Owning a Tesla can give you a lot of bragging rights for “saving the world,” but are you really helping the environment, or does it cost you and environment more than using conventional fossil fuels?
One of the best ways to figure this out would be to calculate your electricity consumption. Tesla has an inbuilt tool for this, where you can add the prices per KW and Price/Gallon to check the cost per mile and consequently the savings. Of course, the tool will always show positive stats; but is this experience shared by the actual Tesla users as well?
A Tesla user, Leland Shenfield, was asked the question on Quora. Here’s the breakdown he came up with;
“I have two Tesla that we use as daily drivers.
We don’t do a lot of long trips, but we have school-age kids, so we pack on about 15,000 miles per year. Our electricity bill has gone up ~$100/2 months, or ~$600 per year.
For gasoline, if you take a large sedan at 20mpg, and an SUV at 15mpg, the cost would be:
So $4,375-$600= $3,775 worth of savings.
For all of you waiting for it, yeah, it doesn’t make up for the cost of the cars by a long shot, but it is definitely cheaper to operate. Also, I never stand outside freezing or sweltering or getting wet, while hosing toxic liquids into my car. Just sayin’.”
Another Tesla user didn’t concur with the calculations though!
“I drive about 12,500 miles/year or 35mi/day. According to the Tesla cost calculator, that’s $1.73/day at $0.15/kwhr or $52.62 per month! I currently spend less than that for gas with my MINI Cooper (but that does not sway me).”
Minis get about 30mpg. Assuming 30 days in a month,
(30 days X 35 miles/day) / 30mpg = 35 gallons.
Recently I drove by a station in Austin for $1.80/gallon.
So that’s $63 per month. Perhaps you have a much cheaper source for gas, so your estimate is not too far off?
Edit. You’d be paying about $1.50/gallon for the $52.62 to make sense AND/OR you do mostly highway driving and average more than 30mpg.
A Tesla user rightly pointed to the fact that the changes in climate also affect the consumption,
“I average 40 miles a day at 280 Wh/mile – this is fairly conservative driving. I’ve heard of some people averaging 360 Wh/mile.
This equates to an extra 336 KWh used per month.
At my rate of $0.11/kWh, that’s about an extra $37 per month.
Also, extreme climates will noticeably increase energy usage, since the car has to keep the battery within the optimal temperature range. Really cold climates require more energy than really hot climates.”
So it seems the miracle; electric car requires some accurate calculations to ensure profitability.
Watch the video below to know the true cost of owning a Tesla!