Cost to fill

So I have been trying to calculate the cost to "fill" an empty "tank". Here is my math. It seems low, help me find the error... Or spread the good word!

Power per mile: 300Wh (per FAQ)
Miles per "tank": 300 miles
Power per "tank": 90 kWh = 300 * 300 / 1000
Cost per kWh: $0.09 (in NC, varies by location)

Cost to "fill-er-up": $8.10

Here's another thread where a similar calculation has been discussed (which then drifted off to some interesting but only remotely related topics...):

That sounds believable. It costs about $6 for my Roadster in San Diego (normal mode). My 22-mile commute costs about $1 per night.

Sounds neat and tidy, but it isn't. That $8.10 is no where near the cost to fill it up.

I'm from Ontario Canada and we are unfortunate enough to be the last bestion of Liberal-dumb, and I really do mean DUMB, left in Canada. It seems the Ontario voter is dumb, to the point of legal retardation, to vote for this government a 3rd time. As a result we have the highest hydro rates (which are slated to increase 60%-80% in the next 3yrs alone and another 40% in years 4-7) in all of Canada. They go up on Nov 1st, again. These same damned Liberals brought in "Smart Meters" which were really a Liberal scam (of course) to extract more cash from us consumers.

We pay:
10.7 cents/kWh on peak hours
8.9 cents/kWh in mid-peak
5.9 cents/kWh off-peak

Delivery Charges are extra:
Distribution Volume Charge = 2.859 cents/kWh
Transmission Network Charge = 0.575 cents/kWh
Transmisson Connection Charge = 0.456 cents/kWh

Regulatory Charges are extra too:
Rural Rate Protection Charge = 0.13 cents/kWh
Wholesale Market Service Rate = 0.52 cents/kWh

Debt Retirement Charge is extra:
0.70 cents/kWh

As you can see, the costs will be much higher for us.

And for those wondering, yes the "Debt Retirement Charge" is a fee charged to us consumers to pay for the history of failures by those same Liberals in screwing up the Hyrdo system by selling assets, billions in cost overruns in nuclear power, suspecious "Green Power" contracts, loss, theft, etc etc etc.

Once you add that grant total up, you then have the pleasure of paying an additional 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (the dreaded HST) on top. And, yes, those same damned Liberals brought in the HST too.

@SS: I'll pay more than that per kWh.

I blame all politicians equally for the taxes. The "conservative" politicians and liberals in the US are equally ready to bring home the bacon in terms of taxes from outside their states.

I'll still pay less than $20 per "fill". And, probably, more than 3000 times that for a car! No ranting needed. I'll be happy to drive it.

You guys need to move to WA state. I'm paying 6.4 cents per Kwh.

So right now I'm paying about $3.80 per 20 miles in my SLK55. That will run about $0.38 in the Model S. Woo hoo!

So I can drive to work for two weeks in the Model S for the price of a single day in my ICE.

Straight shooter, you can charge during the low rate times. About 13 cents per kWh.

My local rate is currently 8.5 cents but the utility has asked to go to 10.5 cents at all times.

The biggest variance will be regional utility rates. Everyone should check to see whether his utility offers a time-of-use or real-time pricing program; as Straight Shooter noted, there is a large difference between charing at night and charing mid-day.

A little nit on the calculation: there's some loss factor you should build in, probably 10-15%. Still, $9 instead of $8, versus $60 for gas? Sign me up (hmm, I guess I'm already signed up).

In Florida, I figure it will cost us about $12 to fill up the 300 mile battery from empty. Right now, it costs me about $56 to travel 300 miles in my Lexus RX350 (their smallest SUV). Maybe $5 less if it's all highway driving. The Lexus requires premium gas which runs about $3.75 today.

- I will save about $2,000 a year on fuel. Not counting random opportunities to recharge for free.
- I will save at least $1,200 a year on maintenance.

@David M., I live in SoFla and FP&L has no time-of-day pricing, even though they just installed state-of-the-art digital meters. Sadly, they tell me have have no plans to initiate time of day pricing. I just don't have the time to lobby our local reps to propose legislation, and even if I did, FP&L has a whole lot more clout. Awful!

I feel that the cost of filling the Tesla Model S with electrical energy is much higher than the amounts calculated and presented here. While the electrical energy cost numbers mentioned in this thread (about 5 cents/mile) might be justifiable for the $60K basic Model S with a presumed range of 160 mile, the electrical cost for the extended range models is much higher. Indeed, the cost of electrical energy to fill the 300 mile version of the Model S starts at about 25 cents/mile (20 cpm (cents/mile) for storage and about 5 cpm for the electricity.) This cost, which exceeds the mileage cost of my gas guzzling Infiniti G35x, is based on Tesla’s pricing of the extended range versions.
These numbers are obtained as follows. To extend the range of the Model S from 160 miles to 300 miles, Tesla charges an additional $20,000. Other than an extended range, there are no other performance benefits for this extra cost (as far as I can tell.) In fact, because of the extra battery weight (estimate about 500 lbs) I expect the performance to be impaired. In addition, since the battery warranty is not extended beyond the original 100,000 miles, and just as much total time is required to “fill” the car to achieve 100,000 miles, it is fair to attribute and distribute this extra $20K to the electrical energy cost over the 100,000 miles; resulting in an electrical storage cost of 20 cpm. Only then do you add the actual electrical energy (starting at about 5 cpm) to get my estimated minimal cost of 25 cpm. Even worse, it is important to note that the 20 cpm storage charge is paid up front when you buy the car. On the other hand, when I fill my car with gas I pay the comparably exorbitant fuel price only when I fill up.
Curiously, the “fuel” cost of the intermediate 230 mile version of the Model S comes to about 15 cpm; based on the above reasoning.
I realize that most contributors to this thread will strongly disagree with my interpretation and conclusion, but I feel that my point of view on operating “fuel” cost is valid.

@Zelaza: Using that argument, it would be much better to buy a car with only 30 miles of range, which would reduce the cost of the batteries.

To continue your argument, you should price the 160 mile version using the cost of its batteries, too.

The cost a Model S buyer incurs when choosing the larger batteries is for range, not price of electricity per mile.

You might as well include the panoramic roof as part of the cost per mile. It's another optional feature.

Zelaza, your point is somewhat, uh, faulty. You're counting just fuel for an ICE, but counting a bunch of non-fuel costs for an EV. You'd best count in the cost of what it takes to run an ICE...namely the actual combustion engine...and the fuel pump...and the exhaust system...and so on.

@solfauthor: I don't think you're right -- FP&L has residential rate RST-1, which defines on-peak and off-peak charges. There's a big gap in the on/off peak rates: 11.49 c/kWh savings off-peak. Refer here: .

FP&L's parent, NextEra, is a very forward-thinking company and the largest zero-carbon generation company in the country. I'm not sure who told you that there wasn't a TOU rate, but they're just wrong. I do a lot of work with NextEra, and I'm confident that they're trying to get things right.

I think it's a matter of choice whether to figure the battery cost as part of the mileage. If you take it as simply part of the structure, like a gas tank in an ICE, and amortize the (very speculative and possibly diving) cost of 10-yr replacement as "maintenance", then the pure electricity costs apply. If not, then properly you should also price the car at list minus battery, since you're considering that part of the "fuel" expense.

Why would you consider the battery and 10-year replacement, but not consider the same long term maintenance for ICE components like timing belts, clutch/transmission, catalytic converters, etc?

Either you go pure fuel, gas vs. electricity, or you go total cost of ownership. Picking and choosing what to count as one wishes means anyone can invent any numbers they want as "evidence" for a point.

@Robert.Boston: Thx for the info and the pdf. Another phone call (this time armed with the rate schedule you ref'd) will be made tomorrow.

Straight Shooter - I agree with everything you said about McGuilty's lying regime. In reality, there is no way he could have won this election, as he is the 2nd most despised premier in Canada, and yet he still wins (see CTV article below just few months before election). If majority of Canadians hates Dalton, something is fishy, which leads to suspicion that votes are possibly rigged. Now they blamed less voter turn-out excuse and are proposing online e-votes in the next election, which is much worse on easily rigging votes.

It does sucks to have to pay more on electricity in the near future. This is the same regime screwing us up with higher TTC fare hikes, HST and more stealth taxes, equal high gas prices all over GTA without competitive pricing and having the highest insurance rates in Canada too. He is basically raping us off our hard earned cash.

Sorry to others for hijacking this thread on politics.

The cost *to fuel* is indeed equal to your electricity price per kWh times the 90 kWH in the tank. Or, more usefully, you can list a cost per mile; at 0.3 kWH/mile, if electricity is 11 cents per kWH, then it is 11 * 0.3 cents per mile.

The capital cost of the car, battery, etc., is another matter. Electric cars cost less to fuel but cost more upfront, and accordingly are a much better deal if you drive a lot (say, 200 miles each and every day) than if you're the little old lady who only drives on Sundays. You'll have to figure your own total cost of ownership based on your own driving patterns.

Sorry to hear that Ontario residents are getting gouged on electricity prices. Your hydropower is actually among the cheapest generation sources there is, so it's clear Ontario Hydro has just being looted for purposes other than hydropower generation and distribution. If they're being saddled with nuclear costs (always huge), that WOULD explain part of it.

Anyway, you seem to total out to about 12.588 (Canadian) cents per kWH off-peak and about 18.012 cents peak, so you can do your own math. Still cheaper than gas.

I'm paying 11 - 12 cents (US) per kWH in upstate NY for "100% renewable" power, and that's inclusive of all costs. About half of that is transmission/distribution, about half is generation, and yes, our legislature is actually charging an extra special levy on electricity which goes directly into the state's general fund. (You're not the only place with an irresponsible government imposing regressive taxes on those who can least afford it.) That seems to be comparable with your *off-peak* charges. I really wonder what they are up to with those peak charges in Ontario; perhaps they are burning money to supply peak electricity demand.

To ncn:
I think that the numbers in the first two paragraphs of your comments are highly questionable. Here are some parameters concerning the Tesla battery that can be discerned from the Tesla site and other places. The Tesla battery weighs about 20 lbs per kWh, costs $700+ per kWh, and requires about 45 minutes to replace 10 kWh of charge (using the 240 volt 70 amp charger with about 16 kW charge rate.)
It's highly doubtful that the 300 mile Models S has a 90 kWh battery. To do so would mean that it weighs in at 1800 lbs (hhmmm ...), costs $63,000 (ouch), and requires almost 6 hours to fully recharge. The 90 kWh figure comes from assuming that the battery requires 0.3 kWh per mile; I assume the much more optimistic (unrealistic ?) 5 miles per kWh. More likely, the 300 mile Model S has a 60 kWh battery weighing 1200 lbs, costing about $43,000, and requiring about 4 hours to recharge. Better and a little more realistic, but not by much.
Your comment that to justify the larger up front cost of the Tesla (in terms of fueling) it would be desirable to drive about 200 miles per day bumps into the reality that it is doubtful that the Model S can do this consistently under all conditions. Likely the destination would need to have a good charging unit.

Zelaza, we do know for certain that the 300 mile version will have a 85 kwh battery. This number has been stated multiple times and can probably be found on the website as well. It has long been rumored that the 300-mile battery would be 90 kwh, which is not too far off.

We do not know anything about the actual price or weight of the three battery packs. It has been said, though, that the 300-mile battery pack will use different chemistry than the smaller packs, so a linear extrapolation does not work to estimate its weight or cost.

To Volker.Berlin:
Thank you for the very useful information and I will start to use your numbers in my assessment of vehicle operation and performance. I try to be cautious with data derived from past experience and only use it until better data (such as yours) is available.

One question though. I'm assuming that the new 300 mile battery pack with different chemistry is superior to the "old" battery. Shouldn't Tesla replace all "old" batteries with the superior battery; especially since the lower mileage vehicles will only be produced after several hundred high mileage Model S are delivered?

"...a much better deal if you drive a lot" != "Your comment that to justify the larger up front cost of the Tesla..."

Let's be clear about what we are speaking about here. If you're talking about exactly what the thread topic states, the cost to fill an empty "tank", then that does not account for the cost of the tank/battery itself.

That's not to say that cost of the battery can't be argued -- just that within the original argument, that has no bearing.

Now if we want to talk other costs, let's talk about what you're really getting when you buy a Model S. You're getting an electric luxury sedan capable of high performance. Let's think about that a little bit in comparison to how Tesla is pricing the car. If you're willing to pay for a luxury sedan that is in the ranks of high end Audis (note the high end there -- an A4 or a 3 series BMW doesn't cut it in a comparison), BMWs, and Mercedes, then the cost of the Model S is not that high.

As for battery cost, I don't think they have stated replacement cost for the Model S battery yet, but they have for the Roadster. From Wikipedia: "Tesla Motors stated in February 2009 that the current replacement cost of the ESS is slightly under USD$36,000." Given the larger capacity of the Model S 300 mile battery, it could cost the $43,000 you state, but I highly doubt car owners would be likely to see that full cost in 7 years when their batter starts to have a diminished capacity.

I have to agree with the others that the battery cost is a cost of ownership of the car rather than a cost of fueling the car. The battery is not the fuel, but the storage system for it. You don't buy a new battery every time you charge it.

That said, that doesn't mean that one should ignore the cost of the battery. It is a very real cost that should be accounted for in your estimates of cost of owning a Model S (although I contend it's not a fuel cost). I am disappointed that Tesla has not announced a plan for helping customers replace the battery using a combination of recycling the old one and some kind of built-in financing over the initial 7 year battery life. They do infer on their site that battery technology will improve and cost will go down, but they only use it as an excuse to not provide a cost for replacing the battery.

No, the newer tech is obviously going to be more expensive. They want to keep the base 160 and 230 as cheap as possible.

In the days of petroleum powered automobiles the price of filling the tank meant just that; the cost of the fuel. In the era of purely battery powered cars the cost of filling the tank is dominated by the very valuable commodity, TIME. And to people who drive $80,000 and $100,000 cars, time is especially valuable (and probably billable at hundreds of dollars per hour.) The range limitation of a 300 mile Model S is less than 150 miles (range < ½ drive distance on a full charge) and crippling to anyone who just wants to get in the car and drive to the beach or slopes or anywhere else. With that in mind, let’s compare the Model S with other high end luxury cars. For the $60,000 price of the Basic 160 mile Model S, you can buy some pretty good cars: Corvette, Cadillac, BMW 5 Series, Audi, Mercedes E Class, Porsche (Boxster), etc. To double the limited range of the Basic Model S you put down an additional $20K but otherwise get the same luxury car. And of course, in addition to performance you can claim ridiculously low fueling cost. However, the EV car still requires hours to refill the charge.

The conventional (gas) car manufacturer (or dealer) of the $60K car can meet and beat Tesla’s low fueling costs. How? By offering the following deal that is financially similar (if not better) than the Tesla S (300 mile). When purchasing the $60K conventional luxury car put down an additional $20K and the manufacturer/dealer will pay for all of your fuel for eight years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first.) This deal is better than the Tesla Models S deal because you avoid the cost of 100,000 miles of electricity (probably more than $3K, especially if you have to charge somewhere other than your home.) And, of course, you have unlimited range and refueling only takes minutes. (That such a deal is possible recall that recently (less than 10 years) when gas prices spiked, some US auto manufacturers offered to pay for the first year's (or 5000 miles?) gas if you bought their car.)

I am not an accountant who can fully justify the distribution of "fueling" cost between electricity and battery storage. But as a Systems Engineer I feel very confident that the Model S battery cost, beyond that required for the base 160 mile model, can justifiably be attributed to up front "fueling" cost.

I don't think the Model S can be justified by comparing the cost of electricity to the cost of gas. For me, I'm also paying for the silent ride, the awesomely quiet and amazing acceleration at low speeds, and the convenience of have a full tank every morning without having to spend 5 minutes going to a gas station and filling up with stinky petrol.

Those features, for me, more than justify the price. Otherwise, I would keep my 28mpg Ford Escort. You can buy a LOT of gas for $100,000!

So if Audi offered two cars -- one with a 15 gallon tank and one with a 20 gallon tank (assuming all other things equal), you would consider the price difference in the two cars a fueling cost?

Scheduled maintenance on my Lexus is recommended every 6 months or 5,000 miles, whichever is first. Cheap services are around $250. Once a year, the major ones are $500 - $700. After 4 years, unscheduled maintenance can be for anything like: hoses, belts, gaskets, muffler pipes, emissions adjustments, timing gears, radiator issues, transmission, etc. costs can be very expensive, which is why I normally start thinking about trading a car after 4 or 5 years. All of these issues are in addition to issues related to all vehicles (like tires, brakes, air conditioning, etc).

With the Model S, I have only one scheduled maintenance appointment each year, and I never have to worry about checking or replacing radiator hoses, belts, oil pan or cylinder head gaskets, spark plugs, tune ups, muffler pipes, catalytic converters, emissions adjustments/inspections, timing gears, radiator, transmission, carburator, etc. Wow.

For mwu:
I think the cost difference between a 15 gallon tank and a 20 gallon tank is probably less than $100. Over a distance of 100,000 miles this amounts to a cost penalty of about 0.1 cents per mile. So, I really don't care how you distribute that cost.

With regard to two cars, I have a deal for you. Buy the 160 mile Model S for $60K. Then, instead of paying an additional $20K for the extended doubled range, for the same $20K buy another small car like a Honda Civic, Mazda, or other. When you need to drive a long way, or your battery isn't sufficiently charged just use the small car. That second car can come in very handy.

Does anyone have any accurate and up-to-date information in regards to charging costs from an empty "tank" to full?

The first Tesla Motors store will be opening in the state of Texas in the city of Houston on Thursday October,20th, 2011 at 10:00am (tomorrow). I happen to live (driving time wise)ten minutes away from the first Texas Tesla Motors store. And I am considering to purchase the new and up-and-coming Tesla Model S when I have enough capital to effectively make it a reality. I have finally decided to purchase the 300 mile range capacity Model S. Unfortunately by the time that I will be able to purchase the Tesla Model S... Most likely the Tesla Model S 'Signature' Edition will no longer be available since it will be of a limited production within North America.

David M.

Your Lexus has a carburator ???? LOL !!!

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