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With all of the hype, tax breaks, and media surrounding electric cars, there are bound to be some questions. Have you ever wondered if cars like the Tesla are truly that much more cost efficient than gas-powered cars? That’s what we are here to answer today. Below we will dive into the Tesla brand and finally answer the burning question: how much does it cost to charge a Tesla?

What Is a Tesla Car?

2016 Tesla S

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Before we answer the question, "how much does it cost to charge a Tesla," you have to know what exactly a Tesla is. Tesla itself is an American automotive company that was founded in 2003 by Elon Musk. Elon Musk is renowned for his innovation and, thus, the Tesla, a fully electric car, hit the market years later.

It is important to note that all Tesla cars run on electricity and not gas or diesel fuel. There are a few different models of Tesla cars that each have different accommodations, body shapes, and features. Tesla is also said to be working on a semi truck and various other vehicles for a future release.

How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Tesla Car?

tesla charging station

Now that you have learned more about a Tesla car, you can better understand why it needs charging and why the costs would be different from a traditional vehicle. So, how much does it cost to charge a Tesla? Well, that depends on the model of the car you are charging and your location. Each state’s cost of electricity is different so make sure you check your specific pricing before making a purchase.

How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Tesla Model 3?

If you're asking, how much does it cost to charge a Tesla Model 3, this depends on a few factors. The most important thing to consider when calculating distances and electricity usage for Tesla cars is the range of your vehicle.

To start, the national average for electricity is very affordable. Electricity pricing is bound to stay consistent over long periods of time so don’t be afraid about rates skyrocketing around peak seasons. Once you have the national average, you can multiply that number against the battery output. For example, the Model 3 comes with a 50 kWh battery.

How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Tesla Model S?

Tesla S P100D

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Now that you know how much it costs to charge a Model 3 you can start exploring other models. How much does it cost to charge a Tesla Model S? Once again, there are a few caveats in place before you can start calculating. First and foremost you have to know which battery option to look at.

The Tesla Model S comes with many battery options so make sure you are using the correct numbers to calculate charging cost. The low-end battery option for the Model S is 75 kWh whereas the high-performance battery is at 100 kWh. 

How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Tesla Model X?

Tesla X P100D

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A Tesla Model X is the third most common Tesla car available on the market. So how much does it cost to charge a Tesla Model X? The Tesla Model X is actually the same amount as the Model S. The Model X car is the SUV option that is just as efficient as the smaller Model S.

The same battery options are available for the Model X as for the Model S. That means you are going to be paying at very low price for a full charge. A full charge equates to roughly 315 miles of driving range.

How Does It Compare?

When you consider the questions, how much does it cost to charge a Tesla, you most likely want to know this information in comparison to a gas-powered machine. The cost of driving a gas-powered vehicle is much more significant than driving an eco-friendly, electric car. In fact, the hard facts are, would you rather pay 12.3 cents a mile or 2.9 cents a mile?

Is a Tesla Right for Me?

If you are not sure whether or not a Tesla car is right for you, there are a few things you can consider. First and foremost you will want to consider your location. Do you live in a highly populated area with many charging stations nearby, or do you live out in the country with little access to designated stations?

You will want to think about how long you will need to drive your car each day. Do you love to take road trips? Consider each question carefully before making your decision.

What Types of Charging Stations Are There?

tesla charging station

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Believe it or not, there are many other charging stations available for electric cars that are not designated Tesla stations. That being said, there are specific Tesla car charging locations. You can use any station in which your plugs work. However, please note that many third-party charging stations are slow, take hours to charge, and are often much more expensive than a designated station.

The Tesla charging stations are going to be your best bet. The Tesla stations are meant to work with these specific cars, making the charging fast and affordable. The best part is owners of a Tesla car gain access to hundreds of free miles at designated stations each year with purchases. Tesla charging stations are easy to find and occupy some of the top destinations in your area such as hotels, restaurants, and more.

How Do I Charge a Tesla?

Charging a Tesla is one of the most nerve-wracking things for first-time owners. Luckily, Tesla makes the process seamless and easy! There are three levels of chargers that charge all at a different rate. Level one is likely to take 8-15 hours to give you a full charge. Level two chargers will charge a Tesla in about 3-8 hours. Lastly, the level three charger is meant to charge your vehicle in an hour; however, many locations are not compatible with this level.

Finding a Charging Station

finding a tesla charging station

Image from Pixabay

Finding a charging station may seem like a stressful ordeal, but that is only the case if you do not plan ahead. Finding a designated, Tesla, charging station is easy. All you need to do is use the navigation system in your car. Click the lightning bolt on the map to find stations near you or type in your destination, and you will be shown stations along your route.

If you are stuck and can’t find a Tesla station anywhere, there are plenty of options for you. First and foremost, we suggest trying mobile applications like PlugShare and Chargepoint to find nearby charging stations. The best part about these apps is people can leave notes and tips about locations, such as out-of-order stations, broken plugs, long wait times, and more.

Would Solar Help?

Many people who are committed to the eco-friendly lifestyle have gone as far as to install solar panels on their roof or garage. When you have solar panels, you can create free energy from the sun to convert into electricity. That means you could charge your car for free as long as you have enough sunlight throughout the day.

Cutting your costs entirely is one of the smartest investments you could possibly make.  What’s more is that many solar companies will install the panels for free as long as they get to use any excess electricity you collect. Although these companies will still own the panels, it is a much more affordable option than purchasing and installing solar capabilities yourself.


If you are considering purchasing a Tesla vehicle, or an electric car in general, it is important to know how much it is going to cost you in travel. As we learned above, Tesla cars are much more cost efficient than the standard gas-powered engine car. If the cost of fuel or diesel is a major concern for you, you may want to consider an electric-powered car.

Just remember that each model differs and the distance they can drive with a full charge greatly varies. If you have a long commute, this is something you will want to keep in mind. But, in our opinion, making the switch is worth it. Good luck and happy charging!  

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