How Much Does a Tesla Cost | SaveOnEnergy.com

How much does a Tesla cost?

home with solar panels on the roof

Maskot/Maskot/Getty images

Just like other vehicles, the total out-the-door cost of buying a Tesla will ultimately depend on the features each buyer includes with their purchase. The Tesla lineup for 2022 (Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y) ranges from $45,000–150,000, according to Kelly Blue Book. Therefore, the median price of a Tesla in 2022 is $97,500. Compare this figure to the average new-car price, which is currently $47,000 as of January 2022, according to Consumer Reports.

Tesla cost in 2022

The Tesla electric vehicle comes in four different body styles. With the exception of the Model X, each model comes in three trims: a base model, an intermediate model, and a high-end model. Therefore, there are a total of eleven varieties of Tesla models available. 

The Tesla Model 3 is a compact sedan, while the Model S is a midsize sedan. The Model Y is a hatchback. The Model X is billed as the most luxurious of the four Tesla models: an SUV with seating for up to seven people, AWD, and Falcon Wing doors, which true to their name, appear wing-like when open. 

  • 2022 Tesla Model 3: $45,000–72,000
  • 2022 Tesla Model Y: $53,000–75,000
  • 2022 Tesla Model S: $90,000–150,000
  • 2022 Tesla Model X: $105,000–150,000

Cost of each Tesla model

Base model Intermediate Fully loaded
Model 3 $45,000 $52,000 $72,000
Model Y $53,000 $60,000 $75,000
Model S $90,000 $105,000 $150,000
Model X $105,000 N/A $150,000

Benefits of owning a Tesla

Similar to solar panels for your home, while the initial cost of owning a Tesla may seem steep, the price is offset by gas and maintenance cost savings. A Tesla owner won’t have to worry about the price of inflation at the pump and can skip oil changes, as well as other maintenance that corresponds to a standard gas-guzzler. 

According to Tesla.com,Unlike gasoline cars, Tesla cars require no traditional oil changes, fuel filters, spark plug replacements or emission checks. Like electric cars, even brake pad replacements are rare because regenerative braking returns energy to the battery, significantly reducing wear on brakes.” You can also forgo standard car maintenance for items like timing belts, coils, mufflers, catalytic converters. And although any Tesla will automatically pass an emission test, you will still be on the hook for your state’s annual inspection fee. 

Charging stations cost

While you may not have to pay for gas, you need to charge your vehicle. The Tesla recommended wall connector is $550, plus an additional $750 to $1,500 for the installation. Installation costs can vary based on your home’s electrical system and your local electrician’s rates. It takes approximately 10 hours to fully charge the Tesla battery. 

A supercharger is a fast-charging station publicly available in many cities. These charging stations can cut charging time down to half an hour or less. However, you will pay a premium to use a supercharging station. 

Like electricity for your home, most charging stations charge per kilowatt-hour (kWh), but some charging stations charge by the minute.

Cost to charge a Tesla battery

To understand how much it will cost to charge a Tesla, you need to multiply the price of electricity by the car’s kWh. Specifically, you need to know:

  • Your electricity rate. To find this info, check your most recent electricity bill or look at the average electricity rate in your state.
  • The Tesla’s kWh/100 miles. This figure can vary among Tesla models based on the type of battery. For example, a standard-range battery will have slightly less kWh/100 miles than a long-range battery. In the chart below, you can see the range of kWh/100 miles for each Tesla 2021 Model. 
  • The total mileage of your Tesla on a full battery charge. Again, this figure can vary based on the Tesla model and type of battery. 
Tesla body type kWh/100 miles * Total mileage/charge
Model 3 24-30 113-142
Model Y 26-30 111-129
Model S 28-35 96-120
Model X 32-39 86-105

*according to Fueleconomy.gov

How to calculate the cost to charge a Tesla battery

Once you have those three figures above, you can calculate the cost to charge a Tesla. For example, you are charging a 2021 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range and your electricity rate is 14.12 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), the national average at the time of publication. This model is on the lower end of the kWh/100 miles range, meaning it uses 24 kWh/100 miles, but is higher on the total mileage per charge at 142 miles. 

Step 1: 0.14 x 24 = 3.36 

Now, we need to calculate the cost per mile. Using the figures above, it would cost $3.36 to charge the Tesla for 100 miles, or $0.0336 per mile ($3.36/100). 

Step 2: $3.36 / 100 = $0.0336

Because the car in our example can drive 142 miles per charge, we need to multiply the cost per mile by the total number of miles driven on a full battery charge. 

Step 3: $0.0336 x 142 = $4.77

Therefore, the cost to charge the 2021 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range battery completely one time equals $4.77. 

Most expensive Tesla

The most expensive Tesla is the Model X Long Range, but you get the longest driving range between battery charges of all the current Tesla models. According to Edmunds.com, the Tesla Model X Long Range can go for 360 miles without recharging. 

Let’s compare the cost of gas versus a full battery charge for a road trip of 360 miles. In a standard gas-powered SUV, a trip of 360 miles at 24 miles per gallon and a $3.55 per gallon of gas would equal a road trip cost of $53.25. Meanwhile, it costs approximately $15.29 to charge a Tesla Model X. Therefore, a road trip of 360 miles could save you $37.96 in a Tesla Model X Long Range versus a standard gas SUV.

Cheapest Tesla

Tesla Model 3 Standard Range is the cheapest because it has a minimalist style, smallest dimensions, speed, and driving range capabilities. The car has a 263-mile range, requiring more frequent battery recharging; however, it only costs $7.65 to fully charge the Model 3. So, using one entire battery charge would still cost $23.47 less than fueling the car for 263 miles

Will the cost of buying a Tesla get cheaper?

Probably. In 2020, Musk promised a $25,000 Tesla that would be available around 2023. Even if Tesla falls behind schedule, creating a cheaper Tesla seems to be on the to-do list for this famous electric vehicle (EV) brand. Like the other models, we can expect that a less-expensive Tesla may also have shorter battery life and fewer overall features. 

What happened to the Tesla Cybertruck?

The unusual design of the Tesla Cybertruck was a big talking point when the EV first debuted in 2019. Since then, pre-ordering a Tesla Cyberturck with a minimal $100 deposit has been available, but with no set end date currently in sight for would-be Tesla truckers.

What lies ahead for electric vehicles?

As of October 2021, “Sales of electric vehicles are expected to represent less than 4% of U.S. sales in 2021” according to CNBC. The majority of those EVs are Tesla sales. However, the trend of Americans buying EVs is on the rise. As market competition increases, we can expect to see lower prices for certain Tesla models and EVs overall.