1 Year, 1000 Drives, and 15,000 Miles

It’s been 1 year, I did over 1,000 drives and 15,000 miles in my Tesla Model Y AWR LR using 4.5MWh of electricity. That’s equivalent to 125 gallons of gasoline, or 120 MPGe.

First Year of Driving

#1 learning: I won’t go back to ICE! Years ago I soured on driving due to the amount of gas burning required, but with the Tesla, driving became fun again. I love the quietness when driving slowly through residential streets, and I love the quickness on freeway onramps and mountain roads. Below are more observations:


Level 1 charging was sufficient! For the first year I was charging from a 100V outlet using the mobile connector. I only charged in the cheap hours from midnight to 3pm.

This fueled about 4,000 miles of local driving (80 miles a week) while the other 11,000 road trip miles were powered by superchargers. Other than the cable going across the entrance to the house and having to pack the mobile connector when I went on longer trips this was no problem at all.

In all that time here was only one instance where I had less charge in the morning than I wished: I had to stop at a supercharger 1h into a long drive, instead of 2h. I finally installed the Wall Connector I purchased a year ago because I had an electrician on site for some other work.

Efficiency and Cost

My quick back-of-the-envelope calculations were as follows, and they were confirmed by data

  • 300 Wh/mile
  • 3.3 miles per kWh
  • 33c per kWH (California! This is super charger pricing, and it’s half that for off-peak home charging)
  • 10c/mile

According to TeslaFi I am using 292Wh/mile average. A bit more than half of my drives were in town, and the rest were freeways and highways. But most miles (11,000) were on freeways and highways. Very few miles were below 40F. And it’s a Tesla Model Y AWD LR.


TeslaFi captured 13,715 of my miles, but the odometer says 15,477. Extrapolating energy use yields 4.5 MW.

I drove 11,000 miles on 10 designated “road trips”: multi-day trips and some longer day trips. 4000 miles were local.

TeslaFi stats for the first year. Cost and time spent driving are not reliable.

The total cost reported by TeslaFi is wrong as it doesn’t use actual cost, but just multiples wH by a user supplied number. Similarly time spent driving sometimes include a night of boondocking out of cell phone range as TeslaFi never realized the car was parked.

I regret not having used TeslaFi from the first mile on forward and now I have missing data. But TeslaFi isn’t perfect. Not surprisingly you get gaps when there is no connectivity. But some other situations don’t register correctly, e.g. picking up a child at school. Sometimes it registers as two drives, one there, one back. Sometimes it’s just one drive from home to home. I now try to put the car in park just to improve TeslaFi recording.

Before using TeslaFi or any similar app, consider that you are giving a third party access to your car. This adds one more exposure surface. The car has an API, so you are already vulnerable if anyone gets your Tesla credentials. Now you are also vulnerable if someone compromises the third party. Note that you don’t have to give your Tesla password to TeslaFi, you just give TeslaFi an API token that let’s it access your car. You could also host such software yourself if you trust your own security, but that also ads another attack surface.

You can give TeslaFi credentials to only read data, which makes it more secure, but limits the functionality (e.g. you can’t have TeslaFi start/stop charging, honk, or open windows and such). Like everything in live, you have to do a threat analysis and decide what you are concerned about, how much, and how you weight the threats with the benefits.

Maintenance ($35)

I had Tesla Mobile Service rotate my tires at about 10,000 miles for $35, as I started to notice a difference between front and back. That was pretty much it in regular maintenance.

Mobile service was in my drive way a few more times due to quality issues. When the car was new, the frunk sometimes was reported as open, which was especially disturbing on freeways. They first fiddled, then replaced a part, and it never happened again.

At about the year mark I finally tracked down one last major rattle, a loose panel in the rear door. They came and fixed it for free. They did come twice, because the first time they didn’t put the panels back together properly. I fixed a major source of wind noise myself with double sided tape (the triangle in the A pillar was lose on the passenger side.

Other than that, I spent money on windshield wiper fluid and various fluids to clean the windshield and the interior. And a few car washes.

Aftermarket Improvements

I spend considerably more on additional stuff: adapters for charging, extension cables, pucks, floor mats, roof canopy, console trays, noise reduction kit, 12V fridge, and of course my Tesla Bed. The road trip checklist lists many of the things I bought.


This week I am forced to use a Nissan X-Trail rental, and I hate it. Pre Tesla, it would have been an ok car. But it’s so sluggish in every aspect. I tried to change in a fast lane, and it takes a few seconds to even start accelerating, and then goes slowly. Even the steering is sluggish, if that’s a thing. And that is before consideration of cost of gas or environmental impact. Or the ancient feeling of walking up to a hot car (although ICE cars could remote start, idle, and cool)

Last Updated on June 28, 2021.