How Long Does it Take To Charge a Tesla & How Much Does it Cost?

When short on time, it's best to use a supercharger.

Now selling two crossovers and two sedans, Tesla remains the dominant player in the electric vehicle (EV) space. With yet-to-be-topped performance and range capabilities, a CEO who likes to tweet like the president of the United States and a rabid fan base that rivals Lady Gaga’s “Little Monsters,” there’s no denying the company’s authority. Yet, there are those who aren’t fully educated on the basics of Tesla charging, including how much it costs and how long it takes.

Never fear, as Car Bibles is steeped in all things EV. So sit down, pour yourself a cup of tea, coffee, or bourbon (we’re not judging), and get ready to learn all you wanted to know about Tesla’s charging costs and timing. Cup ready?

Who Makes Tesla?

Gnomes. Just kidding. In reality, Tesla is its own company started in 2003 by engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Later, CEO Elon Musk invested in the company, and with the help of a host of others, brought the company into the limelight with its first production car, the Model S. The first pre-Musk hand-built Tesla was the Roadster, which previously flopped and is due for a spirited rebirth.

The company now has manufacturing sites in California, Nevada, China, and two upcoming sites in Germany and Texas.

Tesla electric car charging
Tesla electric car charging

What Impacts Tesla Charging Speed?

While gas pumps have a universal flow rate, an EV’s charging rate can easily be affected by outside factors, including ambient temperature, charger type, battery size, battery depletion, and how many cars are currently charging at the same station.

  • Charger Type

As you’ll learn in a moment, the type of charger you use, whether it be Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3, will determine how quickly your car can charge.

  • Ambient Temperature

When the mercury drops, so do charging speeds. Cold temperatures affect a battery’s chemical reactions and will slow as it gets colder and colder. Range also drops.

  • Vehicle’s Battery Size

Tesla offers a variety of battery sizes, all with different capacities measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). For example, Tesla’s Model X is available with a long-range 100-kWh battery. That Model X will take longer to charge than Tesla’s Model 3 with a 75-kWh battery.

  • Vehicle’s Battery Depletion

As you might expect, a depleted battery takes more time to charge than a half-full battery.. And to better ensure your Tesla battery’s life cycle, the car’s battery management system will slow the flow until a certain charge point to better lengthen the battery life.

  • Number of EVs Concurrently Charging at a Station

When there are other EVs concurrently connected to a charging station, yeah, you’re gonna have a slower charge rate.

  • Time of Day

As there are peak and off-hours in a country’s electrical grid, delivery speed can be affected by the time of day you charge your EV. Charging during off-hours will deliver more electricity, while peak hours may slow the charge down.

What Impacts Tesla Charging Cost?

What impacts the cost of charging your Tesla is closely related to what affects charge speed. Here’s a quick rundown of what impacts Tesla charging cost.

  • Time of Day

Those same peak and off-hours that affect charge speed also affect pricing. When electricity is in high demand, pricing will increase.

  • Vehicle’s Battery Depletion

As you deplete a battery, you’ll need to input more energy, which will drive your bill higher.

  • Vehicle’s Battery Size

And just as how much energy you’ve drain affects the final cost, so too does the size of your battery. On an individual case basis, the bigger the battery, the bigger the electrical bill.

How Long Does It Take to Charge a Tesla?

Here’s Car Bible’s handy guide of approximately how long each Tesla takes to complete a total recharge from nothing to full.

Related Post: How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car?

Model S

Tesla’s first true mass-market vehicle is the Model S and sits as the brand’s luxury sedan.

Level 1 Charger: 27 hours
Level 2 Charger: 15 hours
Level 3 Charger: 30 minutes

Model X

Tesla’s Model X is the brand’s first luxury SUV.

Level 1 Charger: 27 hours
Level 2 Charger: 15 hours
Level 3 Charger: 30 minutes

Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is the company’s first mass-market compact sedan.

Level 1 Charger: 14-21 hours
Level 2 Charger: 7-11 hours
Level 3 Charger: 20 mins

Model Y

Tesla’s Model Y, the newest vehicle in the fleet, is the company’s first compact crossover.

Level 1 Charger: 14-21 hours
Level 2 Charger: 7-11 hours
Level 3 Charger: 20 mins

Future Tesla Vehicles

There are also quite a few future vehicles that Tesla assures will soon hit the market, including the Cybertruck pickup, Roadster 2.0 sports car, and full-size semi-truck. Tesla will even take your deposit for one, even though you can’t actually touch them yet.

Due to that irrefutability, Car Bibles has come up with our best guesses as to what their ranges will be based on known charge speeds of Tesla’s other vehicles, customer-reported charge speeds, and third-party research on charge speeds, we’ve pulled together rough estimates for each.

Take this with a hefty grain of salt.

CyberTruck

Tesla’s Cybertruck is the brand’s first salvo on the pickup market.

Level 1 Charger: 20-27 hours (estimate)
Level 2 Charger: 10-15 hours (estimate)
Level 3 Charger: 30-50 minutes (estimate)

Roadster 2.0

The Roadster 2.0 aims to kill all hypercars.

Level 1 Charger: 20-27 hours (estimate)
Level 2 Charger: 10-15 hours (estimate)
Level 3 Charger: 30-50 minutes (estimate)

Semi

Tesla’s Semi is a semi tractor-trailer designed to take on the trucking industry.

Level 3 Charger: 30-50 minutes (estimate)

Charging Tesla Model S on supercharger station
Charging Tesla Model S on supercharger station

How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Tesla?

At home, while using a Level 1 or Level 2 charger, charging will cost between $15-$18 based on an average of $0.14 per kWh. Your state’s individual electricity pricing, along with the time of day and how much you charge, will affect the final outcome of your bill.

Tesla’s public Level 2 and Level 3 Supercharger charging stations assume an average of $0.28 per kWh, so your final bill will be more than if you charge at home.

FAQs About Charging a Tesla

Do you have questions? Do you need answers? Don’t worry, Car Bibles has your back.

Q: What Is So Special About Tesla Cars?

A: Tesla beat a lot of legacy manufacturers to become the first mass-market EV car manufacturer. Add longer than the competition range across its lineup, as well as becoming the preferred vehicle of hypebeasts/try-hards, and it’s easy to see why the company has dominated the space since.

Q: Why Is Tesla So Expensive?

A: Tesla’s lineup remains expensive because the production of cutting-edge technology, in this case a lineup of cars, is actually expensive. EVs require more skilled training and, because Tesla isn’t a legacy automaker with decades of experience and tooling, the company has had to build everything from scratch. This is a variable that costs Tesla a lot of money, which is then applied to the consumer.

Q: How Can I Charge My Tesla Faster?

A: If you run a Level 1 charger at home, you can upgrade to a Level 2. Sadly, a Level 3 isn’t engineered for home use. Other than that, you can wait until the weather warms or engage in top-up charging, which is the act of charging your EV any time you can to maintain a full battery.

Q: Can I Use Solar Power to Charge My Tesla?

A: You can! If you already have a solar-powered charging station, then you’ve already incurred the cost of installation and parts, meaning you won’t pay anything to charge your Tesla. However, if you haven’t installed a system, you’ll likely need to fork over a few thousand dollars to install one.

Q: Is Charging Free for Teslas?

A: Tesla offers free supercharging for all Model S and Model X vehicles. The Model 3 and Model Y, nor its future lineup, are free to charge. Free charging was initially offered as an incentive to entice newcomers to the land of EVs, but now that the company has traction, the extra benefit has become a scarcity.

Jonathon Klein
Jonathon Klein

Jonathon has jumped Aston Martins for Automobile Magazine, clocked 200 mph in a McLaren 720S for Playboy, and sampled his best life behind the wheel of a Ferrari Dino Evo for Road & Track. He’s hopelessly addicted to the strongest coffee he can brew. Please send him more. Contact the author here.