How Many kWh to Charge a Tesla?

Tesla's electric vehicles are popular for their energy efficiency. However, a common question that arises among potential Tesla owners is how many kilowatt hours it takes to charge a Tesla.

In this article, Electrly will provide a comprehensive overview of the energy required to charge different models of Tesla, as well as the average cost of charging a Tesla.

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How Tesla Charging Works

Before we dive into the energy requirement for charging a Tesla, let's have a look at the different levels of Tesla charging.

Level 1

Level 1 charging uses a standard 120-volt household outlet and the mobile charger that comes with the car to charge the Tesla, which is very slow, at only 3-4 miles per hour.

Level 2

Level 2 charging is the most common method, using a professionally installed charging station with 240-volt outlets. It charges at 20-60 miles per hour and can fully charge a Tesla overnight or in a few hours.

Level 3

Level 3 charging, or Supercharging, is the fastest way to use Tesla's Supercharger network. It provides high-powered direct current (DC) charging for the electric battery, delivering up to 250 kilowatts of power and adding about 180 miles of range in 15 minutes.

While convenient for long trips, Supercharger stations are not suitable for frequent use due to the additional wear and tear on the battery pack.

What is kWh?

kWh stands for kilowatt-hour, which is a unit of energy commonly used to measure electricity consumption. It represents the amount of energy used by a device with a power rating of one kilowatt operating for one hour.

For instance, a 50-watt lightbulb will consume 1 kWh of energy in nearly 20 hours, while appliances with higher wattage ratings will reach the 1 kWh mark more quickly.

In the context of electric vehicles, kWh is used to measure the capacity of the battery pack and the amount of energy consumed when charging or discharging the battery. The higher the kWh rating of a battery pack, the longer it can be driven before it needs to be recharged.

How Many kWh to Charge a Tesla?

The number of kWh needed to charge a Tesla depends on the model and battery size. Here is a table that shows the battery size (in kWh) for each Tesla model.

Model Battery Size
Model S 100 kWh
Model Y 78.1 kWh
Model X 100 kWh
Model 3 54 - 82 kWh

How Long Does It Take to Charge a Tesla?

To calculate the exact time it takes to charge a Tesla, you need to identify three key elements:

  • Battery capacity varies by Tesla model and determines its mileage and charging time.
  • Charging wattage can range from 11.5 kW for the at-home Wall Connector to 250 kW for Superchargers.
  • Charging percentage at the start of charging also affects the overall time.

Once you have these specifications, use this formula to calculate your Tesla's charging time:

Charging Time = Battery Capacity / Charging Wattage x Charge Percentage

It's recommended to avoid regularly charging to 100% or discharging below 20% to maintain battery health. Ideally, charge the battery to 80% or 90% to extend its life and capacity.

How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Tesla?

The cost to charge a Tesla depends on the model and the cost of electricity in the region. On average, a Tesla consumes around 34 kWh of electricity per 100 miles with a charging efficiency of 94% and a discharge efficiency of 90%.

Based on the national average electricity cost of $0.13 per kWh, charging a Tesla can cost around $4.42 to travel 100 miles, which comes to almost $0.044 per mile. However, the actual cost will vary depending on the region and the local electricity rates.

To calculate the cost of charging a Tesla, you can multiply the kWh required to charge the battery by the cost per kWh of electricity in your area. For example, if the cost of electricity in your area is $0.12 per kWh and your Tesla Model 3 requires 60 kWh to fully charge, it would cost you $7.20 to charge your car.

Tips for Reducing Tesla Charging Costs

Even though charging a Tesla costs three times less than fueling a gas-powered car, you can further reduce the charging cost by following these tips:

Charge During Off-Peak Hours

Electricity rates are lower during off-peak hours when fewer people access the energy grid. By charging your Tesla during these hours, you can save money on each kWh.

Install Solar Panels

Installing solar panels at your home can generate clean energy and significantly reduce your electricity costs. Tesla offers solar panels and a solar roof that can be paired with its Powerwall battery storage system for efficient energy management.

See also: How many solar panels to charge a Tesla.

Use Regenerative Braking

Tesla's regenerative braking system converts kinetic energy into electrical energy, which is then stored in the battery. This can help reduce the amount of energy needed to charge the battery and ultimately lower charging costs.


How long does it take to charge a Tesla on 220V?

A 220V system takes almost an hour to charge the Tesla from 40% to 80%, but it requires an additional two hours to complete the charge from 80 to 100%. This is because there are a large number of charged ions in the battery, making it harder to power the remaining ions.

How many kWh to Charge Tesla Model 3?

All versions of Model 3 have different battery capacities, but they can be charged with 50 kWh of energy.

How many kWh to Charge a Tesla Model Y?

The Model Y has a total battery capacity of 78.1 kWh. Using a Level 2 connector that provides 11 kW of power, the battery can be charged from 0% to 100% in about 8 hours and 15 minutes.

How often do you need to charge a Tesla?

Tesla recommends that customers plug their vehicles in every evening to fully charge the battery. For daily use, do not charge more than 90% as this can reduce battery life.

Can you charge a Tesla with a generator during a power outage?

Yes, you can charge a Tesla with a generator during a power outage as long as it can deliver a voltage between 110 and 240.

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