How Much Does It Cost Per Mile To Run a Tesla Compared To A Gas Car?


Which Tesla model has the lowest cost per mile of range, and how does this compare to other electric vehicles on the market?

There are two ways to determine how much it will cost you per mile to run a Tesla. The first would be how many miles per kWh a Tesla will do, the second the total cost including the purchase price of the vehicle. We discuss both here.

To calculate how much it will cost you per mile based purely on the mile per kWh and the cost of your electricity, we need to know two things.

The first is the official figures per mile each Tesla will do, and the second how much you are paying for your electricity.

I can give you the official miles per kWh for each Tesla (see table below), but we don’t know how much you are paying per kWh for your electricity as they will be all different. So we have provided you with a calculator to work it out.

The miles per kWh calculator below will work out how much it will cost you based on the Tesla you own and the cost of your electricity per kWh, you can even compare how much you will be saving compared with a gas vehicle.

Our calculator needs two sets of data to work out how much cheaper it is to run a Tesla compared to a gas vehicle.

  • Miles per gallon for gas vehicle
  • Cost per gallon of gas
  • Miles per kWh (Se table below)
  • Cost per kWh of electricity

Simply enter the data you have collected below and out calculator will work out how much it will cost you to drive 100 miles in both vehicles.

Calculations based on 2020 models from fueleconomy.gov

ModelMiles Per kWh
3 Standard Range3.85
3 Standard Range +4.16
3 Mid Range3.7
3 Long Range3.85
3 Long Range AWD3.57
3 Long Range Per AWD 18 inc3.57
3 Long Range Per AWD 19 inc3.44
3 Long Range Per AWD 20 inc3.33
S Standard Range3.22
S Long Range3.33
S Performance 19 inc3.12
S Performance 21 Inc2.85
X Standard Range3.03
X Long Range2.85
X Performance 20 inc2.63
X Performance 22 inc2.32
Y Performance AWD3.57

The second way to work out how much it will cost you per mile to run your Tesla is to look at not just the cost of electricity but also the cost of purchase.

One of the calculations I like to use when comparing one electric vehicle with another to determine what kind of value I’m getting is the cost per mile of range. This number is easily calculated when you divide the cost of the vehicle by the range of the vehicle.

Now obviously, this is not the most important factor when you are ready to purchase a vehicle, but I do think it is an important way to see how much value you are getting out of your electric car.

This calculation does not account for a premium feature, technology, performance, and design differences, but it does help compare cars at a basic level. First of all, I’d like to look at the current Tesla models that you can buy this year or we’ll be able to buy very soon.

First of all, we have the Model S which is available in two variants. The long-range all-wheel-drive model which comes out at $79,990 at its base price, and gives you three hundred and seventy-three miles of range.

And then you have the performance all-wheel-drive model which is $99,990 and gives you three hundred and forty-eight miles of range. When you do the calculation the long-range model gives you the lowest cost per mile of range at $214.45.

When I did the calculation for the Model 3 I was surprised at the long-range all-wheel-drive model, coming in at $48,990 with 322 miles of range. It was the best value in the lineup.

At $152.14 it is the least expensive per mile of range of the three variants currently available for the Model 3. If you’re looking for a performance car the performance Model 3 is still an insanely good bargain.

Especially when you compare its specs to any other car gas or electric, and you compare the price to what you get for that vehicle. But, if you’re looking for the maximum range you can get for your dollar, the long-range model is the best choice.

When taking a look at the Model X it also comes in two variants just like the Model S. It comes in the long-range all-wheel-drive model, or the performance all-wheel-drive model.

The long-range model comes in at $84,990 with three hundred twenty-eight miles of range, giving you a cost per mile of range of two $259.12.

Tesla Model Y

The last 20/20 model that we’ll mention, and then we’ll get into some of the future Tesla vehicles is a Tesla Model Y (read our reviews of the new Tesla Y here) . Of course, this vehicle has only just been released so we should have more real user data pretty soon.

You’ll notice from these calculations that the long-range, rear-wheel-drive unit will be the best value at just $160.00 per mile of range. It comes in at $48,000 and gives you 300 miles of range.

It’s possible that these numbers could be greater than what Tesla is giving us on their website right now, because the platform that the model was built on, the model 3, has seen some improvements and range over the last few months.

You can currently reserve a long-range rear-wheel drive unit, a long-range all-wheel drive, or a performance model of Y. Sometime next year in 2021 you should be able to get a standard range unit coming in at just $39,000.

When you compare the vehicles with the cost per mile of range, in my opinion, if you can afford it, it makes more sense to get their rear-wheel-drive long-range model because it has the best value for this vehicle.

Tesla’s Future Vehicles

The new cyber truck which was unveiled late in 2019, should be available in a couple of years. And of course, when the price and specs were revealed it was amazing that they could pack so many features, and specs into such a low price.

Interestingly enough, the most expensive cyber truck coming in at $69,990, the tri-motor variant, with 500 miles of range has the lowest cost per mile of range of any Tesla that will be available. It comes in at just $139.98 per mile of range.

Of course, the single motor and the dual motor are also good values when you compare the other features of the truck, just breaking it down to its basic level this is a very impressive truck and good value for money.

We should see the Tesla Roadster come out next year in 2021 with a base price of $200,000 with 620+ miles of range. This gives you somewhere around $322.58 cost per mile of range.

FULL LIST

So here’s how the Tesla models rank from lowest costs per mile of range to the highest cost per mile of range. Of course, you’ll see the winner is a cyber truck tri-motor, second place is the Model Y long-range all-wheel drive unit, and then you have the Model 3 standard range.
Then the cyber truck base model came in those first four top spots.

The model Y long-range rear-wheel-drive model is tied with the standard range plus, and the cyber truck base. The two most expensive for a cost per mile of range is the Tesla Roadster at $322.58, and the Model X performance which is at $344.23 per mile of range.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I wanted to do a short comparison of how these numbers compare with some of the other vehicles on the market.

So, I’ve compiled this list of some of the most popular electric vehicles on the market right now, and I ranked them by the lowest cost per mile of range to the highest cost per mile of range.

Of course, you see that the Chevrolet Bolt LT base model has the best cost per mile of range at $141.39, the Hyundai Kona EV and a Kia Niro EV also have a really good value at $147.62 for the Hyundai and $165.77 for the E-Niro.

The most extensive cost per mile of range by a long shot is the Porsche Taycon which comes in at $963.54 per mile of range.

Here’s a top ten list for the lowest cost per mile of range for all the vehicles mentioned in this post, both Tesla and non-Tesla.

The vehicle that has the lowest cost per mile of range is, of course, the Cyber truck tri-motor at just $139.98 per mile of range.

The Chevrolet Bolt comes in at a close second, the Hyundai Kona third and then the Model 3 long range in the Model 3 standard range comes in there at fourth and fifth.

You’ll notice on this top ten list that the cyber truck all three variants come in somewhere in this top 10 list.

BOTTOM 5

The 5 most expensive vehicles in this list per mile of range are the Porsche Turbo-S, the Audi E-Tron base and the Model X performance, the Tesla Roadster, and the Jaguar iPace.

In conclusion, the Cyber truck tri-motor variant will be the best value Tesla has ever put out, and anyone of the three variants will also be a good value.

When it comes to the best value for current Tesla models, that award goes to the model three long-range all-wheel drive.

The model Y long-range rear-wheel drive unit will also be really good value at just a $160 per mile of range, especially when you compare this to the Model X which has a cost per mile of range at $259

The Chevrolet Bolt, which is not talked about a lot, is good value, although it may lack in design and some technology per mile of range is pretty good value.

Of course, as I mentioned at the beginning this score does not mention technology, style, performance, and other things of which Tesla excels at.

When you take the technology that Tesla has, their software, their batteries, their drive trains, the supercharging Network and you factor all these things into the list, of course, Tesla is good value compared to some of these other brands.

You have to put some kind of dollar amount on the convenience of a supercharging network. Of course, the free software upgrades, your car improving over the years, and the fun performance and design of the vehicle.

In my opinion, if you give these kinds of factors some kind of dollar value, the Tesla models come out ahead on every level.

There’s a reason why Tesla currently sells substantially more electric vehicles than any other brand, it’s because they have the best tech, the best batteries, the best drive trains, and in my opinion, the best-looking electric vehicles on the market.