While Tesla ownership is nowhere near that of Toyota or Ford yet, there has undoubtedly been an increase in how many Tesla cars are on the road. As a leader in manufacturing electric cars, Tesla has a steady stream of buyers. But what sets Tesla apart from its competitors? Some say that owning a Tesla saves money, but how much money does it actually save you?
How much money do you save by driving a Tesla? Teslas have been shown to save you up to $1,200 in gas and $100 in oil changes annually compared to gas-powered engines. Several factors influence how much money owning a Tesla saves you, such as the model you purchase, how many miles you drive, the type of battery you choose, and what you pay for electricity.
Saving money always brings delight but knowledge brings understanding. So, before you set out to get your very own Tesla, here is some useful information about the savings a Tesla can bring, how the different Tesla models compare, general maintenance and potential issues of owning a Tesla, and much more.
How Can a Tesla Save You Money?
From not having to purchase gas to saving on maintenance fees, Tesla provides several ways to save money. Depending on what type of fuel you use and how many miles you drive each year, on average, you can save between $800-1,200 annually just on gas.
As for maintenance savings, Tesla requires little to no engine maintenance compared to most gas-powered vehicles because it doesn’t require oil or gas. While prices vary, oil changes should be done once to twice a year, costing up to $100 a year.
Tesla also requires less brake work because of its regenerative braking. This means that brake pads don’t have to be replaced as often and you won’t need to go to the mechanic for brake service, which can cost upwards of $1,000 depending on how much work needs to be done.
How Tesla Compares to Other Electric Cars
Tesla vehicles outshine all other electric cars. They are more expensive than most other electric car dealers and models, but they are well worth the investment. Tesla averages more miles per charge and saves more money on gas. For these reasons, Tesla is by far the superior choice for your electric car purchase.
The following chart details three key features comparing Tesla with other electric cars:
|Tesla||Other Electric Cars|
|Overall Car Cost||Ranges from $39,000 to $80,000||Ranges between $25,000 to $60,000|
|Average Annual Gas Savings||$700||$600|
|Average Miles on a Full Charge||350 miles||250 miles|
Source: Electric Cars
Will You Need to Change the Oil in Your Tesla?
One thing that you will enjoy with all types of electric cars is that there are no oil changes required. Because electric cars do not have the same motor customary in your average non-electric vehicle, there is no oil to change.
Since Tesla is a fully electric car, it does not require oil. Therefore, Tesla doesn’t need regular oil changes like diesel or gas cars. The electric motor has grease rather than oil, which doesn’t deteriorate as oil does.
There is oil in the gearbox, but this usually doesn’t need regular maintenance. Tesla uses oil to assist in smooth transmission. Fumes from the engine do not contaminate the gearbox, and Tesla originally set guidelines for the oil to be replaced on years 1, 5, and 9 but has since discontinued this recommendation.
Average Maintenance Costs of a Tesla
Maintenance is an expense you do not always think about when purchasing a new car. However, Tesla vehicles require very little maintenance and upkeep in comparison to other electric or gas vehicles. Other vehicles usually suggest annual maintenance to remain in top condition, whereas Tesla does not. However, you should always check your car’s owner’s manual to make sure you schedule maintenance regularly at the right times.
The following chart compares maintenance costs on Tesla vehicles to the other types of cars on the market:
|MaintenanceTask||Tesla Vehicles||Nissan Leaf||Honda CR-V Hybrid||Toyota Camry|
|Cabin Air Filter Replacement||$60 to $200||About $40||$57 to $64||$57 to $87|
|Tire Rotation||$35 to $100||$20||$36 to $46||$36 to $46|
|Wheel Alignment and Balancing||$30 to $100||$100 to $120||$153 to $195||$207 to $264|
|Brake Repairs||Up to $585||$163 to $195||$812 to $844||$350 to $410|
|Air Conditioning Servicing or Replacement||$50||$123 to $155||$126 to $161||$126 to $161|
Tesla doesn’t require annual servicing for its vehicles, but any maintenance recommendations will be in your car’s owner’s manual. Though Tesla does make recommendations for specific maintenance procedures, it also will vary depending on climate, driving, and other variables. Tesla also offers maintenance plans that are fairly low cost.
Electricity Costs of Owning a Tesla
Tesla is an amazing electric vehicle, but you are responsible for keeping your vehicle charged. When you start charging your Tesla, your electric bill will increase. Customers have shared that their electric bills have increased between $20-50 per month.
Many factors will influence how much your electric bill increases when you bring home your Tesla:
- Location – The region in which you live can change costs
- Frequency of charging – The more you charge your Tesla, the more your bill will increase; if you travel more frequently, you will need to charge more often
- Current electricity rates – Some companies utilize more sustainable power sources, which can help reduce costs; you may want to shop around for a different electric company
- Seasonal fluctuations – Prices go up and down throughout the year
While your electricity bill may increase a bit, remember that you’ll no longer be stopping for gas. Even for a fuel-efficient vehicle, gas can get up to about $100-120 per month. In that respect, you’re saving around $50-100 each month.
Where to Charge Your Tesla: At Home or A Public Charging Station?
Finding time to charge your Tesla is essential to being able to drive your vehicle. It is important to compare different charging locations because they will have an impact on how much money you spend on electricity. Whether you choose to charge your Tesla at home or a public station, you will be paying for that electricity.
Here are the pros and cons of home charging and public charging:
|Home Charging||– Standard outlet is free to charge with|
– Available for all Tesla models
– Can charge with 120v outlet or 240v outlet
– Utility company might offer low-cost overnight electricity
– Length to full charge depends on the power supply available (120v is slower than 240v)
|Public Charging||– Total average cost: $10-20 for each full charge|
– Superchargers allow for fast charging
– Tesla has a trip planner to find spots to recharge easily
– Available across the world in more than 1,900 locations
– Destination charging allows you to plug in at hospitality locations, like hotels and restaurants
|– Not all electric vehicle stations are compatible|
– Limited hours at many locations
– Kilowattage cost varies by location
– Less common in rural America
– Available along most major highways
– Density in middle America is much lower than coasts
According to Tesla, the best place to charge your Tesla is at home. However, if you use mainly public parking, you can suggest charging sites on their website at your local businesses or workplace. Tesla recommends plugging in your vehicle at the end of the day to ensure it is fully charged by the next morning.
Tesla also gives three easy steps to get your home charging station installed:
- Use Tesla’s electrician finder or find a local electrician and ask for a quote. If you have a favorite electrician, there is a guide Tesla provides for flawless installation.
- Order your home-charging wall connector. If using Tesla for the install, the connector is included in their quote.
- Find a time that is right for you, and schedule the installation.
How the Different Tesla Models Compare
Before you go out and buy a Tesla, it’s essential to know what you need and want. The best way to figure out the details would be to check out the Tesla website. By doing so, you will find several details that can help you decide which Tesla model you want to purchase. With the ability to customize your Tesla and get exactly what you want, prices can start to add up.
The following sections provide some basic information about each Tesla model:
Tesla Model S
- Impact protection
- All-wheel drive standard
- Autopilot options
- Glass roof standard
Speed: 155 to 163 miles per hour maximum; 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.3 seconds
Average Mileage per Charge: 402 miles
Average Cost: Starts at $75,000
Potential Annual Gas Savings: Around $916
Resale Value: Up to $39, 293
Tesla Model 3
- Smallest model; two-seater version
- Full self-driving package available
- Dual motor all-wheel drive
- Lowered suspension
Speed: 162 miles per hour maximum; 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds
Average Mileage per Charge: 322 miles
Average Cost: Starts at $38,000
Potential Annual Gas Savings: Around $716
Resale Value: Up to $35,123
Tesla Model X
- Seats up to seven people
- Premium interior options
- Full self-driving capabilities
- Three different wheel options
- 5-star safety rating
- All-wheel drive standard
Speed: 155 miles per hour maximum; 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.6 seconds
Average Mileage per Charge: 351 miles
Average Cost: Starts at $80,000
Potential Annual Gas Savings: Around $880
Resale Value: Up to $51,171
Tesla Model Y
- Dual motor all-wheel drive
- Versatile design
- Versatile seating and storage
- All-weather control
Speed: 155 miles per hour maximum; 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds
Average Mileage per Charge: 316 miles
Average Cost: Starts at $46,000
Potential Annual Gas Savings: Around $716
Resale Value: Up to $39,992
After you check out the variety of models and options available, Tesla offers two ways to buy their merchandise: online or in-person. Tesla has around 164 dealerships worldwide, with about 130 of its stores residing in the US.
Some of the showrooms have a limited supply of cars for sale, so if they have precisely what you want, you can drive your Tesla off the parking lot in their New Hampshire, California, Colorado, or Virginia locations. Otherwise, you can work out the details of your Tesla at the shop or online. As long as no issues occur, your Tesla should be ready to drive in three to six weeks.
It’s also important to note where the closest service center is located. Tesla has specific guidelines in their warranty package, so unless you don’t mind voiding your warranty, it’s crucial to know where you can service your Tesla.
Do Teslas Have Any Problems?
Each vehicle will come with its own set of issues. With general use, weather conditions, driving aptitude, and other factors, your Tesla can encounter particular troubles sooner or later.
Here are some typical issues that have been reported thus far:
- Quality of Parts – Some customers have reported misaligning falcon doors or rusty bolts falling off after a few years. While Tesla is by no means low quality, there can be improvements made on the longevity of the vehicle as a whole.
- Model 3’s Speedometer Location – Most cars have the speedometer behind the steering wheel, in an easy to see location so drivers can monitor their speed. The Model 3, however, has it located in the center panel on the touch screen. While this may not affect a seasoned driver, it may be hazardous for a newbie to focus on the road and monitor their speed.
- Maintenance After Warranty – Repair, parts, and service may start to become expensive depending on what needs to be done and which model Tesla you own. While Tesla does offer a four-year maintenance plan and an extended warranty, there will be a day when maintenance costs come out of your pocket.
- Power Steering Lock-Up – A low percentage of Tesla customers have experienced their steering locking up while trying to turn. Though it doesn’t happen often, it’s essential to contact your dealership to make any necessary repairs.
- Slow Turnaround Time for Repairs – Speaking of repairs, with so few service centers working on such new concepts, specific maintenance can take up to several weeks to fix or not be solved upon the first visit to the service center.
- Emergency Release Handle – The handle itself causes no issue, but there’s a flaw in its location. Since Tesla is an all-electric vehicle, they rely on fancy buttons to get the door open. However, they also include an emergency handle in the small chance that the button doesn’t work (which is an excellent idea, by the way). But its placement is where a regular door handle would be, and that causes some issues. If the emergency handle is pulled too often, it may start to form cracks on the window, leading to a new set of problems.
- Model 3 Trunk Height – In this case, there is a slight design flaw, or Model 3 was simply built for really tall people. While the Model 3 as a whole is terrific, you may have an issue trying to close the vertically opening trunk for those on the shorter side. Though vertical trunks are nothing new, the almost-90-degree-angle can require some extra jumping or a tall friend to close.
- Batteries Against Cold Weather – What car really likes the cold? In Tesla’s case, their batteries have a slower regeneration time, limiting drivers from moving faster.
Tesla has also faced some financial difficulties due to sales and working on lowering costs for production. If these problems persist, it may not be easy to continue operations in the long run.
Other Benefits of Owning A Tesla
Not only can you say that your car runs without gas, but there are also many other benefits when you own a Tesla. The advantages of a Tesla car are what draw many owners into making the final purchase.
Tesla also stands out among other cars because of all its benefits and features, such as:
- The chance to make extra income – A highly anticipated rideshare program is the Tesla Network, which will allow Tesla owners a variety of opportunities to make extra cash from leasing their Tesla to using it as a Robo-taxi. You can also use your Tesla for Uber or Lyft services.
- Fewer emissions – Since Tesla doesn’t run on gas or diesel products, there are no direct emissions that electric cars let out.
- Safety comes first – With all the new gadgets and features in Tesla, the car does a decent job helping you avoid accidents with its lane-keeping, auto lane-changing, and blind-spot features.
- Full autopilot – Autopilot has come a long way with Tesla. For an additional cost, you can choose the full self-driving option for your Tesla. This doesn’t mean you can take a nap, but your Tesla can take over much of the grunt work of driving. This includes auto lane-changing, summons (moving your car in and out of tight spaces), stop sign/light identification, and more.
- No gas – You’ll still need to charge your car, but you won’t need to worry about the always-changing gas prices. While the average gas price is currently around $2.18 per gallon, the average cost of electricity is $0.13 per kilowatt. Even with less range between charges, doubling the electric price is still nowhere near what gas costs.
- Overheat protection – This probably has to be one of the coolest features (no pun intended). Especially in hot states like Florida and Texas, this allows your Tesla to maintain a bearable temperature while you’re away from your car. So, no more opening up the doors and being blasted by the heat or wearing shorts on the hot leather.
- The Tesla app – With the Tesla app, you can check the charge, lock/unlock your doors, honk the horn, summon your Tesla, and even locate your vehicle. The best part? That’s not even half of what you can do from the app, and Tesla is continuously improving the services to provide more fun controls for you to learn.
- Tesla Easter Eggs – Who doesn’t love finding hidden treasures in their computer car? Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has shared the following Easter Eggs: autopilot Mario Kart style, access codes “Mars” or “007” can turn your screen into a mars rover or make you feel like the next best spy, and for the kids, Tesla made a fart simulator that can sound off in any part of the car.
- Model S Ludicrous and Insane modes – These modes are as crazy as they sound. Ludicrous mode allows you to accelerate up to 60 mph in about 2.5 seconds, while Insane Mode gets you up to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. To give you an idea of how it compares to supercars, Lamborghini can accelerate up to 60 mph in about 2.8 seconds.
- The Infotainment Explicit Lyrics Bar – For a family-friendly ride, Tesla includes a checkbox that will filter out songs with language you don’t want your littles to hear.
- Model X’s Bioweapon Defense – The bioweapon defense mode uses the High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (or HEPA) filter to clean the air coming into your vehicle using the same standards that hospital operating rooms use.
- More storage space – Since Tesla integrated the motor and what would usually go under the hood into other parts of the vehicle, this leaves more space in the car’s front.
- Tesla’s center screen – Instead of having a multitude of nobs, switches, and other forms of buttons, Tesla created a screen that provides everything you need in one spot.
- No gears – As an all-electric vehicle with no internal combustion engine, there’s no need for your typical gears. This cuts back on maintenance and even some of the repairs that most ICE cars need.
- Wireless updates – Tesla acts more like a computer than a car in many ways, which means that certain repairs and updates can be done wirelessly.
- Aerodynamic design – Without the heavy engine in the front, Tesla has more options to create a car that uses its space efficiently in all aspects.
While these are the current advantages and features that Tesla has to boast, they continue to update their system and add more to their vehicles with each update.
Why Are Teslas Expensive?
Innovation takes both time and money. With its all-electric vehicles, Tesla has taken a step into what may be the next big thing in the auto industry. But this also means that all past production processes would be irrelevant for their cars.
Though there is a demand for Tesla cars, the supply is limited. Unlike other companies, Tesla’s current manufacturing capacity cannot meet the demand for all of its customers. Since the market is high, but the supply is low, Tesla can charge more for its vehicles.
Not to mention, batteries are already expensive as it is. While Tesla is working towards decreasing their car battery costs, they are still the most costly part of its cars.
Other automakers hesitated before joining the electric car trend due to the high costs of production. To make a profit, these high costs are transferred over to the consumer. With quality and demand being where it’s at, Tesla can sell its cars for upwards of $80,000 because they know that someone will find the car valuable enough to purchase it.
A summary of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Tesla’s Cars
While you may want one of these ‘cars of the future,’ there are pros and cons of owning a Tesla. Tesla is known as a top competitor in the field of electric cars, but does it live up to all the hype?
The following chart sums up the advantages and disadvantages of owning a Tesla:
|Pros||– Runs on electricity instead of gas|
– Top of the line air quality
– Outrageous acceleration
– Regular system updates
– Impressive technology
– Supercharger network provides more efficient road trip paths and shows you where you can charge
– Autopilot features
– Overall performance in handling and drive quality is one reason why people continue to invest in Tesla
– Maintenance costs are lower than the average gas vehicle
– Tesla App features
– Tesla’s family-friendly Easter Eggs
– Additional opportunities to make money by using your Tesla
– Fully customizable
– More safety features
|Cons||– Expensive upfront costs|
– Charging times take longer than a traditional fill up at a gas station
– There are fewer dealerships compared to other auto manufacturers
– Limit in the pre-built inventory
– No more tax credit for Tesla in 2020
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to invest in a Tesla. Saving money in the long term is probably the most significant benefit after being better for the environment.
Before You Drive Away
To wrap it all up, Tesla does have the potential to save you money in the long run. While the upfront costs are typically double what you would pay for a car that uses gas or diesel, Tesla has lower maintenance requirements and no gas prices.
Even with the increase in your electric bill, there’s still a chance to save up to $100 a month, or $1,200 a year, in gas fees. Tesla also has many unique features and benefits that make it truly worth the investment.