Here, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions from our customers about Tesla vehicles, helping you get to grips with arguably the most exciting electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer out there.
Many people are scared to swap petrol or diesel for electric because of range anxiety. However, the impressive Tesla range you get out of everything from a Model 3 Saloon Standard Range Plus (‘real world’ range of 210 miles) to a Tesla Model S Long Range (325 miles) is a huge attraction.
Tesla Model 3 Standard Range
210 miles 'real world' range
Tesla Model S Long Range
325 miles 'real world' range
Teslas use lithium-ion batteries which produce excellent performance over long periods of time. However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is aiming to introduce a new and improved long-life battery which will be cheaper to produce and capable of covering a million miles. More for less? Yes please.
Tesla battery capacity varies between models, with the Model S Long Range , Model S Performance and Model X Long Range SUV all boasting a 100kWh battery. The Model 3 Standard Plus Saloon has a 55kWh battery, while the Model 3 Long Range Saloon has a 75kWh power unit.
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S Long Range 100kWh - 325 miles real world range
Tesla Model S Performance 100kWh - 315 Miles real world range
Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3 Long Range 75kWh - 295 miles real world range
Tesla Model 3 Performance 75kWh - 280 miles real world range
Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus 55kWh - 210 miles real world range
Tesla Model X
Tesla Model X Long Range 100kWh - 280 miles real world range
Tesla Model X Performance 100kWh - 275 miles real world range
Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model Y Long Range 75kWh - 270 miles real world range
Tesla Model Y Performance 75kWh - 260 miles real world range
Telsa charge ports open via the car’s touchscreen or the port cover itself when the car’s unlocked. When the indicator light around the car’s charging connector is white, this means your car’s ready to charge. This turns blue when your car’s preparing to charge, and green when charging is in progress.
It’s best to charge your Tesla at home overnight. This is usually the cheapest way to charge up and means your car will be ready for your day in the morning. New Teslas come with a basic mobile charging cord which is called a Mobile Connector and allows you to plug into your regular mains supply via a 3-pin plug. This only provides six to eight miles of range per hour though so isn’t ideal for regular charging, with a home charge point recommended.
Tesla’s Mobile Connector is 20 feet long, or six metres. You shouldn’t use an extension cord to increase this or connect your car to the mains through a multi-plug, conversion plug or power strip.
Installing a Tesla wall charger at home gives you the fastest charging speeds and most convenience. If you’re looking for a Tesla car charger installation cost, this depends on which unit you go for and the supplier you get it from. Typically though, a 7kW smart charger costs around £800 on average, while the government’s OZEV grant could contribute up to £350 towards the cost of this.
Working out how long it takes to charge a Tesla is easy. You simply divide your car’s battery capacity by the speed of charge, so with a 7kW charger, a 55kWh battery takes seven hours 51 minutes from zero to full. A 100kWh battery will take 14 hours 17 minutes.
Considering all new Teslas deliver a minimum real-world range of more than 200 miles, most people don’t need to charge to more than 80% of capacity each night. This is the figure recommended for optimal battery life and longevity, and you can easily adjust the percentage your car charges to via the settings menu on your touchscreen. When you need to travel longer distances the following day, simply increase this accordingly.
The cost to charge a Tesla again depends on the capacity of the battery, and level you charge it to. It’s another simple sum to work out the cost of a full charge, however. All you have to do is multiply the cost of your electricity by the capacity of your car’s battery. A growing number of energy companies offer EV-specific renewable energy tariffs which cost 14p per kWh or less.
If you have a Model 3 Standard Plus with a 55kWh battery, a full charge costs £7.70 if your energy price is 14p per kWh. A Model S Ludicrous Performance with a 100kWh battery, meanwhile, costs £14.
Like all lithium-ion batteries, Tesla power units naturally degrade over time. A study conducted last year by NimbleFins claimed that Teslas only lose 1% of performance a year, while there wouldn’t be a dramatic loss of capacity for almost 20 years, based on the average driver’s mileage. Currently, Tesla offers an eight-year or 150,000-mile (whichever comes first) warranty on their batteries. In 2019, Elon Musk said Model 3 batteries are designed to last for between 300,000 to 500,000 kilometres, while as mentioned above, they’re also working on units that will last for a million miles.
At the same time as saying Model 3 batteries should last for 186,000 to 310,000 miles, Musk also said replacing battery modules will cost $5,000 to $7,000 (currently around £3,900 to £5,400). With such good performance though, you won’t need to worry about Tesla battery replacement cost issues. When you lease one through us you definitely don’t need to worry as you hand the car back at the end of your lease with no further obligation.
Tesla charging rates depend on the type of charger you use. You get the best Tesla charging speed with superchargers, which are available at public charging stations and capable of delivering peak charge speeds of up to 250kW. Using one of these, you could add more than 130 miles of range to a Model S in just 15 minutes, 110 miles to a Model X or 170 miles to a Model 3 in 30 minutes.
If you’re asking yourself how much does it cost to charge a Tesla at such incredible speeds, there are already dozens of Tesla superchargers across the UK which cost 24p per kWh. Tesla sometimes offer enhanced charging offers for quantities of free supercharging so check their offers before you purchase or lease a Model S or X. Recent referral code offers have provided new Tesla owners with 1,000 free supercharger miles for example. Tesla Destination chargers are widely available across the UK for free. If there is a cost, this is charged to the Tesla account linked to the car.
Tesla Model 3 has a CCS rapid charging connector so you can charge it up at any public (rapid) charger. For Model S and X we recommend sticking to Tesla’s supercharger network for a fast an hassle free experience.
As well as free Destination chargers, there are other ways you can recharge your battery for nothing and reduce the cost to charge a Tesla. There are many free public charge points across the UK, including in car parks for supermarkets, pubs, restaurants and hotels, and you can use Zap Map to find them.
Teslas are no slouches. In fact, they claim the Model S has ‘the quickest acceleration of any production sedan on earth’, able to cover 0-60mph in just 2.3 seconds. Tesla also calls the Model X ‘the quickest SUV on earth’, with a 0-60 of 2.6 seconds.
If you’re wondering how does Tesla A/C work, the answer is that it’s different from conventional air conditioning. Without an internal combustion engine driving a compressor, Tesla A/C is powered by an electric motor, providing efficient cabin cooling and heating with as little energy wasted from the car as possible.
As well as the Tesla charging station map on their website, Tesla also offer a route planner where you can plan your journeys. This is very handy if you’re covering long distances, as you can plan stops and see exactly where you can charge up en route.
Last year, a German driver completed a million kilometres (621,000 miles) in a Tesla Model S, showing the incredible longevity these vehicles have. The car only required two battery packs and three drive unit replacements to reach the milestone.
If you drive a Tesla, road tax becomes a thing of the past, with fully electric vehicles exempt from the charge. If you live in London, they’re also exempt from the Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone charge.