Today I saw what I thought was a very funny sight. A young mom was loading her kid into the backseat of a new Tesla Model X Plaid. This is a six passenger family SUV, which would seem an appropriate for a mom and her kid. However, the Plaid makes 1020 hp and is faster than pretty much every supercar on the road.
I asked her if she knew the Plaid was the world’s most powerful SUV. She said she had no idea. Her husband bought the car for her. I told her if she ever floored the accelerator, the resulting launch would scare the living shit out of her, and make the kid in the backseat go, “Weeeeeee!!! Again!!!!” I know this because Sally used to do that all the time whenever we engaged Ludicrous mode on our Model X.
The fact that we’re living in a world where cars with over 1000 hp can be driven by pretty much anyone says a lot about how technology have moved forward. Only a decade ago, this wouldn’t have been possible. Vehicles making this level of power were barely controllable monsters made for a race track. Now, they’re used to take your kid to soccer practice.
With gas prices at record high, EVs have seen their sales on the rise. While the entire auto industry is declining, Tesla posted record Q1 2022 deliveries. Rising gas prices have a lot to do with this. Using the eMPG rating from the EPA doesn’t really highlight the tremendous difference in operating cost. A better way is to show the cost of filling up the gas tank vs charing the battery.
There are no gas powered SUVs that is anywhere near as powerful as a Tesla Model X Plaid. However, there are quite a few that are just as powerful as the normal Model X. The BMW X5 M is such an example.
The X5 M is powered by a 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 making 600 hp, which is 70 hp short of what the Model X makes. The gas milage on the X5 is what you would expect from a big and heavy gas powered SUV. It gets just 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway (15 mpg combined).
The Tesla Model X is powered by a 100 kWh battery, enough to provide a 333 mile range according to the EPA. The average cost of electricity in the U.S. is 10.42 cents per kilowatt-hour. That means it would cost $10.42 to fully charge a Model X.
The national average cost of premium gas, which is what the X5 M takes, is $5.062 per gallon. At that price, $10.42 (cost of charging a Tesla) would buy you 2.06 gallons of gas, enough to drive the X5 M for around 30 miles vs over 300 miles for the Tesla.
The average miles driven per year by Americans has now reached a total of 14,263 miles. This breaks down to an average of nearly 1,200 miles driven per month. It would cost $340 to $470 per month to gas up the BWM. The Tesla would cost $37.55 per month. The difference gets amplified if you live in a state with very high gas prices, like California.
Not only does the Tesla Model X cost 10X less to fill up than a comparable BMW X5, it makes more power, requires almost no maintenance, and cost less. Plus the kids can watch YouTube videos in the backseat. What more can a soccer mom want?