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Tesla vs Gas: TRUE Charging Cost After 75,000 Miles

Andy Slye

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Published on Apr 14, 2021
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Tesla Model 3 total charging cost after 75,000 miles & 3 years

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0:00 Gas vs Charging
1:59 Home Charging
3:26 Total Electricity Used
4:48 Sponsor (Omaze)
6:05 Travel Charging
8:27 Total Charging Cost
9:40 Conclusion

According to Autolist, 2 of the top 4 reasons people don’t buy electric vehicles have to do with charging the car so I'll explain what my experience has been like to charge my fully electric Tesla Model 3 for the past 3 years + my total charging cost after 75,000 miles and compare it to gas costs. With my Tesla it’s great because it automatically charges overnight when electricity is at its cheapest (known as “off peak” electricity rate) and when I wake up, my car has enough battery charge to satisfy my daily driving needs. If you drive 50 miles or less during your daily driving you can probably get by with charging on a normal outlet, which on my Long Range Model 3 would regain about 5 miles of range per hour of charge. However, I drive over 400 miles a week so I needed a 240v NEMA 1450 outlet installed in my garage in order to charge my Tesla Model 3 at a rate of 30 miles per hour which can essentially charge the car from 0-100% in 10 hours. Unfortunately my breaker box is about the furthest it can possibly be from my garage so I had to hire an electrician to run cable alongside my house, under my yard, and into my garage which cost me $1300 right off the bat before I even got my car but I got a 30% tax credit which made my out of pocket cost $900. Some is lost along the way due to heat and other factors so the final amount of electricity that makes it into the battery is called “wall to wheels” efficiency and based on TeslaFi (an app used to track Tesla charging stats for owners) it says a 240-volt Tesla Wall Connector can average 94% efficiency. If we assume 94% wall to wheels efficiency we also have to consider phantom drain which is the electricity lost when an electric vehicle is parked while not plugged in to a charging outlet so for example every day for 8 hours my car is in a parking lot unplugged and it loses some charge over that period. I average about 2,000 miles per year for traveling on road trips which means 8% of my total miles are when traveling and 92% is from home charging. For home charging, my off-peak electricity rate is $0.07080 per kWh. 92% of the 20,728 kWh has been home charging which means I’ve spent about $1,350 on home charging so far + $54 on Supercharging so after 75,368 miles I’ve spent a total of $1,404 on charging. To that in perspective, if we consider a popular Tesla competitor from the same year, a 2018 BMW 3 series that averages 28 miles per gallon & also requires premium gasoline (which costs an average of $3.475 a gallon in my county) to drive that BMW the same amount of miles the fuel cost would be about $9,353. That's $8,000 in fuel savings after 3 years. I plan to keep my Tesla Model 3 for at least 10 years so if I keep this up, after another 7 years the savings could be close to $25,000 which could pay for a solar roof and allow me to charge for free for the rest of time. That's another advantage of an electric vehicle: it can be charged from 100% renewable energy.

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