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New Tesla Model 3 Owner Finds That Supercharging Is More Expensive Than Getting Gas

A person bought a new Tesla Model 3. After getting the hang of it, they started using the Supercharger network to replenish the vehicle’s battery. It didn’t take long to discover that using the automaker’s charging stations is getting quite costly. But there’s an upside to the story. Here’s what’s what.
Multiple Teslas at a Supercharger 6 photos
After getting a Tesla Model 3, this person decided on using just the Supercharger network. That proved to be unexpectedly costly. According to a screenshot published on Reddit, the cost per kWh is $0.58. That’s a lot, considering the average price of a “supercharged” kWh was $0.25 only a year and a half ago.

Tesla wanted to show its customers that using an EV is a lot cheaper than having an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. To make this as easy as possible, the company added in the dedicated app a simple chart that shows exactly what savings are being made. The automaker kept this visual aid even though the national average electricity price has climbed to $0.16 per kWh from $0.13 per kWh in 2020. It might not feel like a lot, but that’s a 23% increase.

Unfortunately, for this fresh owner of a Model 3, things didn’t look good from the very beginning because they couldn’t use any other charging sources.

The data collected by the Tesla app showed a $4 difference. Granted, the person only used the Supercharger network for a little over 79 kWh. Yet, in this case, filling up with gas would’ve been cheaper. It might not look like much, but keep in mind the national average price for fuel was just last month at over $5 a gallon.

If a Tesla owner would always have to use the Supercharging network, then owning an EV from this American manufacturer can get very expensive, very fast. Fortunately, there are other options in the U.S. Just make sure you have an adapter and the stations are working properly.

Even though this Tesla owner didn’t use the Supercharger network for a lot of miles, it is still an opportunity to remind ourselves that EVs aren’t that good of an option if you can’t periodically charge at home during off-peak hours or at the office. The speed won’t be the same as at the Supercharger location, but it will most likely be considerably cheaper. That’s when the savings might begin.

Americans living in apartments also have to plan their charging strategy. They must be careful about it, since charging at home is harder to do when you live in a block of flats.

In most states, Tesla’s Supercharging network is available to customers at a per-kWh rate. This usually means that an owner of a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) will pay around $0.30 for each kWh consumed. Keep in mind this is an average value. Actual costs may differ. For example, fast charging at night would generally be less expensive.

But what we know by now is that it’s not very cheap. However, having this option is a great way of making sure you’re on the move promptly. Charging up to 80% is done easily and ends fast. Longer trips can be completed without range anxiety if other factors like queueing don't come into play.

On the other hand, some states have different rules when it comes to paying for electricity. That’s why Tesla also offers Supercharging per minute. This is split into four tiers. Those who have the newest cars pay the highest price because they can charge at above 180 kW, while the rest have lower fares.

The only thing that’s still a worry for Tesla drivers who want to travel long distances is the reliability of the charging stations and if they’re not being occupied by other EV owners who don't want to move their car after finishing charging up.


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