“How much does it cost to charge a Tesla?” is among the most common questions I get as a Tesla owner. My standard response of “about one third the cost of gas” is perhaps a bit oversimplified. The true answer depends largely on which model you drive and which state you live in. Residential rates for electricity can vary greatly by state and the below chart summarizes the average for each. If you want to compare the costs to gasoline, you’ll have to look at gas prices and the efficiency of your comparison vehicle. That is, the miles per gallon, or mpg, of the vehicle. Those data points are easy to come by and easy to understand. With an electric vehicle, you’ll need to know something called wH/mi (Watt hour per mile), and convert electricity prices from kWh to Wh.
The below table does just that, with a few assumptions. The first assumption made is that you drive 40 miles per day, 7 days per week. That equates to 14,600 per year. This assumption is not far off the 13,476 miles per year the Federal Highway Administration says we drive. The second assumption is that you are paying the average price of electricity for your state. You may pay more, or less, or have a great time of use plan and charge off peak. The third is that your driving habits net you the average efficiency of each model shown. If you routinely drive fast and accelerate hard, live in the mountains or in extreme cold, your efficiency will probably vary.
If you want to customize the below calculations for yourself, simply check your electricity bill (don’t forget to add generation and transmission rates together) and your average wH/mi from your car’s lifetime trip meter. Then, plug in to the following equation or click here for a handy calculator that will do it for you:
(Cost in cents/kWh / 1,000 x efficiency in wH/mi x miles driven per day x 7 days per week / 100)
To see how much it costs to charge a Tesla, using the average costs described above, check out the below chart.