I came up with this spreadsheet because I am already getting the “oooooh, you’re getting a Tesla” type comments, implying high cost. I always thought it would not be that much more, but I wanted some math to back me up.

I ran all of the numbers assuming 9% total inflation since 2012 (I did check that). Total fuel costs for me are about half, coming from an already crazy efficient car. Insurance, tires, and yearly tax are all slightly higher, which basically cancel out the fuel savings (again, for me). I am using 17k miles a year. The Prius numbers are actual numbers for the past six years. Electricity, taxes, insurance are all based on actual numbers for me.

I didn’t figure in equal maintenance items like wipers and air filters. I included savings for no oil changes. The Tesla miscellaneous maintenance number is a swag for now; my Prius had no issues, and I am assuming the Model 3 will have something that needs fixing after six years; so far the Model 3 maintenance schedule only has a couple visits and maybe one fluid change after 100k miles. If you are coming from a non-Toyota/Honda, maintenance might be in the savings column for you.

Depreciation is based on Model S and anticipated Model 3 numbers from an Electrek article a while back that had the values at 50% after 100k miles...I have deducted a few thousand there for a trade in penalty. This is one area where over the air updates help...I am constantly driving on roads that aren’t on my six year old car’s nav system. FSD may upend this for the better as well...

After all of this, I am still getting a car that is twice as fast, twice as fun (that may be understating it), has Autopilot, has a glass roof, has power seats, has cabin preconditioning, has a frunk, and used half the energy.

Seems like a good value, looking at the big picture.

Do you have any advice on how to calculate total cost of ownership? I understand how to calc electric vs gas, but what else have you factored in? How much lower will maintenance costs be? I assume no oil changes, but would still have to assume same schedule for tires, brakes, etc., right?