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How Much Does it Cost to Charge a Tesla?

How Much Does it Cost to Charge a Tesla?

Tesla ownership is accelerating across Canada as drivers embrace the environmental benefits of electric vehicles and generous government incentives make them more affordable. However, for many potential buyers, understanding the ongoing costs of charging a Tesla’s large battery remains a mystery and a key consideration in their purchase decision.


This comprehensive guide will analyze the charging costs for Tesla models across Canada, breaking down pricing at home, public charging stations, and Tesla’s Supercharger network. Whether you’re weighing the upfront premium of a Tesla or are a current owner wanting to estimate your charging expenses more accurately, this article will equip you with all the facts. We’ll cover electricity rates for charging in every province, provide cost examples for popular models like the Model 3 and Model X, and compare the total charging costs to a gas-powered vehicle. By the end, you’ll have a clear picture of what it truly costs to keep your Tesla’s battery topped up based on your charging habits and location.

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Average Electricity Rates Across Canada

The cost of charging your Tesla can vary significantly depending on which province or territory you live in. Residential electricity rates, which determine your home charging costs, span from a low of 8.58¢/kWh in Quebec to a high of 37.13¢/kWh in the Northwest Territories.

Here’s a breakdown of the current residential electricity prices across Canada:

 

  • Alberta: 16.39¢/kWh
  • British Columbia: 14.08¢/kWh
  • Manitoba: 9.45¢/kWh
  • New Brunswick: 11.54¢/kWh
  • Newfoundland & Labrador: 13.03¢/kWh
  • Northwest Territories: 37.13¢/kWh
  • Nova Scotia: 16.63¢/kWh
  • Nunavut: 35.4¢/kWh
  • Ontario: 13.8¢/kWh
  • Prince Edward Island: 17.2¢/kWh
  • Quebec: 8.58¢/kWh
  • Saskatchewan: 17.61¢/kWh
  • Yukon: 12.62¢/kWh

 

For public charging stations and Tesla Superchargers, the rates are usually higher than residential since they incorporate additional costs of operating the charging equipment and infrastructure. Most public chargers bill per kWh of electricity consumed, with rates ranging from around 25¢ to 45¢ per kWh.

Tesla’s Supercharger network recently transitioned to per kWh billing in Canada as well, with rates varying regionally but typically landing between 28¢ to 40¢ per kWh.

Here’s a comparison chart showing the average electricity rates for residential, public charging, and Supercharging across Canada’s provinces:

 

Province

Residential Rate

Public Charging

Supercharger

Alberta

16.39¢/kWh

30-40¢/kWh

33¢/kWh

British Columbia

14.08¢/kWh

25-35¢/kWh

28¢/kWh

Manitoba

9.45¢/kWh

30-40¢/kWh

38¢/kWh

New Brunswick

11.07¢/kWh

25-35¢/kWh

34¢/kWh

Newfoundland & Labrador

13.54¢/kWh

28-38¢/kWh 

35¢/kWh

Nova Scotia

15.21¢/kWh

27-37¢/kWh

36¢/kWh

Ontario 

12.8¢/kWh

25-35¢/kWh

31¢/kWh

Prince Edward Island

16.18¢/kWh

28-38¢/kWh

37¢/kWh

Quebec

7.3¢/kWh

20-30¢/kWh

27¢/kWh

Saskatchewan

14.94¢/kWh

30-40¢/kWh

33¢/kWh

 

Charging a Tesla at Home

For most Tesla owners in Canada, the convenience and cost savings of home charging make it the preferred charging method. Calculating the cost to charge your Tesla at home is straightforward using a simple formula:

 

Home Charging Cost = Battery Capacity (kWh) x Electricity Rate ($/kWh)

For example, the Tesla Model 3 Long Range has a 79 kWh battery pack. If you live in Ontario where residential electricity rates average around $0.14/kWh, it would cost approximately $11.06 (79 kWh x $0.14/kWh) for a full charge from empty.

Here are some typical home charging cost estimates for popular Tesla models across Canada:

 

  • Tesla Model 3 Long Range (79 kWh battery):
  • Ontario: $11.06
  • British Columbia: $9.24
  • Alberta: $8.69
  • Quebec: $7.54

 

  • Tesla Model X Long Range (100 kWh battery):
  • Ontario: $14.00
  • British Columbia: $11.70
  • Alberta: $11.00
  • Quebec: $9.55

 

To maximize cost savings, take advantage of time-of-use electricity pricing by charging your Tesla overnight when rates are lower. Many utilities in Canada offer discounted rates from 7pm to 7am. For example, off-peak rates in Ontario drop to $0.08/kWh, reducing the cost to charge a Model 3 Long Range from empty to just $6.32.

 

Public Charging Station Costs in Canada

While home charging is the most economical option for Tesla owners, public charging networks provide essential infrastructure for longer trips. The pricing models and rates at major public charging stations across Canada can vary significantly.

Many public networks like FLO and Petro-Canada charge per minute of charging time. This pricing approach is simple but can penalize less efficient EVs that take longer to charge. FLO’s rates, for example, range from $0.20 to $0.35 per minute depending on the charging speed.

An alternative pricing model used by some networks charges per kWh of electricity consumed. This approach rewards efficient EVs by only billing for the exact electricity used. ChargePoint, one of the largest public networks, typically charges between $0.25 to $0.45 per kWh across Canada.

Looking at regional averages, public charging rates are generally highest in British Columbia and lowest in Quebec. In Vancouver, EV owners can expect to pay around $0.35 per kWh or $0.30 per minute at major public stations. In contrast, rates in Montreal hover around $0.25 per kWh or $0.20 per minute.

To illustrate the costs, let’s calculate a charging session for a Tesla Model 3 Long Range at a station billing \$0.30 per kWh. With a 82 kWh battery pack and 358 mile EPA range, adding 200 miles would consume roughly 46 kWh. At $0.30 per kWh, this charging session would cost approximately $13.80 from a low battery state.

 

Tesla Supercharger Pricing in Canada

Tesla has recently switched its Supercharger billing model in Canada to a per-kWh rate, moving away from the previous per-minute pricing structure. This change aligns with the company’s efforts to provide a more transparent and consistent charging experience for EV owners across the country.

The current Supercharger rates in Canada vary by region, reflecting the differences in electricity costs and local market conditions. Here’s a breakdown of the approximate per-kWh rates at Tesla Superchargers across the provinces:

 

  • British Columbia: $0.48/kWh
  • Alberta: $0.36/kWh
  • Saskatchewan: $0.40/kWh
  • Manitoba: $0.32/kWh
  • Ontario: $0.44/kWh
  • Quebec: $0.32/kWh
  • New Brunswick: $0.44/kWh
  • Nova Scotia: $0.44/kWh
  • Prince Edward Island: $0.44/kWh
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $0.44/kWh

 

To illustrate the cost of a typical Supercharger session, let’s consider charging a Tesla Model 3 Long Range for a 200 km (124 miles) trip. With its 82 kWh battery pack, a 200 km charge would require approximately 40 kWh of energy. Using the Ontario Supercharger rate of $0.44/kWh as an example, this charging session would cost around $17.60 ($0.44 x 40 kWh).

 

Comparing Home, Public and Supercharger Costs

Now that we’ve explored the costs for charging your Tesla at home, public stations, and Superchargers across Canada, let’s do a side-by-side comparison. This will help determine which option is most cost-effective in different scenarios.

For regular daily charging, powering up at home is by far the cheapest route. Depending on your province’s electricity rates and Tesla model, a full charge from empty will only cost between $7-$15. Public charging stations are the priciest option, with rates ranging from $0.30-$0.50/kWh or $10-$25 per hour.

Tesla’s Supercharger network falls somewhere in the middle cost-wise. Their new per kWh pricing model results in about $15-$22 for a full charge from 0-100%. This is still higher than home rates but more affordable than public networks when on a longer road trip.

Of course, cost is just one factor to consider. Public chargers and Superchargers offer unmatched convenience when you need a quick top-up away from home. So there’s a trade-off between paying more for that convenience or saving money by charging overnight at home.

For daily commuting and local driving, it makes the most financial sense to charge at home as much as possible. But for longer road trips, factor in some Supercharger stops to rapidly recharge along your route. And public networks can be a good option when you need a quicker boost than home charging provides.

 

Maximizing Charging Cost Savings

While charging a Tesla in Canada is generally much cheaper than fueling a gas-powered vehicle, there are still ways to further minimize your charging costs. With a bit of planning and taking advantage of incentives, you can keep your Tesla charging expenses to a minimum.

 

Tips for Minimizing Tesla Charging Costs:

  • Charge at home as much as possible during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower.
  • Use apps like PlugShare or ChargeHub to locate free charging stations near you.
  • Take advantage of referral programs and charging credits offered by Tesla or your local utility.
  • Consider installing solar panels at home to charge your Tesla with renewable energy for even lower costs.
  • Pre-heat or cool your Tesla’s cabin while still plugged in to avoid draining the battery on the road.

 

Planning Routes Around Cheaper Charging Options:

A key part of maximizing your Tesla charging cost savings is planning trips intelligently. The in-car navigation system can help by routing you through Supercharger or destination charging locations based on your travel needs. However, you may be able to find even cheaper options by:

 

  • Checking apps like PlugShare for nearby public chargers that are free or low-cost.
  • Mapping your route to include charging stops at locations with cheaper electricity rates.
  • Planning stops where you can take advantage of free destination charging at hotels, restaurants, etc.

 

Installing Home Charging Equipment Incentives:

The initial cost of installing a dedicated home charging station can be daunting, but there are federal and provincial incentives to help offset the expense. Depending on where you live, you may qualify for rebates or tax credits when you purchase and install an approved EV charger. Some local utilities even offer free chargers to customers. These incentives, combined with the long-term savings of home charging, make installing a home station a smart investment.

 

Future of EV Charging Costs in Canada

As electric vehicle adoption continues to accelerate across Canada, the landscape for charging costs is poised for significant changes in the coming years. With more EVs on the roads, increased demand will likely drive infrastructure investments from governments, utilities, and private companies to expand the charging network.

Provincial and federal governments have already committed billions of dollars to build out public charging infrastructure, recognizing the importance of widespread and accessible charging to support the transition to electric transportation. This influx of funding will not only increase the number of public chargers but could also lead to more competitive pricing as operators vie for customers.

Additionally, utilities may explore more dynamic pricing models for residential EV charging, similar to existing time-of-use rates. By incentivizing charging during off-peak hours when electricity demand is lower, utilities can better manage grid loads and potentially offer lower rates to EV owners. This could further reduce the already low costs of home charging for savvy consumers.

As battery technologies improve and manufacturing scales up, the upfront costs of EVs are expected to continue declining. Combined with potential savings from more efficient home charging and an expanded public network, the total cost of EV ownership – including “refueling” costs – could become even more favorable compared to gasoline-powered vehicles in the long run.

However, the future costs of public charging remain uncertain, as commercial operators may adjust pricing based on demand, operating costs, and their desired profit margins. Widespread adoption of dynamic pricing models could lead to higher rates during peak charging times, similar to surge pricing seen in the ride-sharing industry.

Ultimately, the evolution of EV charging costs in Canada will depend on a complex interplay of technological advancements, consumer behavior, government policies, and market forces. But one thing is clear: as electric vehicles go mainstream, charging your car is poised to become an increasingly affordable and integrated part of Canadian life.

 

Conclusion

Charging a Tesla in Canada is significantly more affordable than fueling a gas-powered vehicle, especially when utilizing home charging. With electricity rates varying across provinces, the cost per full charge ranges from around $7 for a Model 3 in Quebec to over $20 for a Model X in Alberta when charged at home.

While public charging stations and Tesla Superchargers come at a premium over home rates, they remain competitive with gasoline prices for longer trips. A cross-country road trip in a Tesla can cost hundreds less in “fuel” expenses compared to a gas vehicle.

As you shop for your next electric vehicle, be sure to factor in the charging costs based on your province, driving habits, and access to home or public charging. With some smart charging habits, powering a Tesla can provide substantial long-term cost savings over its gas counterparts.

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Questions About Charging a Tesla

Tesla charging costs in Canada will vary depending on several factors, including electricity rates in your province, the model of Tesla vehicle, and where you charge – at home or at public charging stations.

The average electricity rate for residential customers across Canada is around $0.16 per kWh. With most Tesla models having battery capacities between 50-100 kWh, a full charge at home costs between $8-16. Rates are slightly higher for public charging stations.

– Ontario: $10-$20

– Quebec: $8-$16

– British Columbia: $7-$14

– Alberta: $10-$20

– Manitoba: $5-$10

– Nova Scotia: $11-$22

– New Brunswick: $12-$24

 

Rates vary across provinces based on electricity costs. Charging overnight on off-peak rates can reduce costs.

Tesla Supercharger stations now charge by the kWh instead of by the minute. Fees average around $0.35 per kWh, so a full charge for a Long Range Model 3 (75 kWh battery) costs around $26.25. Idle fees apply if your car is left charging too long after reaching full charge.

Charge times at home will vary from 10-12 hours for a full charge on a standard 120V outlet, to 4-6 hours on a 240V home charging unit. Long Range battery models charge faster than Standard Range versions.

Installing a high-powered Wall Connector allows the fastest home charge times of 4-6 hours. Using the Mobile Connector on a 240V outlet can also provide a full charge overnight. Check with an electrician on installation.

Yes, Tesla offers financing plans to cover the costs of purchasing and installing a Wall Connector or other certified home charging unit. Financing makes installation more affordable.

The Tesla Supercharger network spans the Trans-Canada highway, with stations placed strategically in all provinces. You can find stations conveniently along major routes. Check the Tesla app or car display for locations.

Supercharger stations can provide up to 200 km of range in just 15 minutes. Most models can go from a 10% charge to 80% in under 40 minutes. This allows for quick charging during long road trips.

As of Q4 2024, new non-Tesla electric vehicles equipped with NACS charge ports will be able to access the Tesla Supercharger network using Plug and Charge technology. Fees and charge rates will differ.

Yes, non-Tesla EVs charging at Supercharger stations will be subject to fees that likely differ from what Tesla owners pay. Exact pricing for non-Tesla vehicles is still to be determined.

No, Long Range battery versions can charge significantly faster than Standard Range models when using DC fast charging like Superchargers or third-party stations. Home charging rates also differ slightly.

For most Canadian homes, the additional electricity needed to charge a Tesla is estimated to increase monthly bills by $20-$40 on average. Charging off-peak overnight helps minimize added costs.



The Rear-Wheel Drive Tesla Model 3 Standard Range is the most efficient, with an average electricity cost per 100 km of just over $4 when charging at home. Estimated fuel savings make it the cheapest Tesla to charge.

Tesla vehicles come with adapters to charge on most public networks like FLO, Petro-Canada, Sun Country Highway, ChargePoint and Electrify Canada. These all offer hourly and per kWh billing.

Charging overnight at home when electricity rates are lowest is the best way to save. Also, limit Supercharger use to long trips when necessary, as home charging is far cheaper. Some provinces offer EV electricity rate plans.

Yes, very cold temperatures can reduce overall range by up to 30-40%. More energy is consumed to heat the battery, increasing charging times and electricity costs. Range returns to normal once warmed.

Yes, Tesla occasionally offers discounted Supercharger rates or monthly charging packages to certain customers. Also, some hotels and other businesses offer free Tesla charging as an incentive.

While not confirmed for Canada yet, Tesla has introduced subscription packages in the US that provide discounted Supercharger rates after paying a monthly fee. Something similar may eventually come to Canada.

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