Of course, there are many variables and everyone's situation is different, but the analysis is compelling.

Our good friend Sean Mitchell has told us time and time again that he bought his used Tesla Model S with the intention of saving money on "fuel." This is because his job as an independent real estate agent in Colorado requires an incredible amount of driving — over 50,000 miles per year.

In 2016, Mitchell parted with his Subaru Legacy and picked up a 2013 Model S with 16,000 miles on it. Over the course of about three years, he's pushed the odometer over a whopping 200,000 miles.

Did Mitchell's plan work out?

It sure did, and then some. Not only did he save money on "fueling" his vehicle, but he also saved in other areas.

Mitchell compares the cost of charging (fueling), operating, maintaining, and servicing his Tesla to that of a similarly priced Audi A7. He also takes a look at what it may have cost him to stick with the Subaru Legacy.

He goes over the details in the video and also shares them in text form below. However, we're most impressed with his spreadsheets. If you had any doubts about costs and savings, you can take a closer look at the numbers by following the spreadsheet link in the video description below.

In the end, Mitchell says it has been 78 percent less expensive to own his Model S than it would have been to stick with a gas vehicle over the 200,000 miles.

Check it all out and then leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.

Video Description via Sean Mitchell (All Things EV) on YouTube:

My 200K mile Tesla Pt 1: 78% less expensive than a gas vehicle

Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/...

Tire video: https://youtu.be/Uk-_oz3baaE


I purchased my 2013 Model S three years old with 16,000 miles. I originally began considering the Tesla due to what I thought was a significantly less expensive cost to operate the car than my current vehicle at the time, the Subaru Legacy.

Due to me driving more than 50,000 miles a year, the thought was to reduce the cost to fuel my vehicle - and if I could do that by buying an electric car - well known to be more efficient in total emissions - it would be a win-win.

This is the first of a three part video series on my experience with my Tesla. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss the next two parts in my series where I cover battery degradation and overall wear and tear.

1) Costs

A few disclaimers:
-This analysis does not include monthly payment or insurance since these things vary significantly by owner.
-Numbers outside of my specific use of my Tesla and my specific use case should be considered estimates
-The purpose of this analysis was to get an idea of how much money I saved in operational costs by going electric
-For brevity’s sake I’m giving you a summary of my findings, I’ll make the spreadsheet of my calculations available in the video description

Fuel Costs:

Audi A7
Subaru Legacy
Tesla Model S 75

Cost comparison
Cost per mile
% Difference

The delta between my Tesla and the Audi and Subaru becomes even more dramatic when you factor in European pricing for fuel.


-I did have a 50,000 mile warranty when I purchased the car. This is why you see so many initial repairs covered by warranty.
-Most issues seem to be isolated to quality of parts, not wearing out. This is likely due to it being an early production version with a VIN in the low 8,000.
-Number of items fixed dropped by 69% from year one to year two, and then 40% from year to to year three


-Not surprisingly, the most costly maintenance I’ve seen have been the tires.


-When I first began looking at a Tesla it was a huge step up in price from my Subaru. However, my initial hypothesis revealed it should have been less expensive to operate even the host of the vehicle with more.
-Today, I can confirm that my initial hypothesis was correct.
-The cost to operate my Model S over 200K miles is significantly less than a gas vehicle
-Even the total cost to power my Tesla is still less expensive than just the cost to fuel a similar priced car.

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