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How efficient is the Model 3 Standard Range Plus? My results after 6,000km of driving

2 min read
Model 3 efficiency

The 2020 Model 3 was recently tested to be the most efficient electric vehicle ever made, with a combined MPGe rating of 141. But what does that mean exactly for the average driver, and what does that equate to in dollars and cents.

I have now owned my Standard Range Plus for almost 6 months, and have driven it for a total of 6,000km. According to the lifetime trip odometer in my vehicle, that 6,000km used up 812kWh of energy, for an efficiency rating of 135Wh/km.

Tesla efficiency

In British Columbia, there are two rates for electricity, Step 1 and Step 2. In reality I would have charged using both the cheaper Step 1 rate of $0.0945 per kWh and Step 2 rate of $0.1417 per kWh, but for this analysis I will use the more expensive Step 2 rate.

Since I used 812kWh, and the Step 2 rate is $0.1417, that means I spent a total of $115.06 to drive 6,000km in 6 months. In reality though, that total is actually much less considering some of the charging was done at a Step 1 rate, and also probably 40% of that charging was free using local chargers around town or the free Supercharging credits I received when I purchased the vehicle.

To put that into perspective, my old ICE vehicle is a Mazda CX-5, which I still own. Depending on the price of gas, it costs between $60-70 to fill it up, and it gets on average 475km per full tank of gas. For the CX-5 to travel the same distance, it would cost me approximately $889 in gas.

That means a 6 months saving of $774 in fuel costs, or $129 every month.

For the Mazda CX-5 to achieve the same efficiency, it would have to get approximately 3,389km per tank of gas. That means the fuel efficiency would have to be more than 7 times greater that it is currently rated for, something that no gasoline car can even get close to.

Then there’s also the zero maintenance that has been required on my Model 3, compared to the Mazda which requires servicing every 6 months, at an average cost of $250 (some are lower around $100, others are $500+).

I don’t drive a lot compared to some people, and the Tesla Model 3 has saved me nearly $130 per month in fuel costs alone. For a heavy driver, the fuel savings alone could offset almost any loan payment amount required to purchase a Model 3.

How much money is your Tesla saving you in fuel costs per month?

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