Is the Tesla Model S an electricity guzzler? One driver trying to answer that question says it does gobble down more juice than previously thought, but it's not time to make Hummer jokes just yet.

First, the goal: Tesla's claims that properly set up home-charging stations can get about a 91-percent efficiency rate.

Rob M. from Teslarati has been diligently tracking electricity used by his home charging station – made up of a NEMA 14-50 outlet that was professionally installed and Tesla's Universal Mobile Connector (UMC) – since June, as we reported here. The results for the month that ended July 21 revealed that the Model S was taking in about 82 percent of the electricity it was pulling from the system, indicating an 18-percent loss of electricity. Most EVs are thought to charge at an 88 to 90-percent efficiency rate.

The downside to his results? About $26 more per month in electricity costs than previously estimated on about 2,400 miles worth of driving. There is a positive upshot, though: his monthly fuel savings totaled about $334 compared to driving an internal combustion engine vehicle.

These early results are intriguing, and make us wonder... Is anyone else checking in on their Model S charging efficiency?


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  • 214 Comments
      bluepongo1
      • 11 Months Ago
      If you lose sleep over 80% efficiency, you're probably the type that would compare a Chevy Chevette to a Chevy Chevelle ... because they're both Chevys that run on gas * ( In other words Tesla Motors vehicles are not for nickle - and - dimers who put price point over safety and driving.).
      • 11 Months Ago
      I love the Tesla. I love Nikola Tesla. I agree whole-heartedly that electric cars are the inevitable future. BUT... The CHEAPEST version of the Model S is $60,000. By comparison, you can buy a new Chevy Silverado pickup for $30,000, and at 18mpg and $3.50/gallon for gas, the $30,000 you saved by not buying a Tesla is enough fuel for 154,286 miles in the pickup. The parts in the truck will probably also last longer and be cheaper to fix/replace. Even if you never spend a dime on charging the Tesla at home and charge it only at the free stations, it will take you 155k miles to BREAK EVEN with a PICKUP TRUCK, on the basis of cost. The upfront investment in an electric vehicle is the single greatest challenge to their rising popularity.
        SeadogMillionaire
        • 11 Months Ago
        You are - conveniently - basing your comparison on today's gas prices, which we KNOW will be another dollar higher in two years. And you are also - conveniently - forgetting that an electric car requires no changing of the engine / transmission / steering / differential oils, no changing of the air filter, probably no changing of the brake pads for 200,000 miles, and only a fraction of ANY parts. So the savings add up quicker. And at the end of 154,286 miles your Tesla (or other electric car) is still running fine, while you are considering either dumping your truck ... and by that time, NO ONE will want a gasoline clunker. OR you are having major internal components of the engine ... or the entire engine replaced, so that you can keep driving at - by then - $8.00 a gallon gasoline !!! NOW ... who made the smarter purchase.
        Koenigsegg
        • 11 Months Ago
        pick up trucks are gay
          Naturenut99
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Koenigsegg
          Maybe that's the meme we need to start :-)
        Grendal
        • 11 Months Ago
        This is an old and pointless argument that is so blatantly ignorant. Why are you buying a new car at all? What is the point of a Corvette, Cadillac, or the Silverado you mentioned? You can always buy a used Hyundai Accent. Then you are really saving money, since the point of driving is saving money. Brain. Use it. Please.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 11 Months Ago
        Being wasteful with our natural resources has always been cheaper until technology catches up. It has always been cheaper to contaminate our environment, "ie" throwing our sewer and garbage in the streets of the city instead of a sewer system. Until people started dying no one cared. The smell wasn't even enough to stop it. So it is with the ICE.
        JoeP
        • 11 Months Ago
        Yes, but if we run out of oil will you be wishing that you conserved more for the future, or will you still be glad that we used up the last of it to save a few duckets? If you think about our use of oil, running cars on it is the worst option. Think of plastics, fertilizers, industrial processes, etc. If we live in huts barely eking out our existences, will you still be glad we used it all up? They say we only appreciate something when it's gone, but does it have to be that way? I hope not.
        • 11 Months Ago
        Don't forget you don't have to pay for oil changes in a Tesla, ever!
        Avinash Machado
        • 11 Months Ago
        who cross shops a luxury sedan with a truck?
          Grendal
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Avinash Machado
          Apparently Erik does.
          Naturenut99
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Avinash Machado
          Or a luxury car vs an econo car ?
        CaptTesla
        • 11 Months Ago
        And at the end of the day you are stuck driving a Chevy. Abe fun with that.
        btc909
        • 11 Months Ago
        Of course a Tesla will NEVER drop in price. Only a "rich mans toy".
          Grendal
          • 11 Months Ago
          @btc909
          -sarc. :) No one was getting you...
      eric.sales
      • 11 Months Ago
      We have four solar panels each with a max of 130 Watts (e) which we use to recharge at night. I then can travel to the local Super Charger Station which is free. My work also has plug in stations, so we're pretty much covered.
        • 11 Months Ago
        @eric.sales
        yah, well see when there's a few other people with similar electric cars waiting in line to charge...then you will cry wolf with all the $$$ you spent in line
        racergirl79
        • 11 Months Ago
        @eric.sales
        You use your solar panels to recharge at night? HAHAHAHA!!!!! You guys are such religious fanatics you don't even realize your own lies.
        edward.stallings
        • 10 Months Ago
        @eric.sales
        "We have four solar panels each with a max of 130 Watts (e) which we use to recharge at night." They work good at night? So FOS! It takes 85 KWh to recharge a depleted Tesla You would need over 650 of your panels to charge it in one hour on a sunny day at noon. You are so full of soot!
      • 11 Months Ago
      What is the cost and efficiency when we use a solar powered Super Charging station to power up?
      Kerry Phillips
      • 11 Months Ago
      Saving gasoline is good, saving $$$ is better! Tesla has many other advantages besides lower fuel/energy costs. Access to HOV lanes, preferential parking at some facilities-a long with potential free fueling besides @ supercharger locations, Zero emissions. Can park automobile in your garage/home without any exhaust issues. Reduced maintenance. Zero engine warm up time. Let us not forget, the Tesla is an extremely fine automobile in its own right. My current electricity cost is ~$0.075 KWH or ~ $0.015/mile for a Tesla. My gas saver costs ~$0.10/mile@ $3.25/gallon and 32.5 MPG average. $35k for a Tesla 3, -$7500 tax credit= $28k for a BMW 3 Series equivalent with ~1/6 the fuel costs? Sign me up.
        MFWIC
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Kerry Phillips
        Kerry, I bet the price is $42,000 and with the $7,500 tax credit which is non refundable, will bring it down to $35,000. I thought I was going to get the $7500 credit but it turned out to be a hassle for me to amend, that I just left it alone. The tax credit is non-refundable so that means, if you don't owe any taxes, you can't get any money back. Just a FYI.
      Zaki
      • 11 Months Ago
      I would rather drive a Mercedes E class or Lexus GS and save a cool 20 grand...now that is real savings. Once EVs are actually comparable in out the pocket purchase price, then you can talk to me about savings at the pump. Until then it is just posturing and little more.
        Weapon
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Zaki
        Mercedes E class or Lexus GS is not in the same class as a Tesla Model S though, so it is not really comparable.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Zaki
        Zake, I can only say I am glad early adopters did not share your opinions or we would not have cd players, flat screen tv's, computers, etc... They would never be available to the general public at a reasonable price if everyone were like you, indeed perhaps we would all still be riding horses.
      The Bishop of D...
      • 11 Months Ago
      The Tesla owner I know is apparently smarter than the rest of you. He installed solar photovoltaic panels on his roof, and pays nothing to charge his Tesla. When you factor in the federal and state tax incentives, he's probably receiving a subsidy to run it.
        Petrol
        • 10 Months Ago
        @The Bishop of D...
        False. No solar panel as large as he surface are of the roof will gove no apparent power other than to power the headlights. Less than 300W per mile, will render any panel, even those from SunPower useless.
          Teslaliving
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Petrol
          This statement is completely incorrect and depends on your roof. I suggest you do some research. Here's what i've got so far: http://teslaliving.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/solar-gains/
        Bryce H
        • 10 Months Ago
        @The Bishop of D...
        We drive a Chevy Volt and have a Honda hybrid, in the next 12 months we will be putting solar on our roof and replacing the Honda with a used Tesla Model S if they come down to $50k
      Steve K
      • 11 Months Ago
      Rich man's toy. You'll never recoup the cost vs a decent 35 mpg sedan and you'll always be limited. A fool and his money are soon parted and Tesla proves this with every car they sell.
        Dave D
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Steve K
        Do you think everyone on the planet should drive a Chevy Geo because they're cheap? Do you also spew your idiocy for anyone who buys a Mercedes or Porsche? Or do you save your special brand of asshatness to share with Tesla owners?
        Steve K
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Steve K
        Those parted from their money also know how to downvote to make themselves feel better about their own irrational choices. Sorry children, down voting won't change reality, but blame the messenger if it helps you sleep at night.
          Stang70Fastback
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Steve K
          Let's follow the progression here: 1. Make comment. 2. Everyone tells you you are wrong. 3. Make new comment stating that everyone else is wrong and you are right. You sound like a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Steve K
        Mmm... probably comparable cost over the life of the car to a $40K sedan, realistically. However, you can't buy a sedan for $40k that performs anywhere close to a Tesla.... and which requires less maintenance and hassle (my Tesla has a "full tank" every morning). So-- the way I looked at it, the Tesla is a "poor man's Porsche Panamera". The fact that it was cheaper was just a bonus as I'm certainly not rich, I'm just not stupid with my money.
        MFWIC
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Steve K
        Steve - the Model S has improved my quality of life. I can't explain it unless you live it. Can you imagine the convenience of never needing to go to the gas station? The Tesla is so quiet on my ears that I feel relaxed on my commute. I look forward to driving it. Especially in traffic it is so easy, you release the accelerator, the car slows down. It is very much like an one pedal driving. Even the AC is quiet. I can hear music without needing to blast it. I have a web browser that saved me so much time when looking for hours of a store and phone numbers. I can hear on demand whatever song by the artist via internet streaming radio just by asking the car. The internet and radio is free. For those that want to go on a trip using the supercharger, they travel for free. I am too lazy to get a free charge, I just do it at home. Unless you drive more than 200 miles everyday, the Tesla is a great car. Almost a year and not one penny on maintenance.
          edward.stallings
          • 10 Months Ago
          @MFWIC
          Not saying that the Tesla is not a great car for some people, but it would be more accurate to say "Unless you drive more than 200 miles anytime and have only one car."
        edward.stallings
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Steve K
        Stop it! The truth hurts!
      purrpullberra
      • 11 Months Ago
      The batteries are discussed ALL THE EFFING TIME what are you talking about?!?! It is why Tesla want to build the Gigafactory here, in the US. They've also stated that they plan on using as much material from the US as possible. And there is PLENTY of lithium in North America for lots of Gigafactories. In fact, there is plenty of all but one or two materials needed in North America. And Tesla already know where to source those. All you have to do is read the real news. Stop force feeding yourself garbage politics. Fires don't keep happening, you're just lying or maybe brainwashed. Accidents happened, and only the most violent had any fires or injuries. But you really know this stuff you are just so morally bankrupt that you enjoy trolling and lying on behalf of the monsters who pull your puppet strings. Everyone you are trying to influence here can see right through all your stupid BS. Sorry.
      Ziv
      • 11 Months Ago
      The cells are currently made overseas but the ones for the Volt and the Spark are assembled here in the States at Brownstown MI. And Tesla just announced that they are breaking ground on their Gigafactory in Nevada, which is kind of in the US. Not one Volt has ever had a fire without the government causing it by failing to de-power the battery of a wrecked Volt 2 weeks after the crash test and then leaving it in the rain. The Volt has never had a passenger fatality. Ever. The Tesla has had one Darwin Award winner die at the wheel after a 100 mph police chase. All other Tesla accidents have seen the passengers well protected and the few fires have been slow to start and easy to escape. Road taxes will probably change as more electric cars hit the streets, that is pretty easy to fix. Lithium comes from a half dozen nations, including the US, and our Lithium output is set to skyrocket as Kings Mountain in Nevada is ready to start mining. A Volt uses less than 35 pounds of lithium, a Leaf just 50. That is it. Plus lithium is recycled whereas gasoline is consumed. See the difference there? Electric cars have one problem. The battery packs cost around $250-$400 per kWh depending on the level of thermal management and chemistry type. But the prices have been dropping at around 7% every year for the past 6 years. You do the math.
      purrpullberra
      • 11 Months Ago
      Hydrogen leaks and explodes, you really want a tank of that under your house? There is NO WAY to stop hydrogen leaking. None. How do you get it to your house? Brand new pipelines? Delivery trucks? You haven't really thought about it much have you? Sorry to burst the bubble on you.
      Nick Kordich
      • 11 Months Ago
      @rpinsm - SoCal Edison has a calculator that should give you a better idea of what you'd be paying on one of their EV rate plans (as well as the default Schedule D): https://www.sce.com/wps/portal/home/residential/electric-cars/rates-charging-options/EV-Rate-Assistant It factors in the usage tiers, but as the footnote at the end mentions, their second EV plan requires that a second meter be installed. It depends on how much you drive, but I think most people opt for the basic EV plan - there are savings over Schedule D, but not the additional cost of a second meter. I think eventually they'll have a dual meter unit that should provide a better rate with less overhead, but that's just a guess on my part.
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