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Real world savings numbers

Patrick W

Active Member
Mar 17, 2015
After reading some cost comparisons here on the forums I thought I'd post some of my own real numbers. Who knows, maybe they'll help someone here that's on the fence to pull the trigger. :)

I've had my S since April so pulled my electric bills and credit card statements covering that period this year and the same period last year.

Then compared the two and really like what I saw.

This year I paid about $92 more for electricity than during the same period last year. The increase makes sense because I charge at home a lot.

The good part was when I compared gasoline costs. Even though I still drive my ICE vehicle when I need to haul stuff I still spent just over $820 less this year than last.

So basically over the 5 months I've had the S electricity is up less than $100 but fuel is down (way down) over $800.

Just over $700 savings in just 5 months. If I can keep that up, even if fuel costs don't go up (which I doubt) I should be able to plan on saving around $1,500 per year.
I keep meticulous financial records, but hadn't looked at this since I got my S in May. I've now had it 5 months. Here are the comparisons between the last 5 months and the same period in 2014:

2014: $3,258 on gasoline, $780.38 in electricity
2015: 80.68 on gasoline (must have gassed up my wife's truck twice or so all summer), $126 on paid EV charging (some of my travelling requires paid chademo chargers), $822.52 on electricity

2014: 4,038.38
2015: 1,029.20

Just over 3k in savings in 5 months, or $600/month. Doesn't pay for the car, but sure helps. :)


Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
Snohomish, WA
I can't compare because when doing the math I realized not only did I fail to get all the numbers, but the very element of getting the Tesla completely changed the game.

I put way more miles on the Tesla within the first 4 months of ownership than I would within an entire year of my other car. I go places with it that I simply wouldn't go in my other vehicle.

The other element is a good portion of the miles on the Tesla was paid for by supercharging, and that was included with the car. I failed to record the miles provided by supercharging versus the miles provided by home charger. So I can only do a rough approximation based on my commute being 20 miles per day and the supercharger that I normally go to on my way south 100 miles away.

With supercharging I calculated my cost so far at 1.25 cents per mile, and I averaged 2300 miles per month.

With my Jeep the cost per mile is around 17 cents or so (gas tax around here is expensive).

Patrick W

Active Member
Mar 17, 2015
Thanks for posting this Patrick...just curious, roughly how many miles would you normally drive in a year?

Hi Jaff,

Your question caused me to do more than the “back of the envelope” calculations included in my initial post. A more detailed look shows I’m doing even better than I thought.

Cost of gasoline for my trusty 20 year old Toyota pickup between the end of April and the first of October 2014 came to $928.54 US.

During that same time this year (the time I’ve had the Model S) I filled the truck once for $29.00.

So I’ve spent $899.54 less for gas this year.

Meanwhile electricity during that period increased $64.60 this year over last.

Leaving a net savings this year of $834.94.

And if that wasn’t good enough I see (per your question) that I’ve put 2,245km (~1395mi) more on the S than I did on the truck.

Drive much more, pay much less.

Thank you Mr. Musk.

Now if I could just get a ride on one of his rockets…

Additional note: After receiving the famous “The Best Way to Charge Your Model S” email in August I have gone from using the local supercharger twice a week to once a week and my electric bill has gone up about $20 more per month. But even with that increase I’m still coming out way ahead of my old liquified dinosaur days.


(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
Prius $6652.42 over 146,689 miles. Model S $1440 over 57,700 miles. 4.5 cents per mile vs. 2.5 cents per mile.

Model S $1440 was taken from the kWh/mi on the screen using $0.10/kWh as the cost. Electricity cost has been ~$0.09/kWh. Over 10% are SC miles. These would cover pre-warming and charging losses.


Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Mar 6, 2013
San Diego
Yes, but what was the cost of electricity in Alaska?

But yes, the cost savings are very, very real. In my case, since I had a large household electric bill and San Diego gives you a special EV rate, I calculated that my car would actually pay for itself in 10 years. Yep, free Tesla after 10 years.


Active Member
Jul 23, 2013
San Diego
In San Diego, not only do we have the highest electricity rates in CA, but we also have some of the highest gas prices. Currrently about 3.50/gallon and only 1.87 in Austin where my family lives. And we were paying about 1/3 less for electricity there, too. Ah, that sunshine tax!:crying:
Yes, but adding solar works really well here. :)

With net metering credits and EV time of use rates, they credit you $0.49 per kWh you put on the grid during peak rate period (12-5pm) and charge you $0.17 for each kWh you use super off peak (midnight-5am).

A system costing less than $8k can cover the cost of driving 16k miles a years for 30 years.
Would love to do that if only my house would accommodate solar panels. Lucky you!
Yes, but adding solar works really well here. :)

With net metering credits and EV time of use rates, they credit you $0.49 per kWh you put on the grid during peak rate period (12-5pm) and charge you $0.17 for each kWh you use super off peak (midnight-5am).

A system costing less than $8k can cover the cost of driving 16k miles a years for 30 years.

yo mama

Supporting Member
Jul 22, 2015
san jose, CA
You guys must not drive very much. I fill(ed) up in NJ and still spent $6000 on gas in 2014 & $8000 in 2013.
Or perhaps prior vehicles were relatively fuel efficient. So far I've saved about $300 a months in gas getting rid of my V8 Toyota 4Runner. That was my daily driver. I don't have much of a commute but we preferred driving that as the family truckster for trips with wife and kids


Still in love after all these miles
I mentioned my longer commute earlier. That has now changed to a much shorter commute.

I am fortunate in CA, due to the EV charging incentives. When I signed up for the new plan, my off-peak rate dropped to $.09/kWh, so I now have great savings. I changed my energy usage habits and now run everything during off-peak (charging, hot tub-it is CA after all, washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc), which has resulted in my bill dropping $100/mth compared to before I got the MS. I am a happy camper. The only issue is that I have to be careful to not use energy during the peak periods, where the rate is $.43 (yikes!). But I live alone, so it is very easy for me manage. Not so much if you have a house full of kids.

I now save about 260/mth compared to gas costs and not having the EV rate.

Just to put a bit of a damper on everyone's excitement here, where I live in NJ, regular gas is about $1.80 a gallon, and electricity is about $0.19/kWhr So we aren't saving a significant amount.
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