Teslanomics Breaks Down Monthly EV Charging Costs


One of the most asked questions by those planning to purchase an EV … How much will it affect my electric bill?

This becomes somewhat of a loaded question when you consider the variables. First of all, electricity isn’t the same price in every market, and oftentimes even the time of day that you charge can affect the price. Next, the range that you get out of your vehicle is affected by how you drive, and also by the weather/temperature, and terrain. Finally, the most obvious factor relates to how many miles you drive in a given month.


Tesla Model X Charging

Ben Sullins of Teslanomics uses his usual graphs, charts, and an interactive calculator to help answer the question easily. You can simply choose your state, driving style, and the number of miles, and it calculates for you. You will need to tweak it a bit if you happen to do all of your driving in a frigid cold, mountainous area, but it will get you pretty close.

You can look up state charging costs at the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s website. Ben also used information from Teslab (makers of the Teslab app, which tracks your driving data) to figure out how driver behavior affects range.

Ben says that the average cost per month to charge a Tesla in the U.S. is just over $49. However, in some areas, especially if you drive your car hard, you could pay upwards of $100 per month.

Video Description via Teslanomics by Ben Sullins on YouTube:

The cost of vehicle ownership goes well beyond the cost of a car itself. While the cost of buying a Tesla may be higher than purchasing the average car, powering your electric vehicle can be much more cost effective than “gassing” up. In this week’s episode, we explore just that. Learn more about the costs of charging a Tesla.

Breaking it down even further, we considered Tesla charging costs by location. We took into consideration the costs not only by state, but by provider. Electricity pricing trends can also impact price – and those prices can vary from by electricity company.

On average, the cost to charge a Tesla per month in the US is around $49. Based on our Tesla charging price data, the high end of the EV charging spectrum is around $70 a month in Hawaii. While the low end of spectrum is around $31 a month in Washington state.

The cost of electricity isn’t the only factor in the price per month to charge your Tesla. How you drive and how far you drive will also factor into how much you’ll spend per month to charge your Tesla. Our friends at Teslab provided us with data into how driving style and mileage effects the monthly cost of Tesla ownership.

Over at Teslanomics.co, we’ve created a Tesla charging cost calculator. This EV charging cost calculator can help you determine how driving style and millage may affect your estimated monthly cost. Choose your state, style and mileage and get your estimate cost as well as how it compares to the average. These costs are something you may want to consider in determining if an electric vehicle – or Tesla – is right for you.

Source: Teslanomics, Teslab

Categories: Charging, Tesla

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32 Comments on "Teslanomics Breaks Down Monthly EV Charging Costs"

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With my ELR, the cost of electricity is about 1/5 the cost of gasoline (it uses both).

I think that is the smarter way to go. Use both…

Both means you ate still kicking out 20 lbs. of carbon dioxide for every gallon of gas you burn. Not acceptable.

I don’t have any misconceptions as to the fact that electricity is not free and that it will cost to charge my new M3…But I also am completely confident that that cost will pale to what fuel and maintenance costs are for my ICE.

“My ELR uses 1/5th the cost of gasoline”. No way – unless you get free electricity. Figuring 12 cents /kwh where I live in Buffalo NY (not 17- NY City skews the avg for the whole state), it costs me $1.80 to go as far as $2.50 of gas will take me – but this is only in moderate weather. In the winter – gasoline operation is cheaper. This dude gets all hung up on graphs when his data is bad. If he was telling people how much my BOLT ev costs to run, he’d start out with 60 kwh. But thats the incorrect figure. It takes 68 kwh to get 60 kwh into the battery in the first place, at the most efficient charging rate (6-7.2 kw). The roadster’s most efficient charge rate was 7-12 kw, – I wonder what it is for the “S” and “X”, even though the Tesla Calculator on their web site shows only the 120 volt charge rate is around 40% more expensive. The superchargers cannot be all that efficient, seeing as the power drawn by the supercharger bay is significantly more than what is going into the car, which has to also dissipate… Read more »

Rather than talking about total cost, which varies depending on miles driven, better comparison is MPG equivalent in money to gas cars (which I call MPGe$). I made tables for various EV for quick comparison.


San Diego electric rate is $0.21/kWh base rate and $0.43/kWh on higher tier. Most families I know hit the high tier even without EV, especially in summer.

If you assume high tier and gas prices are $3/gal and Tesla gets 3.12 mi/kWh including charger loss (320 Wh/mi, ie. hypermiling), that’s the same cost as driving 22 MPG gas car. If it gets 2.64 mi/kWh (379 Wh/mi, P90DL EPA rating of 89 MPGe), cost is equivalent to 18 MPG gas car.

Even if you drive BMW i3 and get 3.68 mi/kWh (124 MPGe), charging high tier in San Diego could mean paying equivalent of 26 MPG gas car.

If you exceed the base rate and can’t get solar, gasser would be better.

With the i3, you can get 4.0 to 5.6 ( so far ), miles/kWh. But, if you’re paying those high rates, an EV and Solar on your roof will have a very quick breakeven point, and then PROFIT.

Even if i3 got 7.5 mi/kWh (about 9 mi/kWh from battery to wheels), it would only be 52 MPGe$, less than some hybrids. As I mentioned, if your electric bill hits high tier without EV (which is most families I know), and you can’t get solar (renting or living in condo), EV probably isn’t for you.

But then, i3 and Leaf give out free charging, which means even more clogged DCFC for those who really need them for long distance travel!

52 MPG is exactly what 2018 Camry LE Hybrid will have according to some people. That is quite big car with over 100 cu.f. passenger space in current incarnation and much cheaper.

Yes, sadly this is exactly the case with SDGE and is exactly why I drove my Volt a decent amount on gas before I had my solar up and running. Friggin ridiculous…

I used to do that math too but then i got solar and just don’t care any longer. SD seems to get rapped by SDGE so i would not be surprised to hear many ev drivers there also have solar. Evan without an ev, why wouldn’t you have solar in a place like SD? These rates are crazy! SCE rates i pay are 17c for tier 1 and 23c for tier 2 and at these rates solar made a lot of sense for me. If i had SDGE rates i would have installed solar much sooner.

Btw, customers tend to be responsive high electric rates. I was in Kailua (Oahu) last month and was surprised to see how many houses had roof solar. I also quite a few electrics on the streets. Given time people will learn.


It not a matter of learning… It’s a matter of “cost effectiveness”. We don’t all live in San Diego or Hawaii and have pay those exorbitant electric rates. I guess thats the costs YOU pay for living in so_called “paradise”.

I was not talking about middleofnowherers but about 2 specific locations. Hawaii has their problems with HELCO and the restrictions they impose but i’m not sure what CA excuse is. And what do you call “so called paradise”? Hawaii? Just shut up!

SparkEV — Your numbers for Tesla are either old or some sort of worst case scenario. MPGe for the 2017 Model S’s are in the upper 90’s or low 100’s, not 89 mpge:


Blog post is from 2015, and that’s about what it was. The video states over 42% (don’t panic?) of people are between 300 and 400 Wh/mi, which is about what I show.

Regardless, it makes little difference whether worst case using SDGE turn out to be 18 MPGe$ or 19 MPGe$: get solar if you’re on high tier SDGE; if not, gasser would be cheaper to fuel.

Your numbers assume no free charging.

I live at an RV Park and charge for free there and throughout the city at Whole Foods and a shopping center nearby.

I’m at 100mpg for the last 10,000 miles in a car that’s pretty much ignored. -2015 Ford CMAX Energi

As described in the blog post, tables can be extrapolated to any price, including free charging.

Free charging is not sustainable, and only for few. Free charging SUCKS!

There are Time of Use rates that you can select that will lower the overnight costs of charging. If a family can shift the majority of their electricity usage to off-peak hours, they can also save money.

SDG&E also offers special Time of Use Rates for EVs.

Assuming you have a single meter, like most will, the EV-TOU2 rates are what you would fall into.

During the summer (March-October) the rates are:
Peak Noon – 6pm : $0.50 (ouch)
Off Peak 6pm – Midnight and 5am-Noon : $0.24
Super Off Peak Midnight – 5am : $0.19

On the EVTOU2 plan, set your car to charge only from Midnight – 5am and you are only paying $0.19 per kW.

The trade-off being that you can’t run the AC, wash your dishes, or do laundry from Noon-6pm during the summer months.

Regarding solar; yes the payoff for a 9kW system is only around 3 years.

Ya and then not only will you pay more for the electricity charging your car but your whole house usage will cost more. Charging at home doesn’t work for me.

Adding EV doesn’t increase cost for your house usage. EV should be counted after your house usage in whatever tier they happen to fall, and EV added on top of that in highest tier that remain.

Actually it does. When I got my Honda fit ev, way back in 2013, charging it at home every night was more than double our normal household usage, but because of PG&E rate plans that use tiers, and because of our location, it put our house in the highest tier after just 1 week into our billing cycle each month. That had the effect of tripling our electric bill! Doubling our usage with EV charging resulted in tripling our bill. Solar and/or switching to a time of use rate plan without tiers solved this issue, but people should at least understand this stuff.

All that extra went into charging your FitEV, and it did not increase your household usage or tier. Think of it as EV charging only at highest tier after all your household use was billed, because that’s what EV does: add extra on top of normal household use.

This assumes you own a home, charge at home and does not reflect the VERY significant impacts of Time of Use rates and related fees.

This misses cost for the 50% of urban populations that do not own their home yet have a vehicle.

Useful information.

It’s about time people paid some attention to their electric bills and learned what it costs. But why do they not understand that EVs use way less energy so they aren’t going to be shocked…

TSLA also hit another all time high today over
$384 a share. Just in case anyone cares.

My 2015 volt get’s charged at home overnight
My electric bill doesn’t notice my volt
My electric bill is alway’s around $120 per month, and it hasn’t changed
We have Florida power & light as or electric carrier.

Missing delivery fees. I.e. In NY I pay ~11 cents/kWh but pay 15-18 cents for delivery with a rate of abou $0.28/kWh

Yes, i keep seeing people posting electric rates but many times they post just generation when they also have delivery charges. I always post my combined rate but some deliberately post just generation rates to make some point…

When I use 12 cents/kwh for me, that is my true MARGINAL COST, i.e. the cost of an additional kwh.

People on tier’d plans or time of use would have a much harder time calculating their true cost since they’d have to calculate their bill TWO TIMES, once without charging car(S) and once with charging, and take the difference.

Many times people say its cheap to charge, but then their usage pushes them into the next tier.
Or they say they’ve switched to cheaper Time of USE rates for their car, but then everything else they use juice for is more expensive. So the only way to really see the savings, if any, is to calculate the bill twice.

Well that’s actually quite an easy question to answer. In my experience (UK), for an average driver, it basically doubles it.