The Economics Of Owning A Tesla

I’ve done lots of research on the economics of owning a Tesla, because I realize how affordable Teslas can be for normal, middle-class people, especially compared to their gas-powered luxury competitors. When you own a Tesla, you save thousands upon thousands of dollars on gas. You also save money on maintenance. Teslas are so much more reliable than their competitors. Consumer Reports says that the average ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle costs twice as much to maintain as an EV over 200,000 miles. This is mostly because EVs have so many fewer moving parts. A Tesla drivetrain has 17 moving parts, versus the 200 or so moving parts the average ICE vehicle has. Another large factor is that EV brakes last so much (about 3 times) longer that an ICE vehicle’s because of regenerative braking. Last but definitely not least, driving a Tesla does so much to save the environment – while you may think that just one more Tesla will make no difference, it really does. Driving an ICE car that gets 25 MPG (and many get much worse) for 200,000 miles will pollute 160,000 lbs of Co2 into the air. After all these savings, a Tesla, especially a used one, would cost about the same or less than a new Toyota Highlander or top-of-the-line Camry.

Here’s my proof:

Tesla vehicles are so much more affordable than their luxury ICE competitors, even though their base prices are similar to so many of them. Here are some examples:

VehicleBase PriceMaintenance / repair COst over 200kFuel typempg*Fuel Price Over 200K**
Tesla Model X$80,000 Approximately $6,000 USD Electric96 MPGeAbout
$8000 or less
Lexus LX$86,580 Approximately $12,000 USDPremium14 MPGAbout $40,000
Land Rover Range Rover$92,000 Approximately $20,000 USD or morePremium20 MPGAbout $28,000
Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class$76,000 Approximately $20,000 USD or morePremium22 MPGAbout $25,000
Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon$131,750 Approximately $25,000 USD or morePremium15 MPGAbout $37,000
BMW X7$74,900 Approximately $20,000 USD or morePremium21 MPGAbout $27,000
Infiniti QX80$69,050 Approximately $15,000 USD or morePremium17 MPGAbout $33,000
Lincoln Navigator$76,185 Approximately $12,000 USDRegular18 MPGAbout $31,500
Cadillac Escalade$76,195 Approximately $20,000 USD or morePremium17 MPGAbout $33,000
*Combined MPG rating **Based on gas at $2.80 per gallon

VehicleBase priceMaintenance / repair Cost Over 200kFuel TypeMPG*fuel price over 200k**
Tesla Model S$69,420 USDApproximately $5,000 USDElectric116 MPGe$8,000 or less
Mercedes-Benz S-Class$94,250Approximately $25,000 USD or morePremium22 MPGAbout $25,000
BMW 7-Series$86,800Approximately $20,000 USD or morePremium25 MPGAbout $22,500
Audi A8$86,500Approximately $18,000 USD or morePremium21 MPGAbout $26,600
Lexus LS$75,450Approximately $12,000 USDPremium29 MPGAbout $19,500
*Combined MPG rating **Based on gas at $2.80 per gallon
VehicleBase PRiceMaintenance / repair Cost Over 200kFuel typempg*fuel price Over 200K**
Tesla Model 3$35,000Approximately $5,000Electric140 MPGeLess than $7,000
Lexus IS$39,000Approximately $12,000Premium26 MPGAbout $22,500
Lexus ES$39,900Approximately $12,000Regular27 MPGAbout $21,000
BMW 3 Series$41,250Approximately $18,000Premium31 MPGAbout $18,500
Mercedes C-Class$41,600Approximately $16,000 Premium29 MPGAbout $19,500
Audi A4$39,100Approximately $15,000Premium27 MPGAbout $21,000
Volvo S60$37,750Approximately $14,000Premium28 MPGAbout $20,000
*Combined MPG rating **Based on gas at $2.80 per gallon
Vehiclebase pricemaintenance / Repair cost over 200kfuel typempg*fuel price over 200k**
Tesla Model Y$49,990Approximately $5,000Electric120 MPGeLess than $8,000
Lexus RX$45,070Approximately $12,000Regular22 MPGAbout $25,000
Lexus NX$37,510Approximately $12,000Regular25 MPGAbout $22,500
BMW X4$51,600Approximately $16,000 or morePremium26 MPGAbout $21,500
Audi Q5$43,300Approximately $15,000 or morePremium25 MPGAbout $22,500
Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class$54,250Approximately $20,000 or morePremium22 MPGAbout $25,000
Acura RDX$37,800Approximately $12,000Regular25 MPGAbout $22,500
Volvo XC60$41,700Approximately $13,000Premium (Regular for T5)25 MPGAbout $22,500
*Combined MPG rating **Based on gas at $2.80 per gallon

Savings with a Tesla:

Model X: Over 200,000 miles, expect to save between $20,000 and $35,000 on fuel. Expect to save between $6,000 and $20,000 on repairs and maintenance.

Model S: Over 200,000 miles, expect to save between $12,000 and $16,000 on fuel. Expect to save between $7,000 and $20,000 on repairs and maintenance.

Model 3: Over 200,000 miles, expect to save between $12,000 and $16,000 on fuel. Expect to save between $7,000 and $13,000 on repairs and maintenance.

Model Y: Over 200,000 miles, expect to save between $14,000 and $18,000 on fuel. Expect to save between $7,000 and $15,000 on repairs and maintenance.

Thanks for reading Our Electric Future! I hope this post may open your mind to buying an electric vehicle instead of an expensive gas-guzzling ICE car!

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