Taking into account fuel savings and other factors, the cost of owning an MS electric car (Tesla Model S) could be viewed as free for one and half years. That’s according to an MS owner with a username “LeonardV” who posted on Tesla Motors forum.
Tesla Model S is an electric car which is powered by battery operated unlike the conventional car that use gasoline/diesel. Owning an electric-car means the low cost of electricity comes with a significant savings per mile, and although the initial electric-car price is higher compared to conventional cars, an owner may end up saving money on fuel and maintenance in the long run.
LeonardV posts results of his calculations after accounting for money he has saved on fuel and maintenance for about 18 months, claiming to have effectively driven his car for free in through that period.
After purchasing the car in September 2013 for $96000 in California, which includes sales tax, the owner received a $7500 tax credit, and $2500 in California rebate making the car total cost to be around $86000.
The owner now estimates his car to be worth at $77000, this means after covering a total of 53000 miles in 18months, the car only depreciated by $9000. With the cost the car loan interest at 2 percent APR, he estimates a payment of $2,400 during the period of ownership.
Additionally, he was able to access free EV charging in the garage where he parks the car, and uses superchargers, free-for-life DC fast-charging stations by Tesla, during the road trips.
Due to warranty on repairs, he did not pay for any servicing on numerous occasions he visited the Tesla service Center, which includes the recommended servicing, free tire rotations, and free charging. Although this may not be possible in other situations depending on how a given car is used, he notes that the servicing recommended by Tesla may even have been unnecessary in his situation.
In the end LeonardV says so far he has incurred a loss of $11400 due to the car depreciating by $9000 plus a loan interest of $2400. If he had used a conventional car, he estimates it would have cost him $9300 on fuel when driving on the same distance and period, assuming an average of $3.50 per gallon; and $2200 on servicing. When these costs are combined they add up to the same amount he paid in interest and lost through depreciation on his electric car, making a conclusion he drove free for 18 months.
Although this owner attributes other factors such as low interests, government subsidies, and low energy costs due to abundant charging infrastructure in electric-car friendly California to his increased saving, he says an electric-car may seem initially expensive but it may cost you less than you think.