If you are in the market for a luxury car, Tesla should be added to your list for consideration. Its smooth ride and posh interior offer all the style and comfort of the major brands. You might be concerned you are paying too much for the electric quality, but when you consider tax breaks, fuel and maintenance savings, and insurance discounts, you may be surprised to learn that owning a Tesla S breaks down to about the same as owning any other top-of-the-line luxury vehicle.
What does Tesla offer that is different than other luxury sedans?
Tesla is really in a class of its own since other luxury brands don’t offer completely electric engines in their top tier models. The nearest competitors include the Mercedes-Benz S Class and the BMW 7 series.
Mercedes certainly offers luxury, but nothing like the technology offered by Tesla, which includes long-range battery life and self-driving features. Mercedes offers an electric car in its E class. BMW’s electric car is called the I class. Neither of these cars really compare with the Tesla S in style. Both BMW and Mercedes have plans to produce self-driving cars in the early 2020s.
By the Numbers
Let’s look at the cost of owning a luxury vehicle. First, you must purchase the vehicle. Depending on the features you select, a luxury vehicle can vary widely in the purchase price. To narrow the conversation let’s only consider a comparison between a Mercedes S class, the BMW series 7, and the Tesla S. These three vehicles can vary widely in price, but for simplicity, let’s price them all at $96,600.
The Mercedes S class averages about 17 mpg. If the driver travels 15,000 miles per year and fills up with national average gas prices of $2.67, the Mercedes S class owner will spend $2,355.88 on gas in one year. The BMW Series 7 averages 24 mpg. With the same parameters, fuel costs for the BMW run $1,668.75 annually.
Fuel costs for the Tesla S are $0, but you will see an increase in your electric bill. On average, the Tesla S travels three miles per kilowatt-hour (kWh). National average cost on your electric bill per kWh is $.13. Driving your Tesla will cost you $650 per year if you drive 15,000. Fuel costs alone represent a tidy savings.
Internal-combustion engines require maintenance. That cost runs around $400 per year and includes changing the oil and other fluids. Maintenance on a Tesla S includes things like changing the wiper blades, new tires, and some filter changes. You’ll save time and money avoiding your local quicky lube.
Another form of savings is the Electric Car tax credit. Tesla has a larger battery capacity than other electric cars, which qualifies it for the full $7,500 tax credit. That’s money right back into your pocket. Some states will add to that savings and give you back money on your state taxes.
Finally, insurance can prove to offer you some savings as well. Insurance depends on many factors, including your driving record, where you live, and your credit score. To find the cheapest car insurance, you’ll need to shop around. Different companies give breaks in different places, but more and more companies offer a discount for electric and hybrid cars.
Tesla has taken its market by storm, now outperforming other luxury brands in sales. It’s a car-buying choice that makes sense financially and helps the environment too. If cost is your reason to avoid Tesla, it’s time to look again. Tesla is competitive now and gaining market share every year.
by: Dennis Hung