TeleEV Breaks Down the Real Cost of Charging Your Tesla: A Comprehensive Guide

TeleEV Breaks Down the Real Cost of Charging Your Tesla: A Comprehensive Guide

The ongoing debate surrounding electric vehicles (EVs) centers on the question of whether they genuinely save you money. Given the higher upfront costs, potential EV buyers often lean towards the familiarity of gas-powered vehicles. A significant contributing factor to this hesitation is the lack of sufficient information about charging costs. Unlike the straightforward process of estimating prices at a petrol station, the cost of charging EVs depends on several factors.

Tesla remains the go-to choice for many electric vehicle enthusiasts. For those contemplating the switch, a common question arises: How much electricity is needed to charge a Tesla?

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the costs associated with charging your Tesla battery, drawing comparisons with the expenses incurred when filling up a gas-powered car.

Introduction to EV Charging

The process of charging an EV is categorized into three levels: Level 1, Level 2, and DC fast charging.

Level 1 AC Charging:

Level 1 is the most basic and slowest charging level, utilizing a standard 120-volt wall outlet at home. This level provides a range of 3-6 miles per hour, suitable for routine battery top-ups but impractical for a full charge, which could take days.

Level 2 AC Charging:

Level 2 uses a 240V plug, similar to those used by large home appliances. It is the preferred choice for home charging, delivering up to 50 miles of range per hour. With the potential for an overnight full charge, both Level 1 and Level 2 can be used for Tesla charging at home.

DC Fast Charging:

Tesla introduces its proprietary fast chargers, known as the Tesla Supercharger, utilizing 480-volt direct current technology. These chargers offer up to 322 miles of range in just 15 minutes. While efficient, the complex setup requires the involvement of an electrician, making DC chargers like Tesla Superchargers less common for home charging.

Primary Factors Influencing EV Charging Costs

Charging an electric vehicle does not have a fixed rate; the cost varies based on several factors. Tesla owners should consider these factors to maximize EV savings:

State of Charge and Depth of Discharge:

Depth of Discharge (DoP) indicates how much of the EV's battery capacity has been used and its expected lifespan. On the other hand, State of Charge (SoC) represents the percentage of battery still available for use. Balancing these factors is crucial for understanding battery efficiency.

Understanding Electricity Consumption:

Several terms related to electricity consumption need clarification:

  • Current (amps): Measures the flow of electricity in a circuit.
  • Voltage (volts): Represents the pressure that pushes electricity.
  • Power: Measures the rate of energy transfer, derived by multiplying current and voltage. Monthly consumption is usually measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

How Much Does It Cost to Charge Your Tesla?

Contrary to expectations, Tesla electric cars use a relatively small amount of electricity despite their powerful features. On average, a Tesla electric car consumes approximately 34 kWh of electricity per 100 miles. With a charging efficiency of about 94% and a discharge efficiency of 90%, the electricity used by a Tesla battery is remarkably low.

Considering the national average cost of electricity, charging a Tesla costs approximately $13.96, translating to about $0.05 per mile across all models. A detailed breakdown reveals that charging a Model X costs around $18.30, a Model S is slightly less at $18.29, a Model Y totals $13.58, and the most economical option is the Model 3 at $9.62.

Tesla Battery Capacity

Tesla EVs boast some of the highest battery capacities on the market, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The battery is composed of individual lithium-ion cells with varying capacities, ranging from 3400 mAh to 5000 mAh, resulting in total storage capacity between 85 kWh to 100 kWh.

Other Factors Impacting Charging

Impact of Weather on Charging:

Research indicates that temperature significantly affects Tesla battery efficiency. During colder months, less range is achieved compared to warmer seasons. Teslas are equipped with onboard heaters to maintain battery temperature, preventing any significant impact on driving range.

How Many Kilowatt-Hours to Charge a Tesla?

The charging time for a Tesla depends on its battery capacity and the charging wattage. For example, a Long Range Model 3 with a 75 kWh battery capacity will take approximately 6 hours and 31 minutes to charge from 0% to 100% using an 11.5 kW home charger.

Is Charging a Tesla Cheaper Than Gas?

Comparing the cost of charging a Tesla to the expense of filling up a gas-powered vehicle reveals a compelling cost advantage for EV owners. With the current average gas price at $3.28 per gallon, the cost to fill up a 12-gallon car tank is approximately $45. In contrast, driving the same range with a Tesla would only cost about $59.15, indicating a 40% increase in savings.


How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Tesla at Home?

Charging a Tesla at home costs approximately $13.96, or about $0.05 cents per mile, based on the national average. The specific cost for a full charge depends on the Tesla model, its battery size, and the charger used.

How Many kWh Are Needed to Charge a Tesla?

Tesla electric cars have battery capacities ranging from 50 kWh on a standard range Model 3 to 100 kWh on all Model S and X variants.

How Long Does a Tesla Charge Last?

Charging time varies based on the Tesla model and the charging source. Using an 11.5 kW home charger, a Standard Range Model 3 with a 50 kWh capacity takes around 4 hours and 20 minutes, while models with 100 kWh capacity take approximately 8 hours and 41 minutes.

How Much Electricity Does It Take to Charge a Tesla at Home?

On average, charging a Tesla at home costs only $0.05/mile, totaling about $13.96.

How Far Can a Tesla Go on One Charge?

Tesla batteries typically last up to 336 miles on a single charge, with variations based on the model. The Model 3, offering the lowest range, lasts 267 miles, while the Model S, with the longest range, can cover up to 405 miles. Elon Musk suggests that Tesla batteries can last between 300,000 and 500,000 miles throughout their lifespan.

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