How Much Does Your Electric Bill Go Up With A Tesla?

In a very short period of time, Tesla has become one of the most celebrated automotive manufacturers in the world. Once a niche car for select automotive enthusiasts, it’s hard to go anywhere in the world now without seeing a Tesla parked up along the street. And as people begin to make the transition to electric vehicles, many want to know the truth about how much it costs to charge their vehicle. 

Your electric bill will go up between $30 – $60 extra with a Tesla, based on the American national average. Factors affecting this increase include how frequently and how long you charge your Tesla at home as well as the cost of electricity.

Throughout the remainder of this article, I’m going to explore the minutiae of how owning a Tesla causes your electrical bill to rise. I’ll cover topics such as the mileage you cover with the vehicle, your home’s charging port, the charge duration, and your vehicle’s battery capacity. 

Do Electric Cars Increase Your Electric Bill?

Electric cars can increase your electric bill simply because of the act of charging which means you’re going to consume more electricity than you were before. How much your bill increases depends on how often you charge, how long you charge, the cost of electricity, and the type of charger you are using. 

A car is an enormous appliance when compared to a laptop or phone, so it stands to reason that it is going to place a great demand upon your electrical supply. And according to a recent study of Tesla owners in the United States, it emerged that Tesla owners charge their cars using their home’s electrical supply 80% of the time.

So really, you can help control how much your bill rises by controlling how often and for how long you charge your Tesla at home.

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Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fundamental truth that charging your Tesla at your residence is going to lead to an increase in your electric bill.
Photo @Mehaniq via Twenty20

How To Accurately Calculate How Much a Tesla Increases Your Electric Bill

You can accurately calculate how much a Tesla will increase your electric bill with just a few figures. By taking the time to conduct some research, it’s possible to accurately estimate how much your electric bill will increase by choosing to charge your Tesla at your place of residence.

This information will allow you to confidently determine whether or not there is a strong economic incentive for you to switch to an electric car. 

Here’s how to calculate the potential increase in your electric bill by owning a Tesla:

  1. Check your most recent electric bill and determine what your electric provider is charging you per kWh (kilowatt-hour). A kWh is a standardised scientific measurement that is equivalent to the amount of electrical power required to run a 1000-watt device for one hour. 
  2. Determine the battery capacity of your Tesla. To serve as an example, let’s take the Tesla Model X Long-Range vehicle, which boasts a battery capacity of 100kWh. 

Let’s take a hypothetical scenario whereby your electric bill is charged at a rate of $0.15 per kWh. In this case, to charge your car’s battery to 100%, you would have to consume $15 worth of electricity. When compared to a smartphone, it’s expensive, but when compared to filling a truck with gas, it’s relatively inexpensive. 

Would you like to find out if you can Use Your Electric Car as a Battery for Your House? Check this related and informative article that I wrote.

For another example, check out this video detailing one owner’s experience with how much it actually costs to charge a Tesla Model 4 at home:

Factors of Charging a Tesla That Increase Your Electric Bill

There are a variety of different factors that impact the extent to which your electric bill is raised by owning a Tesla, or indeed any electric car. By recognizing and understanding them all, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make decisions about charging your Tesla that minimizes the increase of your electric bill. 

Let’s take a look at the factors affecting your electric bill when you charge your Tesla at home. 

How Frequently You Charge Your Tesla

The concept here is as simple as it gets. The more often you drive your Tesla, the more often you’ll deplete the battery and be required to charge it. 

At this point of the article, your driving habits become relevant. If you drive 95 miles (153 km) to and from work every day, and the range of your Tesla is 200 miles (322 km), then you are going to have to charge it every two days.

However, if you only drive 20 miles (32 km) every day in the same Tesla, then a single charge will last you over a week. 

Of course, in many cases, it’s impractical to suggest making changes to your daily routine as a means of mitigating the need to charge your Tesla. 

How Long You Charge Your Tesla

The longer you leave your Tesla plugged in, the greater the amount of electricity you are consuming as a direct result. 

The amount of time that you leave your Tesla plugged in will probably depend on a couple of things: 

  • Are you looking to charge your battery fully? 
  • Is the battery on the verge of being totally depleted when you start charging it? 
  • What capacity is the battery? (as larger batteries require more time to charge fully).
TimeCharging Speed0 – State of Charge (mi/km)0 – State of Charge (percent)
0 mins0 kW | 0 mi/hr (0 km/hr) 6 mi (9.65km)2%
4 mins 1 sec244 kW | 1,680.2 mi/hr (1718.8 km/hr)60 mi (96.6 km)20%
26 mins 49 sec50 kW | 213 mi/hr (342.8 km/hr)240 mi (386.2 km)80%
54 mins 5 sec11 kW | 68 mi/hr (109.4 km/hr)296 mi (476.3 km/hr)97%
Consider the following table of V3 charging times for a Tesla Model 3. The table shows the Supercharger times for Tesla Model 3 (Source: xautoworld.com)

The Cost of Electricity

Whilst it’s certainly not as volatile as crude oil, the price of electricity behaves like a commodity as it fluctuates in price. Therefore, if the price of electricity were to increase unexpectedly, then the same charge for your Tesla is going to set you back more money. 

Of course, every motorist is familiar with this pain, as gas prices regularly increase unexpectedly. 

There are also some geographical factors at play here as the cost of electricity varies from region to region. As unfair as it seems, the same Tesla may be significantly more expensive to charge in one part of the country than another. But that’s also true for all appliances that are being charged or powered by electricity. 

The Type of Charger You’re Using

There are three different types of chargers that can be used to charge a Tesla. They’re classified as Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3 by Tesla. 

Type 1 Chargers

A Type 1 charger is also referred to as a trickle charger, quite simply because the rate at which it charges the Tesla is essentially equivalent to electricity tricking into it.

Type 1 charging is facilitated by a standard 120V outlet that is found in a family home (i.e. the one that you use to charge your smartphone, laptop or tablet). 

Naturally, this is very convenient in one sense, because you’re ready to charge your car without having to modify your power outlets.

However, it’s probably not feasible for anyone who drives every day because this type of charging provides approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) of additional range for every hour that it’s plugged in. I hope you’re not in a rush. 

Type 2 Chargers

Type 2 chargers are the outlets that are most frequently used for charging Teslas around the globe. These chargers are capable of replenishing anywhere between 12 and 80 miles (19 and 129 km) of range for every one hour that the Tesla is plugged in.

Level 2 chargers can produce 80 Amps of power, but most people opt for the 40 Amp variation as it’s more than sufficient for their charging habits. 

Type 2 equipment can be installed at your residence. Unfortunately, this process will incur a cost, typically $1200 on average. However, much like electric vehicles themselves, this upfront investment is likely to be more cost-efficient in the long run, provided you intend to stick to driving a Tesla moving forward. 

Type 3 Chargers

Type 3 chargers are the ones that you typically encounter in gas stations. They’re also referred to as superchargers, owing to the fact that they can charge a Tesla battery to 80% in approximately 30 minutes. Of course, the thought of having one of these outside your home is nothing more than a pipe dream. 

How Can I Reduce the Impact of a Tesla on My Electric Bill?

As Teslas have become more and more popular in recent years, people have recognized a variety of ways in which the cost of charging them can be minimized. 

You can reduce the impact of a Tesla on your electric bill by implementing a few simple strategies. Strategies include searching for free local charging stations, charging during off-peak hours, renegotiating your electric bill, and powering your charger with renewable energy. 

Here’s how you can implement these common strategies for reducing the cost of charging your Tesla: 

Locate and Use Free Charging Stations

Although it might be time-consuming initially, it would be worth your while to try and locate some free/reduced-cost charging stations in your locality. If there are none in your local town, your workplace may offer subsidized electric vehicle charging for its employees. If you’ve only just made the switch to a Tesla, you may have previously overlooked this. 

It’s worth noting that these free charging stations aren’t typically advertised on massive billboards surrounded by flashing LED lights, so do some thorough research and you may be in luck. 

Charge Your Tesla During Off-Peak Hours

More often than not, electric companies will charge more for charging your Tesla during peak hours. That is to say, electricity becomes more expensive when everybody else is using it. 

As such, a straightforward way of reducing the impact of charging your Tesla on the electric bill is to charge it during off-peak hours. These hours are typically outlined by utility companies, but even if they’re not, they will be the hours when electrical consumption is at its lowest. That tends to be either late at night or at the crack of dawn. 

Renegotiate Your Electric Bill With Your Utility Company

Many governments have been offering financial incentives and subsidies to change to electric motors from combustion engines. In light of this, it’s worth checking to see if your electricity rates can be renegotiated when you purchase an electric car. 

While there’s no guarantee this will work, it’s certainly worth the phone call or email. After all, if you don’t ask, you won’t receive. 

I also explained all the options you have when negotiating with Tesla. Check it out!

Charge Your Tesla With a Renewable Energy Source

If you’ve permanently made the transition to driving an electric vehicle and have no intention of looking in the rearview mirror (pardon the pun), it could be worth considering the installation of solar panels on the roof of your house. 

This is an extension of the previous recommendation as you can use a green energy scheme or subsidy to assist with the installation of these panels. Occasionally, the decision to install solar panels on your house can have downstream benefits such as tax breaks

Final Thoughts

The extent of this increase is dependent upon a whole host of factors which are mostly related to your lifestyle, charging facilities, and geographical location.

There are several ways to reduce the cost burden of charging your Tesla at home, such as locating subsidized chargers either in public or at work.

Other options include renegotiating your electric supply contract or even installing new renewable energy facilities that’ll prove cost-effective in the long run.


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Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

Thanks for visiting evspeedy.com. The goal of this site is to be a helpful resource for Tesla and EV owners as this is where my passion lies. I was a TSLA shareholder before the hype and still am. I also believe in Tesla’s speedy mission to accelerate the world to a sustainable future.