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

Fuel/Maintenance Savings vs. reasonable expectations

When looking at numbers I keep fuel and electricity in the same pot of outlays and offset in my estimates. However, I am sure I'll still balk momentarily when I see my increased electric bill for the first few times, lol. I'll just have to remember the feeling I had this morning when paying $4.79 per gallon for fuel...blah. Thanks for the insight.

Your electricity is 10.4¢/kWh and your gas is $4.79 per gallon... it seems you're really at the extremes in both cases (lower end of electricity prices and higher end of gas prices). I won't try to calculate your cost savings, since it's all speculative until you actually pull the trigger (and you'll be spending tens of thousands of dollars in order to "save" money). Your driving habits and A/C usage add some variability. I *will* speak to the real value of not having to visit gas stations.

What @jjrandorin says is true... filling up with gas doesn't seem like a big inconvenience... until you no longer have to do it. Starting your commute each day with a "full tank" (or half, whatever) is incredibly convenient. Additionally, electricity rates are stable, but oil prices are volatile. There will be times when gas prices are spiking and you'll be oblivious to it.

I've found the switch to EV to be fantastic and eye opening, and as often as I can give someone a test drive, I do (even total strangers). Most drivers are content with the status quo and are unaware of how much better driving is when propelled by electricity.
 
  • Like
  • Helpful
Reactions: MC_EV and tm1v2

joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,197
1,099
Encino, CA
Many great points already brought up in this discussion. I wanted to add:

1) In addition to tax incentives to cover the cost of a Tesla Wall Connector or other level-2 charger, be sure to check with your local utility for rebates. My power company gave me a $500 rebate when I installed my Wall Connector. So I only had to pay about $350 for the installation.

2) If you ever need to spend an extended period of time sitting in the car with the AC on (for example, I often spend 30-45 minutes waiting to pick up my kids from their high school), you don't have to idle a gas engine.

3) When you travel, many hotels offer free charging. I have gone on two road trips where, on the day of departure, the valet brought my car up with a battery fully charged to 90%. Super convenient and I saved a little bit of money.

4) There have been some recent stories in the news about gas supply disruptions. A few months ago, there were long lines in Portugal because the delivery truck drivers went on strike. More recently, there were shortages in Britain. It is good knowing I will never be at the mercy of big oil companies.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MC_EV

dmurphy

Active Member
Supporting Member
Dec 7, 2018
4,025
5,710
New Jersey - Morris County
Seriously.... (I agree here 100000%). "Planning to get gas" is just something you get used to doing, so it doesnt seem that annoying, just mildly inconvenient.... until you no longer have to do it.

I agree - and it's even more bizarre here in the Land of Full Service™. Given that we (legally) can't pump our own, a gas station trip is even more time consuming. Pull in, wait to get to a free pump. Then wait for the attendant. Give them your card, they swipe it, give it back. Then they start the fill, and move on to another car. Eventually the pump shuts off and you have to wait for the attendant to come back, ask if you want a receipt, and then can drive off.

Sometimes that process is quick - sometimes the attendant gets hung up at another pump and it takes a while.

Nah, I just drive right on by ... it's a thing of beauty.

Every morning, full and ready to roll. Oh, and when it's -5F outside, the car is a toasty warm 74 degrees, STILL with a full battery since it's smart enough to use shore power for that.

No way can I ever go back.... no way.

2) If you ever need to spend an extended period of time sitting in the car with the AC on (for example, I often spend 30-45 minutes waiting to pick up my kids from their high school), you don't have to idle a gas engine.

Hey, I had about 45 minutes to kill the other day. Stopped at a local park, ate my lunch and watched a show on Netflix, all while warm and comfy. It's spectacular.
 

bdwalters

Member
Feb 28, 2021
65
82
Austin
While the fuel cost savings are nice, don't overlook the value of not having to go fill the tank. With your commute, you're going to be saving ~20mins a week not going to the pump.

Also, don't forget to include the cost of buying/installing your home charging solution as an offset to $$ savings.
I drive about 30 miles a day, which is in the fairly typical range for the average American. I installed a $25 industrial grade 5-20 socket in my garage and use that to charge. It can provide me about 100 miles of range a night, which is more than enough to keep my "tank" topped off. I know many people like having higher speed chargers at home, and I'm sure some people might actually need them, but I suspect most people could get by with my charging solution, which is nearly free. Even the OP at 90 miles a day of driving could probably live with this solution. If you get a little behind during the week, you could probably catch up a little on the weekends.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MC_EV

jrweiss98020

Tessa's Tesla
Jan 9, 2020
541
414
Edmonds, WA
I drive at least 90 miles a day during the week and savings on fuel alone seems to be a no-brainer. My first question is how accurate did you find the fuel savings calculators online? When customizing my calculations with estimated electrical costs (assuming my charging is done at home which I plan to do) is close to $20K when factoring in my current vehicle eats up premium fuel at a pretty hefty rate. This does not account for the oil changes and other maintenance but am not oblivious to the fact that these costs will be offset by maintenance on the M3 LR (i.e., service, tires, etc) and increase in insurance premiums.

Although I am excited about cutting out the gas stations, I do not find myself completely in love with the M3 (yet). Anybody else have similar on the fence feelings and made the move to the M3 based on a dollars and sense standpoint but come to love the vehicle after taking ownership?

Thanks all.
You will definitely save in fuel and maintenance. 90 mi/day ~ 32,000 mi/year. At $3.50/gal and 25 mpg, that's $4600/year in gas. My M3 LR AWD gets about 4 mi/kWh. When I don't generate my own (FREE FUEL!) a Supercharger costs 28¢/kWh, which would cost you $2300/year. If you recharge at home, use your rate to calculate.

Then there's maintenance (or lack thereof). My Lexus cost $80 every 5K mi for an oil change, plus about $250 at 15K and $450 at 30K. For your mileage, that would be just over $1000/year. My M3 hasn't had any maintenance done (except a seat sensor failure covered by warranty) in over 2 years. So you can expect a MINIMUM saving of $3300/year, and more if you charge at home.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MC_EV
Lots of good information here. One thing that someone recently told me, and I looked it up and found it to be true, is that the Tesla Wall Connector is actually 90-95% efficient so you lose a lot less when charging with that. I am not sure if this is still the case, but the cost of the charging equipment and installation is eligible for tax incentives to offset some of the cost.

Depending on your driving style, and your commute (highways, vs surface streets) estimating 240-300kw/mile is probably safe. Figure out what you pay per kw/hour, and run that through the equation.

When charging at home I find that it is ballpark 25% the cost of gas to drive around. On a road trip where I have to pay a premium for super charging or destination charging its 50-60% the cost of a comparable trip with gas. Definitely savings there. Maintenance is another big one - now all you really need to do are tire rotations (many places will do this for free, and Tesla will come to your house or workplace and do it for around $50 or so), wiper blades, cabin air filter, and tires. The brakes seem to last forever, no oil changes, no filters, no fuel line cleaning, no air filter (engine), no spark plugs or coils, etc. If your previous vehicle was an Audi I would imagine annual maintenance was a premium - so that is going to save you probably close to $1k a year if I had to guess.

That covers the main financial benefit (although resale value is something to consider and Teslas are holding their value wayyyyy better than german sedans). The intangible benefits are going to become more apparent as you own and drive the car. Not having to stop and get gas is such a luxury. One of those things you don't realize you hated until you no longer have to do it. Not to mention your car is going to be safer, quieter, faster, and far more intuitive. Not sure if you had an automatic or a manual previously but the driving experience and throttle response is just ridiculously better in every conceivable way. Driving an ICE vehicle is such a drag now - it's like riding on the back of a sluggish, lumbering animal. You lose so much finite control over the vehicle when you rely on a gas engine with a transmission and stall converter, etc.

Anyway congrats on the purchase. You'll save money and I suspect like it quite a bit more.

Great to hear, I appreciate the insight.
 
You will definitely save in fuel and maintenance. 90 mi/day ~ 32,000 mi/year. At $3.50/gal and 25 mpg, that's $4600/year in gas. My M3 LR AWD gets about 4 mi/kWh. When I don't generate my own (FREE FUEL!) a Supercharger costs 28¢/kWh, which would cost you $2300/year. If you recharge at home, use your rate to calculate.

Then there's maintenance (or lack thereof). My Lexus cost $80 every 5K mi for an oil change, plus about $250 at 15K and $450 at 30K. For your mileage, that would be just over $1000/year. My M3 hasn't had any maintenance done (except a seat sensor failure covered by warranty) in over 2 years. So you can expect a MINIMUM saving of $3300/year, and more if you charge at home.
Thanks! You are right with the maintenance. While under an extended warranty with Audi, I got all my work done at the dealership. Couldn't walk out of there without spending at least $300. Had a local garage do some of the work that I couldn't justify spending with Audi so being out of their palms will be welcomed in and of itself.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,943
3,642
Maine
Not to mention all the time wasted looking at gas station prices, and asking your passenger, "did you see how much premium was?" or "was that the premium price or diesel?" It seems ridiculous, but not having to look at gas stations and squint at their prices is something I appreciate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MC_EV
One of the problems with asking this type of question online, is that there is usually someone who will start doing things like quoting "Average cost per gallon in the US is $2.XX and all of a sudden, everyone drives a 40-50 MPG vehicle in their eyes.

Yeah, with a Tesla, especially an LR/LR+PB/P, the comparison comes up vs. ultra-high MPG cars that aren't really direct comparisons in features, space, and not even close in the performance comparison.

The EV, especially Tesla products, just upend the whole "MPG" vs. performance equation, I mean, jeebus, my performance cars, especially the ones I tuned (which was most of them), had to run 93 octane and were getting 12-15MPG, and would still be in the rear view mirror vs. my M3P in most "street" type performance comparisons.


Yeah, it's funny (and definitely a first world problem) but I always seemed to need gas when I was running late somewhere. To top it off, gas station parking lots are chaotic with cars driving erratically, having to get out of your car and stand in the elements while breathing toxic fumes, handling nasty pump handles.

Yeah, the whole experience is improved.

I was always in that situation, where I "Didn't have to time to stop", but then in a day or two, "Oh *sugar*, I'm running late but I HAVE to stop".

And of course, how many times have I pumped gas and got it on me, or the car, and had to deal with cleaning that (and myself) up, yeah, I realize that most of these improvements are from having home charging, but with that, it's a total game changer.
 

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
2,344
3,060
Seattle
My first question is how accurate did you find the fuel savings calculators online? When customizing my calculations with estimated electrical costs (assuming my charging is done at home which I plan to do) is close to $20K when factoring in my current vehicle eats up premium fuel at a pretty hefty rate.

I carefully monitored my driving costs for my Tesla vs my old ICE car (Inifiniti G37 premium fuel). I found I was getting the equivalent of 130mpg compared to the Infiniti, comparing actual gas costs to electricity costs. Now, this was in the spring when the Tesla gets better milage than cold winters, and here in the ONW electricity is cheap (and gas is median I think), so YMMV of course. Also, remember that mileage varies by speed differently for ICE and EVs, so if you do a lot of freeway driving you may see less gains (but it will still be far better than an ICE).
 
  • Like
Reactions: MC_EV

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
2,344
3,060
Seattle
Although I am excited about cutting out the gas stations, I do not find myself completely in love with the M3 (yet). Anybody else have similar on the fence feelings and made the move to the M3 based on a dollars and sense standpoint but come to love the vehicle after taking ownership?
You will love the M3 .. I've had mine for 2.5 years now and I still look forward to every drive as if the car was only a week old.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MC_EV
Hi all! I recently ordered a Model 3 LR with estimated delivery in December. I am excited at the thought of getting away from ICE (currently drive an Audi S5) mainly because I cringe every time I am at the pump paying for premium fuel. It didn't bother me as much in recent years but after moving I drive at least 90 miles a day during the week and savings on fuel alone seems to be a no-brainer. My first question is how accurate did you find the fuel savings calculators online? When customizing my calculations with estimated electrical costs (assuming my charging is done at home which I plan to do) is close to $20K when factoring in my current vehicle eats up premium fuel at a pretty hefty rate. This does not account for the oil changes and other maintenance but am not oblivious to the fact that these costs will be offset by maintenance on the M3 LR (i.e., service, tires, etc) and increase in insurance premiums.

Although I am excited about cutting out the gas stations, I do not find myself completely in love with the M3 (yet). Anybody else have similar on the fence feelings and made the move to the M3 based on a dollars and sense standpoint but come to love the vehicle after taking ownership?

Thanks all.
I bought my M3 LR in September of 2020. I live in MA which has some of the highest electric rates in the nation, with no discou9nted rate for off-peak charging and no incentives from the power companies if you have an EV. After less than a month I stopped worrying about whether or not I was saving money vs my Ice car because the M3 is just so far superior to my VolvoXC70. Then about 3 weeks ago, someone backed into my M3 and until it's repaired I've been using the Volvo exclusively. I used to love that car, but now I believe it truly sucks!. I'm sure the day to day cost of my M3 has been less than an ICE car, but frankly, I don't care about that anymore. And, even if the Tesla did cost a bit more to operate, I would be able to console myself knowing I was spewing less methane and CO2 into the air.
 
Yeah, it's funny (and definitely a first world problem) but I always seemed to need gas when I was running late somewhere. To top it off, gas station parking lots are chaotic with cars driving erratically, having to get out of your car and stand in the elements while breathing toxic fumes, handling nasty pump handles. It seems to be getting even worse (I had to get gas for my lawn mower the other day) and Speedway has little TVs installed on the pumps with the volume turned up all the way advertising nonsense. Around here Shell stations ask 20 questions before you can ever get the pump going (no, I don't want a car wash). All in all, I absolutely loathe the thought of going to a gas station now - if I wanted to mingle with peasants I wouldn't have bought a Tesla.
Agree with every word here. I even got rid of my gas mower and other implements recently in favor of a line of battery eGo lawn equipment. So it’s ZERO stops at gas stations for me at this point. I can’t say it’ll always be Tesla for me from now on (gosh I hope so). But I can certainly say it’ll be EV. I’ll never go back to gas. Ever.
 
Last edited:
  • Funny
Reactions: KenC
Something many of the answers don't appear to discuss (I haven't checked very one), is free charging. Here in the TOronto Canada aea, cities have numerous free charging stations. My small city of Burlington offers them in their parking lots, which are free to park in from 6pm each day and all day Sat/Sun. This, along with free supercharging for two years means I have only paid around $350 for electricity over the past two years and 31,000kms. I paid the 350 to the condo I lived in for easy access to a charger in my parking stall. I've moved since and now use free charging. More inconvenient but there is a lot a block away with chargers so no big deal. I'm sure Tesla will eventually start charging me for supercharging but until then.......:)
 

nj1266

Member
Jul 20, 2019
60
29
Long Beach
I owned a Golf TDI and a Honda S2000 before I got a Model 3 Performance. So far I have tracked the cost per mile for 7000 miles on my Tesla. The cost per mile is 3.82 cents. The comparable cost on the Golf TDI was 5.97 cents/mile when diesel was at its cheapest and 9.40 cents/mile when diesel was most expensive. The comparable cost on the S2000 was 12.35 cents/mile when gasoline was at its cheapest and 15.18 cents/mile when gasoline was most expensive.

I live in SoCal and I use a level 2 charger 95% of the time. I only supercharge on long trips.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: KenC

mstatkus

Member
Jun 18, 2021
82
52
Belfair, WA
I published my spreadsheet anyone can make a copy of.
I came from having 2 mini coopers and 2 SUVs, one with 3rd row seating I use for junk/hardware/airport pickup runs.
Sold 3, kept the larger SUV for dirty jobs. But thats starting to seem redundant to me at this point.

Google Sheets - create and edit spreadsheets online, for free.

It basically was ball park where I started but if someone else finds it useful great. I tried to stick to maintenance items I'd have to only deal with on a ICEV. I added a few newer things like projected EV Credit as I have a lot of family/friends asking questions and its just easier to give them this.
Gas/Power numbers are mine (WA), but yours will differ so make sure to update that.
 
Last edited:
  • Helpful
Reactions: KenC
Oh, saving $$ matters to me, lol. It's the reason I talked myself out of the Performance. I appreciate the response, thank you!

I have also obsessed over this question... like keeping a log of monthly gas prices and vehicle mileage for the M3, the other family cars.

Definitely big savings in "fuel" / maintenance costs. However, if you come from driving old PoS cars, the increase in your insurance may offset you fuel savings. Also in our county we have to pay a property tax on our cars. The old cars really buy themselves back here.

Consider the following table from my obsessive spreadsheet

2021 Annual Costs
InsuranceTaxesFuelTotal% Fuel Costs
Tesla M3 '18$1,020$1,123$284*$2,42712%
Element '05$690$64$726$1,48049%
Minivan '08$1,134**$72$985$2,19145%
*Tesla 2021 "Fuel" Costs are $23 in Home (solar @ $0.007 / kWh) at $261 in Super Charging.
**Note the Minivan insurance includes a teenage driver... not sure correct emoji to use.

BTW I'm cool with the tax increase offsetting my gas costs... I would rather pay the local government for teachers and parks etc. over the oil companies.

Not accounting for maintenance costs yet. The M3 is about $54 per year so far on air filters and cleaning the evaporator coils which can start to smell. But it will need new tires in the next year. The other cars are pretty cheap with no to much beyond the regular oil changes. Call it an average of about $300 per year with some years higher and some much less.

Also in trying to explain the "fuel" costs per mile comparison between Teslas and ICE cars of varying efficiencies etc. to my friends, I made the attached info-graphic because the spreadsheet didn't the relationship justice.
 

Attachments

  • EV_costs_per_mile_v4.pdf
    500.4 KB · Views: 7
  • Like
Reactions: KenC

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