How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Tesla in the US?

charging a tesla car

According to the AAA, average gas prices have recently risen to over $5 in the U.S., marking this as the highest price point ever tracked by the industry-leading price tracker developed by AAA.

However, some drivers report even higher prices. For example, the average price for gas in California is around $6.43 a gallon.

To put that in perspective, if you own a Ford F-150 pickup in California, you'd need to pay $147,89 to fill up your tank. 

With these astronomical prices only increasing, it makes sense more and more people are becoming interested in electric car technology. 

One such company on the forefront of production needs no introduction. Tesla, as I'm sure you have heard of it, produces the world's most popular EVs. 

The question remains: how much does it cost to fill a Tesla's "tank," and will you save money doing it? 

How much does it cost to charge a Tesla in the U.S.?

tesla charging

Before I talk to you about the costs involved in filling up a Tesla, you need to understand how it works.

Tesla's are electric vehicles. This means that most operate using an induction motor (thanks to Galileo Ferraris & Nikola Tesla) connected to some high-powered lithium battery packs. They do not run on gas and thus do not have a combustible engine.

These motors require electricity to operate. And where do they get that electricity from?

You guessed it, the battery packs that line the flooring of the Tesla.

As I am sure you are already aware, batteries do not last forever and eventually need to be recharged to continue working.

The same goes for recharging your Tesla. So the question remains: how much does it cost to recharge a Tesla?

Understanding LCOS

The best way to estimate charging costs is to work out the Levelized Cost Of Charging (LCOC). 

There was a great study done by CELL outlining this very complex topic. 

As it stands, working out the LCOC an EV is much more elaborate than most infer. 

For example, one has to consider the: "price of electricity at different charging sites (home, workplace, public), vehicle use, region, and time of day, and for different charging power levels and equipment/ installation costs."

With that being said, going into the complexities of all this is best left to the experts over at Cell.com.

Just know that the data we use for this article comes from them, and they know what they are talking about regarding LCOC. The average LCOS for a BEV in America is $0.15 per kWh. 

Before we continue to Tesla charging costs, we want to leave you a state-level variability in LCOC for BEVs:

a state-level variability in lcol for bevs

We will use the above data to give you a rough estimated charge cost based on the state you live. For simplicities sake, we won't outline each state, but we will leave you with the tools to make your own calculations. 

Cost to charge a Model 3

A Tesla Model 3 has a 50 kWh battery which means on average you will pay $7,5 to charge it to full capacity.

 State Charge Cost (100% Capacity)
California $9
New York $6
Nevada $7,5
Hawaii $15,5
Orlando $5

 

Cost to charge a Model Y

A Tesla Model Y has a 75 kWh battery which means on average you will pay $11,25 to charge it to full capacity.

 State Charge Cost (100% Capacity)
California $13,5
New York $9
Nevada $11,25
Hawaii $23,25
Orlando $7,5

 

Cost to charge a Model S

A Tesla Model Y has a 100 kWh battery which means on average you will pay $15 to charge it to full capacity.

 State Charge Cost (100% Capacity)
California $18
New York $12
Nevada $15
Hawaii $31
Orlando $10

Cost to charge a Model X

A Tesla Model X has a 100 kWh battery which means on average you will pay $15 to charge it to full capacity.

 State Charge Cost (100% Capacity)
California $18
New York $12
Nevada $15
Hawaii $31
Orlando $10

 

What factors impact the cost of charging?

As we have already briefly mentioned the most important things that impact the cost of charging your electric vehicle are: 

  • Price of electricity at different charging sites (home, workplace, public)
  • Vehicle use
  • Region, and time of day
  • Different charging power levels
  • Equipment/ installation costs

Final thoughts

We hope this article highlights just how affordable charging your Tesla will be. If you decide to install your solar system at your home, once your ROI is made, you will essentially be creating free electricity.

In theory, this means you could charge your Tesla for free. Let that sink in for a while.

Something else we never mentioned is how much it would cost to charge a vehicle similar to the Ford F-150 truck we touched on at the beginning of the article.

An electric alternative to the Ford F-150 would be the Ford F-150 lightning.

This truck has a 145 kWh battery capacity, meaning, on average, you would pay $21,75 to charge it to 100% capacity.

Each tank up would save you $126,14!

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