Tesla Model 3 road trip cost for 1,000 miles (~1610 kms)

Breaking the cost of a 1,000 mile road trip in a Tesla Model 3 vs. Audi A4

Nov 27, 2018 | by Iqtidar Ali

Electric Vehicles are significantly cost-effective than the traditional gasoline cars in the short and long-term both. Let’s see how a Tesla Model 3 compact electric sedan tackles cost-effectiveness of a 1,000 mile (~1610 km) road trip in the United States.

Tesla definitely has superiority over other EV manufacturers when it comes to availability of fast charging options, especially when it comes to inter-city travel.

Recently Elon Musk announced on Twitter that Tesla is aiming to double the number of Supercharger stations by the end of 2019 — not only the number of stations will increase, Tesla is also working on the release of the next-generation Tesla Supercharger V3, Elon Musk said:

Famous YouTuber and owner of a Long-Range Tesla Model 3, Andy Sly recently embarked on a 1,000-mile road trip and calculated the amount of time and money needed for such a journey (video below).

Let’s first go through some data to break-down the cost of a 1,000 mile trip for Tesla Model 3 and then compare it with a gasoline powered 2018 Audi A4 to calculate the difference.

Andy needed 4 Supercharging sessions on the whole trip in addition to 12 Amps free charging at home and shortly with a Destination Charger at a restaurant that also comes at no cost.

Tesla Model 3: 1,000 mile road trip Supercharging cost

# Supercharger Stop Supercharging Time Miles Gained Cost
1 Brentwood, TN 36 mins 177 miles $3.70
2 Athens, AL 28 mins 127 miles $3.90
3 Athens, AL 20 mins 70 miles $2.20
4 Bowling Green, KY 14 mins 115 miles $3.08
  Averages → 24.5 mins 122.5 miles $3.22
  Totals → 1 hour 38 mins 489 miles* $12.88

UX Note: Mobile users can tap+hold to scroll the table horizontally or rotate the device horizontal to view table properly, AMP viewers can click here to go to normal mobile version for a better data table view.

* Let’s consider we are totally depending on the Tesla Supercharger network for our trip we can roughly double the total cost to ~$26-$27, which still is an impressive number from the cost of trip point-of-view

Now let’s quickly crack the numbers for a 1,000 mile trip for the ‘2018 Audi A4 Ultra 2.0 L, 4 cyl, Automatic (AM-S7), Turbo, Premium Gasoline’ — I selected this version intentionally as it’s the most fuel efficient Audi A4 according to EPA and as the Model 3 trip above did a highway trip, let’s use Audi’s 37 MPG fuel consumption unit for our calculation.

Another thing to remember here is that a gasoline car cannot utilize any ‘Free’ fuel opposed to a Tesla/EV using home and Destination Charging without any cost.

Audi A4: Fuel cost for a 1,000 mile road trip (United States)

Avg. National
Gasoline Price
Audi A4 mileage Fuel Cost for 1,000 miles
$2.561 37 miles per gallon (EPA) $69.2

Audi A4 is a direct competitor to the Tesla Model 3 and looking at the above tables both have a huge difference in on-going fuel costs — we are saving almost $55 on a 1,000-mile trip, these savings translate to thousands of dollars over the vehicle lifespan, if we also consider oil change, air filter replacement, radiator coolant, and service costs, the difference spans even further.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below on ‘how wise it is to buy a gasoline powered car from 2019 onwards?’

Let’s watch Andy’s 1,000-mile road trip’s cost calculations in the following video:

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Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar Ali is a long time web developer and now writing for his childhood passion 'cars' further boosted by the advent of electric vehicles especially Tesla.

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bill lee
bill lee

wow so the tesla cost’s $25,000 more than a AWD A4. plus the average cost to insure a Tesla is $2500/year. vs around $1000/yr for the audi. all to save $50 an month in fuel cost. It will only take you about 60 ears to make up the difference!!!!!!!!!!!

Robert Moore
Robert Moore

but its american designed & manufactured in USA, well California so you know that’s expensive, go drive one and check the rush 🙂 pretty cool ride for sure, try out the EAP and TACC on your local highways and other roads!

Robert Moore
Robert Moore

faster 0-60 by a second or more . .

Michael Ireland
Michael Ireland

I’m not sure where you are getting your insurance cost from – my Model 3 Dual Motor (non-performance version) costs me _exactly_ the same as my 2004 Volvo XC70 with comprehensive coverage, coming in at a cool $1200 *Canadian dollars* per year. This article is comparing a *single long distance road trip*, and most people don’t do this more than a dozen times per year. I drive my Model 3 back and forth to work where I plug it in FOR FREE into a 110V socket (which most people use for their block heaters). At home, I also plug it… Read more »

Robert Moore
Robert Moore

why so many stops?

Michael Ireland
Michael Ireland

Haha, I get this question from time to time when I tell people about some of my road trips in my Model 3. First off, I get around 500km of range under ideal conditions, so we aren’t *required* to stop any more often than that, BUT I’ve found that my philosophy on how I road-trip has changed a bit. I’ve always actually liked stopping for a break to be totally honest, but now I have a convenient excuse. The total stop time is a little bit more than what it would be in a gasoline vehicle, but not by a… Read more »