, as well as the cost per mile. Here’s what a full charge from 0 to 100% would look like on the Model Y depending on the charging station:
- Level 1 and 2 charging: About 12.08
- Level 3 charging: 19.50
The total charging cost ends up being lower on the Model Y compared to the Model X and Model S because it has a smaller battery. This is similar to how a car with a smaller gas tank would likely cost less to fill up than a car with a larger gas tank.
Here’s the breakdown of the cost per mile on the Model Y:
Overall, the numbers indicate that the Model Y has the lowest cost per mile among the three Tesla vehicles we’ve looked at. And not surprisingly, the Long Range trim is more cost-effective than the Performance. This is because they have the same battery, but the Long Range has more range.
While the newer Model X and Model S trims available later this year and early next year will have noticeably shorter ranges than their current versions, the upcoming Model Y will mostly stay the same. The Model Y Long Range that will be available in January 2023 will only drop 8 miles to a range of 318 miles. While the Performance trim, which should be available by July 2022, will have the exact same range as its previous version at 303 miles.
Additional costs that surprise Tesla owners
The cost of using a Tesla isn’t all about charging your car at home. Fuel costs are one consideration to keep in mind when comparing the math of using a traditional car and using a Tesla, but you should also research the additional costs that Tesla owners might have.
Here’s a look at a few extra expenses you might not have thought about:
- Home chargers: If you want the Wall Connector charging option, it will set you back at least 500 just to buy it. And then you have to hire someone to install it, which could easily run over 450,000 depending on the work that needs to be done with your existing electrical system. The NEMA 14-50 adapter for existing 240-volt outlets costs 45, but you would need to pay for the outlet to be installed if you don’t already have one — which could be similar in price to installing a Wall Connector.
- Insurance rates: The average car insurance cost in the U.S. is close to 450,500 per year (as of March 2022), though this can vary widely depending on a variety of factors. The average car insurance cost for Tesla owners often ranges from about 5000,000 to over 4,000. To find the coverage you need, compare options on our page for the best car insurance.
- Supercharger pricing: Using a Supercharger to charge your Tesla quickly sounds nice, but you’ll likely pay for the experience. The cost to charge at a Supercharger is often much higher than charging at home.
- Sticker shock: Most Tesla vehicles aren’t cheap, so you have to think about your initial investment if you’re interested in buying one. For example, the average U.S. car price is around 46,000, according to Kelley Blue Book (for February 2022). The Tesla Model S with the longer range (available September 2022) starts at almost 100,000, while the Tesla Model X with the longer range (available March 2023) starts at about 115,000. The Tesla Model 3 is more affordable at around 47,000, but that’s also the price point for many trucks and SUVs with more space and amenities.
- Car maintenance: Tesla car maintenance should typically be pretty low as long as everything is functioning properly. But if you need to replace something, such as the battery, you might be looking at some hefty fees. In fact, a battery replacement could cost over 10,000.
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 450,850.42 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.
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.
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.