Over 5% Of Total Tesla Model S Miles Are Supercharged Miles

MAY 11 2014 BY MARK KANE 40

Tesla Model s Supercharger

Coming Soon to Bethesda

In its most recent shareholder letter, Tesla Motors stated that cumulative mileage of Model S EVs exceeds 275 million miles.

“Overall, our customers have now driven Model S more than 275 million miles, saving nearly 14 million gallons of gasoline.”

Later, Tesla stated that 15 million miles were driven from energy supplied by Superchargers.

“Our customers have now driven nearly 15 million Supercharged miles for free.”

This indicates that 5.5% must be Supercharged miles (in several markets, the Supercharger network still is not ready, so this 5.5% figure will likely be higher in the future).

Based on 5.5% number, we could estimate…skip that.  Better yet, we’ll let you decide what can be made of this 5.5% figure.

Categories: Charging, Tesla

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40 Comments on "Over 5% Of Total Tesla Model S Miles Are Supercharged Miles"

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Just confirming the (relatively) old wisdom, public EV charging is not for charging but for getting rid of range anxiety.

Or it confirms that people drive 5-10% of their mileage on road trips, using supercharging for everything over the initial 250 miles they leave home with.

Exactly. That is a more valid point. And it adds upp with the estimates that have been made before about peoples driving habits.

I expect the percentage to be around 10% when the supercharger network is more frequent on the highways.

It confirms nothing this way because those may be exactly the same people who charge all over the time

Only 5.5% of EV miles is about right and should actually lower as many owners get over the ‘newness’ of public charging just because it’s free.

Also since even Tesla states on their website that charging at home is the best way to charge your Tesla Model S.

“The most convenient time to charge is often at night, when your car is parked in your garage. Simply plug in when you arrive home. Model S will charge right away or at the time you’ve scheduled using the Touchscreen or a smart phone. Long before morning, your car will be charged and ready for the next adventure.”

– Tesla.com

Clearly what many in the EV world is forgetting is that unlike an ICE vehicle, there is no need to search for a ‘gas’ station outside their own garage.

Which is why long term, as the EV range increases, the idea of public charging will make about as much sense as driving to a public bathroom instead of using the one in your own home.

I love the bathroom analogy! Well put!

And almost as sanitary! The Superchargers are nice and new and clean for now, but many of the L2 chargers are getting NASTY out there.

Sorry, I disagree.. Even if everyone had a Tesla with 200+ miles of range, there will still be a need for public charging as the superchargers are clearly demonstrating. You also forget about all of the people that live in apartments, condos, etc.

The apartment/condo dwellers need charging at their parking spaces and maybe work. I don’t see mainstream buyers getting an EV unless they have reliable, convenient access to charging. Public charging outside of work/home is neither when it takes 1/2 hour at best to get 200 miles under ideal conditions. It is fine for the long distance travel but not everyday use for most people.

The bathroom analogy is actually perfect, yes I use the bathroom at home more than any other bathroom but I really appreciate having one at work, one at the restaurant that I use very occasionally and one at the service station on the way to Grandma’s.

Could I live without all these public bathrooms, yes, but it would limit what I could do in life. The difficulty is who pays for the public chargers? Public bathrooms are probably a better model than petrol stations but that’s just my opinion.

I wonder if a few people that live near superchargers use them to power up all the time. You wouldn’t think rich people would be so petty . . . but they generally didn’t get rich by spending freely.

I think they might a few times but once u got into a routine of charging while you sleep that seems to make more sense. Depends on how far away you live from the SC too I guess. If your errand was a good distance from home and there happens to be a SC within walking distance I’m sure most would take the opportunity to charge up.

If you just happen to live near a supercharger, you can bet that some people will use it for essentially 100% of their charging needs. Of course, not too many people live that close. That said, it doesn’t take that many to drive up the percentage. Without those people, the number would be a lot less than 5%.

I’m pretty sure rich people value their time more than the $10/hr saved at a supercharging station.

In other news …
94.5% of Model S miles driven are non-supercharged. ie: the range from home charging is more than enought for 94.5% of an owners needs … from an average 30-40 mile commute, or a 140 mile trip from without needing a range extending network.

Another perspective is the average Model S owner driving 15,000 miles per year will drive ~825 miles using supercharger energy. (660 miles if driving 12,000 miles per year) At 36 kW/100 miles is ~300 kWh @ $0.12 or $30-$36 of FREE electricity per year. The EV smile … priceless!!

That’s about what I would put on, if I had a Tesla. Somewhere between 5 to 10% on SC miles.

The total lifetime cost of electricity will be perhaps $500 per car, while she supercharger option costs $ 2000 upfront.

And now we know why Tesla gives away Supercharger access for free. The markething value far, far exceeds this $30 per car per year. Brilliant strategy.

I think that’ll go up to maybe $50/year, but your point still holds.

It also says something that enormous companies like Toyota and Honda refuse to build out hydrogen infrastructure without gov’t support, but a relatively tiny company like Tesla is going to cover Europe and the US with superchargers.

Building a supercharger network is super cheap compared to h2 fueling stations.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

So for the average 12k mile/year driver, that’s about 660 miles. For a supercharger that takes about 50k miles worth of ‘free’ charging to recoup its cost for, that’s about 76 years of ownership.

I think of of it more like adding a function to the car.. not something to make money with. It’s also like an insurance policy, something else you don’t make money on.

Exactly…I (and I’m sure many others), don’t consider L2 charging feasible in the wild except maybe at a hotel if staying overnight. That leaves SCs to cover charging if driving over 200 miles in a day. For the cost of the SC option/85 upgrade its well worth it to make longer daily destinations a possibilty. Its not about trying to recoup the actual dollars.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Yep, it’s a security blanket, and given naysayers’ panickiness about how much it’s going to cost Tesla to build and operate the SC network, it makes them look rather silly. Let’s say that between Model Ss that have no SC, those that have it built-in, and those that pay $2.5k to have it added that the average per-vehicle upcharge is around $1700. Tesla gets that upfront, and the ‘subscription rate’ for SCs is 5.5% so they can ‘oversubscribe’ by maybe ~18x and be ok.

So say they sell 100k cars with the SC option or standard at that average.. That’d gross $170M. What’s the marginal cost of operation of the SC network vs. SC option sales?

Technically super chargers are still very rare in that the nearest one to me is 40 to 50 miles away. While at the same time I see a sliver Tesla Model S that drives by me locally all the time. The thing is that it wouldn’t make sense for someone who owns a Tesla to drive 40 miles one way and 40 miles the other way to supercharge and go back to their house.

Things would be a lot different if there was say a Supercharger every ten miles.

By the end of the year superchargers 100 miles apart or so along most major continental US will make a big difference and I expect a lot more supercharging to take place!

Regular picture in Oosterhout, Netherlands

How irritating that they all have to back in. That is a huge fallacy of Teslas if you ask me. They should not have put the charge port on the rear of the car.

Yeah, I’ve mentioned that too. Will be interesting to see what they do w/the Gen3.

Forgot to say, I know Leafs have ports on the front, but I think the Volt’s port location is ideal. Mainly because I can reach it from my driver’s seat, which comes in handy, and I can pull in tight to parking spaces w/out having to worry about access to the front of the car like the Leaf.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Ideal for non-RHD locales, you mean 😉

Me, I still think Tesla should offer optional region-specific front charger port(s) behind a flip-open door in the “grille”.

You must have looong arms. I couldn’t come close to reaching the Volt’s charge door when I left it open by mistake.

I think supply will create its own demand here. The more Superchargers come online the more the cars will be used for longer trips.

I think they will also help drive sales. A lot of people may look at a map and see that a new SC just opened up on one of their common routes and start considering the car more seriously.


My wife&I have owned a Toyota Plug-in PRIUS
since the model became available in July 2012.We installed solar voltaic panels at our home in 2008&the Baxi Ecogen domestic c/h boiler was installed by British Gas in 2010.This decision was NOT made in anticipation of the advent of electric/hybrid vehicles. But now we are running a family car mainly on electricity
which we have been PAID, by government initiative, to generate(66% of total mileage). Admittedly mostly on local journeys(we are octogenarians)

How many miles do you put on in a year, and how much gasoline (petrol) do you buy in a year?

Probably less than 10k a year as they in their 80’s.

They probably spend a couple hundred on gas a year. I filled up about 6 months ago, and I still have 1/4 of a tank.

And how much did you pay for that gas engine that you never use 😉