Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA), Ford Motor Company (F): Of the Many Ways to Travel, This Is One of the Cheapest

Page 1 of 2

Much has been made about the idea that people would refuse to buy cars made by Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) because of concerns about range anxiety on roadtrips. Setting aside the fact that most people with enough money to purchase a Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S also own at least one more car and are likely to fly instead, the Model S may become one of the cheapest ways to travel across long distances in the United States. After all, how many other automakers supply free fuel?

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)

A cost comparison

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration finds an average electricity price of 11.92 cents per kilowatt hour. This data uses the residential charging rate, which is what the majority of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) owners would be using when not connected to public chargers. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) says the average energy consumption rate for the Model S is roughly 330 watt hours per mile. Assuming a 600 mile roadtrip (300 miles each way, a fairly reasonable drive), the Model S would consume approximately 200 kilowatt hours of electricity. Taking a 15 percent charging loss into account, it would take around 230 kilowatt hours to fully power the Model S. Using the owner’s own residential electricity, this trip would cost around $28 in total.

But this situation is unlikely to happen since the Model S range is less than 300 miles. Once more Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Supercharger stations (which offer free electricity to Model S owners) are installed, the owner is likely to use one of them for between a third and two thirds of the drive. Using the $28 figure above it is fairly simple to calculate how the energy cost can easily fall to less than $20.

Tesla Model S cost for 600 miles: $20 – $28

When comparing gasoline cars to Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), many analysts make the mistake of using a mass market car as a reason to show a supposedly prohibitive cost for the Model S. Nonetheless, I will compare the Model S with two cars for a cost to drive here: The Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) Focus (the best selling car in the world according to R.L. Polk data) and the PORSCHE AUTO ADR (OTCMKTS:POAHY) Panamera (quite likely the best available comparison to the Model S is terms of price and performance).

Data from Fueleconomy.gov shows the Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) Focus FWD with an automatic transmission to have fuel consumption of 27/38/31 miles per gallon and the base model PORSCHE AUTO ADR (OTCMKTS:POAHY) Panamera to have fuel consumption of 18/27/21 miles per gallon. If we take the optimistic approach and use the highway fuel economy numbers, the 600 miles trip uses 15.8 gallons with the Focus and 22.2 gallons with the Panamera. Using AAA’s fuel price figures on Jul. 10, the Focus would cost $55.32 to drive while the Panamera would cost $85.20. (The Panamera’s fuel costs more per gallon since it uses premium gasoline while the Focus uses regular gasoline.)

Giving a variance of 10 percent in either direction to account for differences in driving results in the following numbers:

Ford Focus cost for 600 miles: $50 – $60

Porsche Panamera cost for 600 miles: $77 – $94

For trips of this length, many customers may also choose to fly. However, air travel is rarely done for cost savings and is usually done to avoid the need to drive or to reach a destination faster. But for those who do the airfare to car fuel comparison anyway, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics gives the average domestic airfare for the fourth quarter of 2012 at $374.24 roundtrip, significantly more expensive than driving. Even discount fares from carriers like Southwest Airlines rarely get to the point where roundtrip airfare would be cost competitive with driving.

Page 1 of 2
blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

50 Crazy Facts About Japan You Won’t Believe

Top 10 Least Expensive Hybrid Cars to Save the Planet With

The 10 Biggest ‘Gate’ Controversies in History

The 10 States with the Highest Nursing Shortages Leaving Their Hospitals Depleted

The 10 Best Value Investment Blogs that Every Investor Must Read

The 6 Cheapest Boarding Schools in Europe 2015

The 5 Most Expensive Cars To Insure in the World

The 10 Most Common Genetically Modified Foods

10 Self-Made Billionaires Who Came From Nothing

The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in North America

The 13 Most Expensive Headphones in the World to Represent

The Top 20 Wealthiest Soccer Teams in 2014

4 BuzzWorthy Cannabis Stocks And Some Smoking Derivative Plays

The 10 Healthiest Fast Food Chains in America to Dine At

The 5 Most Expensive Cat Food Brands You Can Spoil Your Kitty With

The 6 Best eCommerce Platforms for Small Businesses

The 10 Worst Mistakes an Entrepreneur Can Make

The 5 Most OP Characters in League of Legends to Carry Games and Crush Foes With

The 5 Best Foods to Eat Before Running that Will Help You Pound the Pavement

10 Glaring Plot Holes in The Walking Dead that a Zombie-Filled Bus Could Drive Through

The 5 Biggest Celebrity Stoners Who Love Their Reefer

The 10 Most Overrated Movies Of All Time by Out-of-Touch Critics

Top 6 Least Expensive Cruise Destinations For 2015 that Will Take You to Paradise

10 States with Lowest Substance Abuse Rates in America

The 14 Most Watched TV Finales Ever

The 10 Best Selling Role Playing Games of All Time for PC

10 Most Influential Papers In Economics

Top 8 Biggest Charities in the US

10 Worst Celebrity Career Moves Ever

Top 10 Best Paid Tennis Stars in the World

10 Cities with High Demand for Nurses

6 of the Worst Greeting Card Messages Ever Crafted

How to Make Money in ArcheAge and Build Your Empire

10 Foods To Eat To Lower Cholesterol Levels

The 10 Most Hated Television Characters of All Time

The 30 Worst Halloween Costume Ideas Ever Brought to Horrible Life

10 Vocational Skills in Demand Today with Jobs Waiting to be Filled

10 Best Places to Visit in Central and South America

The 10 Greatest Empires in History Which Nearly Conquered the World

The 6 Cheapest Boarding Schools In America 2015

5 Clear Reasons LoL is Better than DotA, Continues to Rule MOBAs

The Only 9 Teams with a Chance to Win the Super Bowl

The 15 Most Common Phobias in America that Induce Fits of Panic

Top 6 Least Expensive Tourist Destinations in 2014

Jim Goetz, Peter Fenton, Jim Breyer: Top 6 Venture Investors for 2014

Top 15 Billionaires in 2014

5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Buying a Franchise

Top 20 Medical Schools in the US – 2014 Rankings

4 Business Strategies that Turned Jamie Oliver into the World’s Richest Chef

6 Qualities That Make You A Good Team Player

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!