Tesla Model 3 1,000-Mile Road Trip: Total Charging Time And Cost


How much time will you spend Supercharging a Tesla Model 3 while road-tripping?

When it comes to EVs, many people’s biggest concern is still range and charging time. This is not really much of an issue anymore for many electric vehicles, unless you’re using the car for a long road trip. The Tesla Model 3 offers a longer range than most EVs on the market, in addition to being highly efficient. To top it off, the Tesla Supercharger network makes traveling convenient since charging is quick and stations are plentiful and strategically located.

Regardless of the above, if your trip is long enough that it requires multiple charging stops, you will have to plan ahead for the extra time. Once you realize how much money you’ll save, among a long list of other perks of EV ownership, you’ll likely realize the extra time is worth it. YouTuber Andy Slye sets out on a 990-mile road trip to share how much time it takes him to charge, as well as the total cost involved. He notes that he charged the Model 3 four times and averaged about 25 minutes per stop. Total charging time was one hour and 38 minutes, and the 990-mile journey cost him less than $13.

Video Description via Andy Slye on YouTube:

1,000 Mile Trip in a Tesla Model 3: The TRUTH About Charging

Tesla Model 3 road trip test: How it handles 1,000 miles! This is a test to see how my RWD Long Range Model 3 does on a long road trip. Turns out it’s an awesome car for traveling!

4 total Supercharging stops:
Brentwood TN (36 mins) +177 miles for $3.70
Athens AL (28 mins) +127 miles for $3.90
Athens AL (20 mins) +70 miles for $2.20
Bowling Green KY (14 mins) +115 miles for $3.08

Total Supercharging Time: 1 hr 38 mins (25 mins average per stop)
Total Supercharging Cost for 990 mile trip: $12.88
Avg 249 Wh/mile


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2. Tesla Model 3
Range: 310 miles; 136/123 mpg-e. Still maintaining a long waiting list as production ramps up slowly, the new compact Tesla Model 3 sedan is a smaller and cheaper, but no less stylish, alternative, to the fledgling automaker’s popular Model S. This estimate is for a Model 3 with the “optional” (at $9,000) long-range battery, which is as of this writing still the only configuration available. The standard battery, which is expected to become available later in 2018, is estimated to run for 220 miles on a charge. Tesla Model 3 Performance - Dual Motor Badge Tesla Model 3 Performance Tesla Model 3 Performance Tesla Model 3 Performance Tesla Model 3 Performance - Midnight Silver Tarmac Motion (wallpaper 2,560x – click to enlarge) Tesla Model 3 Performance - White Interior - Wide Tesla Model 3 Performance - White Interior - Touchscreen Tesla Model 3 front seats Tesla Model 3 at Atascadero, CA Supercharging station (via Mark F!) The Tesla Model 3 is not hiding anymore! Tesla Model 3 (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs) Tesla Model 3 Inside the Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 rear seats

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53 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 1,000-Mile Road Trip: Total Charging Time And Cost"

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The math doesn’t add up. You added 489 miles with the charging stops. You went 990 miles. Did you have 500 miles from your first charge? I didn’t know they had that sort of range.

Still love that car and seems like a reasonable trade off for the benefits of electric.

In the video he says he charged for free at a hotel one night and at his sisters house where he spend thanksgiving. The list of charging stops were just en-route when he stopped to charge. I guess he didn’t include the destination charging because it was free and he was stopping there anyway.

I think he is reporting what the computer/charger told him was added, not the actual miles he obtained from each charge. Not sure what the car assumes you get in miles per kWh vs what he got.

You can assume that anybody starting a road trip will charge first (i.e. leave home with a full charge), so that accounts for 799 miles. It doesn’t add time to the trip, is almost definitely done overnight or when the person is asleep, and gives 310 miles. The important question is how representative this is of real life. Almost anybody would start with a full charge because it’s cheaper to charge at home and nobody wants an extra stop. Not everybody has a place to charge for free on the trip. It’s common enough that it’s not a stretch to say that this is a typical trip, but it’s one of several types of typical trips. It’s also typical for people not to have such places to charge. So another 40 minute stop somewhere in there would make sense to add. You can assume an extra $4 or so would be spent. But you also have to figure that the scenario above didn’t account for meal times, especially on the way back. If you assume that a person has one meal in each direction on an 800 mile round trip with 200 miles of driving around at the destination, that’s… Read more »

The 2018 Tesla Model 3 Long Range is rated at 310 miles. So, it appears that with each stop he was only topping off the batteries rather than drain them completely. I would probably calculate the geographical distances between the origin, stops and destination to determine how far he traveled between charging stops. Good luck.

These are *very* reasonable quick-charging prices.

Now, comparing to a compact ICE car that does 33 MPG highway… that would be 30 gallons at $2.20/gal for $66.
So the ratio is similar to the ratio between home-charging price and gas.

Tesla is basically charging at cost for electricity. Maybe even below cost in areas with demand charges (ok, absolutely below cost with demand charges). Don’t expect to see this for other vehicles. The supercharger network is a loss-leader for Tesla to sell cars. Other networks that are profit-driven like EVGo or Electrify America cost much more.

Has anyone heard of Tesla getting into the Renewable Energy Credit business? Similar to how they make a few hundred Million from selling ZEV credits, they could make a few hundred Million from selling REC’s that could be used to fund more superchargers/ electricity for them.

Actually Electrify America is VW’s punishment for the diesel fraud so it’s most definitely not supposed to be a moneymaker.

Creating EA may be punishment, but I haven’t seen anything that states that it cannot be profitable. If you have information saying that they are prohibited from making money, please share it.

EA charges $1 connection fee + $0.30-$0.35 / minute. That’s more than EVGo charges. I assume they are seeking to eventually make the network profitable.

That’s about 25ct/kWh, isn’t it?

Totally depends on the rate actually pulled by the car. For a 30-minute charge at the nominal 150kW, that’s $0.15/kWh. Actual cars will charge slower, so it will be higher.

About a nickel per kWh at 350 kW 🙂

Why would you compare with 33 mpg gas guzzler if you care about fuel economy at all? It makes zero sense other than justify your own choice to spend extra money on a car.
58 mpg Hyundai Ioniq would use 17 gallons/1000 mi. At $2.20/gal it is $37. You would spend 5 minutes of your vacation time instead of 1 h 38 min for refueling. At $100/hour (Elon said so), it is $155 savings, or $131 better for Ioniq, and you don’t need to get second work to “save” for its autoloan payment /s

If you charge at home, 26 kWh/ 100 miles for Model 3 would be $3.38 at average $0.13/kWh rage. Or $33.80 for 1000 miles. Plus road tax that is collected yearly on BEVs in some states.


No “savings” on CO2 emissions either:
Ioniq: 154 g/mile tailpipe, plus 30 g/mile upstream emissions. Total 184 g/mile.

Model 3 on US grid: 150 g/mile, plus upstream power plant emissions (e.g. methane leaks), plus 15 tons per battery manufacturing amortized over 150,000 miles realistic battery/car lifetime – over 250 g/mile total.

Much worse in coal powered world, like South East Asia.

Nice fuzzy math. Lots of questionable assumptions (like the Model 3 produces 15 tons more CO2 in production than the Ioniq, or it only has a 150k mile life). You also use the national average for grid emissions when we know he was driving through TN, AL, and KY. According to this map, those states have reasonably clean grids.

Who cares where some random guy was driving really?

Almost all US grid parts are interconnected and are subject to laws of demand & supply more or less. It doesn’t make much difference where this or that plant is placed, or what virtual accounting gimmicks individual state implements, any shortage of electricity in one place is substituted by extra generation in another place. If you want proper accounting for that matter, you need to use marginal emission factor for newly built or removed generation.
Plus add upstream emissions as noted on the page.
That is much HIGHER than grid average. Almost no new nuclear or hydro plants are built anymore, and wind/solar is still just small fraction.

Li Ion battery manufacturing emissions are well known, 15-20 tons per 100 kWh. You may guess just from the battery price that it takes plenty of mining and chemical processing, and so it involves GHG emissions as well, in addition to local toxic emissions. There is no free lunch.

You are right. We shouldn’t go by some random guy, but what’s typical. Half of all EV sales in the US are in California, where the grid is MUCH cleaner. About 40% of Tesla owners have solar power at home, so most of the year, the car is running on sunlight. Believe it or not, the sun won’t get used up any faster because people have solar panels.

But “Believe it or not, the sun won’t get used up any faster because people have solar panels.”, is not what some City Mayor believed, in one place in the States…. Was it … Georgia, or elsewhere? I forgot, I laughed so hard!

Supercharging in CA costs 2-3x what this guy paid, though.

That’s because you need the comparison to be realistic. Other cars in the class, such as a BMW 3 series, Audi A4, etc. will get about 33 mpg and use premium gasoline.

Full of crap as usual!
You compare an economy car to a mid luxury…nice try.
Wanna make a real comparison? Why don’t you compare the Ioniq hybrid and ev? I know, it makes too much sense to do that and you are not that type of troll.
So for the 58 mpg hybrid it will cost $44 for 1000 miles at the current $2.561 gas average in US (not sure which dark place you pulled your 2.20) while the Ionic EV is at $30 for average 12 cents/kWh and at 25kWh/100 miles consumption.

IEV’s, why are you allowing this crap to go on? It’s not hard to see how deceptive the posts are.

“not sure which dark place you pulled your 2.20”

I paid $1.949 at Sam’s Club the night before Thanksgiving. Just saying.

Any gas vs. electric price comparison should deduct the per-gallon taxes. The free rides EV drivers get today won’t continue indefinitely.

I pay $0 for my electricity of my pv…just saying too. Someone in Newport Beach just paid $4…i took the national average.
2.20 was the US average last year….not anymore. Let’s talk about now and not what will or could happen.

1000 miles are 1.600 kms. My diesel car averages 6.2L/100kms@130km/h (81 mph), so it’s about 100L @1.30 euros/L = 130 euros. Boy, that’s 10 times more expensive.

He only got 489 miles from the Superchargers. And even that’s fishy, since his prices indicate he was almost always below 60 kW in TN and GA.

Or, you could slow down, to 65 Mph: the usual “Speed Limit”, and save on fuel use, too!

“65 Mph: the usual “Speed Limit””

130 kph is pretty common in Europe. I live a few miles from a 75 mph Interstate, it turns to 80 another 30 miles down the road. There’s an 85 limit 45 minutes in the other direction.

If you live somewhere with cheap gas, that’s true. But you also have to look at what’s typical. About half of Teslas are in California where gasoline is about $4/gallon. Add another 30 cents for premium, which is what other cars in the price/class use. So a 1000 mile trip from the Bay Area to Disneyland with 200 miles of local driving would use about $138 worth of gasoline in a BMW 3 series. That makes a typical road trip anywhere from a good amount cheaper to an incredible amount cheaper, but once you factor in year round savings from charging at home, you get a better feel for the savings. Assuming these rates, gasoline for the year might be $1660. Electricity would be about $260 at 10 cents/kWh. Not counting tax credits or rebates, that means equal monthly payments (loan and fuel) with a car that’s $6500 cheaper. For a $49,000 car, that would have been $38,500 in a state like CA after tax credits and rebates, a $31,000 car would cost just as much month to month, not factoring in oil changes, budgeting for brake jobs, etc. So even though this isn’t the “affordable” version, the cost of… Read more »

“These are *very* reasonable quick-charging prices.”

Yes, and a little suspicious. All three states price by the minute. TN is 10 cents/minute below 60 kW and 20 cents above. GA and KY are 11 and 22. This is 10-11 cents/kWh best case, more like 12-15 cents in actual usage.

First stop was in TN, with one minute above 60 kW and 35 minutes below. That’s a theoretical maximum of 37 kWh and a realistic max of about 32 kWh. How does that get you 177 miles? That’s 180 Wh/mile vs. his 249 reported.

Also the TN station was 2.1 cents/mile vs. the others at 2.7-3.1 cents/mile. It should only be ~10% cheaper. Maybe the TN station just undercharged him.

According to comments above, in the video, he states one no charge hotel charging, and charging up at a Family stay, also with no charge. No Charge = No Accounting. Hence some unaccounted variables.

I just drove my 2017 i3 BEV to Las Vegas the other weekend. In the last month and a half I have also taken the car to Palm Springs, Tehachapi, Solvang, Barstow, and an 855 mile San Francisco in which I left Saturday afternoon and had to work early Monday A.M. This Las Vegas trip was 698.7 miles. Again a Saturday-Sunday trip. Even though the i3 is only rated at 114 miles, I had no problem going over 100 miles with speeds averaging close to 70mph. My last leg from Victorville was 122 miles, at 69mph average and 4.5 mi/kWh. So Vegas to Baker, Baker to Victorville, and then all the way home. The charging stations were fairly reliable but one of the Baker stations did not work for a Nissan Leaf. And the Victorville mall had 1 charger that was working at half speed. Seems like a couple of the Las Vegas DC quick chargers aren’t too reliable either. They also seemed to be slower than the ABB chargers in California, topping out at around 38kW. But all in all, a pretty uneventful trip. The i3 charges fairly quickly. I can only imagine how effortless it would have been… Read more »

Forgot to add, that my total DCQC charges for the nearly 3000 miles in trips in October/November is “$0”. As BMW provides 2 years of free EVgo DCQC access.

Good gas price. Here in AZ. a good price is about 2.859 with will make it at $85.77. In CA. is quite more than $3.00/Gal which prob. be more than $100.00.

“Total Supercharging Cost for 990 mile trip: $12.88”
Sort of misleading. First of all he started fully charged (283 miles of range) and then he charged midway at his family/friends house (226 miles) and never gave the costs on that. So it is more like:
“Total Supercharging Cost for half of a 990 mile trip: $12.88”

Apparently if you’re mooching off your mom and friends there’s no cost – just like it doesn’t cost to live in your mom’s basement – free laundry service too!

My 1,000 mile trips om my Model 3 have been significantly more. Still well worth it however.

Not everybody stays with family. Some people stay at a hotel with free destination charging. Lots of hotels have it these days. The last time I went camping in Yosemite there was a NEMA 14-50 outlet where I parked my car. It wasn’t something I planned for, but it meant a full charge for free in a few hours. Trips like this might not be representative of every trip but they are common enough that there will be a lot like them. Free destination charging is becoming more and more common.

An extra Supercharger stop might have cost an extra $4, but it would have cost a hotel a fraction of that, and it’s nothing compared to the cost of a room. Hotels don’t typically have 100% occupancy, so if there are two hotels, one with free destination charging and one without it, for about the same price, then one of them got an extra guest out of the deal for a dollar or two. Even if there’s only one extra guest a month, it pays for itself.

Very misleading. If he went across the country at 300 miles per day without ever Supercharging, except once for a few minutes in TN to try it out, would we say 3000 miles for only 30 cents?

I did a similar, but shorter road trip a few weeks ago. My notes aren’t as good, but I considered doing a write-up of it.

The short of it was Model 3 needed less stopping time than the 4 year old and baby on the trip.

I found that too. I took a trip of about 1000 miles with the Model 3, figuring it would save time compared to a four year old Model S with much less range. But it took about the same amount of time, since meal stops and restroom stops were there anyway. It would have taken about the same amount of time in an ICE. Ultimately, the Model 3 didn’t save time or money, since the Model S charges for free. But compared to an ICE, it would save a lot of money and take no extra time, assuming the typical amount of stopping time for a family trip. It would be cruel to take a trip and stop less, only to pretend that a trip is faster in an ICE. The whole point of trips is supposed to be so the kids can enjoy them.

Here is a web page about a 2340-miles trip from Blacksburg VA to Granbury TX in my TM3LR in July 2018:

That web was the planning web page. Here is the web page for the actual trip:

My charging costs were much higher when we drove for a long trip.

There are theoretical costs and actual costs. My theoretical costs assume that I never exceed the speed limit.

Didn’t realize charging was so cheap. Tesla must raise the price to make it at least equal to diesel if not the gasoline.

Tesla cannot charge for electricity as they are not a public utility and most utilities ban charging users for their electricity. This is why that have to kinda guess at the cost of what they pay for the electricity and dance around it to billthe customer for the service.

Since I have solar, my home charging is both free AND emission free. Texas (ERCOT) is mostly separate grid that can be much cleaner that the north east.

For gas you have upstream costs of: Exploration, drilling, pumping out, transport (pipeline, trucks, tanker, sometime several), refinement to gas, transport again, and then you get to drive where the gas is to get it. You then get to burn at a super high energy density that batteries cannot touch and finally emit pollution out the back.

Not to also mention that in the time you took to read this there was a gas car that have caught fire (17 an hour as of 2013). LiOn do too, but at a such a small rate as to actually make it news.

In Ontario, Diesel is about 15% more expensive than Gasoline! I see it varies a bit in the US!

Not bad pricing. I know other commenters accused him of ‘mooching’, but he paid for the hotel stint with an overpriced room no doubt, and as far as Ma’s house is concerned – 120 volts for even an extended period of time is not really so much coin.

I have a separate meter on my Tesla Model S P85. I drive on average around 1000 miles/month and my electricity rate for charging (almost exclusively at home) with PG&E is around $60/month. I don’t drive like a little old lady either.

I would agree you need a little planning earlier in November I took a 5,500 mile trip from Puyallup Wa, to Las Cruces NM and back. I am sorry I did not kept track of time but Tesla kept track of cost $155.35. While the charging takes longer than gassing up a ICE car you can do the charging while at the same time having lunch dinner or going to bathroom. I found it much more of relaxing trip than if I had use a ICE car also much less expensive.

I have recently returned from a 6500 mile trip from Sarnia, Ontario to Santa Cruz, Cal and back by way of a huge circular route thru Az, Nev, N Mex, Tex, etc in my Ioniq electric plus limited. If anyone thinks this is some economy car, then they simply have not looked at what options are on the car. I won’t bother to list them, but they will match any luxury car at a fraction of the price. 6500 miles and Pilot/Flying J plus card billed me $328 Canadian. All driving in Cal and much of Nev was free electric driving as free electric chargers are everywhere. Also free in my daughters driveway in Walnut Creek where they power both their E Vs from the roof. Also, apparently no one out there seems to understand that the Ioniq plug in hybrid will recharge the battery pack in about 50 to 55 min when driving in Sport Mode. This is about 2 1/2 times faster than a level 2 charger (faster still if you are descending from the Donner Summit). Sure, the mileage drops from 52 mpg to about 38 so it is pretty much a wash to get another 38… Read more »

I really don’t understand why Tesla Model 3 reviewers ignore the horrible ergonomics in this car. While it has many features that are outstanding, the everything-in-the-center display (just like the now extinct Saturn Ion) is terrible. I tried to adjust to this bizarre concept on my Model 3 test drive, but looking to the right to see if the car sees something on my left is just wrong. A simple lane change should be just that. When I look in my side mirror to see if it’s safe to change lanes, I expect my intelligent car to help me to identify the car that I don’t notice. So many cars do that now. The Model 3 does not! Please fix this Elon. I really would hate to see Tesla become the next Saturn.

Neighbor bought a Tesla 3 and has been trying to convince me to buy one. I just returned from a leisure road trip to Oregon which I made in my Corolla. I found gas (recharging) stations everywhere and the refill (recharge) time was just a couple of minutes. I averaged over 300 miles per recharge (fill up). I’m not going electric and still believe the future is hydrogen.