How Much Electricity Does A Tesla Use? | Your Questions Answered

In the last few years, electric cars have taken the world by storm. In Australia, Tesla is leading the charge with its dominant market share. But with electric vehicles taking their place beside their petrol counterparts, most people still wonder how much electricity these vehicles really use. 

It takes approximately 30-45 kWh to charge a Tesla enough to drive for 160 km, depending on the model of the Tesla and the type of charging system you use to charge your vehicle. 

If you’re curious about what factors affect this rate, as well as other relevant information like charging times and how much electricity is needed to charge up a Tesla completely, then continue reading for everything you need to know about Tesla electricity usage.


How Much Electricity Does it Take to Fully Charge a Tesla?

It takes anywhere from 50-100 kWh of energy to charge a Tesla fully. The exact amount depends on the model. The Long Range Tesla Model 3 requires 83kWh of energy to fully charge, unlike the base model, which only needs 62 kWh of energy.

It is evident with the Tesla Model 3 Long Range and Performance variants that charging and battery capacity are not directly proportional to the distance it can cover. This could be due to various factors, particularly how much power is drawn by the vehicle’s components and engine, among others.


How Long Does it Take to Fully Charge a Tesla?

The time it takes to fully charge a Tesla depends on the level of charging and the current capacity of your battery and can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 40 hours. 

The different levels for charging a Tesla are: 

  • Level 1 AC Charging – The simplest and slowest form of charging, which can be done through a 120V outlet at your home. This takes anywhere from 20 to 40 hours for a full charge.
  • Level 2 AC Charging (third party/Tesla chargers/Tesla home charger) – This uses the 220V plug of large home appliances and is the most popular form of home charging due to the amount of power it can give in a shorter period at just 8 to 12 hours for a full charge.
  • DC Fast Charging (Tesla Supercharger) – The fastest way to juice up your Tesla is through their network of proprietary chargers called ‘Tesla Superchargers’. These use 120kW (V2) or 250kW (V3) fast-charging DC stalls. It takes 15 to 25 minutes to fully charge a Tesla car at any of the 60 Tesla Supercharging locations across Australia.


How Much Energy Does a Tesla Consume Per Kilometre?

Tesla does not actually disclose how much energy is consumed per kilometre, but they do have a page on their website showing the measurements done by the European Union Energy Label on how much energy is consumed by different Tesla variants per 100 kilometres, as seen below.

Tesla Model kWh Consumption per 100km
Model S 60 18.1 kWh/ 100km
Model S 70 18.5 kWh/ 100km
Model S 75 18.5 kWh/ 100km
Model X 75D 20.8 kWh/ 100km
Model S 90D 18.9 kWh/ 100km
Model S P90D 20.0 kWh/ 100km
Model S 100D 18.9 kWh/ 100km
Model S P100D 20.0 kWh/ 100km
Model X 75D 20.8 kWh/ 100km
Model X 90D 20.8 kWh/ 100km
Model X P90D 21.7 kWh/ 100km
Model X 100D 20.8 kWh/ 100km
Model X P100D 22.6 kWh/ 100km
Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive 14.9 kWh/ 100km
Model 3 Long Range 16 kWh/ 100km
Model 3 Performance 16.6 kWh/ 100km
Model S 19 kWh/ 100km
Model S Performance 19.3 kWh/ 100km
Model X 22.6 kWh/ 100km
Model X Performance 23.6 kWh/ 100km

How Much Does it Cost to Charge a Tesla?

The price to charge a Tesla varies from as little as 15c per kWh to as much as 69c per kWh. How much you pay depends on several factors, including the model of Tesla vehicle you have and where you charge your car. 

If you are home charging, the cost would depend on your state or territory. For instance, the average electricity price in New South Wales is around 28.66c per kWh, and this even changes depending on the season as off-peak electricity cost in NSW is around 16.66c per kWh.

If you are using non-Tesla public chargers such as those from Chargefox, an EV charging network in Australia, it will cost approximately 40c to 60c per kWh, depending on the speed of the charge. Lastly, if you decide to visit one of Tesla’s supercharging stations in Australia, the cost is around 69c per kWh.


How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Charge a Tesla?

On average, a regular-sized photovoltaic (PV) system will require eight to ten more additional solar panels in order to efficiently charge a Tesla. You can use fewer than that, but it will affect how efficiently and quickly your Tesla will charge.

As with the charging cost and time, the exact number of solar panels required to charge a Tesla car would depend on the battery capacity of the car and the amount of energy that the solar panels themselves can produce. 

Although it might seem too costly to install a solar PV system to charge your Tesla at home, there is a moderate amount of households with pre-existing solar PV systems due to the discounts and rebates granted by the Australian government. 

If this describes your household, upgrading your system size to accommodate your Tesla will likely be a huge benefit for you in the long run. Remember that increasing the number of solar panels your home has doesn’t just benefit your Tesla. It will also provide more energy, especially during summer, and will add to the value of your home. 


What is the Cost per kWh to Charge a Tesla With Solar Panels?

The cost per kWh to charge a Tesla with Solar Panels without battery storage would be based on the electricity costs of your area, which is 0.35c per kWh on average.

The ideal situation is that the solar PV system would have an attached battery that stores electricity for later use. This can then be used to charge the Tesla essentially for free. 

However, not all households get enough excess sunlight to fill an external battery every day. This may lead to situations where your Tesla charges off of power from the grid rather than excess power drawn and stored through your solar system. 


What Affects the Charging Speed of a Tesla

Several factors affect the charging speed of a Tesla, including: 

  • The Tesla’s Current and Voltage Capacity – There is a huge range of Tesla cars with varying technical specifications currently available. These cars’ current and voltage capacity will determine how fast they can charge themselves. A higher current and voltage capacity will allow for a faster draw of electricity and, consequently, a much faster charging speed.
  • The Method You’re Using to Charge the Vehicle – Tesla cars have three charging levels. The first takes between 20 to 40 hours for a full charge, the second level takes 8 to 12 hours, and the third level (through Tesla superchargers) takes just 15 to 25 minutes for a full charge.
  • Current Charge Level – It goes without saying that a Tesla with more energy left in its battery will charge faster than one with less or without any energy left in its battery. So keeping your charge levels above 50% at all times will cut charging times across all forms of charging by half.
  • Battery Size – A larger battery requires more energy to fill up, consequently taking longer than you’d like. Large batteries will keep you on the road longer, but they will keep you longer on the charging station as well. Avoid draining your battery too low to avoid long charging times.
  • Battery Temperature – It is widely understood that heat is a known “killer” for batteries. Aside from being able to stop a battery from working properly, it also drains the energy out of a battery through heat loss. Try to keep your Tesla and its batteries cool to avoid shortening its lifespan or slowing down its charging times.
  • Age of the Battery – Much like other electrical and similar components, batteries degrade over time, including their charge acceptance and capacity. Batteries that are too old may stop charging quickly and efficiently. In this case, it might be better to replace the battery altogether.


Does Charging a Tesla Use More Electricity Than Household Appliances?

Tesla cars, on average, use roughly the same amount of energy to charge as a large appliance. While this is certainly not a negligible amount of energy, charging a Tesla at home isn’t going to triple your electricity bill overnight. 

Although the answer would depend on how fast the Tesla is charging at home (whether you are using the wall charger or the mobile charger and whether the model charges fast), Tesla cars generally use a comparable amount of electricity to most large home appliances. 

This is also how you save money in the long run since electricity is much cheaper than petrol. Teslas can charge at least 230v at home, typically costing even less than the usual electric furnace and just a little more than a water heater.


Is a Tesla Cheaper to Run Than Petrol Cars?

Yes, Teslas, much like all other EVs, are much cheaper to run than petrol cars due to the rising cost of petrol and the lowering cost of electricity. It may seem otherwise due to the often expensive upfront cost of owning a Tesla, but this cost is recouped along the car’s life. 

The cheaper costs do not end at just their energy source. EV charging and servicing combined averages $119 per month, which is, on average, around $50 less than similar costs for petrol and diesel cars.


What Do I Need to Charge a Tesla at Home in Australia?

There are two options for home charging in Australia — the Wall Connector and the Mobile Connector. The Wall Connector, as the name suggests, is attached to the wall of your house and is fixed in place. It costs anywhere from $750 to $1,500. 

On the other hand, the Mobile Connector (230v Adapter) may be brought anywhere. Both can be purchased from the Tesla online store


Related Questions

How Long Can a Tesla Sit Without Charging?

Although Tesla vehicles can actually go without a charge for 60 to 70 days, their settings would have to be restricted to let them sleep. A Tesla battery that is left sitting would only lose around 1% to 2% daily. Despite all this, Tesla recommends that users keep their cars charged up to 90% every day.

How Long Do Tesla Batteries Last?

Tesla car batteries are designed to last anywhere from 240,000 km to even exceeding 320,000 km in their lifetime. However, the length of your Tesla battery will be affected by the make and model of the vehicle and how the battery is maintained. 



Jimmy Mitchell is an electric vehicle aficionado who has been following the space since Tesla first hit the scene. A longtime proponent of sustainable transportation, Jimmy was one of the first to buy a Tesla 3 as soon as it came out. He loves nothing more than helping others learn about and enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles. When he's not evangelizing about EVs, Jimmy enjoys spending time with his family and travelling throughout south east asia

How much electricity does a tesla use