How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Tesla Electric Car?

Different Tesla electric cars come in different sizes and hence have varying batteries to provide the necessary power.

As a result, different Tesla models incur varying charging costs. However, consumers still prefer a Tesla electric car as charging a Tesla is almost always cheaper than refueling a gasoline-powered car. 

How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Tesla Electric Car?

Whether a Tesla electric car saves costs compared to a same-sized gasoline-powered vehicle has been a topic of discussion ever since electric cars became popular.

Multiple factors, such as weight, model, etc., will affect how much it will cost to charge a Tesla electric car.

Continue reading to learn about how the charging costs of different Tesla electric cars can vary, along with learning about the recharging costs of every individual Tesla model. 

how to reduce the total costs of charging a Tesla electric car
How to reduce the total costs of charging a Tesla electric car

How Does the Cost of Recharging a Tesla Electric Car Vary with Different Models?

Tesla is a brand built on innovation and focuses greatly on consumer wants and needs. Hence, to cater to the different consumer requirements, Tesla has designed electric car models that fulfill different consumer requirements.

Unlike a traditional car, a Tesla electric car does not require fuel for combustion. Instead, it is designed to have a battery as its powertrain, which is responsible for providing the energy for the required mobility.

Here is how it works: the Tesla electric car’s battery stores electric charge as chemical energy, which is converted to kinetic energy by the electric motor.

The energy transmitters then carry the kinetic energy to the car’s tires to make them mobile.

The key point here is the bigger the electric vehicle, the bigger the powertrain required to pull its weight. Moreover, the bigger the powertrain, the more power it will require, which means more charge.

For instance, let us use the example of two different Tesla electric car models. The Tesla Model 3 electric is a small compact sedan, one of its lightest models. On the other hand, there is the Tesla Model X, which is a massive luxury SUV, and is one of its heaviest EV models.

In order to provide the appropriate amount of required power to the different models, Tesla has installed different-sized batteries in these electric cars.

Due to the size difference, a small Model 3 electric car’s battery will be able to store less charge than the larger Model X SUV’s massive battery.

As a result, the different batteries will have different capacities, offer different ranges, and incur different recharging costs.

Hence, the cost of recharging the Tesla Model 3 electric car will be less expensive due to its small battery capacity. On the other hand, the cost of recharging a Tesla Model X’s large battery will be significantly higher in comparison.

Read What Happens if Your Tesla Runs Out of Battery?

Cost of Charging Different Tesla Electric Car Models

The exact cost of charging a Tesla electric car will vary according to the following:

  • Its model and respective battery size.
  • Its total weight (a Tesla electric car’s total weight could be increased by certain customizations and by the loading of excessive luggage).
  • How the Tesla is driven and treated.
  • The quality and condition of the Tesla electric car’s battery.
  • The regional per unit cost of electricity.

Read on to learn about how these factors affect the charging costs of a Tesla electric car. Note that these costs are based on the average electricity prices in the USA (0.13 USD per kWh).

Read How Many Solar Panels Are Needed to Charge a Tesla?

Different Tesla Electric Car Models and their Respective Charging Costs

Tesla Model 3 Electric Car

The Tesla Model 3 electric car is a compact sedan, one of Tesla’s highest-selling electric cars worldwide.

The Tesla Model 3 comes in three different variants:  Standard Range, Long Range, and Performance range.

All three variants vary according to their market prices, battery sizes, expected ranges, and charging costs.

The Tesla Model 3 Standard Range is the cheapest variant and comes with a small 50 kWh battery. It is able to offer an average range of 263 miles per charge.

On the other hand, the other two variants have the same 82 kWh battery sizes; however, they both offer different ranges and hence incur different recharging costs.

The long-range variant offers an impressive 353 miles, while the performance range offers an average of 315 miles of range per charge.

Due to the different battery sizes, the cost of recharging will vary. For a standard range Model 3 electric car, one has to pay an average of 2 to 3 USD for every 100 miles, totaling 7 to 8 USD for a full recharge.

For the Tesla Model 3 long-range and performance-range electric cars, the recharging costs will vary slightly due to the same sized battery.

For either of the two variants, the car owner will have to pay almost 3 to 4 USD per 100 miles, adding up to almost 12 to 13 USD for a full charge.

Tesla Model S Electric Car

The Tesla Model S electric car is a luxury sedan that offers more features than the Model 3 sedan and hence comes at a higher market price.

The Tesla Model S comes in two variants; the Plaid and the Long Range. Both variants come with the same 100 kWh size lithium-ion battery packs. As a result, both have almost the same recharging costs.

The Tesla Model S Long Range Plus offers an incredible 412 miles of range, while the simple Long-Range variant and the Plaid variant offer 396 miles and 348 miles of range per charge, respectively.

The average cost of recharging a Tesla Model S electric car is almost 3 to 4 USD per 100 miles, which results in almost 15 to 16 USD for a full charge.

Tesla Model X Electric Vehicle

The Tesla Model X is an all-wheel-drive luxury SUV, which is also the first-ever SUV to be designed and launched by Tesla. This luxurious massive SUV is one of Tesla’s priciest and heaviest electric vehicles

The Tesla Model X comes in two variants; the Model X Long Range and the Model X Plaid version. The newer versions of the two different variants come with a massive 100 kWh battery.

If the price of electricity is 0.13 USD per kWh, then the average cost of fully recharging a Tesla Model X electric SUV will be approximately 15 to 16 USD.

The Model X Long Range offers an impressive 360 miles of range per charge and incurs a cost of 4 to 4.5 USD per 100 miles.

On the other hand, the Model X Plaid version offers 340 miles of range per charge and will incur a slightly higher cost of 4.5 to 5 USD per 100 miles of range.

Tesla Model Y Electric Vehicle

The second all-wheel-drive electric SUV that Tesla launched after the global success of the Model X SUV was the Model Y electric SUV.

Compared to the Model X electric SUV, the Model Y is a smaller, more compact, and less expensive all-drive electric SUV.

The Tesla Model Y electric SUV comes in three different versions: the Standard Range, the Performance Range, and the Long-Range AWD. All three versions come with a 75-kWh lithium-ion battery.

The average cost of charging a Tesla Model Y electric SUV is around 4 to 5 USD per 100 miles of range and 11 to 12 USD for a complete recharge.

How much does it cost to charge a Tesla electric car
How much does it cost to charge a Tesla electric car

The Total Weight of a Tesla Electric Car

In general, all electric cars are significantly heavier than regular gasoline-powered vehicles. This weight difference is due to the many electrical components necessary for a functioning electric car.

The different sized electric batteries provide the appropriate power to pull the weights of different Tesla electric car models. The heavier an electric car is, the bigger its battery will have to be.

At times, a Tesla electric car’s weight could be significantly more than its actual curb weight. This happens when a Tesla electric car owner adds heavy customization to their car.

Moreover, this also happens when excessive weights or luggage is loaded onto the car. For instance, the weight of a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range electric car is approximately 1611 Kgs.

If a person ties two 20 kg mountain bikes to its trunk, the total weight will increase.

When the Model 3 electric sedan has to pull the extra weight, the additional stress on the battery will cause it to deplete more quickly.

Consequently, the driver will have to incur more frequent Tesla recharging costs. As a result, the person’s total costs of charging their Model 3 sedan increase.

Read How Much Does a Tesla Weigh?

The Way a Tesla Electric Car is Driven

The average annual costs of charging a Tesla electric car will vary according to how the driver drives and treats their electric car.

For instance, if the driver frequently drives their Tesla electric car at varying acceleration and high speeds, their battery charge will discharge at a rapid pace.

This means frequent stops to the recharging stations, which means that the total costs of recharging the Tesla electric vehicle drastically go up..

Similarly, if a person deliberately drives their Tesla electric car over arduous landscapes or steep slopes, this driving practice will damage the battery.

As a result, the battery will run out of charge more quickly and the battery’s range, charge storing capacity, and total lifespan will get affected permanently.

This means the Tesla electric car will require more frequent recharging to complete a trip, and the total annual costs of charging the Tesla will go up.

Moreover, making short trips, driving on worn-out tires, or tinkering with the EV’s aerodynamic drag will also increase the total charging costs of the Tesla electric car in similar ways.

Read What is the Purpose of Tesla Sentry Mode?

The Quality and Condition of the Tesla Electric Car’s Battery

The battery of a Tesla electric car is its most expensive and sensitive component. If a battery is not treated well, overheats, pushes beyond its limits, or is not repaired on time, it loses some of its charge storing capacity permanently.

As a result, the battery cannot store sufficient charge and requires more frequent recharging. Consequently, the total annual costs of charging the Tesla electric car increase significantly.

The Regional Per Unit Cost of Electricity

The costs of recharging a Tesla electric car will depend heavily on the regional electricity prices. The per unit price of electricity not only varies across the globe, but also within a country and even a city.

For instance, the average price of electricity in Germany is 0.35 USD per kWh. On the other hand, the price of electricity in China is 0.097 USD per kWh.

As a result, charging a Tesla electric car would be significantly cheaper in China than Germany.

Moreover, the cost of electricity also varies within a country. For instance, charging a Tesla electric car in New York will be cheaper than charging the car in Hawaii.

Furthermore, in almost all countries of the world, the price of electricity is higher in commercial areas compared to residential areas.

Final Thoughts

A Tesla electric car is pointless if its owner does not have the means to afford to charge its battery pack.

However, fortunately, there are many affordable ways to keep a Tesla fully charged and running.

If you own a Tesla and wish to minimize your battery charging costs, try charging the EV at home as often as possible, and try locating the free Tesla destination charging stations whenever you are out.

Moreover, you can also install a solar panel grid at your home to make the at-home EV charging even cheaper.

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