"Fuel" Cost

"Fuel" Cost

So I drive about 72 miles each way to work. My total commute takes about 3 hours round trip depending on traffic. Does anybody have the idea of electric cost I will carry? Musk has said Model 3 will have a 75 kWh pack which will allow for 215 miles on single charge which means I will need to charge every night just about. Tesla has the cost at about $6 a day which in total for a week will be half the cost of gas. But how much will solar save me? What is the cost of supercharging for those that don't have it free?

bmalloy0 | 07. Mai 2017

First, you're conflating two numbers. Elon has said that they can fit UP TO a 75kWh battery, but also that the smallest would be leas than 60, and it is the "less than 60" that will have at least 215 miles per charge.

Solar will depend on a lot of things; the upfront cost, if you also buy storage, if youre also accounting for home electricity savings, etc. Supercharging costs cary from state to state. Tesla included a map showing rates during the official announcemnt of costs.

cawad | 07. Mai 2017

bmalloy0..thanks for clarifying some things!

tstolz | 07. Mai 2017

Projecting about 1/3 of ICE works pretty good.

jefjes | 07. Mai 2017

Check with your local utility provider for information on stuff related to EVs in your area. Many places offer a time of use (TOU) plan especially for EV owners that provide lower rates for charging during certain hours and these may vary during certain months of the year. You may also consider charging that may be available close to where you will be parked while working that may offer no or low cost charging to help offset your cost on your home billing. Many employers may provide charging or at least allow you to plug in while parked there (as a low cost to them) giving an incentive to their workers. When considering solar for your home, ask about net metering programs, tax rebates, and some places even offer reimbursement cost for installing a EVSE for your vehicle in your home.

Bighorn | 07. Mai 2017

Divide your kWh cost by three to get your cost per mile, approximately. For me it's 3 cents.

Frank99 | 07. Mai 2017

I agree with jefjes, but I'll give you a bit more detail.

300 Wh/Mile is a reasonable estimate for Model 3 power consumption (I expect it to be lower). Multiply this by your 144 miles a day, and we see about 43,200 Wh = 43.2 kWh of battery consumption each day.
Now the next most important thing is knowing how much you pay for electricity; this is normally expressed in dollars/kWh. The US average is about $0.13 / kWh; if this was your electric rate, you'd pay about (43.2 * 0.13) = $5.62 / day.

I don't know what mileage you get on your car; let's say 30 mpg. 144 miles / 30 mpg = 4.8 gallons of gas. At $2.25 / gallon, that's about $10.80 worth of gas. Using these numbers, you'd save about 50% on your fuel costs (and the aggravation of having to fill up every day or two).

By far the most important factor relating to cost is your cost of electricity. I have a time-of-use plan that drops my nightime power cost down to about 4.5 cents / kwh - so my electricity would only cost about $1.90 to make your commute - saving 80% of the cost of gas. If I didn't have the TOU plan, my electricity for the car would cost about $0.16, making the commute almost $7. Work with your electric company to find the cheapest way to charge.

Solar starts to get a bit more complex - unless you work swing shift, your car won't be home when the sun is out and your panels are generating electricity. You have to work with the electric utility to find out what rate you could sell electricity back to the utility during the day, and what rate you'd have to pay to charge at night, to figure out how much solar you'd need, how much it would cost, and how long it would take to pay back the costs.

Bighorn | 07. Mai 2017

If you look at the EPA figures on the Monroney sticker, they factor in wall to wheel consumption which runs around 380Wh/m IIRC. I think it's expressed in 100 miles, so 38kWh. It was 34 for an S60.

carlk | 07. Mai 2017

It depends on your electricity rate. With 150 miles round trip you will probably consume less than 50 kWh each day. That will be about $5 a day for me with ~10c/kWh off peak EV rate here.

cawad | 08. Mai 2017

wow...thanks for all the useful information everybody!!!!

jordanrichard | 08. Mai 2017

For what I pay for electricity, my MS costs me about $.05 per mile and I pay $.20 per kwh.

Ehninger1212 | 09. Mai 2017

So if the model 3 has less then a 60kwh battery base with 215 miles range we would assume it's somewhere around 3.8miles per kWh? To 4 miles per kWh? So that would mean I would be spending about $1.38 per day.l to charge. That will cut my fuel cost by... ~$4500 a year.. crap!

jordanrichard | 09. Mai 2017

As it has already been said, no one knows what the final entry level battery will be. nor what it's range will be. Elon simply said it will be "at least" 215.

Look at it this way. Take the current price of gas divide by the MPG you get and that will give you your cost per mile to fuel/drive your present car. Then you can compare that with what most of us here are quoting for our per mile electricity cost.

Bighorn | 09. Mai 2017

That math doesn't work because the battery size is not the amount of energy available and EPA miles do not necessarily match your personal mileage.

Iwantmy3 | 09. Mai 2017

I did a similar calculation when I first looked at the 3. I think this could be the least expensive car I have ever owned.

Ehninger1212 | 09. Mai 2017


Right. The gas mileage I'm basing it off is my actual calculated gas mileage I get currently. And the cost I am spending on gas minimum every year.

For the tesla I'm just doing a rough estimate. If the model 3 is going to be in the less than 60kwh for 215 miles of range (MINIMUM 215 range like you said, plus if it gets more than 215 miles on less than 60kwh battery it will workout in my favor) that's gotta be around 3.8miles per kWh.. roughly. Maybe 3.7? I also understand this is maximum efficiency from the car and not totally possible. I'm also calculating the best gas mileage I get currently.

Yes I understand this is not 100% accurate. Ballpark.

Either way even if I calculate it at 3.0kwh per mile I'm saving a ton of money.

Ehninger1212 | 09. Mai 2017

So I would use 21kwh per day.. so spend ~$540 per year minimum.

Versus my ~$5000 currently..

Big savings. Not even factoring in maintenance items.

That's with using calculations Frank99 did.

Bighorn | 09. Mai 2017

yes, except 0.3 kWh per mile

socaldave | 09. Mai 2017

The biggest question I have re: power consumption is regarding speed. Can anyone find some data on Wh/mile at variable speeds? I did find this via an owner on (MS 90 (non D)), but can't really comment on it as I don't yet have a Tesla:

Speed wh/mi ..... Miles
35 .......236 .......364
40 .......245 .......351
45 ....... 260 .......330
50 ....... 280 .......307
55 ....... 295 .......291
60 ....... 330 .......260
65 ....... 360 .......239
70 ....... 390 .......220
75 ....... 433 .......198
80 ....... 500 .......172

socaldave | 09. Mai 2017

^^^ I don't wanna have to spend the rest of my life in the slow lane. Reminds me of something some guy named Sam sang....... C'mon Red Sage, I'm leaving this one wide open for you, mate!

Bighorn | 09. Mai 2017

Just to add a data point that would call your table into dispute-- I bettered rated range efficiency of 278Wh/m driving at 70MPH, so 390 isn't close. This is in a P85+ which shouldn't be substantially different than a 90.

Red Sage ca us | 09. Mai 2017

Uhm... If you want to go further, drive slower. Sorted.

Sleepydoc1 | 09. Mai 2017

To make those numbers even more dramatic, in Sacto, Chevron has 92 octane for $3.29 (does the comparator BMW 3 series use 89 or 92?). TOU on SMUD is $0.071/kWh MN to 6AM .My X costs about $0.027 per mile not counting 1/3rd of my miles at superchargers, solar covers 60% of my electricity, work covers about 20% of my miles at $0.565/mile. $0 for oil changes. 0 minutes at gas stations or getting there, no budget for smog checks in a couple years or annual tune ups etc.

Iwantmy3 | 10. Mai 2017


Based on the Tesla site for the 75D, power consumption goes up by 27% when travelling at 75 mph vs 62.5 mph. Your fuel cost would only increase by $135 per year (not really relevant). However, if the change in range is an issue, you could account for this by moving to a 75KW.Hr battery on the 3 (I am assuming this is a choice based on Elon's comments)

I have a regular destination that is 200 miles round trip. Theoretically possible to do with the basic battery (215 miles) but it would fall short if driving at real highway speeds on a cold day. However, I am guessing that the 75 KW.Hr upgrade would cover me for all but the coldest winter days.

CraigW | 10. Mai 2017

Over the last 25,000 miles my efficiency is 1.3RM per mile in my S70D. This includes lots of city (L.A.) miles and a number of trips over 1000 miles each. Based off this, OP's 144 mile round trip would use 187RM. At 3.2 RM/kWh, that is 58.4 ~ say 59 kWh. At $.20/kWh that is $11.8/day (gas at $3.00/gal and 30mpg is $14.40). My estimates are on the conservative side, so this should be a minimum savings.

The savings likely will not be 50%, but the reduced maintenance of a Tesla, having a full tank each and every day, and not having to stop and smell the gas fumes makes this somewhat a 'no brainer'.

PhillyGal | 10. Mai 2017

Just to add in some flavor:

My electricity bill related to having a Model S has essentially gone up zero.
In the time I bought my house to this point, I actually use LESS electricity per month, even with a newly added EV. Why? Newer washer/dryer, switching to LED bulbs, smart power strips for TV peripherals and a variable speed pool pump, plus a more frugal heating/cooling schedule.

In other words, your house's consumption may have room for improvement and if it does, it might even be enough to cover the use of your car.

Mike83 | 10. Mai 2017

Since we put in Solar about 5 years ago we have made a slight profit each year on electric having installed a heat pump water heater and replacing propane stove with an induction range. Like PhillyGal we also did LEDs and an energy eff. jacuzzi. I guess our fuel bill is zero and we travel on Superchargers and occasional pay a friend to charge at their home. Life is good.
One note is using AP2 driving we don't mind going the speed limit as there is much to do in the car like viewing the sights, music, etc. much more relaxed driving esp. if you hit traffic where we turn on the Bio-hazard system.

socaldave | 10. Mai 2017

Thanks to all for the feedback. It's certainly not a concern of mine, and there have been more than enough practical posts/threads to have range anxiety still be a thing, and I know I'll find the sweet spot re: my commute quickly enough. One more piece of info re: that graph I posted above, just to show how YMMV:


A few weeks ago on a windless day I went to the flat Fens & did some tests of Watt Hours / Mile
Test was done up and down the road Ely/Cambridge which had no more than 10ft of altitude change over the part I was using.

Hard to be sure that these scale up 100% accurately as the tests were only for a few miles each at 5 mph increments - but I thought they might be of interest as they give an order of magnitude of what the maximums might be at different average speeds.

hobowankenobi | 10. Mai 2017

Good stuff all.

Don't forget to throw in oil changes, smog inspection, etc. Small when compared to the fuel, but it all adds up when doing high mileage commutes. Then there is your time, making the appointments...etc.

The value of no more upsell for air filters, fuel filters, new plugs, PCV valves, belts, hoses, etc, etc. at each service? PRICELESS!

tedirelan | 10. Mai 2017

The savings are wonderful, but let's not forget (as if anyone would), these saving are on an amazingly performing, sexy looking car. Thanks 360° of awesome!

Ehninger1212 | 11. Mai 2017


Couldn't be more right!

No compromise with tesla, my wife saw a new Porsche cayman in a parking lot yesterday and told me I should consider when I go to purchase the model 3, I thought about it for all of about 0 seconds. The only car I had considered was a Mercedes E550 coupe but it feel off the list about 6 months ago.

The model 3 will have more everything then that porsche could even dream of. Truly a no compromise car.

I get the efficiency, the safety, the speed, the tech, the reliability, the beauty, comfort. I can't name another car I can find that in all at once that doesn't have Tesla written on it.

SamO | 12. Mai 2017

The efficiency of a 150cc moped, that drives like a Ferrari.

gkustas | 04. Februar 2019

I couldn't figure out how to search the Tesla forum for what I was looking for, so I wrote an Excel spreadsheet to calculate my cost/miles using the data from the cars average energy usage. It turns out that on average my Model 3 uses 300 wh/mile on the highway, and 400 wh/mile locally. I realize that this will vary based on conditions such as weather, so I made everything a variable in this sheet. I can use it to see what a recent trip cost me vs. what it would cost me in my old BMW X3.

You can get my spreadsheet here if you like. I'm sure there is a lot that can be done to improve it:!Asy6iAq5ef-llnfA498IHa2lkypk

By the way, I found out out to search the forums on google. Here's an example of what you put in your browser search bar: calculator