Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Charging Costs

DBV1

Member
May 11, 2020
445
506
Amherst, OH
Hi - thinking of getting a Model 3 and trying to figure out what it will cost to fill up at home and on the SuperChargers. I have searched a lot, but still don’t really understand it. I also don’t know if are kwh costs reasonable.

Our local utility rates are:

First 500 KWH: 6 cents a kwh
1500 to 1999 KWH: 5.5 cents a kwh
Over 2000: 4.5 cents a kwh

I average about 1500 to 1900 KWH per month. Based on the above, what would be a good estimate on what my costs would be to charge the Model 3. I would be driving about 18,000 miles per year.

What can I also estimate it would cost to charge at a SuperCharger with most of my driving based in Ohio, MI and PA.

Thanks for the help and advice.
 

electrongeek

Metrology Fanboy
Nov 1, 2019
69
74
Maine
Hi - thinking of getting a Model 3 and trying to figure out what it will cost to fill up at home and on the SuperChargers. I have searched a lot, but still don’t really understand it. I also don’t know if are kwh costs reasonable.

Our local utility rates are:

First 500 KWH: 6 cents a kwh
1500 to 1999 KWH: 5.5 cents a kwh
Over 2000: 4.5 cents a kwh

I average about 1500 to 1900 KWH per month. Based on the above, what would be a good estimate on what my costs would be to charge the Model 3. I would be driving about 18,000 miles per year.

What can I also estimate it would cost to charge at a SuperCharger with most of my driving based in Ohio, MI and PA.

Thanks for the help and advice.


Very roughly you would spend about $250/year to charge the car at home. You would spend about 5 times that if supercharging only.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mrcarcrazy

Sophias_dad

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
1,871
2,069
Massachusetts
At 5 cents/kwh, its an absolute no-contest that the Tesla will be far cheaper than any ICE vehicle, even a super efficient hybrid, and even with the $1.75 a gallon gas that's going on right now. I know that doesn't answer your question.

BTW, I verified and concur with the $250 a year... that's assuming 280 wh/mile, which is probably higher than real-life long term.

If instead I took my 25mpg ICE for an 18,000 mile drive at 1.75/gallon, it would be $1260, plus maintenance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mrcarcrazy

DBV1

Member
May 11, 2020
445
506
Amherst, OH
Thanks to both of you. That is really helpful. I currently drive a BMW 530xi, so I always fill up with Premium, so the gas savings would be fairly significant. I typically average at least 30 mpg. If I can just get over no CarPlay, SiriusXM, AM Radio and Waze, then I think I would go with the Model S. I also with the front end looked more like the S. Real problems... LOL

It sounds like our electricity costs are fairly low compared to bigger cities. Also, amazing that there is little to no maintenance on a Tesla.
 

North75

Member
Mar 28, 2017
621
783
MA
Are there any good estimates of how much overhead loss there is when charging at home? There’s no way you are only using 280 wh/mile if you are measuring the power used at your utility meter. You need to factor in charging efficiency, phantom drain, etc...
I would have expected that there would be more readily available info on this by now. It’s kind of annoying that EV’s get less efficient as you drive them less because they continue to use some power when parked.
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,195
Vernon, BC, Canada
I think you fit the "Heavy 4 season commuter" model from one of my previous threads. Far more detail here*: True Total Energy Usage (4-season climates): Evidence-based Projections.

Basically, you're looking at probably about ~45% extra energy compared to its rating. I know these aren't the exact right numbers, but say a Long Range "75kWh" battery was rated to take you 310mi, and you put 18,000/year on it, that implies about 4355kWh/year. Adding in the 45%, that's about 6315kWh/year or roughly $290/year (since most of this will be at the cheapest tier).

The main things that will impact that number will be driving style, driving conditions, whether or not you use regenerative braking, whether or not the car is parked outside, and how toasty you like the car to be in Winter. At worst it'd be about $500 by my very rough guess (assuming short hops, toasty car, parked outside in Winter).

Now, for Superchargers, throw out any notion of it being massively cheaper than gas. People especially in California (read: most Tesla owners) think that Superchargers are priced decently compared to residential rates -- this is absolutely not the case compared to your extraordinarily cheap and opposite world tier structure at home.

Superchargers are priced per minute or per kWh depending on the area (differing laws re: utility resales). The per minute ones are almost never in your favour compared to per kWh ones. Worst of these is the "Urban Superchargers", which give you about 72kW max. This is just enough to put you in the expensive >60kW tier, but just barely. You're getting the close to the least amount of energy per minute for that tier.

The end result, verified on a few long-distance trips now, is that you end up paying the same amount as a cheap, efficient gas car compared to Supercharging. So while it would probably be cheaper than your current vehicle, it's not the orders of magnitude that some would have you believe (especially since a quick lookup shows gas prices in Ohio are absurdly cheap).

*One addendum I'd make to the post I linked about is that I've found a good way to reduce standby losses. Seemingly, you can reduce standby losses significantly by not plugging in the car all the time (though Tesla recommends you keep it plugged in as much as you can). My guess is that being plugged in results in more frequent waking, and it'll burn about 250W while it's awake. I don't know if this works in Winter though, when the drain appears to be due to keeping the battery slightly warmer.

Are there any good estimates of how much overhead loss there is when charging at home? There’s no way you are only using 280 wh/mile if you are measuring the power used at your utility meter. You need to factor in charging efficiency, phantom drain, etc...
I would have expected that there would be more readily available info on this by now. It’s kind of annoying that EV’s get less efficient as you drive them less because they continue to use some power when parked.

There were some good numbers on here somewhere, but I only remember the rough takeaways. 75-80% for 120V/12A charging, up to 93% or so on 240V I think. The actual charging is fairly efficient, the loss is mostly in running the computers and pumps (takes ~250-300W while charging), which takes up a higher (and very significant) proportion of available power on a standard 120V outlet. Another source of loss if you park outside in cold weather would be warming the battery (it doesn't warm it much, but most of the power coming in goes to battery warming if it's too low, very roughly 50F/10C).

You might be interested in reading the post I linked above.
 

Sophias_dad

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
1,871
2,069
Massachusetts
Even if the price to recharge my 3 were the same as paying for gas in a sporty ICE car, I'd still easily choose the 3. Not only is it an absolute race car compared to any other car I've owned, it has more toys and trunk/frunk space than any of them, and fits five people in relative comfort. There are certainly ICEs out there that are faster and others that have more space, but very few that have both, and I'd easily be paying double for the car, have even less fuel economy, more repairs/maintenance, and it probably STILL wouldn't jump off the line like my lowly non-P AWD.
 

DBV1

Member
May 11, 2020
445
506
Amherst, OH
Even if the price to recharge my 3 were the same as paying for gas in a sporty ICE car, I'd still easily choose the 3. Not only is it an absolute race car compared to any other car I've owned, it has more toys and trunk/frunk space than any of them, and fits five people in relative comfort. There are certainly ICEs out there that are faster and others that have more space, but very few that have both, and I'd easily be paying double for the car, have even less fuel economy, more repairs/maintenance, and it probably STILL wouldn't jump off the line like my lowly non-P AWD.

Agree - the Model 3 mostly definitely is fast. I would be going from a BMW 5 Series to a Model 3. However, it seems like I would be missing a lot of the interior niceties that come with the 5, plus the 5 feels more solid, smooth and planted. Going from a BMW 3 Series to a Model 3 would be easier. Going from a BMW 5 to a Tesla S would be easier too.

I like to lease and Tesla has horrible money factors compared to BMW. I can lease a 83k BMW 540xi for the same price as $56k Model 3. As much as I want to try the Tesla, not sure it is worth it. Still thinking and need to decide next week. :)
 
$250 estimate is likely way off:
1. Nobody in the U.S get 4.5 electricty - Energy Supply charge - Yes
2. Add Transmission and Distribution - .06 at least
3. Taxex and other another 1 cent
4. Total electricty cost /kWh = 5.5 +6 +1 = 12.5/kWh
5. 18,000 miles divided by 4.1 miles/kWh = 4,390 kWh = 549 annually
6. Tesla home charger 500
7. Supplies to hookup it up - conduit #6 wire 50 am breaker, balance of system - $150
8. Local AHJ permit $75 or higher
9. Electrician min 4 hours at 120 = $480
10 - Items 6 - 9 = $1,205 - divided by 5 years safe = $241 annually
11. Item 5 + Item 10 = $790/year
12. $790 / 18,000 miles = 4.39 cents /mile

NO BRAINER if you have ALL the following:
1. 200 amp service
2. 2 open spots in your service panel
3. You have $1,205 ready to go.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,271
8,959
Boise, ID
I'm going to have to disagree because of how many of these things you are stating that are just your assumptions (which are frequently wrong) but are being stated as absolute: "Nobody", etc. etc.
1. Nobody in the U.S get 4.5 electricty - Energy Supply charge - Yes
In states like Georgia and Texas, they have ridiculously low electricity rates at night. I remember Georgia had night time rates about 2 cents per kWh. Some places are at or below 0, because they have so much excess overnight. So yes, some people DO have 4.5 cents or less on some super off peak overnight times.

2. Add Transmission and Distribution - .06 at least
I was confused and thought people were joking or something when they were on this forum talking about "distribution charges" or "transmission charges". I had never heard of that. And then I saw people posting their ridiculous bills on here, where those distribution charges were just as high as the supposed rate for the electricity itself. My state utility here in Idaho has NO distribution charges AT ALL, so no, it's not ".06 at least".

4. Total electricty cost /kWh = 5.5 +6 +1 = 12.5/kWh
As I mentioned, we have NO distribution charges. They just have it all rolled up in the background into the per unit rate, and our rates are still only about 9 cents or so per kWh. We do have three months of Summer where they have afternoons designated as peak, and the costs do go up to about 12 cents during those times.

6. Tesla home charger 500
Not always necessary.
9. Electrician min 4 hours at 120 = $480
Again with your assumptions. I've seen plenty of people if they have a pretty simple place in the garage near the panel, where it was less than a supposed 4 hour minimum. About 4 hours is pretty common, but some that are close to or right below the panel in the garage are not that big a job. I have an electrician friend that I paid $200 to put in my outlet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jjrandorin

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
12,390
14,715
Riverside Co. CA
From the energy subforum, I know there are members in texas that have "Free nights" plan where they pay ZERO for energy used overnight, in exchange for a higher rate during some hours during the day.

This particular user also appears to like to necro rez threads to make comments on long dormant discussions, quoting people from a long time ago... like this thread, which had a last post in it before being necro rezzed of almost a year and half ago.
 
I'm going to have to disagree because of how many of these things you are stating that are just your assumptions (which are frequently wrong) but are being stated as absolute: "Nobody", etc. etc.

In states like Georgia and Texas, they have ridiculously low electricity rates at night. I remember Georgia had night time rates about 2 cents per kWh. Some places are at or below 0, because they have so much excess overnight. So yes, some people DO have 4.5 cents or less on some super off peak overnight times.


I was confused and thought people were joking or something when they were on this forum talking about "distribution charges" or "transmission charges". I had never heard of that. And then I saw people posting their ridiculous bills on here, where those distribution charges were just as high as the supposed rate for the electricity itself. My state utility here in Idaho has NO distribution charges AT ALL, so no, it's not ".06 at least".


As I mentioned, we have NO distribution charges. They just have it all rolled up in the background into the per unit rate, and our rates are still only about 9 cents or so per kWh. We do have three months of Summer where they have afternoons designated as peak, and the costs do go up to about 12 cents during those times.


Not always necessary.

Again with your assumptions. I've seen plenty of people if they have a pretty simple place in the garage near the panel, where it was less than a supposed 4 hour minimum. About 4 hours is pretty common, but some that are close to or right below the panel in the garage are not that big a job. I have an electrician friend that I paid $200 to put in my outlet.
I m in the Solar Business and develop across the country - the cheapest electricity in Texas is 11.2 cents drive out on a Residential basis with the largest Bitcoiners arriving daily because its the political cheapest. All Electricity regardless if it shows on your bill or not has 3 components:
1. Energy Supply Charge
2. Trans/Distribution
3. Taxes and other regulatory mandated fees by the State you are in.

How they put that on a bill varies but its all there in the bottom line. Take your annual cost divide it by total kWh and that your drive out.
I guess I must frequently wrong again!
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,271
8,959
Boise, ID
All Electricity regardless if it shows on your bill or not has 3 components:
1. Energy Supply Charge
2. Trans/Distribution
3. Taxes and other regulatory mandated fees by the State you are in.
Sure, they can always be either listed separately or rolled in together. Ours happen to be rolled in together. But you claimed that no one had 4.5 cents per unit, and then you also said that transmission had to be at least 6 cents added to that, so no one could have any lower than 10.5 cents per, all inclusive (before tax). But I just pointed out how ours are 8.5 to 9 cents for the main tier.

I m in the Solar Business and develop across the country - the cheapest electricity in Texas is 11.2 cents drive out on a Residential basis with the largest Bitcoiners arriving daily because its the political cheapest.
Ah, I think I see why you're getting this idea from the paradigm you deal with. You're thinking of averaged round the clock use, like the Bitcoin example you gave. They run all the time, 24/7, so you have to talk about average prices throughout the day and night included. Or you're doing cost presentations for people's whole houses. This thread about charging EVs isn't like that. It's not randomized timing and averaged prices. You really do get to use only the cheap rates at night if you want to. So when totaling up costs and pricing for driving an electric car, you really do get to use the calculations with the cheap rates if you have them available.

I guess I must frequently wrong again!
So...yeah. Idaho has had some of the cheapest electricity in the country, mainly because of having huge hydroelectric resources, which was very low cost. But Idaho also barely had any population to speak of, so most people just never cared or knew about it.

Now that we got solar with net metering it's harder to have an example to see this stuff, because we'll have several months where the bill is just $5.25 for the basic connection while we are overgenerating and then we will get into some later Winter months where our credit is used up and it goes back to buying some from the utility.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: rexki

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,325
1,612
Syracuse, NY
$250 estimate is likely way off:
1. Nobody in the U.S get 4.5 electricty - Energy Supply charge - Yes
2. Add Transmission and Distribution - .06 at least
3. Taxex and other another 1 cent
4. Total electricty cost /kWh = 5.5 +6 +1 = 12.5/kWh
5. 18,000 miles divided by 4.1 miles/kWh = 4,390 kWh = 549 annually
6. Tesla home charger 500
7. Supplies to hookup it up - conduit #6 wire 50 am breaker, balance of system - $150
8. Local AHJ permit $75 or higher
9. Electrician min 4 hours at 120 = $480
10 - Items 6 - 9 = $1,205 - divided by 5 years safe = $241 annually
11. Item 5 + Item 10 = $790/year
12. $790 / 18,000 miles = 4.39 cents /mile

NO BRAINER if you have ALL the following:
1. 200 amp service
2. 2 open spots in your service panel
3. You have $1,205 ready to go.
Stop responding to zombie threads
 
Just to add my home state as a point of reference. We-energies in SE Wisconsin TOU rates.

On peak $0.19625

Off peak $0.08868

Of course, then there are the facilities charges along with other fees and taxes. My electric bill for November has a $17.36 facilities charge alone.

I have an electric hot water heater, range and clothes dryer. The water heater, the hungry dehumidifier and the washer and dryer are only operated during off-peak. Last year I saved about $300 for the year on TOU rates. Without having to make any compromises. Now with the Tesla it makes an even greater value.
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,325
1,612
Syracuse, NY
Just to add my home state as a point of reference. We-energies in SE Wisconsin TOU rates.

On peak $0.19625

Off peak $0.08868

Of course, then there are the facilities charges along with other fees and taxes. My electric bill for November has a $17.36 facilities charge alone.

I have an electric hot water heater, range and clothes dryer. The water heater, the hungry dehumidifier and the washer and dryer are only operated during off-peak. Last year I saved about $300 for the year on TOU rates. Without having to make any compromises. Now with the Tesla it makes an even greater value.
My rate are very similar to yours. Costs are delivery and supply charge combined.

On peak: ~0.18/kWh
Off peak: ~0.07/kWh 11pm-7am

Plus the $17 standard service charge and various other charges.
 

DBV1

Member
May 11, 2020
445
506
Amherst, OH
Funny - I started this thread and ended up not getting the Model 3. Ended up getting a refresh 2021 Model S last week. :)

Is there an recommended iPhone/iPad app or a way to figure out how much my charging is costing me and trips too?

Thank you everyone for the help!
 
Special tariff rates like TOU - Peak off peak are subsidized methods to get people to move their consumption from one period of the day (likely peak) to another off peak period of the day. You are being subsidized in the TOU rates with respect to charges like Transmission and distribution. The utility still pays for those charges which in off peak are higher than the wholesale cost of electricity. Take advantage of them but be aware its a balancing game that those who move their loads successfully are being subsidized by those who do not or those who are not as successful. The utility will make their dime no matter what.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top