Charging your Tesla Model 3 can be expensive if you don’t know how to work out the costs.
How much does it cost to charge a Tesla model 3 at home? A Tesla Model 3 battery holds between 50 to 75 kWh, multiply that by the cost per kWh of electricity and that will give you the cost to charge your Tesla Model 3. For example, a 75 kWh battery at 10 cents per kWh would cost you $7.50. E.G 75×10÷100=$7.50
Maybe you’re already on the reservation list for the model three, or maybe you’re still running the numbers to see if it makes sense for you. Either way, you know that traditionally one of the biggest expenses in owning any car is the cost to power it.
We’ve been driving our Model 3 for a few months now, so we have a good idea of what it’s going to cost you.
We’ve all grown up with ice or internal combustion engine cars, so most people know what they cost a fuel. You take the number of miles that you expect to drive in a year and divide that by the miles per gallon and multiply that by the current price of gas per gallon.
So, for example, a 2018 Audi A4 which starts at 36,000 dollars is a pretty good equivalent to the Tesla Model 3 in terms of size and price, and it gets up to 27 miles per gallon city, 37 miles per gallon highway.
If we were considering buying this Audi and let’s say we drive the number of miles that an average American does every year, 12,000 miles, and the price of gas is 2 dollars and 49 cents per gallon we’d be looking at around 375 gallons of gas or $933 per year in gasoline.
With an electric car, it’s a similar calculation but the terms are new, and a bit strange to us because we’re not used to them yet.
To help us compare apples to apples when looking at different cars the EPA rates electric cars with MPGE, or miles per gallon equivalent, even though EVs like Model 3 don’t burn gasoline.
The Tesla Model 3 has an MPGE of 126. now that is helpful if we compare it to the Audi with an average mpg of 32 because we can see that the Model 3 gets almost a hundred miles more per gallon equivalent. But it’s not exactly helpful in figuring out our actual electricity costs in running the model 3.
With the Model 3 we now have to deal with the price of electricity or price per kilowatt-hour, instead of the price of a gallon of gasoline. And we have to adjust ourselves to miles per kilowatt-hour, instead of miles per gallon.
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Okay, so let’s figure this out.
First, let’s figure out how many miles per kilowatt-hour it takes to drive the model 3. The rated miles per kilowatt-hour for the Model 3 with the long-range battery is four-point one five miles per kilowatt-hour.
A kilowatt-hour of electricity costs anywhere from about eight cents per kilowatt-hour in Washington or Louisiana to our home state of Massachusetts which has one of the highest prices of electricity at 22 cents per kilowatt-hour.
The average cost of electricity in the United States is 13 cents per kilowatt-hour. So let’s say you plan on driving 12,000 miles a year in the Model 3 and you live in Washington State.
Cost To Charge Your Tesla Model 3 By state
Cost to charge based on a 75 kWh flat Battery as of Nov 2019
|State||Cents Per kWh||Cost Per Charge|
You divide 12,000 miles by four-point one five miles per kilowatt-hour and you get two thousand eight hundred and ninety-two kilowatt-hours of electricity.
12000 (miles) divided by 4.5 (miles per kWh = 2892 x cost per KW hr e.g $0.08 cents = $231 Per year
Now multiply that by the price in your state per kilowatt-hour and you get the price you pay per 12000 miles for your running car.
You can look at your electricity bill and see the rate you were paying and figure out how much it will cost to charge at home.
Keep in mind that many states have lower rates during off-peak times and you can usually take advantage of this by telling the model 3 when to start charging, in fact, you’re helping the grid to when you charge off-peak so it’s a win-win.
If you want to know how much it will cost to charge at a supercharger just go to this Tesla link here and look up the state you’ll be charging in and use that price per kilowatt-hour.
If you don’t want to do any math but just want to get a sense of what the model 3 will save you compared to a comparable ice car like the Audi A4 then let’s use averages.
We’ll pretend that you drive the average 12000 miles per year and pay the average 13 cents per kilowatt-hour for the Model 3, and 2 dollars and 49 cents a gallon for the Audi. The Audi will cost $933 and the Model 3 will cost $375, that’s $558 less per year.
As you can see electric cars like the model 3 are far more energy-efficient than ice cars and cost a lot less to power. The average American keeps their car for about 7 years so that would be a savings of almost $4,000, and this is if gas and electricity prices stay where they are.
Because oil is a finite resource and gets harder to discover, drill and pump it is expected to go up in price. Whereas, electricity which is being made more and more by the Sun and wind every year is going to get cheaper.
As these two prices continue to grow apart it will get cheaper and cheaper to drive electric and more and more expensive to drive an ice car.
Charge At Off Peak Periods
The cool thing about using electricity as a motor fuel, is that most power utilities offer some form of a time of use program.
The way it works is you pay a different price for electricity during the part of the day than the other part of the day. It’s typically divided up between on peak, and off-peak times with on peak typically being during the day and off peak being nights and weekends
This works out well for electric vehicle drivers because most of us are charging our electric cars at night. Almost every single electric car has some sort of a timer feature built right in, so you can plug in your car right when you get home from work but it doesn’t start charging until sometime later.
Typically these time-of-use plans you pay more for electricity during the day when most of us are out of the house but then at night when we would want to charge the electric car it’s much less expensive electricity, sometimes half as expensive.
That means we can essentially charge our cars using 50 cents per gallon of electricity. Imagine if you could go to the gas station and during the day you had to pay 4 bucks per gallon but at night you only had to pay 2 bucks per gallon, it just doesn’t work that way but with electricity it can.
What About Solar Panels?
The other cool thing about electricity as a motor fuel is that you can make it yourself. I have a friend who makes ethanol and I do know of people who’ve made their bio-diesel for diesel cars, but frankly, if you just set up some solar panels it is so ridiculously easy as long as the Sun shines you’re making power.
The best part about solar is that once you’ve paid for the original capital outlay of paying for the equipment, all your electricity is free.
So for example at my place we’re on track for a six and a half year simple economic return on investment, so after six and a half years from the initial install of the solar panels they will have paid for themselves in how much electricity cost I have saved. And all my electricity after that it is legitimately free and you just cannot beat that.
So What’s It Going To Cost For You To Charge Your Tesla Model 3?
Well there’s a few variables there and we’ve made a few assumptions here as well, so take a look at what the cost of electricity is in your area and of course also which car you’re driving, how big the battery pack is, your driving style even the weather.
In the winter you’re gonna be running heat and an electric vehicle is gonna be a little less efficient, and it’s gonna cost you a little bit more to operate but still a lot less than a gasoline-powered vehicle.
How Long Does It Take To Charge A Tesla Model 3
One of the most common question is how many miles or kilometers do you get per hour of charging using just a standard charger at home?
What we mean by standard output is your regular North American 110 or 120 volt charger output. Using our Tesla Model 3 mobile connector that comes with the car is a plug-in that you see anywhere in North America.
If we were to use that to charge the car it is the slowest possibility method you can do. You will get about 2 to 3 miles per hour of charging which is not much at all so definitely not fast.
But if you are charging it at home you basically have a gas station at home, you plug it in overnight and you will get about one day’s worth of driving.
Of course you have the option of upgrading your output to a 240 volt output, with this upgrade you can charge your car faster, 10 times faster.
Tesla does have a little chart that you can see how fast a car charges depending on the model so this is not your only option.
But to answer your question with the slowest charger possible you will get about 2 to 3 miles per hour of charge, if you want quicker charging you need to upgrade.
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