Today, drivers are ditching their gas-dependent vehicles and moving towards more energy efficiency and eco-friendly vehicles, such as the Tesla. As drivers are moving to these more modern, eco-friendly rides, one question has consistently come up: “how much does it cost to charge a Tesla?”. The reason for this is that, surprisingly, many factors influence the cost of charging your Tesla. In this article, we will discuss three critical factors that influence the cost of charging your Tesla.
Where You Charge Your Tesla
First and foremost, whether you charge at home or charge via public charger impacts the overall cost of charging your Tesla. The reason for this difference is because when you charge at home, you’ll be charged based on the rates provided by your electricity provider. When you charge via a public charger, you’ll be subject to charging rates applied by that company. There are a few important considerations here as we look at the prices associated with home charging versus public charging. First and foremost, you should familiarize yourself with the average prices for electricity in your city. If you are looking to get a sense of average charging costs in your city, take a look at the U.S Energy Information Administration’s breakdown that gives an outline of electricity rates specific to each city in the US.
Secondly, it’s important to get an assessment of the average public charging rates for Tesla charges around your city. Tesla Supercharging station costs break down into two categories; what’s called a per-minute billing style.
Tesla Per-Minute Billing Style
When looking at the pricing structures, we can explore both pricing models. If you’d like more information on this concept, check out Tesla’s support page.
Tier 1 Pricing Per Minute
If you have dipped below the 60 kWh mark, you’ll fall into tier 1 pricing. This is great because the rate to charge in tier 1 pricing is only 13 cents, half the price of tier 2 pricing!
Tier 2 Pricing Per Minute
If you’re below the 6o kWh mark, you’ll fall into tier 2 pricing, and the full 23 cents per minute will be applied.
All and all, take note of the difference between your home charging costs and the costs to charge via a public Tesla charger to get a good understanding of the cost of charging your Tesla.
What Charger You Use To Charge Your Tesla
Another consideration in what it costs to charge your Tesla depends on the charger you use. The reason for this is because some tesla chargers actually have a lower charging efficiency than others. Charging efficiency is important because it describes how much of the electricity you pay for actually gets into your Tesla’s battery. If you are only charging at 50% charging efficiency, you’re wasting half of the electricity and thus wasting half of your money spent on electricity!
What makes this even more challenging is that some Tesla chargers actually report very low charging efficiency numbers, even close to 50%. One study found that the 240V Tesla wall charger provides 94% efficiency, whereas the 120V wall charger provides 58% charging efficiency. So if you’re finding that your charging times are extremely long and costly with the 120V charger, it might be time to upgrade.
Lastly, electricity rates are going to play a major role in the cost to charge your Tesla. Many Tesla owners and enthusiasts may not realize that you have access to different charging rates from your electricity company. There are three rates here; flat rate, tiered rate, time of use rate, and real-time pricing. Each one of these plays a tremendous role in how much you pay to charge your Tesla. Unfortunately, many Tesla owners are completely unaware that they could be saving a lot of money simply by understanding the different electricity rates they have access to.
Fortunately, Optiwatt, a Tesla charging app, allows you to automatically charge your Tesla when electricity rates are the cheapest. For more information, check out the Optiwatt website and register your Tesla for free.