Here’s How Much It Costs To Charge A Tesla Model S


The Model S is the longest-running Tesla currently available in the new market. Despite its age, it remains Tesla’s flagship offering, delivering the best luxury and performance. The Model S is not the highest-selling Tesla, as this title goes to the Model 3 and Model Y duo, because Tesla designed these to be more affordable and accessible models. The Model S is still an impressive luxury EV sedan option competing in a highly niche but competitive luxury electric car segment. Tesla achieves this with an appealing pricing strategy and unrivaled performance.




The Model S performs well in its segment and still manages to score high sales figures across global markets. The Plaid is obviously the model everyone wants, but the base Performance trim is still a rapid and attractive package. However, the Model S’s large capacity will result in high charging costs, so if you are thinking about jumping into one, this is how much you can expect to pay to keep it on the road.

In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from Tesla websites and other authoritative sources, including the EPA, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Car and Driver.

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Tesla Offers The Model S With A Single Battery Option


Both Model S derivatives, the Dual Motor and the Plaid, feature Tesla’s 100 kWh high-voltage battery, which is a lithium-ion pack put together using 8,256 individual 18650-type cells. According to Tesla, this 400-volt battery is one of the most advanced and sophisticated battery packs available in the new electric car market. Tesla backs this claim up with one of the best EPA-estimated range and combined energy consumption figures without sacrificing performance or driver-engagement.

Panasonic and Tesla have had a close working relationship developing batteries, ever since the American manufacturer started making cars. Panasonic is dedicated to making this an even stronger partnership by working hard at developing smaller, lighter, and more effective battery packs and investing in new chemistries, including exploring solid-state batteries. Panasonic is also busy with constructing a brand-new production facility positioned close to Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory. This will benefit Tesla’s already streamlined supply chain, distribution, and production cycles.


The Tesla Model S Takes 135 Hours To Charge

Red Tesla Model S parked
Tesla

The Model S Performance boasts a near-class-leading EPA-estimated 405-mile range claim, but the Plaid is only marginally worse, with its 396-mile range estimate. Fitting the larger 21-inch wheels reduces this to 348 miles. The Performance returns a 124/115/120 MPGe energy consumption estimate on the city/highway/combined cycle, making it the most efficient Model S. The Plaid with 19-inch wheels slightly worsens this to 119/112/116 MPGe, but the 21-inch wheels have the worst effect on efficiency, returning a 102/99/101 MPGe estimate.


Tesla Model S Range And Charging Times

Battery Capacity 100 kWh
Range 348-405 miles
Level 1 AC 110V Charging time (0-100%) 135 Hours
Level 2 AC 220V Charging time (0-100%) 18 Hours
Level 3 DC 350V Charging time (10-80%) 30 Minutes

(Specifications sourced from Tesla)

If you plug the Model S’s empty battery into a Level One household plug point at 120-volts, you will wait around 135 hours for a full charge. You can cut this time down to 18 hours if you use a Level Two 240-volt outlet, but a 72-ampere system reduces the time even further, down to eight hours. Using Tesla’s 350-volt Level Three direct current fast charger means the battery will charge from 10 to 80 percent in 30 minutes.

The Tesla Model S Costs $100 To Charge

Black Tesla Model S studio
Tesla


Using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics portal, we learn that American citizens, on average, pay 17 cents per kWh. This value is based on a scale measuring the cost of energy across all cities, which is a fairly broad range. You’ll find the cheapest electricity in cities like St. Louis and Seattle, where the current rate sits at around 13 cents per kWh. Things start to get more expensive in San Diego and San Francisco, where energy suppliers charge as much as 42 cents per kWh. Using this, we can deduce that the Model S’s 100 kWh pack costs $13 to charge the battery in cheaper cities, and $42 in the most expensive cities.

Tesla Model S Charging Costs

Standard 100 kWh Battery
Low Rate States $13
High Rate States $42
DC Fast Charging $50-100


(Specifications sourced from Tesla)

Tesla’s Supercharging network charges between 50 cents and $1 per kWh across all of its national stations. This pricing scale is based on how congested the stations are. When a Supercharging station is generally empty with short waiting times, you’ll find yourself paying around $50 to fully charge. On occasions when the stations are busy, which is common during peak hours and festive seasons along busier road networks, the battery costs $100 to replenish.

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The Tesla Supercharging Network

White Model X Charging
Tesla


Many people buy into the Tesla brand because of the Supercharging network. It’s an effective charging infrastructure that constantly draws in new and returning customers, despite its cars not drastically changing over the years. Tesla’s network consists of 50,000 different branches, which Tesla has constructed across almost all major road networks.

The brand also makes locating these stations an easy task by adding the entire network to its onboard navigation system or via the official smartphone app. The Tesla Supercharger currently operates at 250 kW, but Tesla hints that it is working on an update that will increase speeds to 300 kW. This will result in even faster charging times and improved convenience.

A lot of manufacturers with burgeoning electric car portfolios are embracing Tesla’s Supercharging network infrastructure. These brands are still fairly new to the EV game and haven’t had a chance to develop the same charging network level as Tesla, because its electric cars don’t perform as well in the new car market, or they have to spend some capital still catering to their ICE range. Tesla’s Supercharging network’s congestion struggles are unlikely to end anytime soon, for these very reasons. The brand continues to grow in popularity locally and across international markets. The popular and accessible Model 3 and Y are the primary reasons for this, but regardless, frustratingly long waiting times and more expensive charging costs are two issues you may encounter when accessing the brand’s fast-charging network.


Tesla’s Household Level Two Wall Connector

Tesla S3XY Range at Tesla Superchargers
Tesla

You don’t get a charging cable when purchasing a new Tesla Model S, but you can buy its official Mobile Connector as an official accessory for $250. This cable is Level One and Level Two-compatible, featuring NEMA 5-15 and 15-50 adapters for 110-volt and 220-volt plug points. The cable also comes in a branded carry case, which you can safely store in the car’s front storage compartment.

There’s also Tesla’s official Wall Connector, which grants you access to Level Two household charging for $450. This does not include the installation cost, which ranges between $800 and $2,000, depending on your location. The Wall Connector includes a 24-foot cable, made to withstand indoor and outdoor use, and you can manage your charging sessions using the brand’s dedicated smartphone app, similar to how you would when using the Supercharging facility.


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Tesla Model S Battery Warranty And Replacement Cost

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla 

If you plan on owning a Tesla Model S for longer than eight to 10 years, you’ll need to prepare for the inevitable battery pack replacement. According to founder and CEO Elon Musk, the 100 kWh battery pack should last for 500,000 miles, but existing Model S and Model X owners, most of which feature the brand’s older battery packs, indicate that you can get a good 200,000 miles before you need to conduct a replacement. Lithium-ion electric car batteries generally have an eight to 10 years lifespan. New Tesla Model S units feature the brand’s eight-year or 150,000-mile battery warranty, which covers all defects. The brand will fit a new battery if it loses 70 percent of its charge within the warranty period.


Replacing the Model S’s battery outside the manufacturer’s warranty means you may pay between $12,000 and $20,000, including labor costs. This range depends on how severe the battery wear is, because technicians will only replace the faulty cell modules as opposed to the entire battery pack. Tesla battery packs can be replaced at independent workshops at a cheaper rate, but it is recommended to go to the manufacturer if you want the best results and the brand’s stamp of approval in your service book and replacement part warranty.



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