Is It Cheaper To Charge A Tesla At Home Or At A Supercharger?


The charging of electric vehicles has become a very serious concern as more and more electric cars find their way onto the streets. Electric cars are cheaper than gasoline cars when it comes to cost per mile. Electricity prices change just like gas prices, and depending on where you get this electricity it could be super cheaper or a little more expensive, but generally not as much as gas would be. Tesla is an electric vehicle company and if you have watched any electrical vehicle news, their name should be familiar. Although electricity is cheaper than gas, it is good to know which option is the cheapest when it comes to charging your Tesla.

Is it cheaper to charge a Tesla at home or at a supercharger? In general, it is cheaper to charge a Tesla at home rather than at a supercharger. It costs around $12 to fully charge a Tesla at home. If you use a supercharger, it will average around $22. These prices may change based on where you live. Some Teslas that were purchased before January of 2017 are able to use superchargers for free. 

There are pros and cons to charging either at home or at a Tesla supercharger and depending on your need, the benefits may outweigh the cost. As of right now, Tesla is one of the biggest electric vehicle companies. In the simplest form, there are really two ways to charge a Tesla, either at home or at a Supercharger.

Although a supercharger may be more expensive, it does charge at a much quicker rate than it would at home. Just because charging at home is cheaper does not mean it is the best, your personal schedule can affect what type of charging works best for you. Over 80% of charging does occur at home as it is usually more convenient and cheaper.

Is It Cheaper To Charge A Tesla At Home Or At A Supercharger Station?

Most of the time it is cheaper to charge an electric vehicle at home. However, this may not be the case if you still qualify for Tesla’s free supercharging. It is also important to remember that superchargers may damage your battery if they are constantly being used so it may not always be the best decision to use them. At about $10 cheaper, charging your Tesla at home beats charging it at a supercharger. Although it does take longer to charge at home, there is a convenience factor as you are at home and can do practically anything that you need to do while your vehicle is charging. 

At home, you also have multiple choices when it comes to charging. With a 120v outlet, you will only get a 3 mile per hour charge, taking nearly 4 days to completely charge your Tesla. With the 240v outlet and using a wall connector, you can probably expect a time of about 12 hours to fully charge your Tesla (but this varies from model to model). The expected time to charge a Tesla to about 80% is just 40 minutes which is exceptionally faster than the fastest time at home. To fully charge the Tesla using a supercharger you can expect another 30 or more minutes if you plan on going all the way with that charger.

As I mentioned before, both ways of charging have their ups and downs and it just goes to show that time is money. Superchargers are able to charge your vehicle a lot quicker than your home can but you will also have to pay more. Most electric vehicle owners use home chargers to charge their vehicles and generally, people try to reserve superchargers for long-distance traveling and emergencies. Tesla also has destination chargers which are level 2 chargers that take longer to charge. These can be found at places where you are more likely to spend a longer period of time, usually, these chargers can be accessed and used for free.

Which Models Of Tesla Can Use Superchargers For Free?

Some models of Tesla cars use Tesla superchargers for free, but they have to be from before a certain date. Only the Model S and the Model X are able to have free charging at the superchargers, but not all of them do. They would have had to be purchased before January of 2017 to qualify for free charging at Tesla superchargers. Because during this time only the Model S and the Model X were available, making them the only models capable of receiving free charging. 

An amazing benefit is that these cars that were bought before 2017 may be eligible for free supercharging. This means that regardless of how many miles are on the car, it could still qualify for the free use of superchargers if it is bought privately or from a third party and not from Tesla. Tesla recently announced that the free use of superchargers may disappear pretty soon, as Tesla has said that it really isn’t sustainable.

The details on this are not super clear but even if a car from before the time limit is sold through Tesla, it will no longer have this perk, the rules of third-party selling are not clearly defined so you just have to be careful when buying a car as you may not get the perk depending on how you buy the vehicle. 

How Much Does It Cost To Install The Correct Wiring At Home?

Just like most things this price can vary greatly depending on where you live and the work needed to install everything. Tesla sells their wall connector for $550 and installation will probably cost around $1,000. Many different factors can affect this price greatly such as labor costs in your area, wire costs, your home being able to support a charger, or even acquiring permits for installing a charger. Sometimes the installation process may cost as much as $7,000 if extensive labor and requirements are needing to be met, so it would be wise to set aside some money and do research about installation costs in your area.

Some people also wonder if they are able to install the wiring as well as starting to charge from home to save them from the labor costs. Although it is possible, it is not recommended and if you were going to try it would be best to already have knowledge in that field and also do lots of research.

One of the main concerns is safety, not only could you hurt yourself while installing the wall connector but it is possible that if something was done incorrectly then a fire or electric hazard could appear and you would be responsible. Generally hiring a licensed electrician is the best way to have any charger installed. There are lots of different ways and companies that can install a charger in your home and doing research on more than one allows you to have the best service and the best pricing. 

It is also possible to charge your Tesla on a 120v outlet, the most common outlet type in most homes. This is the slowest way to charge your Tesla as it will only get around 3 miles per hour of charge, taking about 3 to 4 days to completely charge it.

Another option is having a 240v outlet, which would need to be installed by an electrician if one is not already in your home. This stronger outlet will charge a Tesla at around 25 miles per hour which will get you a full charge in a little more than 15 hours or more, depending on your model. With a max of 44 miles per hour, the wall connector is the fastest charger, other than the supercharger, and you can expect your Tesla to be done charging around 12 hours.

How Much Does It Cost Per Month To Charge A Car At Home?

Every month in your power bill, the electricity that is used by your electric vehicle will be included. There will be an increase in price to your monthly bill but it probably won’t be something to fear every month when you get the bill. Depending on where you live the price will vary but it is good to expect an additional cost of 30$ to 60$ every month to charge your electric vehicles.  Compared to the average monthly cost of $250 on gas, electricity for a car is much cheaper. 

Tesla ModelEstimated Cost To Fully Charge
Tesla Model S$8.17
Tesla Model 3$16.56
Tesla Model X$16.57
Tesla Model Y$12.29

This price does vary as I mentioned before based on region and where you charge. On average, if you wanted to travel one mile in a Tesla it would cost you about $.0412. All of this information is important because it gives you a better idea of what it costs for the lowest amount of charge, so if you travel more you can do your own estimate of how much you will be paying for a month.

Tesla’s range goes from about 263 miles to 412 miles, depending on what model and package you buy. If you average how many miles you drive every month and then look at the range and how much it costs to charge a Tesla, you can get the best idea of how much you may be paying for electricity 

How Much Time Does It Take To Use A Tesla Supercharger?

Depending on your model and desired percentage, your time spent at the supercharger will vary but just by a minute. Superchargers are exceptional when it comes to quickly charging Teslas. A Tesla supercharger can charge a Tesla to 80% in just 40 minutes. It will take another 30 to 40 minutes, or about 75 minutes in total, for it to reach 100% however, as superchargers have a quick drop off of charging speed when there is a lot of energy in the battery. These times may be different depending on what model you have, but for the most part, you can expect around this time when charging to these certain percentages on a supercharger.

Most superchargers are spaced out at around 150-mile intervals which should be easy for most Tesla vehicles to reach. To charge a Tesla with enough energy to travel this 150-mile distance, should only take about 25 minutes. It is important to map out where you will be stopping to charge if you plan on driving an electric vehicle over long distances. Thankfully technology is already improving that allows us to get a higher range on electric vehicles but it still takes time to charge them and working this into your schedule will make life a lot easier.

 It is also possible to use chargers that are not superchargers, although this will require a lot more time and you can expect to be there from anywhere between 1 and 15 hours depending on how much charge you need. Usually, these chargers are installed at specific locations that allow you to charge your Tesla while you go and do different activities.

They are really just wall connectors that have been installed by Tesla’s “charging partners”, which are businesses or landowners that want the chargers there for public use. If you are planning to do just an hour pit-stop these chargers probably will only give you about 30 extra miles of range so it is best if they are used for long periods.

Does It Cost More To Charge Up A Tesla As It Gets Older?

Most electric cars use lithium-ion batteries which do deteriorate as they get older and as they get used. Although it has been recorded that there is a slight decrease in performance as the batteries age, there has not been a noticeable increase in cost when charging it. The battery is unable to hold as much energy and because of this there is a chance that you may pay for the electricity that doesn’t fully get utilized but you probably won’t be paying more than what you were paying before. 

There are a lot of ways you can increase, or decrease, the life of the battery in your Tesla. Constantly using superchargers is considered unhealthy, but it is okay to use them every once in a while, but it should not be your main source of energy.

Another thing to avoid is constantly draining and fully filling up your battery. If you drive your car while it is below about 15% it could be damaging the battery, the same goes for if you are constantly charging your vehicle well above 80%. It is also best to try and protect the battery from extreme heat or cold. There are things that the car does to try and protect the battery but constant exposure may lessen the life of your vehicle.

Most batteries for electric vehicles should last longer than ten years, but sadly at that point a new battery will need to be installed and it is not a cheap process. If there is no warranty or insurance on the battery, you can expect prices from $12,000 to $25,000. This is a wide spectrum and the price will vary greatly by where you are and who you have installed the battery. Tesla has quoted multiple people in the $23,000 range for replacing the battery on a Model S. As battery quality continues to improve, hopefully, the life of these batteries will continue to improve as well.

Is There A Monthly Subscription Plan To Use Any Supercharger?

Many charging networks work through a type of subscription plan. Tesla, however, does not and only charges customers based on either amount of minutes charged or per kilowatt-hour. These prices vary greatly by region but can generally be found when researching the cost of energy in your area. You can expect a price of around $22 to charge your Tesla at a supercharger. There are also 4 tiers that Tesla offers that are able to charge your car, the lowest being the cheapest, the highest being the supercharger, and the most expensive.  You can still use other chargers as well but you have to have the adapter to make it work.

Free supercharging still exists, although Tesla is trying to phase it out. If you have free supercharger miles through one of Tesla’s Referral Programs, then you can check how many of these you have through Tesla’s app. It would also be smart to check the expiration date as they may expire. You may also have unlimited free supercharging, and as stated before, this perk is only available for vehicles from January of 2017 or before. If you buy a Tesla that is being resold through Tesla, this perk is no longer available, even if it is from before the time limit.

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