If you’re a Tesla owner or are thinking about buying a Tesla you should know how much it costs to charge a Tesla. The answer isn’t universal and depends on which model Tesla you own. The average charging cost is $10 – $18 for a full charge at home with charging at a public charging station being much higher. To find out the exact cost to charge your Tesla you have to consider your Tesla’s battery capacity and if you’re going to be charging at home, a Tesla Supercharger, or other public charging station. So how much does it cost to charge a Tesla? We take a look at the cost to charge current Tesla models and give you some insight so you can figure out the cost on your own.
Before we look into charging costs we have to explore charging options for your Tesla. You can charge at home with a Level 1 or Level 2 charger. You can charge at public charging stations with Level 2 chargers or DC fast chargers. Tesla Superchargers are DC fast chargers. If you charge with any EV charger outside of a Tesla Wall Connector or Supercharger you will need an adaptor.
Charging with a Level 1 EV charger is not recommended. A Level 1 charger comes with the purchase of your Tesla and plugs into a typical household outlet. It can take days to fully charge a Tesla vehicle with Level 1 charging, especially with the newer models which have higher battery capacities. If you only plan to drive your Tesla once a month Level 1 charging could be a feasible option.
A Level 2 charger is an excellent option for charging your Tesla EV especially if you plan to charge at home. You can usually fully charge a Tesla in 8-12 hours with a home level 2 charger making it a great option for an overnight charge. Charging at home is much cheaper than charging on the road at a Supercharger. While a Supercharger or other DC fast charger is the quickest way to charge – sometimes as quick as 80% of a battery in 15 minutes – it is not recommended for daily charges due to the amount of energy they use. Doing so could drain your Tesla battery quicker and shorten its lifespan.
Level 1 and Level 2 chargers are alternating current (AC) chargers. Your Tesla battery uses direct current (DC) electricity. When you use AC chargers the AC needs to be converted into DC by your Tesla. For this reason, the efficiency of AC chargers is not 100%, especially when you get closer to a full charge. The efficiency of AC chargers is 80 – 90%. DC fast charging delivers the correct current directly to your battery and does not need to be converted so charging efficiencies for Superchargers and other DC fast chargers is 90% – 99%. For our calculations later we will use 85% and 95%.
If you charge your Tesla EV at home you will only have to pay for the electricity it takes to charge your Tesla (outside of the charger and installation costs). In the case of average electricity rates, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average electricity rate is about $0.16 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
Supercharger rates depend on location and the price of electricity at the time you’re charging. The average cost is $0.28 per kWh. If you charge with other public charging stations the price varies between different EV charging networks. Some networks offer cheaper charging costs for EV drivers who sign up for a subscription. The average price to charge at a public charging station is $0.30 – $0.80 per kWh.
When you charge with a Supercharger, you’ll only want to charge to 80% so you can quickly get back on the road. Just like your cell phone, a Tesla car charges more quickly when it is at a low state of charge. Once the state of charge is above 80% it charges at a much slower rate. If you’re charging at home, you won’t have to worry about how long it takes to charge since it will usually be an overnight charge. How long it takes to charge with a Supercharger depends on which Tesla you’re driving. A Tesla Model S will take about 20 – 30 minutes to charge to 80%. A Tesla Model 3 will take about 25 – 30 minutes to charge to 80%. Tesla Model Xs and Ys will take about 30 minutes to charge to an 80% state of charge.
Both the Long Range and Model S Plaid have a 100 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack, which makes the math much more simple when figuring how much it costs to charge one.
To figure out how much it costs to charge one at home, we’ll use the average cost of electricity of $0.16. To reach 100 kWh, it would be $16 to fully charge a Tesla Model S. Yet, we have to factor in the efficiency of a Level 2 charger as being about 85%, which means we have to equate for an additional 15% of energy. This means it costs about $18.82 to fully charge a Tesla Model S at home.
The cost to charge fully charge a Tesla Model S at a Supercharger would be on average $27.37.
The Tesla Model 3 gets a bit more complicated since there are three different versions with different battery sizes and they are not 100 kWh. The Tesla Model 3 RWD has a 50 kWh battery, while the Long Range and Performance Model 3s come with 82 kWh batteries.
To charge at home we will use our average electricity cost of $0.16 per kWh again. To fully charge a Tesla Model 3 battery it would cost $8. Factoring in the additional 85% for inefficiency, we are looking at about $9.41 to fully charge a Tesla Model 3 RWD at home. The cost to fully charge a Tesla Model 3 RWD at a Supercharger would be about $14.74.
To fully charge a Tesla Model 3 Long Range or Performance at home we will use the same formula as above and it comes to about $15.44. To fully charge a Tesla Model 3 Long Range or Perfomance it would could about $28.20.
The Tesla Model X and Tesla Model X Plaid all come with 100 kWh batteries. This means the cost to fully charge a Tesla Model X would be about the same as a Tesla Model S – $18.82 at home or $27.37 at a Supercharger.
The Tesla Model Y and the Model Y Long Range and Performance versions all come equipped with an 81 kWh battery. Using the same formulas and average rates as we did earlier, to fully charge a Tesla Model Y at home it would cost about $15.25 and roughly $23.87 at a Supercharger.
Your Tesla may be an older version or you don’t have a Tesla and own a different electric car. You can find out how much it costs to charge any electric vehicle using the formula we used in this article as outlined below:
Find your EV’s battery size using the electric vehicle database. You can find your vehicle’s specification sheet for more details as well.
If you are charging at home, visit the Energy Information Administration’s average electricity rates table to find your state’s average electricity rate. You can also average out your own personal rate by going through your power bills.
If you are charging at a Supercharger or other public charging station, look at their rates for per kWh and use that in the equation.
1. Using the Tesla Model X charging at home with the average U.S. household electricity rate as an example:
$0.16 X 100 = $16.00.
2. Account for charger inefficiency, 85% for AC chargers and 95% for DC fast chargers
$16.00 / 85 = 0.1882 X 15 = $2.82 to account for the inefficiency of a home Level 2 charger.
3. Add up to total.
$16 + $2.82 = $18.82 to fully charge a Tesla Model X at home.
If you want to further calculate your costs by finding how much it costs be per mile take your total cost to fully charge your EV battery and divide it by your EV’s range.
For example, the Tesla Model X has a 348 mile range.
$18.82 / 348 = $0.054 per mile
If you want to charge your Tesla the cheaper way, charge at home. All you need to start charging at home is to get a Level 2 home charging station installed. You won’t be able to safely do it yourself since home chargers require special electrical connections that need to be installed by an electrician. WattLogic is the smartest way to get a home charging station. We take care of all the heavy lifting for you – from helping you select the best charger for you to managing the entire installation process. Get a quote now!
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