What Is the Monthly Cost of a Tesla with Solar?


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I pay $25 a month to charge my Tesla – and my electricity bill is only $10 a month. You heard it right, folks. Thanks to solar power and electric vehicle ownership, my electric bill is less than the cost of lunch.

Last video, we talked about the cost of owning a Tesla. This time around, we’re looking specifically at the cost of charging a Tesla. I live in sunny San Diego, California, and my home is outfitted with solar panels. Thus, keeping my electricity bills and my EV charging costs low. While this isn’t the case for everyone, the overall data does make solar energy an attractive option to power a Tesla.

The cost to charge my Tesla offers interesting insight into solar power technology and how it can benefit Tesla owners. While getting started with solar energy to power your home– and car – may seem intimidating, overall the annual savings will curb your fear.

As a Tesla owner, I’m not only saving by charging my EV by the sun, but I’m also receiving a federal tax credit by utilizing the alternative energy source. Additionally, I’m keeping my Tesla charging costs low by charging my EV during off-peak hours (midnight to 5am).

When looking at how much I’m spending to charge my Tesla, I wanted to see my savings by not having to gas up. As I mentioned, I’m spending about $25 a month to charge my Tesla. If I owned a traditional vehicle, I’d be spending about $92 a month on gas. While the $66 monthly savings doesn’t seem like that much, annually I’m saving almost $800 – which over 25 years is almost $20,000.

If this video doesn’t get geeked about buying – or owning – a Tesla, I hope it at least got you thinking about solar power. While it’s not free, it can help you save on your electricity bills. And, if you’re a Tesla or electric vehicle owner, the cost to charge your car.

As always, for the latest Tesla news visit or subscribe: https://teslanomics.co

As mentioned above, check our last video for more information on Tesla ownership costs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jsc-46mty0c

You can also dive even deeper into Tesla costs here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11Hp3ja0zYj4jGUjGJALiVZ-EiFdLQ2gPNCgRK9rdslk/edit#gid=0

I got my fuel cost numbers from: https://www.gasbuddy.com/

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42 replies
  1. guringai
    guringai says:

    Wow Solar panels are expensive in the US. I heard its because of lots of unnecessaey regulations etc.
    Just as a guide we just installed 6.3 kW system for $6130 near Sydney Au.

    Reply
  2. Michael Druce
    Michael Druce says:

    Thanks Ben, very informative. I am looking at setting this up on my home in Sydney, Australia. I have had a quote for an 8Kw system 29 panels plus a Tesla Powerwall 2 for AUD $23,600 installed. That's around USD $19,000. I am paying AUS $0.29c per KW hour. Our average household electricity usage in Summer in 56 KW hours per day or AUD $380 per month. In winter it is 25 Kw Hours per day or AUD $180 per month. We don't have the Model 3 here yet, that's 2019/2020. So I am planning on installing Solar + Powerwall late next year in preparation for my new Model 3, once they start producing right hand drives in 2019/2020. Solar may be cheaper next year to install too. Do you think this is cost effective?

    Reply
  3. FCB1708
    FCB1708 says:

    in the us u have luck. my parents got solar panels and a battery storage. if our battery is full the electricity is sold to the grid(we have to pay for that taxes ->thats ok we make profit) but when we use the produced energy for own use we have to pay taxes as well for the kwh -> for me i cant understand it.
    well and we have to take some energy from the grid if we take to much energy so the battery does not unload so fast and so it will last longer.
    overall its still better than just paying for electricity but because of the taxes not as good as yours.
    or maybe u have to pay taxes to for the energy u use and u didnt told us

    Reply
  4. siggy101
    siggy101 says:

    Can anyone confirm if this is the correct (ie: Japanese) pronunciation of CHAdeMO?
    I have never heard anyone say it like that with the 'de' pronounced 'day'. Sounds horrific to my ears.

    Reply
  5. Vic G
    Vic G says:

    Very good numbers. So I'm looking at saving 120K in 25 years which pays for the solar panel system, electric bill free and buys me a preown TESLA model S P85, and leaves me with 50K surplus should I need to upgrade to a newer TESLA in those 25 years. My second oldest car is 16 years old, so keeping a car for 25 years is not far off.

    Reply
  6. Leif
    Leif says:

    I'm wondering what are the economics on the Powerwall. Will be interesting in the upcoming video you mentioned on that. Does it make sense for you due to the high power rate in San Diego? But you are already offsetting nearly all your usage with solar. Unless you are planning to drop off the grid to save the $10, but that seems risky even for sunny San Diego, and certainly not cost effect, with a Powerwall. What is your usage in kWh?

    Reply
  7. Cortney Gomes
    Cortney Gomes says:

    Hi Ben I commute from Menifee to San Diego daily. I have 23 solar panels and on Friday I'm adding another 10 panels totaling 33. I currently operate a leaf. We charge our car during super off peak hours and Southern California Edison only charges us .13 a Kw. I'm hoping to generate almost 50kw per day in the summer. I have made huge savings in gasoline costs since I purchased
    a leaf. I"m hoping with the Tesla Model 3 I will be able to commute and I may add more solar panels. I have saved so much in fuel costs since buying a electric car.

    Reply
  8. MakeSaveinc Com
    MakeSaveinc Com says:

    hey Buddy, I am in SD too. I will say hi when I see you. I am so exciting waiting for my M3. Thanks for the Solar info. Question. before you install solar panel. How many kWh per month do you use? This way help me figure out how much solar panel I will install. my normal monthly is about 300 kWh. my brother reserve 1 x m3, I reserve 1. So that make 2 of us ( I know it would also depend how much we drive. Thanks in advance

    Reply
  9. BISKIT Garcia
    BISKIT Garcia says:

    I'm still not impressed with the costs of solar, your monthly expenses are based on a 25 year life in the same house. Here in NJ nobody would pay extra because the home has solar panels. The average time in the same home is 7 to 10 years, that would be a loss.

    Reply
  10. Don Miller
    Don Miller says:

    I'm going to be very interested in seeing if the Powerwall allows you to reach the $10 a month power bill. I think the demand is going to cause you to use more grid than your estimates show. Have you thought about when you will charge the Tesla and what charge (amps) rate you'll use? Your home AC running, cooking, water heating, and Tesla charging all demanding energy at the same time is going to exceed the Powerwall inverter capability. With some planning you should be able to reduce your peak demand to get close to your $10 goal.

    Reply
  11. IMHO
    IMHO says:

    Doesn't the Powerwall include an inverter? And if you are already using solar, it means you have an inverter already. If you have net-metering, then you don't really need the Powerwall except for when there is a power outage. I don't think you will go off-grid to save $10/month, and most likely it's not even legal to go off grid in your area.

    So it seems like the solar system will pay for itself, but how long until a Powerwall pays for itself? Seems like something's needs to change in your situation for it to be economically viable. They normally get their return on investment by buying at cheapest rate (charging the Powerwall fully) and then using the Powerwall during peak rate time to run air conditioning and things. But in your system, the solar panels will cover that most of the time.

    Reply

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