Fuel savings

Fuel savings

The actual savings of electric vs gas, is not as great has the Tesla calculator claims. The calculator factors premium fuel costs at California fuel prices, but then calculates electricity costs at U.S. average of .11 cents per KWH, while California rates are .227 per KWH. Plus the calculator, uses premium fuel costs, not regular. When you change these 2 factors, the actual saving drops to $140 per month from $255, based on 15,000 miles. The Tesla pricing calculator, borders on deception, and is not something I'd expect from this company. The advertising team at Tesla, would like everyone to believe, driving a Tesla, is almost free, no fuel costs, no CO2 pollution (what about that power plant producing the electricity, or is it a Nuke?) Borders on deception, no, it is deception. I was almost finished with the order and deposit, when I studied the calculator, and then decided to wait. Then I read other comments about the tires wearing out at 10,000 miles. Most cars will get at least 35,000. I checked the prices for those 21in. tires, how about $2800 for 4, installed and balanced. I thought my 911 tires were expensive, these are double. I'll wait or look at a hybrid, at least I won't have to buy a $2800 set of tires, every 9 months.

bonaire | 21 september 2013

Consider the alternative. Dealership salespeople. You have to pay to play.

Mireille '&... | 21 september 2013

We actually do save on fuel. After deducting the cost of electricity, we're still saving well over $300 per month. Some months it's close to $400. And we're looking forward to our 1st Super Charger trip :D

soma | 21 september 2013

If your decision turns on the exact cost of gas determining your "savings" by buying this car, you should not buy this car. You will not enjoy it if that's your primary reason for buying it.

N_Tesla | 21 september 2013

My night-time cost of electricity in Los Angeles, provided by the LADWP, is 13.7 cents per kilowatt hour. My peak cost of electricity is 26 cents per kilowatt hour. I will only charge the car at night, so I don't see how I would ever pay 22.7 cents.

If you want the cheapest transportation cost you should buy a three year old Honda Accord with low miles.

gocken1 | 21 september 2013

If your worried about tire wear do not get the 21". The 19" tires will last a lot longer. As for premium fuel, most similar cars will require it. You should not compare the Tesla Model S to a Honda Accord. It looks like to me your just trying to find excuses not to by it. It's your choice and you don't need to make excuses here for us. Have you driven one yet?

mrrjm | 21 september 2013

I the chicago area I'm paying .09/kw 24/7. And it I could get one another plan that is even lower off peak. Tire wear is dependent on the driver. Drive fast-turn fast and yes low tire life.

SUN 2 DRV | 21 september 2013

coll1951: You can do a lot better than $.227 / kWh to charge your car in California. Just get one of the EV ToU rates. PG&E's off-peak EV ToU rate is $.10 or even less than Tesla's estimate.

Don't forget that the SuperChargers are Free. Don't think you'll find Free gas anywhere.

And yes I was also surprised at the fast 21" tire wear. But then none of your other cars have torque like the Tesla. Get the 19" tires if that's a concern to you.

SUN 2 DRV | 21 september 2013

I also forgot to mention that you can choose to invest in solar which there after gives you free energy without any CO2. Your gas car won't have that option either.

Of course you should get whatever car you're most comfortable with, but except for the tire wear issue, none of other issues should be a concern.

cloroxbb | 21 september 2013

Well of course, if you were to factor in someone driving a Prius, then the savings wouldn't seem as great either, but you realize its STILL SAVINGS.

diegoPasadena | 21 september 2013

There is no "California electric rate". It varies throughout the state. In Pasadena, it's 9 cents/kWh plus a delivery charge that increases with consumption. If you have Time Of Use rates, it drops to 4.5 cents. I *never* get to 22.
And *PLEASE*, when can we finally stop with this intellectually dishonest "electricity production creates CO2" argument? Aren't we all smart enough to know that we are TALKING ABOUT THE CAR!!?? When we talk about an ICE's CO2 emissions, we don't factor in the whole oil industry's CO2 contribution in making the gas either. We just look at the car. Apples to Apples, PLEASE!

N_Tesla | 21 september 2013

The greatest cost to owning a Tesla, or any expensive car, is depreciation. Every other cost is minor in comparison.

mrspaghetti | 21 september 2013

@soma +1

You don't buy a Tesla Model S to 'save money'. Once you crunch the numbers it will almost certainly cost less over the life of the car than an ICE that is comparable, but it is not an economy car. If you're thinking of getting it for any reason other than it's a great car and worth the money, it's probably best that you waited.

O EMSHN | 21 september 2013

California's new EV rates (PG&E) are less than $0.1 between 11pm and 7am and any car that vaguely competes with a Tesla uses premium gas. In the future, gas will go up faster than electricity.

Tesla's numbers - for the life of the car - are almost certainly conservative.

mclary | 21 september 2013

If you are questioning these items in your post, then you don't need to by a Model S.

You would be better off with a Ford CMax or Fussion.

ir | 21 september 2013

As a perk, we get free EV charging. Can't beat zero dollars.

Only time I charge at home is on busy driving weekends.

ORWA | 21 september 2013

Saving over $500 a month in gas. Electricity is 8.1 cents here

RedShift | 21 september 2013

I live in Fremont, CA. My average rate thru PGE is around 11c per KWh.

Also, my client provides free charging at work. Have paid maybe 5$ in all out of pocket since June of this year to fill up due to rare home charging on some weekends.

PorfirioR | 21 september 2013

Those two arguments like the ones from the OP always seem so illogical to me.

If you need the calculator to tell you how much money you would save on gas, it means that you don't know how much money you are spending already. If you do not know how much money you are spending on gas, then you should not be buying the car based on fuel savings since you are obviously not concerned about it.

The second argument that, since electricity is not totally "clean" anyway, might as well drive an ICE vehicle, makes absolutely no sense. If you were looking to buy a new car and your candidate list included an electric car, why does the cleanliness of the electricity matter? Do you check whether your oil comes from the Congo or Venezuela?

If you live in a state like West Virginia where 96% of your electricity comes from coal, buying ANY vehicle will never be a solution to that problem unless you use it to move to another state.

fuellss | 21 september 2013

OP - Not sure where you got your information. Here in Sacramento my kWh rate is 6 cents per kWh using SMUD's (our muni utility company) EV rate. Gas is currently $4 a gallon. What do you think a gallon of gas will be in one year? The Tesla calculator is inaccurate because I'm saving more $ then they said.. Those SOBs!
Not good to spread half truths and mis information.

jbunn | 21 september 2013

My average distance per month over 6 months = 1200/month.
Average fuel cost $27 per month.

Tesla cost per mile = .02 per mile.
Previous ICE car = .23 per mile.

Monthly savings = $250.00 per month. That's a full one third of my car payment.

Imagine driving a nice car and having 4 payments per year made for you by gasoline savings. Every year.

Volleyguy | 22 september 2013

I think the calculator is very conservative. Tesla uses the cheapest gas in the western world, the U.S.. (Where the site is)

Imagine how their calculator looks in Europe! Where the price is $10 a gallon!

I punched in the normal European price of $10 a gallon and then the whole car payment is paid by fuel savings!

Volleyguy | 22 september 2013

I really hope Tesla says their best options are first to blanket Norway with SC's then other countries and hopefully Ontario where the calculator makes much more sense! We will not question the fuel savings!

The odd scenario in this is the U.S. the country the car is made is where the numbers do not work the best?... We pay $5.60+ per gallon for premium and British Columbia is even more. Europe of course vastly more yet.

We could end up realistically with Europe and Canada etc. getting the Tesla's and being blanketed first with SC's? Due strictly to economics and the U.S. will be dumped with the oil that is not used in these countries. (keeping oil cheaper and delaying the switch)

EVTripPlanner | 22 september 2013

I've done a more comprehensive energy cost analysis (and TCO comparison) including efficiency, parasitic (parked) losses, real-world electricity costs, etc. You can find the spreadsheet at and put in your own assumptions.

I agree that Tesla does themselves a disservice by overstating the already-impressive realities. In any case, the car is great, the operating costs are low and the net emissions are much reduced from ICE vehicles!

cwmenne | 22 september 2013

As my wife tells her friends that are concerned about the high cost of the car; "He is always going to have a luxury car, so with the fuel and maintenance savings, the Tesla isn't that expensive". I couldn't have taught her to say that, she figured it out on her own. So, for me, I couldn't lease a BMW 535i for what I can own the Tesla for, because of the fuel savings. I am saving around $350/month in fuel costs. I am also only paying $0.057/kWh with TOU billing. For 20 hours/day, I am paying less for electricity than I was before and for the 4 hours that I pay more, I have reprogrammed my thermostat to drive down just before and "coast" during that time, so my overall electric bill has gone down. The car is costing me $0.015/mi (yes, that's one and one half CENT per mile) in electricity, vs my last BMW at $0.20/mi in premium fuel.

Also, regarding the tires, I have the 19" wheels on my MS and my last BMW had 18" wheels. The BMW used to go through $2,000 worth of tires per summer and so far, with 4500 miles on the MS, the tires still look like new and will be much cheaper to replace than the BMW tires. Seriously, this car is MUCH less expensive to own than it seems, but you still can't compare it to a Toyota/Honda/Chevy, etc. It's not even on the same planet as those cars.