I'm kinda bummed about my gas savings...

I'm kinda bummed about my gas savings...

So I started to look into how much it will cost me to use a model 3.
Just looking at my numbers...
I get about 48MPG with my prius. My gas is now about $2.70/Gal where I live.
My electric with taxes and such is about 0.22/kWh.
So with the prius I get about 5.6 cents/mile.
If I get a Model 3 and charge at home assuming about 260Wh/Mile then it will cost me about 5.7cents/mile.

So other than getting another ICE car off the road and the coolness factor... The gas savings, for me, is a push!

I might be changing my mind about a Tesla.. :-(

is 260Wh/Mile about right? This is what I've seen on videos and some forums...


jeepinsnow | 5 ottobre 2018

And if gas rises, you win. It just went to $2.99 here in Colorado today.

M3BlueGeorgia | 5 ottobre 2018

a) 260 is a little high. You might see closer to 230 over time
b) 22 cents is high
c) Doesn't your electric supplier offer a special deal to charge electric cars overnight at a very low rate? Mine can get under 5 cents from midnight to 6am.

busky | 5 ottobre 2018

Electricity rates will go up too... Granted Gas price fluctuate much more..

Rt002k | 5 ottobre 2018

It's more like 240. I had closer to 260 for the first 1,500 miles and it has improved since then to be consistently around 240.

But, you're comparing a performance sedan to an eco sedan. Don't buy a Tesla just for gas savings compared to a Prius. Compare the fuel cost to a comparable performance ICE vehicle and it's significant. Also varies by location. Gas where I live is $3 and electricity is $0.13/kWh, so it's a much more significant improvement. I'm also coming from a Rav4 Hybrid that got me ~30 MPG.

bpaul | 5 ottobre 2018

The 260 Wh/mile seems ballpark. Much like your Prius, it depends how you drive it.

The number that sounds off to me is $0.22 / kWh. Here's a breakdown of average electricity prices by state. If you're anywhere but Alaska/Hawaii, that number seems too high. Is that really the incremental cost of an additional kWh? You not dividing through the customer charge, right?

If you're in New England, you might like into the availability of Time of Use rates to save money.

busky | 5 ottobre 2018

My supplier doesn't offer any off peak stuff. and $.22 is high! Stupid Massachusetts!
I imagine I wouldn't get close to 230Wh/Mile until the fun factor wears off! :-)

ravisundaramam | 5 ottobre 2018

22 cents /kWh seems high. Keep your prius if you like it.

Kathy Applebaum | 5 ottobre 2018

260Wh/Mile is uh.... spirited driving.

My average over 12k miles is 234. I'm not driving sedately. :)

M3BlueGeorgia | 5 ottobre 2018

Don't you have access to Time Of Use charging? Though in MA this might require install of a second electric meter.

JAD | 5 ottobre 2018

You are an outlier the bad way. I am probably an outlier in the good way. Coming from a Porsche 911 that got about 18 mpg, with gas at $4/gallon in SoCal. I charge my P3 at time of use at $.09. But as cars go, the M3 is sooo much better than a Prius, even coming close to the same operating costs seems like a huge win.

busky | 5 ottobre 2018

After looking into the peak pricing.. Only my distribution charge changes.. It's currently 5.9cents/kWh. With the peak and off peak it jumps to 13.8c/kWh peak and 3.8c/kWh. It wouldn't make sense to me since my household used juice
all the time. (I have heat pumps for my HVAC and electric dryer since no NG) It would cost me much more if I did the
time of use plan. Bummer....

Gkao829 | 5 ottobre 2018

Something people don't factor is the time saved from pumping gas and going to the gas station however often that is. Time savings translates to dollar savings for some.

Pkalhan | 5 ottobre 2018

In Pittsburgh regular gas is $3.19/gallon. Would have loved some $2.70 lol.

BlueMeanie | 5 ottobre 2018

Certainly in Massachusetts you'd have access to lots of free charging solutions outside of your home (like city parks, business parks, parking garages, etc...?) Not to mention, most charging solutions wouldn't charge you 22 cents per kWh I don't believe. How much are Superchargers in Massachusetts? (I know they vary by state).

staze | 5 ottobre 2018

MA electricity rates are strange. Here in SoCal we have a pretty decent business case. Gas is fairly high compared to the rest of the country. Time of use (TOU) allows us to charge at night for around $0.12/kWh. I purchased solar for my home which I estimate will have a 5 year ROI. After 5 years, I will have amortized the cost of the panels and all my electricity will be free including my home, pool and two Teslas. Not a bad trade-off for the occasional earthquake and wildfires.

jamespompi | 5 ottobre 2018

Almost every public charger on plugshare is free in my area and I can charge at work for free.. I'd estimate I get about 30% of my total energy for free and my WH/m average since getting the car (4200 miles) is 251. dont forget about routine maintenance savings as well.

busky | 5 ottobre 2018

The M3 is soo much cooler than my prius.. But I can't use the gas savings to my wife to justify the purchase..

And I guess I would have to have a 2nd meter installed to use the time of use and that just seems like a pain. Plus it looks like National Grid will charge me $20/mo just to have the time of use plan!

12Brent | 5 ottobre 2018

Are there any destination chargers near where you work or live that you could use? There is a brewery next to my office with 6 Tesla charges that are available 24/7, for free. I could park there every morning and fill up if I wanted to. (I don't need it because I have solar to offset all driving and house electric). Solar with time of use pricing is great. I produce at $0.18/kWr and use it at $0.08 to charge the car (by far the biggest electric use for our household). So maybe solar could help? Good rebates on solar right now too.

In addition to the cool factor (which, to me, is huge) you also have fewer oil changes and maintenance costs so consider that too. And as Gkao829 said, not having to go to a gas station is life changing in its own way...

busky | 5 ottobre 2018

Others at my work asked to have a charging station installed.. The building owners said no. :-( So no work charging.

And as for the routine maintenance savings.. My guess that will be a wash with the higher insurance rate I would imagine I'll have to pay...

ksalberta | 5 ottobre 2018

@busky - yes, 260 kwh/mile is about right as an average. There is a charging loss (you draw out more power than the battery stores). Best estimate varies by climate, but a good guess is 13%. There is also vampire drain - the car uses a little bit of energy to maintain its systems even when you are not driving.

Depending on climate, your settings, how much you drive, and HOW you drive, you could easily wind up using 350 kwh per mile driven, or it could be significantly less. In colder climates the charging loss will be higher. In some warmer climates, the car cools itself quite a bit.

The Prius is a very economical vehicle and it is impossible to beat it for costs; people really don't buy Teslas to save money. They buy Teslas for the fun of driving them.

ksalberta | 5 ottobre 2018

PS: Truthfully, any costs you would save on oil, etc, will be way overbalanced by the extra tire wear and generally higher maintenance costs.

jamespompi | 5 ottobre 2018

@busky coming from a 1998 VW Jetta with no collision to full coverage on the model 3 my insurance went down. $500 total cost for 6 months

busky | 5 ottobre 2018

There aren't any destination chargers close enough to work to walk to. The closest is at the grocery store plaza. Yes I could plug in while I get my lunch.. But what will 1/2 hour do for me a non supercharger rates!

jamespompi | 5 ottobre 2018

@ksalberta Just about everything you said is false.

gmr6415 | 5 ottobre 2018

It depends on how you use the car. I'm now getting around-the town-driving as low as 184 Wh/mi with a RWD. Over a 2300 mile trip my cost per mile using superchargers was about $0.034 per mile - just over $78 worth of charges at superchargers. That was across 5 states.

My wife has a Prius and here in FL her cost of driving is similar to yours at just about $0.06 per mile. The Tesla is generally half that cost or better.

I love my wife's Prius. It's a very comfortable car to drive in and ride in for long trips. For 8 years now it's been very dependable. That said, it isn't like driving a Tesla. The Prius will hardly get out of it's own way. The M3 jumps out ahead of anything at the light and will pass anything on the highway. After driving the M3 for a month and a half now when I drive the Prius it feels like it's all over the road compared to the M3.

I still love the Prius. It's been a good car. It's not an M3 though by any means.

Patrick | 5 ottobre 2018

Assuming decent sunlight exposure and adequate roof/yard space for the panels, anyone paying $0.22 per KWH should consider investing in a solar PV generator and battery system ASAP. The economics generally get REALLY good when the utility rates get that high.

No more electric bills and free fuel for the car!

CUICE | 5 ottobre 2018

I went from a 25 mpg ICE to the M3, and I pay ~8.5 ¢/kW·hr. So the ¢/mi aspect was a no-brainer in my circumstances.

gmr6415 | 5 ottobre 2018

@busky, many destination chargers are free to use as long as you are using the facility's services.

I recently plugged into one at a Marriott Hotel next to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL while going to appointments at Mayo. I charged from 7:45 am until after noon that day for nothing. It completely topped off my battery at no charge.

Many restaurants do the same. As long as you are eating there you can charge for nothing. In the Southeast Publix grocery stores are installing free to use chargers in their parking lots.

I don't know of any establishment that will give you free gas while you eat there or while you purchase groceries.

busky | 5 ottobre 2018

@Patrick I would love to get a solar array! My roof line is non optimal. I'd have to get a pole mount system.
Part of me would rather spend the money and get a solar array instead of the Tesla.. But where's the fun in that.
In an ideal world I'd get the Tesla and my ~10kW array as well! But I'd never convince the wife of that!

jordanrichard | 5 ottobre 2018

Busky use real numbers not assumptions on energy usage in your 3. I am south of you in CT and pay $.20 kwh and in my Model S85, it costs me $.05 per mile and Model 3s are more efficient. Also, you are not comparing apples to apples. Your Prius has the performance of a toaster. You should be comparing fuel costs of a BMW, which requires Premium gas. Here in town, premium costs $3.70 a gallon. My previous gasoline car was a Mercedes which required premium and got on average 20 mpg. $3.70/20 = $.18 per mile and as I said, my MS costs me $.05 per mile.

rdavis | 5 ottobre 2018

.22 per kwH... ouchy... I pay Super off Peak (11pm-7am) .015. Yes, that's 1 and 1/2 cents.... Gotta love Georgia Power.

efuseakay | 5 ottobre 2018

I was lucky to get 18MPG with my 2010 Infiniti G37 sedan. And it required premium. Here it’s well over $3 a gallon now. I got a P+ in time for free lifetime supercharging but let’s ignore that. My town has a deal with a local supplier for a reduced 24/7 rate of 7¢. I drive 20-30 miles a day and don’t charge until I’m below 50%. I’ve only had the car a month so no idea what my electricity bill will be. But it’ll definitely be less than the $200-300 a month I spent on gas.

gmkellogg | 5 ottobre 2018

@The M3 is soo much cooler than my prius.. But I can't use the gas savings to my wife to justify the purchase..

You're thinking short term. Think long term. Do you really think the price of gas is going to consistently stay at 2-3 per gallon? Do you really think electricity, with all the advances in alternative energy sources, will continue to remain high? Think 2-3 years out, not the next few months. Plus zero oil changes, and if you're like me you were using synthetic in your Prius. Your brakes will last longer with regen braking. Only other area of concern is tire replacement, but you have that in every car.

derotam | 5 ottobre 2018

@jordanrichard, You and others are missing the point of his cost comparison. If you are trying to use fuel cost to help justify the purchase of a Tesla it is completely appropriate to compare to either A. your current vehicle, or B. an alternate vehicle that you would purchase to replace your current car instead of getting a Tesla. i used to have a ford Taurus and was wanting to get a new car, the two options that I narrowed down to were a Ford Fusion Hybrid, or a Tesla. I, personally, was never even considering any other performance vehicle or anything BMW.

Fuel cost is just stat for financial justification though, you still would want to compare maintenance costs and Insurance costs, but again, to the realistic vehicles that you would purchase if you didn't get a Tesla.

Rt002k | 5 ottobre 2018

Where do you all live where there are free chargers everywhere?? Only free one I ever find is at one of my customers, and I'm in a pretty liberal pro-renewables pro-EV area.

rdavis | 5 ottobre 2018

efuseakay | October 5, 2018
I was lucky to get 18MPG with my 2010 Infiniti G37 sedan. And it required premium. Here it’s well over $3 a gallon now. I got a P+ in time for free lifetime supercharging but let’s ignore that. My town has a deal with a local supplier for a reduced 24/7 rate of 7¢. I drive 20-30 miles a day and don’t charge until I’m below 50%. I’ve only had the car a month so no idea what my electricity bill will be. But it’ll definitely be less than the $200-300 a month I spent on gas.

About 1.75 Cents per Mile is your cost given what range most Model 3 see at 250 Wh/Mile

Jtwo | 5 ottobre 2018

No offense, but I rather be seen driving a M3 over a Prius no matter how much more it costs.

SamO | 5 ottobre 2018

Call your insurance and find out the cost of adding the Model 3.

afcop2 | 5 ottobre 2018

.22 per kwh is high! Here in TX we have a flat rate plan, that is .079 per kwh. I have free charging at work with ChargePoint L2 chargers that charge at 24 miles per hour. The chargers have an awesome waitlist as well in case I arrive at work and all chargers are in use. They usually open up when a couple of people go out to lunch.

My lifetime w/mi has been 232 so far for a RWD with aero wheels. in DFW area of Texas. This lifetime wh/mi is based on roughly 2,100 miles. The majority of those miles I have charged at work for FREE! When I got the car, it had was charged to roughly 150 miles. I have charged roughly 150-200 miles at home...and the remainder at work. I came from a Kia Optima Hybrid that was getting me roughly 30 mpg. Here in TX, I was paying roughly $160 per month in gas. Now my energy expense is essentially zero! The model 3 is a blast to drive.

joe.lynn.atp | 5 ottobre 2018

Is the cost of fuel the only reason you got a Tesla? I came from a Prius too, in fact I had two Prii in a row, and this car is so much more fun to drive. I still have my Prius, and I drive it once a week until it goes to my daughter in November, and I feel like it is a huge step backwards every time I drive it. You are getting a car that is immensely more powerful, and costs the same to run, and you are disappointed??

kevin | 5 ottobre 2018

The EPA says that you'll save $5,500 with a Model 3 in 5 years driving 15,000 miles a year over the AVERAGE new car. If that new car is a Prius, then the saving is $1,500.

The average US household pays 13.12 cents per kWh. Massachusetts has the 4th highest rates in the country at 20.63 cents per kWh.

Tesla Superchargers typically cost 20-22 cents per kWh. It's 23 cents in Massachusetts.

vb1 | 5 ottobre 2018

From what I read, off peak in NJ is 8 cents

Rocky_H | 5 ottobre 2018

@busky, I think you are not seeing the forest for the trees. We always bought economy cars too, because although I like sporty performance, to me, I always needed to prioritize efficiency and not wasting gas. And every sporty performing gas car has worse fuel mileage than a Prius or hybrid Civic. You’re comparing apples to oranges. Here are the two main types of comparisons:

Sporty to sporty
Performance is the same, but because of bad gas mileage in performance gas cars, the fuel savings does add up.

Economy to economy
In your case, where you are comparing to a car with really great gas mileage, the fuel expense is the same, but you now get to drive a sports car instead of a gutless wonder. So THAT’S the benefit, and that’s what I was appreciating with our move from the hybrid Civic. I get to drive a great performance car now, where I wouldn’t allow myself to get one before because of bad gas mileage.

So you should just know going into it that compared to a Prius, you’re doing it for a performance upgrade—not fuel savings.

And no, I wouldn’t really give any credence to any supposed maintenance cost savings with this particular comparison car either. It’s a Toyota. They’re reliable, with pretty cheap maintenance and are probably going to be fairly free of major repairs for close to 200K miles.

spockagain34 | 5 ottobre 2018

Don't forget, every gallon of gas burned puts us closer to extinction, so make sure you don't forget to factor that into your "gas savings."

Tuning In | 5 ottobre 2018

The solution is solar. The higher the electricity price from the grid, the faster the ROI and you'll be driving for free thereafter.

mountainjoe | 5 ottobre 2018

Comparing to a Prius solely on the basis of fuel costs is rather myopic imo - the M3 is so much better than a Prius in so many ways - not the least of which is it has real power and acceleration. If that is your only basis for assigning value to the vehicle, then you are missing the point wrt Tesla vehicles - i.e. they are high performance vehicles that happen to be electric.

The Prius is such a compromise as a vehicle - I test drove one a while ago and decided very quickly I could never drive such a car on a regular basis - no matter the cost savings...

djgarrett21 | 5 ottobre 2018

Even if your electricity were $0.1 kW/h I don't think you could make the savings driving a Tesla work out in your favor vs your current Prius for a very long time. The biggest factor is the deprecation of the car and on a $50k+ car even just 30% deprecation is $15k. On top of that you've got tires, service, etc.

Fueling a gas or electric vehicle is just a portion of the overall cost of ownership.

The point I'm getting at is there are other (very good) reasons to buy a M3. If you're trying to justify the purchase I think you ought to look at all the factors. It is an amazing vehicle.

peldor427 | 5 ottobre 2018

I switched from a Prius as well, but not to save money on gas - there are many other reasons. If it were just to save money, that would be a failed effort because of the additional premium for purchasing the Tesla to replace a used car that you already had. I was happy with my Prius, but the Tesla is much better in so many ways!

drhelmutroth | 5 ottobre 2018

If I could operate a spaceship at the cost of bicycle, I would be more than thrilled.

dalesmith1962 | 5 ottobre 2018

@busky “Electricity rates will go up too”

I disagree. As renewable energy and battery storage ramp up prices will go down. Increased demand might nullify most of those declines, but I doubt the price actually goes up.

If the cost of electricity goes up there will be more incentive for homeowners to get a solar array. The utilities don’t want to push customers away.