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How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Tesla?

One of the best things about driving an electric vehicle is not having to worry about the crazy cost of gas these days. Driving an EV can literally save you hundreds of dollars a month, but that doesn’t mean that EVs are free to drive.

Charging a Tesla or any electric vehicle means a few extra dollars on your electric bill each month. There is also the cost of charging stations if you’re out and about. If you’re considering buying a Tesla, it’s important to know your charging options and to factor in the cost involved.

Tesla Charging at Home

This is the cheapest and most convenient way to charge your Tesla. A standard 120-volt household outlet is always an option, and Tesla sells a Mobile Connector for $315, so you can use a standard household outlet anywhere. This is the slowest way to charge, giving you only 4.8 km of range per hour. However, this is a good option if you have short commutes, and it doesn’t require an electrician to install a new outlet.

Most Tesla buyers purchase a 240-volt home charger. A 240-volt charger can replenish a battery in about 8-12 hours, depending on what Tesla model you drive. If you don’t want to use the same outlet that you use for your clothes dryer, you will most likely need to hire an electrician to install this type of outlet in your garage or outside your home. Tesla sells a Wall Connector for $510 that runs at a slightly higher amperage giving you up to 70km of range per hour, but, again, requires a qualified electrician for installation. It is another cost you should consider when deciding to buy a Tesla.

TIP: Plugging in and charging overnight while you sleep means not having to sit somewhere during your busy day waiting for your battery to replenish. The other benefit to charging overnight is that energy consumption rates are lower, meaning less $$ on your electric bill. In Ontario, off-peak hours run 7 pm-7 am at 7.4 cents per kWh, so your average cost to charge should be between $4-5.

Tesla Charging in Public

It is tough to calculate how much it costs to charge a Tesla at public charging stations. EV charging stations are free to charge whatever they like and often vary with the time of day and demand. On average, a Level 2 charger will run about $1 per hour or $2.50 per charge, and a DC Fast Charger is about $15 for an hour.

Level 2 Public Chargers

Level 2 chargers are available almost everywhere and, like 240-volt home chargers, can give you about 70km of range per hour of charging. Many public Level 2 chargers have an SAE J1772 charging outlet incompatible with the standard Tesla charging cable. You will need the Tesla J1772 Adapter, which comes standard with the purchase of a Tesla. For a used Tesla, you can buy these adapters on Tesla’s website for $65.

DC Fast Chargers

These fast-charging stations are popping up everywhere as EVs become more popular. Plugging into a fast charger can give a Tesla anywhere from 160km – 321km of range bin anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Most of these charging stations include Tesla charging connectors, but some may not. If you find yourself at a DC Fast Charger that only has a CHAdeMO connector, you will need an adapter (purchasable online) to connect your Tesla to the CHAdeMO plug.

Tesla Supercharger

The Tesla Supercharger network is the fastest way to charge any Tesla model. These proprietary chargers can deliver up to 321.8 km of range in just 15 minutes, and although the cost varies by location, they tend to be the most expensive way to charge your Tesla.

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