How to save money driving to the Smoky Mountains

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – It’s the gas guzzling dog day of summer, and although gas prices are high, it’s still road trip season.

WSMV decided to take a trip a few hours east to the Smoky Mountains. The goal: see if we could make the trip in an electric vehicle and will is save us money.

High gas prices have drivers groaning, but not for Matt Weyland.

“Saving us a bunch of money so far,” Weyland said.

He said he and his girlfriend have saved $200 on their trip because their car is electric.

“We drove from Pittsburgh to Gatlinburg and now we’re driving from Gatlinburg to Nashville for CMA Fest,” he said.

WSMV4 took a similar route – Nashville to Gatlinburg – in Rosa Jaramillo’s Tesla. She rents it out through an app called Turo. WSMV4 wanted to compare how much it cost to charge up compared to filling up a news car.

On the way to the Smokies, there was a stop in Crossville to power up at a Tesla Supercharger. There it cost $6.67 to charge for 15 minutes. It’s enough to get the crew from Crossville, through Knoxville and the windy roads of Pigeon Forge.

By the time of the arrival in Pigeon Forge, the Tesla battery said there were 69 miles remaining until completely drained. It takes 30 minutes to reach full charge. In total, it cost $17.32 for the 205-mile trip.

To fill up the news car with gas, it cost $44.98 for the trip. That’s twice the price of the Tesla, but no stops. The Tesla took 45 minutes out of the trip for charging.

So, which road trip is better? It’s up to you.

“I would say it’s more of a daily commuter car, not a long trip car,” Weyland said. “It’s definitely worth it so far.”

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