What Is the Monthly Cost of a Tesla?

It’s been nearly a full year since I purchased my Tesla Model S. In that time I’ve completely fell in love with this company, their mission, and most of all their products. I’m looking forward to receiving our Model 3 sometime next year and also adding a Powerwall 2.0 to our home. All that said, I’m clearly biased, so take the following data with a grain of salt (and or tequila).

My wife asked me recently…how much are we saving from the Tesla? Being the data geek I am, I couldn’t resist but to do some analysis on this and try to answer the question. So this is where my curiosity took me. I have also heard this question from lots of friends interested in buying a Tesla. The basic question is

“How much per month does it cost in electricity?”

In San Diego, where I live, the local electricity company offers a special EV rate so I end up paying about $0.18/kWH. I work from home so I don’t drive much, making the actual dollar savings relatively small. And I’m still investigating if there are any times when the car is pulling electricity but doesn’t necessarily need to be (eg. Vampire Mode)

So here’s how I went about answering this question and analyzing the data. Hope this helps you in your journey!

Data Sources

  1. Data from my electricity provider, SDGE
  2. Milage data from MileIQ
  3. Historical Gas prices from Gas Buddy
  4. Estimated MPG for a full-size sedan (equivalent to a model S)

The Data

View in Google Drive

My Approach

  • Determine my monthly cost for powering the Tesla
  • Calculate the approximate cost of driving in a legacy gas-powered sedan
  • Subtract the two to determine monthly savings


Additional Links

Tesla Reverse Payment Calculator

Tesla Charging Cost Estimator

Edmunds.com True Cost of Ownership