CHEAPEST Way to Charge Tesla Model 3?

CHEAPEST Way to Charge Tesla Model 3?

– It’s a beautiful day today, and that’s great, because I want to go film at some different locations and show you the different options that I would recommend
to charge your Model 3, and try to figure out which one is the cheapest, or which one might be the cheapest for you
given your situation. Before then, we have a lot of stuff to take care of, so let’s get right to it. (upbeat classical music) So Elon has stated before
that super-charging will be free forever. – Something that’s unique
about the Supercharger is that it’s free. It’s not just free now, it’s free forever. – But unfortunately, the economics of it didn’t work out. And nobody really knows how much it costs to install a Supercharger, but a lot of people have tried to back into these numbers using
their financial reports and any kind of previous statements that they’ve made on earnings calls or in the media. Most people landing on the $250,000 mark, which I believe was published back in 2012 or 2013, the idea
now is a bit different, right, because people
are using super-chargers in ways that they weren’t
originally intended, and that is just their everyday charging. And this has led to some problems
in the network, let’s say. And one of these problems is when you use the super-charger too often, what happens is, it actually can hurt your battery because the speed and the heat generated from charging so quickly
will actually damage its ability to maintain a charge. One guy learned about this the hard way by his car automatically
disabling his ability to use super-chargers at
the highest rate possible. Because what happens is, Tesla wants to protect your investment, and they want the batteries to last a long time, so it’s important that
they don’t let you kind of abuse them, and remember super-chargers were designed for long-distance travel, and so this guy was using
it in an unintended way, or, I don’t know if you want to, you can be negative about it, but really, if you think about it,
if you work somewhere and it is near your work, you’re gonna do it often, but doing that
as your primary source all the time is gonna be bad for your car. So, it’s important that you
don’t rely on super-chargers 100% of the time. So the other issue is that the cost of running these things and maintaining them will continue to
grow as more people use them and as they try to add more of them. Tesla in 2017 said that
they were gonna try to double the amount of Superchargers. I think they got close to that, but there are a lot of them now, and
they keep growing and growing. So this is an essential part
of their infrastructure, and they needed to have a way to make it financially viable, and I think it’s still a great option to charge and we’ll take a look
at that and a few other options here in a second. But, when you think about it, a lot of us wanted this to be the case, and just, it would be the easiest thing, but even because of the battery issue, it’s not gonna be your best option. You’re gonna need other ways to charge. So, let’s jump over and take a look at some of those now. And for everyone wondering, these guitars aren’t here for show, I do play them. (casual classical music) So the regular cost in San Diego, where I live, for just charging with solar or anything else, is 22
cents per kilowatt hour. After a certain time, in what
they call super-off peak. Now, that is pretty expensive. The national average per
kilowatt hour is 12 cents. So, I’m using my data here because I want it to be direct relationship to all the other comparisons I’m
doing, but in your case, you may actually find that charging at home just using your normal rates is gonna be a really good option for you. Now of course, you’ll have to install a charger, either a wall
charger or an outlet. I think that the wall charger is great if you have a nice-looking garage and you want it to be
aesthetically pleasing, otherwise, just the outlet is fine. And the outlet that Tesla recommends is the NEMA 14-50. And in order to do that, you may have to even upgrade your panel. So the cost can get pretty high. I paid almost $2,000 for mine because of the distance they had to actually run the wire when the wire
itself is expensive. So all those things considered, your home is gonna be your most convenient, and depending on your electricity rates, it may or may not be the cheapest. So another option is a public charger like the one behind me. This is from ChargePoint, and it’s one of the biggest ones in the US. And the prices can vary quite a bit depending on your location. I’ve seen them here in San Diego anywhere from 25 cents up towards 60 cents per kilowatt hour,
so they’re definitely more expensive than some of the
other options I have here. But, something to consider
also is the convenience. Now, these happen to be
near a new subdivision of these townhouses, which may or may not give you access to build one of these in your home, so if this happens to be near your location
where you live or work, it may just be the best choice. So, I’ll put some links to some of the larger networks that
exist in the US down below, and you can kind of use those to gauge and find exactly what the
rates may be in your area. However, I have not seen them be cheaper than either of the next few options that I’m gonna show you. So, a good option is a
Supercharger, surprisingly. And so, looking at the data, depending on where you live, this could
be a really affordable choice. And one of the challenges is the busyness and how packed some of these are. I’m here at the one in San Diego, and there are about six cars lined up that have been waiting here
for 30 minutes to an hour. I chatted with a few people here, and that is insane because there are I think 12 or 14 stalls here, and it really is the only
one in San Diego County. So, something to consider. Now, if you live in, say, Los Angeles or other places where there
are a lot of super-chargers, then this is gonna be a good option for you, and surprisingly, just about the cheapest one out there, which I didn’t think
was gonna be the answer when I started doing this video and started looking at the data. So, I’ll put a map down that I built, a link to the map that I
built in the description below where it shows you every single state and what the rates are,
as well as other countries in the world that are
currently published from Tesla. And so, all of your
charging with the Model 3 will cost money, but the convenience, depending on the location and the time it takes to do it and how busy it is, all those things play in, but really, this is a good option for a lot of folks. So, you guys may guess this, but there are some free options as well, like the one behind me. This is from Volta, a company that’s actually growing rapidly, has a ton of backing financially, and is really making this kind of interesting, because
it’s free to charge here. Now, it’s not a super-fast DC charger, or nearly as fast as, say,
a Tesla super-charger, so those are gonna be your
faster options, of course. But this one’s free, and what they do is they kind of show you an ad on the big screen while you’re waiting, which is really novel. It’s kind of like taking what Google and Facebook have done online
into the physical world, so I think that’s really interesting. And, the challenge, as you can maybe tell from the cars packed up behind me is that, because they’re free, they are very busy and difficult to get into. I’ve seen other places
in LA that have them, and a lot of them, it’s the same story, they’re always packed. But, if you happen to work or live near one, or here’s at a grocery store and you happen to be there, I think this is a fantastic option. But, just not one I’m
sure you can really rely on, especially if you need to
charge it on a daily basis. And that brings us here, to my house where I have solar panels installed. And this is gonna be your cheapest option to charge your Model 3, and
or any Tesla for that matter. Now, the way I look at this was, I took the cost of the
install, and I subtracted the incentives, then I amortized that cost across the life of the panels, the warranty, which is
about 20 to 25 years, depending on what you get. Then, I looked at the percentage of energy that my Tesla, my Model
S, uses each month, and then I took that percentage times kind of that monthly cost breakdown. After all is said and
done, it’s just under, a little bit under 10
cents per kilowatt hour. And the Model 3 should
be a bit more efficient than the Model S, so
it should be even less. Now, I don’t have enough
data from the Model 3 yet to calculate it exactly, but in any event, it’s gonna be twice as cheap
as the next cheapest option. Now, if you have the choice and you have a home where you can get
solar, and you’re wondering how to do it, I’ll put a link down into the description for the way I did it, where you submit your info to this website and all these different companies bid on it, and they give you
this really nice dashboard to kind of compare and contrast and see what the best choice will be for you. Now I know not everybody can do that, and so that’s why I wanted to explore those other options with
you in the video here. Let me know what you guys decide, what your choices are, and why. And if you want to be a part of this and have a tighter discussion
with the Teslanomics family, you can join us at It’s a Facebook Group
that’s private just for us that are really into this stuff and really want to dig deeper. So, see you there and let me know what you guys decide. And don’t forget, when you free the data, your mind will follow. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you guys back here next time. (upbeat classical music)

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Even cheaper home charging can be had if you're in an area where you have off-peak electric which I do have. The off peak hours here are from 11 at night to 7 in the morning so that's plenty of time to charge a vehicle at a rate of about $0.03 a kilowatt hour. You have to call your utility and ask if any rate like this is available in your area.

  2. I am torn. From the start I was an enthusiast, full stop! That was when I saw the roadster on the program Suits. More recently I wonder about going for a drive on a beautiful day in the mountains (Skyline Drive or the Blue Ridge Mountains) and not having to think about the mileage and the dearth of chargers along the route. Added to this was seeing honest videos talking about waiting a month to get a single bolt for the Mod 3 wheel or waiting over 7 weeks now for a minor dent in the rear drivers side and being car-less for that long. I have driven the S and know how remarkable that car is. I just wonder if Tesla is ready for Prime Time just yet. I am pulling for them and hope that within 4 years or so they will have concentrated more on servicing their customers and maintaining a good parts supply. And of course, living in VA we do need a good deal more super chargers, although this latest video does indicate Supercharging can harm your battery if done too often, another unforeseen consequence not to be cheered. Of course much of these issues go away if you own your own roof top solar panels and have two cars where one can be used as a back up, but VA is not silicon valley , at least not yet. I will keep my fingers crossed but will probably look silly trying to drive this way.
    Cheers Elon…

  3. My university has solar panels and provides free charging to students that have a valid parking permit. Hahaha.

  4. Here in Canada electricity is 9 cents a KWh, but also we have so many free EV chargers around town, I literally never pay for electricity for my Model 3. My gym, grocery stores, and shopping malls all have free EV charging subsidized by tax money. Meanwhile, our gas is about $6-7 a gallon, so swapping out my Dodge Charger for the Tesla was a no brainer. So far I'm about a month into ownership and have put on thousands of KMs without paying a cent for power. I'm sure free EV charging will disappear in the next few years, but for now I'm riding the gravy train!

  5. Great info. Re: Chargepoint, for a Model 3 this only works on 240 VAC, right? DC fast charging is only possible via Superchargers at this time, right? Would be helpful to provide charging speeds for the various options.

  6. AZ beats that. I'm with APS and I pay less than 6 cents per kWh after 8PM. I don't know what SRP offers but I was blown away with the price of power during off-peak hours.

  7. Tyson๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿป๐Ÿ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿต๐Ÿ”๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ•๐Ÿพ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿ‰๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŸ๐Ÿฆ‚๐Ÿ›๐Ÿบ๐Ÿง๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™ƒโ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜—๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜—๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ˜š๐Ÿ˜š๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜›๐Ÿค‘๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ถ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ž๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜•โ˜น๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  8. Not sure how long it will stay this way but at least for now, my college put in some chargepoint chargers on campus which are free to use with the only limit being that you can't park there indefinitely, 4-hour limit

  9. When everyone switches to electric vehicles the kWH will go up and they will tax the shit out of the service. The government will get its taxes in one way or the other. What people will do is start installing there own DIY SOLAR…..Of course until the local government sets a law to make it illegal for the people to install and use there own DIY solar power system

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