Does Tesla Use More Electricity Than Home AC Unit? (Surprising Result)

I’ve always wondered if my Tesla Model 3 LR uses more or less electricity than the 3-ton 16 SEER Daikin air conditioner. I never did the actual calculation, but it seems like a fine afternoon to do it now. It is quite exciting to see if the Tesla car uses more electricity than the AC unit.

You can place your bets now:

  • A option: Charging a Tesla uses more electricity than AC.
  • B option: AC uses more electricity than charging a Tesla.

Upon calculating the totals, my response was “Wow. That’s quite a surprise.”

Alright, here’s my setup (I think it’s pretty standard):

  1. I drive about 50 miles on a daily basis. That’s about 1,500 miles per month.
  2. The 3-ton 16 SEER AC unit is running about 8 hours per day. That’s 240 running hours per month.

The cost of electricity is about $0.18/kWh.

This is all we need to calculate if the AC will use more electricity than charging an electric vehicle.

Now, let’s start by calculating how much electricity Tesla Model 3 uses per month. After that, we will calculate how many kWh does AC uses per month, and then we can compare.

Note: If you would like for us to calculate this stuff for you, you can use the comment section below, give us these kinds of figures, and we can tell you if your EV uses more electricity than your AC.

How Much Electricity Tesla Uses For 50 Miles/Day?

Let’s make this calculation simple:

Tesla Model 3 Long Range has a specified range of about 300 miles. Realistically, that’s closer to 200 miles per 1 charge (100% full battery).

Now, driving 50 miles per day, will use about a quarter of my battery (25%). The full battery has a 75 kWh capacity. From this, I can calculate how many kWh does a Tesla use for every 50 miles like this:

Tesla Model 3 Electricity Usage (50 Miles) = 75 kWh × 0.25 = 18.75 kWh/Day

That sounds about right. On a daily basis, I use 18.75 kWh of electricity to charge my Tesla. Given the $0.18/kWh electricity cost, that’s $3.38 per day. Not bad at all.

On a monthly basis, I drive 1,500 miles. I have to charge my Tesla with 562.50 kWh of electricity. In dollar terms ($0.18/kWh), that’s $101.25 per month.

Let’s simplify this: I would pay about 100 bucks per month to charge my Tesla.

Alright, now let’s have a look at my air conditioning bill:

How Much Electricity AC Uses Per Day And Per Month?

The Daikin 3-ton 16 SEER unit we have in our home is perfect. On hot days, we run it for 10-12 hours, and on colder days, about 6 hours. Let’s say that the average daily running time during the summer is 8 hours per day.

Now, we can use the SEER rating and AC tonnage to calculate the daily electricity usage like this:

AC Electricity Usage (3 Ton 16 SEER) = (8 hours × 3 Tons × 12,000 BTU/Ton) / (16 × 1,000) = 18.00 kWh/Day

Wow. This is quite a surprise! AC electricity usage is neck-a-neck to Tesla electricity usage.

So, running my AC uses 18 kWh per day; that’s $3.24/day. On per month basis, the AC uses 540 kWh; that’s $97.20 per month.

Again, if we simplify this, we can say that running this AC costs about $100 per month.

Comparison And Conclusion

As we can see, charging a Tesla for 50 miles/day and running the 3-ton 16 SEER AC 8 hours per day costs about the same. It’s about $100 per month (with less than 5% difference).

Of course, if I would drive my EV more than 50 miles, I would use more electricity to charge the Tesla.

On the other hand, if I would have a bigger house and a bigger air conditioning unit, the AC would use more electricity than charging a Tesla.

Since I have this standard setup, however, I would about the same amount of electricity charging my Tesla as running our AC unit.

Nice. I kind of thought that Tesla would use more electricity but I’m glad I did this calculation to see that I pay about $100 for Tesla electricity and about $100 for AC electricity on my electricity bill.

If you have a similar Tesla vs. AC electricity usage situation, just drop some figures in the comment section below, we’ll gladly do this calculation for you. Thank you.

Leave a Comment