How Much Money Do You Save with a Tesla Electric Car?

Tesla has successfully instigated the global electric automobile revolution ever since its introduction in 2003. Today, Tesla leads the EV market with an impressive 14% market share.

The debate regarding whether a Tesla is better than a gas car has been going on for decades. With the world facing a post-pandemic economic crisis, the rising inflation has severely impacted consumers’ purchasing power.

The total cost is often the primary factor that affects a consumer’s purchase decision. A Tesla is significantly more expensive than most gas cars. However, recharging it is cheaper than buying gas or diesel.

How Much Money Do You Save with a Tesla Electric Car?

The abundance of Tesla electric cars lowers the dependency on gas or diesel, which are non-renewable fuel sources.

Many cost factors need to be analyzed to conclude whether a Tesla is more cost-efficient or not. These cost factors would include:

  • The market retail price (purchasing cost) of a Tesla electric car compared to a gas car
  • The cost of charging a Tesla electric car vs refueling a gas car
  • The running costs of a Tesla electric car vs a gas car
  • The cost of maintaining a Tesla electric car vs a gas car
  • The resale value of a Tesla electric car vs a gas car
How much money do you save with a tesla electric car
How much money do you save with a tesla electric car

Factors Determining a Tesla Electric Car’s Cost-efficiency Compared to Other Cars

Purchasing Cost of a Tesla Electric Car Vs Gas Cars

The eco-friendlier system of a Tesla electric car makes it a consumer favorite worldwide. However, regardless of how much one may want one, not everyone can afford a Tesla. 

All electric vehicles, including Tesla vehicles, are far more expensive than average gas cars. In 2020, the advertised retail price of an electric car was almost 19,000 USD higher than a same-sized gas car.

Hence, the initial purchase price is enough to discourage many people with a limited budget. The table below shows the cost of different Tesla electric cars, their type battery range, and top speeds.

Tesla Electric Car ModelElectric Vehicle TypeMarket PriceBattery RangeTop Speed
Model 3Compact sedan43,990 USD268 miles140 mph
Model 3 PerformanceCompact sedan57.990 USD315 miles162 mph
Model SLuxury sedan94,990 USD405 miles155 mph
Model S PlaidLuxury sedan129,990 USD396 miles200 mph
Model XSUV104,990 USD351 miles155 mph
Model Y PerformanceCompact SUV61,990 USD305 miles155 mph
Model Y Long RangeCompact SUV56,990 USD318 miles135 mph

Moreover, any additional upgrade during a Tesla’s purchase would be costly. For example, selecting a custom paint or interior could cost anywhere from 2000 to 18000 USD.

On the contrary, most gas sedans and SUVs cost significantly less and have cheaper customizations. Hence, consumers cannot save much when choosing a Tesla electric car over a same-sized gas car.

Furthermore, Tesla is a newer market entry in the automobile industry – in terms of age, it’s far younger than gas car companies like Toyota or Honda. Due to its newness, Tesla is not as globally dispersed as gas cars.

Hence due to its regional unavailability, many electric car enthusiasts have no choice but to import Tesla electric cars. As a result, the added import duty taxes make Tesla cars an even more expensive purchase.

Read What to Know Before Buying a Tesla Electric Vehicle

The Cost of Charging a Tesla Electric Car Vs Refueling a Gas Car

In the last few years, the world has seen a massive surge in fossil fuel prices. According to news reports by BBC, petrol and diesel prices have reached a record high.

In 2022, USA Today reported gas and diesel prices to be the highest ever in the country’s history.

Similarly, other countries are also experiencing increased fossil fuel prices due to the increasing global demand and lowering supply.

According to market analysts, the global economic crisis caused due to the pandemic is the crucial reason behind the rising fuel prices.

Moreover, fuel prices are expected to keep rising due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As a result, fuel-dependent transportation has become extremely expensive globally. Hence, many people choose not to travel by air or use their cars for everyday commutes.

On the contrary, the electricity prices are significantly lower. However, the prices may vary according to where a Tesla is charged.

The table below compares gasoline and electricity prices in different countries of the world.

The table below shows the comparison between the electricity and gasoline prices in the USA, Germany, Japan, and China.

CountryElectricity Prices  (USD per kWh)Gasoline Prices (USD per liter)
Saudi Arabia$0.048$0.62

As shown in the table, gasoline per liter prices is much higher than electricity prices. Moreover, electricity and gasoline will also vary within a country.

Hence, the cost of charging a Tesla everywhere in the world will be much lower than refueling a gas car. As a result, a Tesla owner does save a lot of money in the long run.

The table below shows different American states and their respective electricity and gasoline prices.  

American StateElectricity Price (USD per kWh)Gasoline Prices (USD per liter)
New York$0.207$1.152

The cost of charging a Tesla may vary around the country; however, it will still be cheaper than refueling a gas car. A Tesla owner can save even more money by recharging their car in states with the lowest electricity charges, such as Louisiana.

how much money do you save on gas with a tesla model 3
how much money do you save on gas with a tesla model 3

Read Difference between a Tesla Model X and Tesla Model Y

The Running Costs of a Tesla Electric Car Vs a Gas Car

Other than the regional electricity and gasoline prices, the cost of charging a Tesla will also vary according to its model. Continue reading below for a running cost comparison between different Tesla models.

Charging Cost of Tesla Model 3

A Tesla Model 3 is a compact sedan with a 50kWh lithium-ion battery, a 268-mile range, and 140mph top speed. While the performance range Model 3 comes with an 83 kWh battery, a 315-mile range, and 160mph top speed.

You can fully charge a standard range Tesla Model 3 sedan for approximately 7.65 USD in the US. On the other hand, charging the performance range model will cost almost 12.54 USD.

Moreover, the cost per mile for a standard range Tesla model 3 will vary from 0.05 to 2.96 USD per 100 miles. Whereas, for a performance range model 3, it will be approximately 0.05 USD per 100 miles.

Hence, choosing a standard range Tesla Model 3 might reduce your range but will be cheaper to recharge. This rule applies in all countries around the world.

Charging Cost of Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y is a compact SUV with a 75kWh battery. It will cost almost 11.47 USD to completely charge a standard range Tesla Model Y’s battery.

This Tesla model is especially more cost-efficient than most gas cars due to its cost per mile. The cost per mile for most gas cars is 0.13 USD per mile, while for this Tesla, it will just be 0.047 USD. 

This is a 60%+ difference in the dollar cost per mile for the different vehicle types. Hence, the Tesla Model Y is far more cost-efficient than any same-sized gas car. 

Charging Cost of Tesla Model S

Both the standard range and the Plaid version of the Tesla Model S come with a large 100kWh battery. If the electricity price is $0.15, charging the Tesla Model S will approximately cost the consumer 16 USD. According to this, the cost per mile would be 0.040 dollars.

Hence, according to the information provided above, the Tesla Model 3 has the least running costs. However, the charging source to charge the Tesla would affect the cost-efficiency.

Charging a Tesla electric car using solar energy would save you the most money in almost all cases. However, the initial costs of installing solar panels at your house can be very high.

Moreover, charging all Tesla electric car models at home is far more cost-efficient than charging at a supercharging station.

However, charging at home may take far more time. It all comes down to what is more valuable to you, time or money.

The Cost of Maintaining a Tesla Electric Car vs a Gas Car

According to research, a Tesla electric car’s repair or maintenance costs are way higher than most gas cars. Moreover, a Tesla EV’s repair cost is even more than other electric car brands.

The researchers concluded that the quarterly Tesla service and repair costs are 2.5 times higher than gas cars. Moreover, the yearly repair costs for a Tesla were 1.6 times higher than gas cars.

The Resale Value of a Tesla Electric Car Vs a Gas Car

Despite its original price, any product with a high resale value is an attractive purchase. Unlike most gas cars, a Tesla can retain its value and market worth.

According to data analysts, a Tesla Model 3 has a far higher resale value than any electric or gas car. Compared to other EVs, the Model 3’s resale value is 5 times better, while 3 times better than gas cars.

Hence, Tesla owners can save a lot of money in the long run when they decide to sell their cars. In contrast, gas cars or other EV owners do not enjoy this rewarding value for money.

how much money do you save with a tesla model 3
how much money do you save with a tesla model 3

Why Are Tesla Electric Cars so Expensive?

  • Tesla’s futuristic technology and unparalleled user-friendly designs have made it a consumer favorite worldwide. This has led to a high demand which is not being met with sufficient supply. Hence, Tesla electric cars are more expensive than other EVs and gas cars
  • Tesla uses high-quality electric batteries that are the main contributors to its total cost. The battery makes the initial purchase expensive and is also extremely costly to repair or replace
  • There is a rising global demand for efficient electric vehicles that perform well without damaging the environment. Hence, Tesla electric cars are expensive due to the high demand for green technology.

How to Save More Money with a Tesla Electric Car

The best way to save money with your Tesla electric car requires cutting down its charging, running, and maintenance costs. You should:

  • Charge your Tesla at home as often as possible and only use a supercharging station in case of emergencies
  • Charge the Tesla in regions where electricity prices are low
  • Charge the Tesla using solar energy. To do this, you can either install the required number of solar panels at your residence. Or you could charge the Tesla at a solar-powered supercharging station. Many companies like Electrify America have installed solar power EV charging stations that are entirely free to use. Hence, whenever you can, use them
  • Develop a regular charging routine that prevents your battery’s charge from dropping below 20%. Doing so will help maintain and increase your Tesla’s total range while reducing your charging needs
  • Never store a fully discharged Tesla battery. Doing so will decrease its charge storing capacity, range, and total lifespan. In the long run, it will increase your charging and replacement costs
  • Protect the battery from overheating or getting too cold
  • Do not drive at high speeds frequently, as doing so will increase your charging requirements
  • Refrain from hitting the brakes too often or from making short trips as doing so negatively affects the battery’s charging
  • Do not drive on rougher landscapes, especially with poor, worn-out tires. Doing so puts stress on the battery, affecting its range and capacity, which drives up its charging costs.

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Final Thoughts

Everyone should actively try to reduce their carbon footprints, and shifting to electric vehicles is a great way to do so. Tesla’s green technology makes it a consumer favorite despite its high price.

Due to the high fuel prices, owning a gas car is more expensive than Tesla. With proper care, good driving practices, and an established charging routine, a Tesla owner can further save a lot of money.