How Much Does it Cost to Charge a Tesla?

Last Updated on November 5, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

There’s no denying that Electric vehicles (EVs) are seen as the future of travel. This future, one that is seen as one in which cars and tailpipe emissions have the smallest possible environmental impact, is made a reality faster by a company and its technological advancements: Tesla.

Electric car advocates argue that it usually is considerably cheaper to charge your EV than a full tank of fuel on a gas car. Although this is true to some extent, there is a bigger picture you should know about before you can say that a Tesla, or any EV for that matter, will save you money in energy costs regardless of the circumstances. It eventually comes down to where you charge it.

How Much Does it Cost to Charge a Tesla at Home?

The cost of a full charge for a Tesla is anywhere between $7 and $39, with the energy cost per mile anywhere between $0.03 and $0.13, depending on your location and the specific Tesla model you own. These price ranges are for charging your vehicle at home.

Some early Tesla models are still under the free Supercharger access provided by the automaker. But unless you can take advantage of free charging, it will usually be cheaper to plug your Tesla in at home.

States like North Dakota, for example, will enable you to charge a Tesla Model 3 TWD for just $7 from empty to full, if you do this at home, which is the cheapest possible scenario.

On the list of electricity prices in the US, North Dakota is the cheapest, with an average of less than $0.10 per kilowatt-hour. The base Model 3 is also known to have the smallest battery of all Teslas.

You will surely spend more when charging the bigger battery of a Model X or a Model S in a state with more expensive electricity. Connecticut, for example, is the most expensive state in all the continental U.S., with a price of $0.34 per kilowatt-hour. This takes the cost of a full charge closer to a whopping $40.

But when you compare the cost of charging an EV, it isn’t enough to talk about the cost of filling a gas tank. To make sure that you take into account the important variables, you need to see how far each type of vehicle can take you for the money.

The table below will show you different prices depending on the model. It will show you that a Tesla can be driven with just a few pennies a mile. If you can plug your in vehicle at home, you will likely spend between $445 and $1,930 if you drive an average of 14,000 miles per year.

Model Cost of a full charge Energy cost/mile Annual energy cost
Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD $9.90-$35.20 $0.033-$0.099 $445.50-$1,336.50
Tesla Model X Plaid $12.10-$42.90 $0.033-$0.143 $445.50-$1,930.50
Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD $9.90-$35.20 $0.033-$0.11 $445.50-$1,485.00
Tesla Model 3 RWD $7.70-$26.40 $0.033-$0.099 $445.50-$1,336.50
Tesla Model X AWD $12.10-$42.90 $0.033-$0.121 $445.50-$1,633.50
Tesla Model S AWD $12.10-$42.90 $0.033-$0.11 $445.50-$1,485.00
Tesla Model 3 Performance $9.90-$35.20 $0.033-$0.121 $445.50-$1,633.50
Tesla Model S Plaid $12.10-$42.90 $0.033-$0.121 $445.50-$1,633.50
Tesla Model Y AWD $8.80-$28.60 $0.033-$0.099 $445.50-$1,336.50
Tesla Model 3 RWD $7.70-$26.40 $0.033-$0.099 $445.50-$1,336.50

These aren’t exact numbers and depending on your situation, you might have to pay more or less, depending on the real-world efficiency of your vehicle and the costs of electricity in your area. Your driving style and the weather will also influence how much your car will go when charged to full.

How Much Does It Cost to Use a Tesla Supercharger?

You will get the convenience of using Tesla’s network of more than 17,000 Superchargers, for a price. It will only take about 15 to 30 minutes for a Supercharger to zap a Tesla from close to empty to 80 percent, although this comes with electricity costs about twice what you’d usually pay when you charge at home.

Depending on the location you go to, you will spend between $0.25 and $0.50 per kilowatt-hour. You can find the most affordable stations around you by using one of the free apps and websites, like PlugShare, for example.

There are some Tesla owners that choose to use Superchargers found at gas stations for their EVs, although most EV drivers will choose to charge their vehicle at home as much as possible, and only go for fast chargers during long-distance road trips.

You will find in the table below, energy costs according to current Supercharger prices, with the same number for driving, 14,000 miles, for the annual energy cost.

Model Cost to charge a Tesla to full Energy cost/mile Annual energy cost
Tesla Model 3 Performance $23.10-$46.20 $0.07-$0.15 $945.00-$2,025.00
Tesla Model X Plaid $31.90-$64.20 $0.09-$0.18 $1,215.00-$2,430.00
Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD $25.30-$50.60 $0.07-$0.14 $945.00-$1,890.00
Tesla Model 3 RWD $18.70-$37.40 $0.06-$0.13 $810.00-$1,755.00
Tesla Model X AWD $31.90-$64.20 $0.08-$0.17 $1,080.00-$2,295.00
Tesla Model S AWD $31.90-$64.20 $0.07-$0.14 $945.00-$1,890.00
Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD $25.30-$50.60 $0.06-$0.13 $810.00-$1,755.00
Tesla Model Y Performance $25.30-$50.60 $0.08-$0.15 $1,080.00-$2,025.00
Tesla Model S Plaid $31.90-$64.20 $0.07-$0.17 $945.00-$2,295.00
Tesla Model Y AWD $20.90-$41.80 $0.07-$0.14 $945.00-$1,890.00

Charge Your TeslaThere have been instances in which Tesla offered free Supercharging to new buyers closer to the end of the year or even the end of a specific quarter as a way of boosting sales.

There were models, like the Model X and the Model S vehicles sold before 2017, which came with lifetime Supercharging for free. This could even be transferred to a new owner every time the car was sold. Nowadays, though, these features are limited to the first years or the first 1,000 miles.

These Teslas can be hard to find and command a premium when they come up for sale. Considering the low cost of charging at home, they’re typically only worth the extra outlay if you plan to exclusively use Superchargers.

Charging a Tesla vs. Fueling a Gas Vehicle

Electric motors were made to be a lot more efficient than gas engines. This is why EVs charged at home will usually be cheaper to run than any gas vehicle.

While in a gas vehicle, only about 16% to 25% of the energy consumed will reach the wheels to move the car on the road, in EVs, this number is closer to 87% – 91%.

Although gas-electric hybrid powertrains were made to somewhat close this cost gap, even if you buy a very efficient hybrid, like the Toyota Prius, it will be considerably more expensive to run on the road than the Tesla Model 3, for example.

Cost of Charging a Tesla when using a Home Solar-Powered Charging Station

As long as you have already faced the cost of installation and parts for a solar-powered charging station, won’t pay anything to charge your Tesla. Nevertheless, if you haven’t built the system yet, you’ll likely have to give away a couple of thousand dollars to get one installed.

How Frequently Do You Have To Charge A Tesla?

You’ll likely need to charge your Tesla whenever possible utilizing a technique called top-up charging. This will ensure that, even if you have a great deal of range left, you’ll never have to find solutions to charge a fully empty battery. Experts say that the best way to do this is to simply plug in your Tesla as soon as you get home.

What Are The Variables That Affect The Charge Speed?

When it comes to traditional fuel pumps, these have a rather fixed circulation rate. This can still be impacted to a small extent by the number of automobiles to get fuel, but a battery charge’s rate will be affected by several additional variables, influencing how fast the EV will receive its electricity.

Below, you will find the most important variables to affect the electrical vehicle’s charging speed.

Ambient Temperature level

Cooler temperature levels impact a battery’s electrochemical responses, therefore charge speeds will slow as the mercury drops. Also, the range is also affected in a negative way by winter temperatures.

Battery charger Type

The kind of battery charger (see below) will tell you whether you should expect a fast pit stop or a long lunch to get the battery levels up.

The Number Of EVs Simultaneously Charging at a Station.

Normally, the more EVs linked to a charging station the slower the charge rate.

Automobile’s Battery Size

EVs are provided with a range of battery sizes; the capability of an EV’s battery (determined in kilowatt-hours) will tell you how rapidly it charges. For instance, the Tesla Model S and Model X are readily available with a high-capacity 100-kWh battery, while the base-model Hyundai Kona’s battery is 39.2 kWh.

Automobile’s Battery Depletion

A half-full battery will charge faster than a fully empty one. To guarantee a battery’s durability, an EV’s battery management system will slow down the energy flow to protect the battery.

The Time of Day

Power delivery might be impacted by the time of day when you choose to charge your EV, depending on where you live. Peak use hours might slow a battery charger’s rate as more electrical power is drawn from the grid.

How Long Does It Take To Charge a Tesla?

Tesla’s charge times differ mostly based on the kind of battery charger the owner is utilizing. Here’s a short breakdown of the kinds of battery chargers available for Tesla and approximately how long it will take a Tesla to charge.

Level 1 Outlet Battery Charger (~ 3.7 kW)

The most basic type of EV charging, Level 1 battery chargers have a basic, three-prong home plug on one end and a port on the other end that plugs into the car.

These battery chargers, which are typically portable and do not need any setup by an electrical professional, give electrical power at a wall outlet’s typical 120-volt rate.

Typical Charge Time: 11-30 hours.

Level 2 Battery Charger (~ 6.6 kW)

A handful of EV producers and third-party companies provide quicker-charging 240-volt systems. Residential Level 2 battery chargers are typically set up by an electrical contractor and need a dedicated 40-amp circuit. Level 2 battery chargers can likewise be discovered in public locations such as car parks, office buildings, and other business areas.

Typical Charge Time: 4-6 hours.

Fast Battery Charger (~ 150-250kW)

The Tesla Supercharger network utilizes an exclusive 480V direct-current system. Tesla’s Supercharger network will only work with Tesla cars.

Typical Charge Time: 40 minutes to 1 hour.

How Much Time Does Each Tesla Type Require To Charge To Full?

It’s also useful to know that each Tesla model has its own charge-time. Here’s a rundown of those specific charge times.

Model Description Level 1 Battery charger Level 2 Battery charger Level 3 Battery charger
Tesla Model 3 Tesla’s Model 3 is its attempt at a mass-market compact sedan. 14-21 hours 7-11 hours 20 minutes
Tesla Model Y Tesla’s Model Y is its attempt at a mass-market compact crossover. 14-21 hours 7-11 hours 20 minutes
Tesla Model X Tesla’s Model X is the brand’s mid-size high-end SUV. 27 hours 15 hours 30 minutes
Tesla Model S Tesla’s Model S is the brand’s mid-size high-end sedan. 27 hours 15 hours 30 minutes

Future Tesla Cars

Even though you can make deposits for the upcoming Cybertruck pickup, Roadster 2.0 muscle car, and full-size semi-truck, you can’t physically touch any of them yet. Nor is it known what sort of charge times each will include. Nevertheless, using what we do know about each, we can approximate each car’s charge time.

We utilized consumer-provided charge times of the above models, in addition to Tesla-supplied price quotes to approximate the charge times. These will clearly depend significantly on the completed cars, so take this with a grain of salt.

The CyberTruck

Tesla’s upcoming Cybertruck is the brand’s effort at an electrical pickup.

  • Level 1 Battery charger: 20-27 hours (expected)
  • Level 2 Battery charger: 10-15 hours (expected)
  • Level 3 Battery charger: 30-50 minutes (expected)

Roadster 2.0

The first Tesla was the Roadster. Roadster 2.0 is the prepared next generation.

  • Level 1 Battery charger: 20-27 hours (expected)
  • Level 2 Battery charger: 10-15 hours (expected)
  • Level 3 Battery charger: 30-50 minutes (expected)

The Semi

Tesla’s Semi is the brand name’s upcoming semi-tractor trailer made as an addition to the long-haul trucking market. It works only with the Level 3 charger.

Level 3 Battery charger: 30-50 minutes (estimated)

2 replies
  1. Junster
    Junster says:

    The pricing has not context. Is this the price to charge each time? Is this weekly, monthly? Can you please clarify? Thanks for the info.

  2. Kevin L Johnson
    Kevin L Johnson says:

    Keep in mind,
    example: 14kw @ .08831/kwh ($1.23) may be the energy needed to charge a battery, but your electric bill has fees and taxes per kwh used. It all depends on where you live. You can do the calculations just by using you monthly bill and put in what you estimate the kwh needed to charge the battery per month plus the avg. kwh used that you normally use on a monthly basis.
    On my electric bill:
    1. Basic service charge (flat fee)
    2. Energy charge per kwh
    3. Fuel cost charge per kwh
    4. Affordability charge (flat fee)
    5. City fees @ 4.00%
    6. Transportation improvement tax @ .5%
    8. State tax @ 6.875%
    Most of the above charges (2,3,5,6,7,8) are influenced by kwh used.
    Liars figure but figures don’t lie.
    Do your research and base your decisions based on facts, lifestyle, budget, etc.
    Rebates/tax credits may not last forever.


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