How much does a Tesla Model 3 cost to own? My costs after one year

Today marks the one year anniversary of picking up my Tesla Model 3 from the store in Vancouver. I got mine at a time when upwards of 150 vehicles were being delivered each day by the team at Tesla.

Tesla waiting in line at BC Ferries
Waiting in line to catch a ferry back to Vancouver Island after picking it up on June 18, 2019

Since then, I have had nearly 13,000kms of worry-free, exhilarating, joyful, and quiet driving.

In the one year that has passed, my car is actually better and faster now than it was when I picked it up. That’s all thanks to the 15 free software updates that were downloaded to my car while it sat in my garage. Some of the improvements over that time include:

But how much did it really cost me to own my Tesla over the last 12 months? Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Charging costs

One of the biggest things people wonder about with electric vehicles (EVs) is how much they cost to charge, compared to conventional gas cars.

Since picking my Model 3 up on June 18, 2019, I have driven 12,855km. In that time, my car has used 1,986kWh of energy.

Tesla odometer 1 year

If you live in British Columbia, BC Hydro charges two rates for electricity. The first, Step 1, is charged at a rate of 9.35 cents per kWh for the first 1,350kWh used. Step 2 costs 14.03 cents per kWh for any electricity used above that.

For the sake of this analysis, we’ll assume all of my charging was done at home, when in fact a good chunk of it was done at either Tesla Superchargers (free credits from my purchase), or at free Level 2 chargers around town.

We’ll also assume that it was charged at the highest Step 2 rate.

In one year, I spent just $278 on electricity to drive nearly 13,000kms. (1,986kWh x 14.03c = $278)

Compared to my old gas car, a Mazda CX-5, which gets on average 475km per full tank of gas, and based on today’s gas prices at $1.23/l, it would cost me approximately $1,660 in gas.

That’s a savings of $1,382 over the year.

Maintenance costs

This section will be much shorter, as I have had zero ($0, zilch, nada) maintenance costs over the year. Not even blinker fluid.

The only work required on the vehicle was to fix the soft-close mechanism on my driver’s side door handle, as well as replace the left side-repeater camera. Both items were replaced under warranty.

Other costs

I won’t go into the other costs because that’s all subjective. But be warned, you may end up spending quite a bit of money making it “yours”.

You can tell from the picture above on the day of pickup, to the featured image above, mine has changed a bit since that first day.

Would I buy it again?

Absolutely. And my next car will be a Tesla too.

Driving a Tesla has changed my perception of what a car should be. I remember the first time I took one for a test drive in North Vancouver and thinking as I accelerated onto the Upper Levels Highway…this is what the future feels like.

If you’ve never been in one, I encourage you to find a way to get behind the wheel of a Tesla. Most owners are more than happy to talk (ad nauseam some might say) about and share their cars, and their love of Tesla’s and electric vehicles.

Previous Article

Lucid Motors to unveil Air EV September 9, begin production in early 2021

Next Article

First Tesla Model Y delivered in Ontario today

You might be interested in …