If you want to live the electric car life in the Golden State, be prepared to pay.

A big selling point of electric cars is, although you pay a premium compared to an equivalent gas car in the beginning, over time, thanks to all the money you saved on gas, overall cost of ownership is cheaper.

According to one Northern Californian and his monthly electricity bill, he may have to keep his electric car for several decades if it’s overall savings he’s after compared to a regular gas car.

A Northern Californian (who shall remain anonymous) who owns a Tesla Model S Plaid, shared his electricity bill for February 2024 showing he owed $1,864.44 after using 2,439 kWh of energy.

“Here’s my PG&E bill in CA when I have to charge a Tesla every night and don’t have solar panels. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Tesla. For a while I had a Model S 100D and a Model S Plaid. I now only have the Plaid. Just know that you will either pay for gas at the pump or power on your power bill, but somewhere, you’re going to pay.”

It’s worth noting this owner lives in a rural part of Northern California, he and his family use a lot of energy in general, and his Tesla didn’t account for all his energy usage, but definitely the largest slice.

Here’s the owner’s usage breakdown.

According to the owner’s bill and per the owner himself, he’s on PG&E’s Time of Use Plan C, which charges 52 cents per kWh peak and a generous (/s) 49 cents per kWh off-peak (in other words, not much incentive to charge off-peak.)

And, if you noticed the math ain’t mathing above, this Tesla owner clarifies the missing $700+.

“I have an additional “Agriculture” account on my bill as well. It’s apparently cheaper at .42 tier 1 and .52 tier 2. It’s on my bill, but a separate pole brings that power in. I love how well you all did the math! That part was $735.79 in total. When you add it up, my bill this month was $1,864.44.”

For how much his Tesla added to that bill, here’s his energy breakdown per his app for the last 31 days, which, at 69 percent charged at home, works out to about 700 kWh charged to his Tesla Model S Plaid (roughly 30 percent of his total energy bill usage or $559 a month.)

For Tesla owners in California, this high bill isn’t a surprise.

California ranks third for the most expensive electricity, averaging 29.11 cents per kWh, double the national average of 15.73 kWh.

On average, charging that many kWh not in California would’ve just added another $107 (roughly 1/5th the cost.)

As his app points out, he only saved $57 compared to the gas equivalent which, compared to his total energy usage, is not a compelling case for EVs saving you money over time.

No doubt, if you own an EV and charge in California, your energy bill’s going to be expensive.

If you’re a Californian, are stuck with PG&E, and decide to switch to an EV, know you’re not getting one to save money, but for other reasons entirely (filling up at home, EV performance, (arguably) the environment, etc.)


  1. I know you’re doing a hit piece on electric vehicles What are also seems to me that you’re? Doing a hit piece on PG and E and their electric rates. Do they offer a straight kilowatt hour usage rate? At even $.29 a kwh this persons total bill should have been NO MORE than $750. I lived in AZ and when I moved there in 1984 from N. Cal. Their utility co.(APS) Had 3 different rates. With one being straight kwh usage . They STILL DO. 40 YEARS LATER I know first hand Because I lived there for 27 years. When I went to Arizona Public Service it was for a complaint because they were billing me for 7000 kWH per month edit that time the charge. Was ~ $380. The reason I went. Was because in my 1150sq.ft. apartment there was Absolutely no way That I could have used that many kWH. I have since moved back to Southern California and lived here since 2012. At .$30 cents per KWH this person should have been charges NO MORE THAN $750. ..2500KWH X $.30 PER KWH= $750 .Am I missing something? Anything? Like being gouged people?


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