Model S

Monthly bill?

edited November -1 in Model S
Question for those of you who have had your car for at least a month now: how much extra are you paying for your electric bill now?


  • edited November -1
    it depends entirely on how much you drive, your electricity rate plan, etc.
    I have not changed the plan to take advantage of the EV rate yet, so it is about 27 cents per kwh here in CA using PG&E on average,
    at about 13 kwh more average per day, equates to $3.5 per day, not a lot of miles.

    you will be able to see total average wh/mile as you drive, so mine is about 350whm, people have reported their numbers on other threads here.
    if I drive 100 miles per day, I would need to charge up 350x100=35000 wh or 35kwh more per day, then you just figure your electric rate and get your cost, (0.27x35=$9.45) it works out pretty close to the electric bill. My equivalent gas cost would be around $3.8per gallon at 20mpg = 3.8x5=$19
    or just use the calculator on the Tesla web site!
  • edited November -1
    I haven't had my car long enough to get my bill, but our rates are very low in GA (~5¢/kWh) so the impact is minimal. Also, once the Supercharger is installed nearby (I'm in Atlanta), I'll be able to charge for free :)
  • shsshs
    edited November -1
    With Solar and the EV rate, we will be paying 3.5 cents/kWh and since the E9A rate will also cut in half our cost of heating on winter nights, I expect our electricity bill to actually go down with a MS.
  • edited November -1

    I have been driving my LEAF for 18 months and have almost 30k miles on it (20k miles a year). My electric bill is roughly $30-$40 more per month with a fixed rate of $0.10/kWh. Figure the S will be about 10% worse than that.

    Don't sweat the electricity costs...
  • edited November -1
    This is a very interesting topic. Going from math theory to practice.

    I have had my car only 2.5 weeks, however our utility provider has integrated their smart meters with online usage reporting (as recent as previous 24 hrs at midnight). So I have been trying to get a handle on what to expect. I addition to the simple math that is present in the cars usage data (e.g. Wh/mi) I am also reconciling the vampire load which I have observed at over 8 miles per 24 hrs on my car, as well as the charging efficiency. According to a calculation I did with 14 days of charging logged on the smart meter, I computed about 64% charging efficiently. This is comparing the incremental charging observed from our smart meter vs. the kWh consumed on our car since it's arrival. Granted I do not have a dedicated sub-meter, so I am attempting to net out the household's average daily consumption aside from the car's charging. (During this period weather has been rather nominal ~60 'ish.)

    What shocks me is the observed waste from the vampire load (8miles*30 days= 240miles per month) that is one whole charge cycle alone; and resulting calculated charge efficiency. I understand Tesla to be working on the vampire load issue, I do have v4.0 installed from day 1. However if this trend is accurate many of the projections of operating cost per mile are understated.

    Any of this observed by other owners (model S or roadster).
  • edited November -1
    Can you pls explain "vampire load"?
    This is the first reference to it that I have seen...
  • edited November -1
    Vampire load = charge "leaking" from the battery. On standard charge our battery tops off at 242 miles of rated range. After sitting for 12 hours the rated range will show 238-237 miles.

    There is a lengthy thread on TMC about the vampire load if you are interested.
  • edited November -1
    Are using the sleep mode?
  • edited November -1
    Yes, sleep mode is turned on. Displays go to sleep upon departure from car.
  • edited November -1
    Are you using sleep mode?
  • edited November -1
    I'm figuring on using about 400 kWh /mo. with my Tesla because I have a long commute 5 days a week. Here in Hawaii electricity is very expensive at 33 cents/kWh, so that works about to be about $132/mo. Right now I'm spending about $160/mo. on gas for my very efficient Honda Civic, so I'd still see improvement. Alas, I installed enough solar panels on the roof (54) to take care of the large house, some air conditioning, the pool, and my long commute in the Tesla. After state and fed tax credits, the money I paid for Honda Civic gas plus the electricity bill will cover my solar loan, and after 5 years I can drive free for a long, long time.
  • edited November -1
    PGE tier4 rate is 34cents/kWh in CA.
    Note that once you're in tier4 you're paying these rates for *all* electricity, not just for charging your Tesla.
    This is for the E1 rate.
    They do have an E9 rate if you have an EV, but you really won't take advantage of that unless you install a separate meter, and that will cost you over $200.
    There's no delayed charging on Tesla just yet, and the off-peak rate for PGE is between midnight and 7am (if you're on E9 with a shared meter).
    So, if you're in CA and your ICE car had about 30mpg (even less with today's gas prices), you're better off pouring Premium gas into your car than driving a Tesla S.
    It only makes economical sense if you're staying in tier1 or tier2 pricing (regulated), and for that you really need solar.
  • edited November -1
    You're assuming the charging efficiency is 100%, it's far below that (closer to 65%), meaning if you've spent 13kWh on driving you'll need ~20kWh to recharge.
    My average over 2,500 miles is about 390Wh/mi, so 13kWh is just about 35 miles for me.
    40kWh a day will put you solidly into PGE tier4 pricing within about ten days.
    That's 40kWh a day total, not just an add-on.
    End of the month you're looking at $300-$400 bill.
    If you need a full charge (say you drove about 200 miles in one day), you're looking at about 140kWh to recharge.
    The largest I've seen was 152kWh, that's almost half the PGE baseline (tier1-tier2 pricing) in a day...
    So the math is far from being easy for EVs, especially in CA.
  • edited November -1
    I have excess capacity from an array of solar PV at home (28 panels) and at the office (90 panels). Planning to drive on pure sunshine!
  • edited November -1
    "vampire load" has nothing to do with power "leaking". It is the power required to run devices that don't turn off when the car is not in use. Cutting down on it requires programming changes to switch off as many such devices as possible until needed. The "fix" TM is impementing should cut the miles/day loss down to about 2 from 8.
  • edited November -1
    @Brian H. Thanks for the correction.

    Yes there are systems that continue to function when you leave the vehicle, which are causing the drain on the battery. However, I understood v4.0 was to have reduced this effect. In fact the release notes state for "vehicle sleep" - "Note that keeping dilayed powered will reduce your car's range up to 8 miles per day..."

    Was the vampire load greater before v4.0? If so what was the realized mileage lost per day for a stationary MS?
  • edited November -1
    Had my S for two weeks so have not got a bill yet. However, I am in CA and use SCE for service. If you have a model S you need to look into some kind of time of use plan. I pay $.16 per kWh in winter and $.169 in summer for off peak use 6PM to 10AM. Peak rates are $.18 in winter and $.34 in summer.
  • edited November -1
    PG&E has a great site for tracking your electric usage. Here is an image of my hourly usage from Dec 23. This was a full charge, starting at 12am. Cost: $25.87 @$0.30/kWh.

    As you can see it took a full 7 hours to charge. Distance travelled was about 240mi.

    <img src=""&gt;

    PG&E hasn't converted me to the E-9A rate yet (currently I'm E1), which would take the $0.30/kWh to $0.19808/kWh.

    It's simply a myth that you're going to get 3 cents per kWh with an electric car, unless you hardly drive it. While it is true that rates *start* for as little as 3 cents per kWh, the PGE baselines are really designed for household usage, not electric car usage. So you'll quickly find yourself way-over-baseline. I went over baseline in 10 days. So your average costs will be a little lower, but for the most part, even if you charge off peak after-midnight (which is hard to do because Tesla doesn't have a timer for starting charging - ahem!), your costs are more like 20cents/kWh than 3.

    Overall, cost savings compared to gas is minimal. But, if you're owning a Tesla and excited about saving money on gas, you probably don't have very good financial planning skillz.

    Here's the E-9A rates:

  • edited November -1
    I suppose it's called Vampire Load because in the middle of the night, the life blood of the car is mysteriously drained. Not enough to kill the car, but enough to make it's owner feel rotten. Have you tried a circle of garlic around the car while it's in the garage?
  • edited November -1
    @sergiyz -

    I basically agree with what you're saying. But the numbers you've cited are a bit different than my experience. I've got 2200 mi on my tesla, and I drive about 100mi/day.

    For 100mi, I consistently use about 29-33kW of charge. and recharging is between 3.75 and 4.5hrs @9600W/h.

    So if I charge after midnight, that is a cost of $7.20 to $8.64 per 100mi.

    If I drove a car with 40mpg, that would be 2.5g of gas, @$3.50/gal, that's $8.75.

    Overall - with nighttime charging and over-baseline rates, electric and gas are about a wash.

    But - if I ever have to charge during the day, prices get astronomical! Over-baseline rates for E-9A is $0.54/kWh, driving the cost of the Tesla to $23 - 3.5 times more expensive than a 40mpg car, and about the same cost as a 15mpg car.

  • edited November -1
    I forgot to callout the inefficiency of charging, which @sergiyz also pointed out.

    While I only consume ~30kW of charge each day, it takes ~40kW of electricity to charge it back up in the morning.

    This is a subtle but important part of electric consumption which seems to be omitted from EV marketing materials.

    Not complaining - love my Tesla. I never expected to save money with this car, and I don't. But if you're thinking you will, you're kidding yourself.

  • shsshs
    edited November -1
    One of the real advantages of having solar is that we are always within the baseline rates. In our case, since we have electric (geothermal) heating (no gas or propane in the house) we are considered an all-electric house and the number of baseline kWhs is increased over a house where you use propane or natural gas for heat. Even in the winter our 7.2 kW solar panels produce enough juice in any month to keep us within baseline. With the E9A rate (single meter), the after midnight rates are 3.5 cents/kWh which will allow not only low cost charging, but heating as well. So for us the E9A rate is a no brainer. On the other hand, we have a friend right down the hill, about 3000 ft lower in elevation, and for him, the major electrical cost is summer cooling not winter heating, and the E9A rate wouldn’t help at all. So it all depends.
  • edited November -1

    What is your average Wh/mi over the whole 2,200 miles if you don't mind sharing that ?

    I didn't expect to save driving a Tesla either, was just a bit surprised by how much the advertised numbers were off comparing to real life numbers, e.g. 92% charging efficiency stated in specs (granted, they say "maximum efficiency") is nowhere near that, off by about 30%; the 300 mile range that changed into ~260 EPA rated and closer to 200 miles real on a standard charge etc.
    I'd say unless you live in a state with really cheap electricity or unless you have a supercharger in close proximity, you should consider installing a PV system before you get your car.
  • edited November -1
    The car I'm replacing is a Mercedes CLS63 that gets 14 mpg and needs 91 octane fuel. The Tesla calculator says that at 15k miles per year, I should save about $3,500/year if I charge the car at midnight. Plus I won't need anymore expensive Mercedes oil changes, etc.
  • edited November -1
    Take this calculator with a (large) grain of salt.
    Tesla maintenance is $600 a year, although they still haven't sent any paperwork for that (one time or a pre-paid plan).
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