Tesla Model S Cost To Drive 20,000 Miles Compared To BMW 3 Series & Ford Fusion Hybrid


Tesla Model S Cost To Drive 20,000 Miles Compared To BMW 3 Series & Ford Fusion Hybrid (source: DailyFinance)

Tesla Model S Cost To Drive 20,000 Miles Compared To BMW 3 Series & Ford Fusion Hybrid (source: DailyFinance)

DailyFinance stated that electric cars are no longer just for those looking to save earth, because they really could save some green too. Well, we would say that EVs are bought in large part because they are superior to drive.

As an example for fuel costs, Tesla Model S was put against the BMW 3-Series (“a close competitor given the performance and finishes of each“) and Ford Fusion Hybrid, which will cause a storm of comments.

Anyways, at an average of $2.79 per gallon of gas and 12.64 cents a kWh, the table indicates savings of $934 compared to the BMW and $457 compared to the Ford over 20,000 miles in one year on fuel alone (another $100-200 on change the oil).

That’s not enough to offset the difference in price (3-Series starts from $32,950, while Ford Fusion Hybrid from $25,990), but with introduction of more affordable EVs (Chevrolet Bolt or Tesla Model III) and comparing apples to apples, the situation should improve.

For real savings we need to wait on EV price drop, which will trigger a tremendous sales wave.

“As the Cost of EVs Comes Down, the Market Should Explode

Today, a Model S is significantly more costly than a BMW 3-Series, which I would say is a close competitor given the performance and finishes of each. The Model S starts at $75,000 ($67,500 after the $7,500 federal tax credit) and you can get in a 3-Series car for $32,950; the Ford Fusion Hybrid starts at $25,990. At those prices, even the fuel savings I’ve outlined above wouldn’t make up for the added cost of an electric vehicle.

But the market will change in the next few years as more electric models are released. Tesla’s Model 3 is expected to cost $35,000, while the Chevy Bolt will start at $38,000 and the Ford Focus Electric starts at $29,170, although it has just an 80-mile range. The clear trend is that electric vehicles are coming down in cost and they’ll only be more competitive in the future.”

Source: DailyFinance

Category: Tesla

Tags: , ,

41 responses to "Tesla Model S Cost To Drive 20,000 Miles Compared To BMW 3 Series & Ford Fusion Hybrid"
  1. Scott says:

    Who’s paying $0.0264/kWh?

    1. John in AA says:

      If you look at the actual table, it shows $10.74/265 miles, which is (nominally) $10.74/85 kWh, which is a perfectly reasonable $0.1264/kWh.

      Looks like a transcription error in the article — the one after the decimal became a zero.

    2. Mark Kane says:


    3. Mikael says:

      The price for a kWh last month in Sweden was $0,017… so I understand that you react that the calculated price was a bit on the high side. 😉

    4. Just_Chris says:

      The aluminium industry in Australia

  2. John in AA says:

    It would be interesting to see someone attempt to work out TCO over (say) the first five years of ownership and not just cost of fuel.

    1. storky says:

      Same here. I am worried depreciation on electric vehicles will bias the TCO toward hybrids.

      1. John in AA says:

        Interesting — for me, I tend to keep vehicles until they’re long-since fully depreciated, so I don’t really care about that factor. I guess that shows such analyses are potentially not worth much unless you do your own fully-custom analysis.

        1. Mapper says:

          I too hold cars ’till the bitter end. But I do have some concerns that the end for my BEV will be sooner than an ICE. Unless battery swaps become accepted (and I think OEM’s have reasons not to make that common), I think driving a car that loses range every year would make my tail shorter on the car…

          1. John in AA says:

            It’s only one company but Tesla has made clear that they’ll offer battery replacements. This gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

            (Quoth Elon: “Existing owners can also purchase the pack upgrade, but I wouldn’t recommend doing so unless usage is on the edge of current range. On average, we expect to increase pack capacity by roughly 5% per year. Better to wait until you have more time on your existing pack and there is a larger accumulated pack energy difference.” http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/three-dog-day)

          2. BraveLilToaster says:

            I don’t know… do you consider “the bitter end” to be after the first or second transmission rebuild?

            Replacing the battery seems to be a perfectly viable means of extending the life of an EV, especially the Leaf with its recent uber-high reliability rating.

    2. Scott says:

      I’ve done it, several various options related to my situation. In all cases, it was impossible for me to show that my TCO would be less for the Tesla; but regardless I got finally got the Tesla anyways. I have no regrets. Sure, it would be cheaper to buy a Volt, but the Volt is nowhere near as fun as the Tesla. That element doesn’t factor into cost simulations.

  3. Ford Prefect says:

    Why a BMW 3 series? A BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is a more comparable vehicle in size and weight.

  4. Fabian says:

    Why do all these Cost-to-drive articles skip over TIRE costs?

    I can get a set 80k mile warranty Perelli tires on my fusion or 3-series for 400 bucks installed, but Model S Tires are $1000+ installed and you might get 18k miles out of them. Almost all Model S tires do not even get a tread wear warrenty.

    1. Scott says:

      There’s nothing magical about Tesla tires. Assuming you don’t opt for 21″ rims, you can easily pick up 245 45-19’s for around $150 each.

      1. Aaron says:

        Let’s not even mention the odd-sized i3 tires…

    2. Tech01x says:

      The 19″ tire on the Model S are standard 245/45R19’s.

      If you get the OEM Michelin Primacy tires, then yes, they are very expensive. But they’re comparable to other luxury sport sedans tires. Some people do get 30k+ miles out them, they’re rated for 50k.

      The low cost OEM tire is the Eagle RS-A2 which can be installed for about $800, less with sales.

      There’s almost no difference in price on the 3-series to get the same Michelins, and maybe $100 less with the Eagle’s or Pirelli’s. I’m thinking you’re not comparing tire pricing straight up…

  5. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Tesla Model S is NOT designed to compete on cost per mile or TCO.

    It designed to beat cars in its class in performance while it is cheaper to operate if you choose to do so.

    1. John in AA says:

      Wow. That montage, just… wow.

    2. dogphlap says:

      You plug it in !!!, well you pump gas.

  6. sven says:

    Which BMW 3-Series gets 35 miles per gallon in the city? Only the diesel 328d. Shouldn’t the table use the price of a gallon of diesel and not gasoline. Also, the table should probably add in the cost of AdBlue urea fluid needed to drive 20,000 miles. The filler hole for the AdBlue urea is even right next to the diesel fuel filler hole.



  7. mr. M says:

    2,4 ct/kWh? Where are they living? I thought average US price is around 10ct/kWh. This means the cost for the model s is around 4 times the stated one. Therefore the model s would be more expensive to drive than a bmw 3, at around 3200$. This is bad, something in their calculation must be wrong.

    1. sven says:

      The average price of electricity in the U.S. has been increasing, and is now about $0.13 per kWh.


      1. miggy says:

        This is why the US needs to increase it’s tax on Petrol / Gas do it now why prices are low. Most counties outside the US pay us$1.00 to us$2.00 per litre.

  8. Martin B. says:

    I’m paying $0.068 per kWh, so that would be double for me.

  9. Bonaire says:

    Cost to drive is meaningless.

    Total Cost of Ownership should be reviewed – for those miles. Include insurance costs, loan payments and all that.

    Driving an EV, any EV, is inexpensive. What people base their normal daily lives on is their costs – and that is TCO.

    1. ZikZak says:

      Very true, and even there the Model S will win.
      It is virtually maintenance-free compared to an ICE vehicle.

  10. Samwise says:

    The moment they concluded the 3-Series was a comparable car I stopped reading…

    1. TomArt says:


    2. Kurt says:


  11. Edward Arthur says:

    Never EVER having to fill up at the gas station: priceless

    1. Aaron says:

      Especially with the rash of customer robberies at gas stations.

  12. Where are the costs for the destroyed tyres?

  13. Weapon says:

    The 3 series will be a competitor for the Tesla Model 3. The Model S is more of a competitor to the M5 or 7 series. The Ford Fusion is even worse of an example to compare to.

    1. Stimpy says:

      In size yes, in luxury/refinement the Model S is not even close.

      1. TomArt says:

        This is not necessarily true, and furthermore, there are very few people cross-shopping a 3-series and a Model S. The Model S is taking sales from 7-series, A6s, A8s, Panameras, etc.

  14. manbitesgas says:

    Who in their right mind would compare a Model S to a 3 series or ANY Ford?… :oP

    1. TomArt says:

      Agreed, the original article is either a hit-piece or just a fool’s errand.

  15. Kurt says:

    The Model S is much larger than a 5 series, so the 3 series is not even close to a fair comparison. Depending on the trim of model s you were driving, it would be fair to compare with a base model 7 series BMW. I’m sure the BMW 3 series doesn’t come close to thr performance, interior space, and trunk space of the Model S. You are comparing a compact sedan (BMW 3 series) with a full sized sedan (Model S). Thus comparison isn’t fair at all and the model s still beats it out.