Elon Musk has mentioned that the use of Superchargers will be free for owners of ALL (future) Tesla EV models (S, X, Gen3, etc.)

Elon Musk has mentioned that the use of Superchargers will be free for owners of ALL (future) Tesla EV models (S, X, Gen3, etc.)

I remember having heard him say that in one of his interview's.

But I just cannot remember which particular interview that was (must be several interviews actually).

Therefore I would like some help of you guys to find that particular interview in which we can actually hear him say that.

Thank you for your help

bonaire | 12. September 2013

Bump so you can get an answer.
But it's not free for MS60 owners, they pay an up-charge of $2000 for optional access to the free charging. It is factored into 85 prices.

Benz | 12. September 2013


That's correct. Supercharger capability has a price, indeed. But that is a ONE TIME amount up front (of even later).

But I was aiming at the periodic use of the Supercharger station.

Renegade | 12. September 2013

EVERY ONE pays the $2k up-charge... S60s, S85s, P85, everyone! Whether its included in the price or not... whether they get you on the front-end or back-end... your paying for it!!

Don't think your getting it for free.

bonaire | 12. September 2013

I think they should also offer a subscription price. $500 one-time + $25 per supercharge for Model-E eventually. Consumers will not be interested in a similar price of $2K unless they live within 5-10 miles max of an SC and could use it often but might want it for a trip. Consumers will want an assurance that they could get a charge in a pinch, if needed, and would pay for it as needed.

Renegade | 12. September 2013

Just google and you will find it... here is one

Benz | 12. September 2013

@ Renegade

I am not saying that we are getting it for free at all.

Supercharger capability has a price, indeed. But that is a ONE TIME amount up front (or even later).

But I was ONLY aiming at the periodic use of the Supercharger station.

eddiemoy | 12. September 2013

the 2k is to help pay for deploying all the super chargers. they selling 23k this year, that would be $46mil of everyone paid for it which i think is pretty close. at 300k a supercharger, you get 153 super chargers this year. next year they will sell 50K model S/X, that works out to 100M, that would be money for another 300 supercharger locations. mind you these things don't really cost anything to operate, they have the solar panels, plus they doing buffering for the electric company so they get money for that.

it isn't too hard to imagine tesla turning a profit.

so in summary, in the next two years, they will have enough money to roll out all superchargers. 300 in the usa and 153 in the rest of the world? think with gen 3 they can charge 1k instead... if they sell 300k a year, it would be 300 mil going towards the supercharger network!

amazing! exciting times!

stevenmaifert | 12. September 2013
Benz | 12. September 2013


I have read that press release, but I have not found the answer to the original question. Would you please point out exactly what part of the text you are referring to? Thanks

cfOH | 12. September 2013

I really hope the build-out goes to schedule since I've supposedly paid for the privilege of using them, but don't have one within 300 miles of me.

tes-s | 12. September 2013

@eddiemoy - can you explain the buffering and solar?

I was not aware that the SCs did any type of buffering. I have read that in Japan they have Leaf's plugged in that provide power in case of power failure and to balance the grid but have not heard of SCs having that capability now or planned.

I have not seen a solar installation with an SC - but I've seen 4, all in the northeast. Do others have solar installations that generate electricity equal to what is used to charge the cars?

stevenmaifert | 12. September 2013

@Benz - The text in the title says "Drive the Model S Electric Car Anywhere in the Country on Pure Sunlight for Free" In paragraph six is "said Elon Musk, Tesla Motors co-founder and CEO. "We are giving Model S the ability to drive almost anywhere for free on pure sunlight." If you need to hear it from him, go here: and click on the video third down from the top entitled "Supercharger Announcement". If that doesn't do it for you then I'm just not understanding your question.

Blueshift | 12. September 2013

"Do others have solar installations that generate electricity equal to what is used to charge the cars?"

I think I have head that mentioned but I'm not sure the math adds up. Assume 400 ft^2 over each bay (very generous) = 37 m^2. Assume 250 W per square meter (VERY generous, averaged over day, total power generated in day divided by time in day). Then 200 W/m^2 * 37 m^2 * 24h = 178 kWh. Enough to give four 85s a half charge. But four should only take, say, less than four hours.

So not enough energy available from cannopy--assuming all bays will service more than four 85s per day anyway.

Perhaps we will eventually see solar panels installed on the roofs of nearby establishments until there is positive net production in each location.

Blueshift | 12. September 2013

Searching just a bit my assumed average Wattage (200 actually used in the calcuation) is probably high by a factor of 2, meaning enough energy for only two 85 half-charges is the more likely average daily output from 400 ft^2 area of solar pannls. Ballpark. (400 ft^2 happens to be the size of my two car garage).

Haeze | 12. September 2013

Every time I have heard Elon say it in an interview he is VERY careful with the wording. He will always say "Supercharging will always be free forever." He does not say any particular models will get the ABILITY to Supercharge or not, except for the Model S. When he DOES mention the Model S in those statements, he will nearly always mention it is for "a Model S that is equipped to do so"... meaning not the 60kWh models that people didn't specifically buy the SC capability.

This means future models will more than likely have the same option the 60kWh Model S does. At any point while you own the car, you can pay the one-time Supercharger upgrade fee, and it will get enabled on your vehicle. I am not expecting anything short of the Performance models to have it included in the price of new Tesla Models.

So, Supercharging will always be free, but you must purchase the capability for your car to use Superchargers in the first place.

jbunn | 12. September 2013

Guys, I think Benz's question is painfully obvious IF you read the title of this thread. None of the links answered his question. We know about S. He's asking about X and E.

I'm going to take a wild guess. The X is basically an S with a different body slapped on the skateboard. Since Tesla is smart, they can be expected to reuse as many components as possible. I would venture a guess that the X will have lifetime superchargers.

As to the E, I don't know if that's been decided. Right now there are perhaps 10,000 S on the road with supercharging and not all in locations where supercharging is available. Now, imagine 1,000,000 E on the road. That's a pretty big project. But Elon's a big-bet guy.

Final note - I've had access to supercharging for 6 months. Have used 2,300 SC charged miles. My old car would have used 127 gallons of gas or over $500.00. So in 6 months, I've recovered a quarter of my supercharger hardware cost. I'll have it paid off in another year and a half, and then it is truly free.

Haeze | 12. September 2013

I really, HIGHLY doubt the Gen III will not have the ability to Supercharge. The whole reason for the Supercharger was to counter the "range anxiety/long distance" argument. If the Gen III does not have Supercharger capability, that argument would suddenly be back on the table. It isn't Elon's, or Tesla's style to do that.

More than likely it will be a purchasable software upgrade, just like in the Model S 60kWh.

hungry | 12. September 2013

We paid $2000 for the ability to use SC

Assuming 13 cents per kwh (At home)

Assuming 2.5 miles per kwh

2000/13*2.5 = 38462 miles

I will have to use the SC to charge and drive that many miles to break even with my home charger.

After that, then it is FREE

Is my math close!!!

tes-s | 12. September 2013

The X, E and other models will have lifetime supercharging included in the price, or as an option, or not available at all. It is up to Tesla. Even the S in the future may or may not include supercharging.

In other words, Tesla can do whatever they want in any new car they sell. Just like they changed the options and pricing on the S a little while ago. They would, however, have a hard time changing it for existing owners.

tes-s | 12. September 2013

...and they can sell supercharges a-la-carte if they want.

cloroxbb | 12. September 2013


If you are only competing with yourself, then yes, drive 38,462 using only SC and you have broke even. Take it a step further and compare to a gas car @ $4, and:

Lets use a prius since its the most fuel efficient vehicle...

38,462/50(mpg)= 769 gallons of gas. @$4/gallon = $3,076

So you saved $1,076 in gas pricing as well. Now for someone who used to drive a 25mpg car = 38,462/25= 1538 gallons @$4 = $6,152

saving you an extra $4,152 :)

Benz | 12. September 2013

OK guys, I think that I have found it!!!

At the annual shareholder meeting in June 2013 there was enough time for a Q&A session, Elon Musk talked about the use of the Supercharger and mentioned the following:

"Effectively the cost of the Supercharger network is built into the price of the car."


"And I really wanted it always to be the case that the Supercharger is free once you bought the car, so we don't want to have this sort of pay everytime you arrive thing. I think it's just so much easier if you just built it into the cost and you arrive and you just never have to deal with anything."

Now that is sufficient to conclude that periodic charging at Supercharger stations for Tesla EV's -that (will) have Supercharger Capability- will be free forever. Because the cost of the Superchargers is built into the price of the cars.

tes-s | 12. September 2013

Every time they have a conferece call, they also say that no matter what they executives say, the future is subject to change.

I can see when they are trying to build an affordable car, they may not want to build the supercharging into the price up front. Especially for people that will not use it.

Prediction is very hard, especially about the future. (thanks Yogi!) | 12. September 2013 - That $0.13 per kWh seems way off (although it depends where you live). If you're on the road, you're never going to get the late night home rate. A better estimate would use something like $0.40 per kWh. That results in a payback of the $2000 fee in 12,500 miles of Supercharger use (using your other assumptions).

Then again, the alternatives are all so much more expensive (ICE cars, planes, trains, etc.), so that this calculation really doesn't make that much sense.

sharpe222 | 12. September 2013

to keep base price low as possible for marketing reasons I think Model E will do the same thing as a 60 -offer supercharging for 2000 bucks or so. Hopefully the network will be even more built up than even the 2015 map shows with some additional options for destination charging. I fully agree with avoiding metro areas for now but at some point mass adoption is going to require Superchargers or something like it everywhere.

evpro | 12. September 2013

For the Model E, which will be more of a commuter car, why not market it with a basic 75 mile battery, with options for 150 and 250 miles?

Lower entry price and the option to increase range later with likely better/cheaper chemistry.

sharpe222 | 12. September 2013

I think Elon has said he won't make car with less that 200 miles range.

Tâm | 12. September 2013


I thought Tesla already tried 40kWh or 160 Tesla Miles (not EPA miles) and had to discontinue it due to low sales.

You want to try low range again?

Benz | 13. September 2013

The 40 kWh Tesla Model S was a "hobbled horse" according to Elon Musk (compared to the 60 kWh and the 85 kWh). So therefore it was discontinued.

But I dare to disagree with Elon Musk on that (the 40 kWh Tesla Model S being a hobbled horse). In my opinion the real reason was that if the 40 kWh Tesla Model S would have been offered, than the distances inbetween the Supercharger locations would have had to be even smaller, and therefore Tesla Motors would have had to place many more Supercharger Stations than that they have to place now. So what I actually mean is that the 40 kWh Tesla Model S has been sacrificed in order to increase the distance inbetween the Supercharger locations, and therefore automatically decrease the number of Supercharger stations that have to be placed to cover the are. All that to make free long-distance possible at a lower financial investment (more Superchargers will obviously cost more money, you know).

Specially the people in The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, etc. (actually the people from all the smaller countries in Europe who hardly ever do drive more than 100 km per day) would surely have chosen to prefer the 40 kWh Tesla Model S in much higher numbers, as it would have been priced at a lower pricepoint than the 60 kWh Tesla Models S. And most of these people would also not have chosen the Supercharger option either, just to keep the price as low as possible. But this does not fit into the picture (of this decade) of Elon Musk. I am not speaking of the long-term vision (as from 2020 and further), because there it would. It has all got to do with the level of annual sales figures, everytime you add a zero then there is a different picture (hundreds - thousands - ten thousands - hundred thousands - millions - ten millions). Yet we are at the picture of tens of thousands (official outlook for 2013 is 21,000 and we know already that surely will prove to be to concervative).

Jolinar | 13. September 2013

I already said it few times on the forum, but I have to repeat it. If they decide to build supercharger cost into the Model E (GenIII) price, there will be people who will charge only at superchargers just like people willing to wait in rows for a bit cheaper gas.

Targeting customers with less money won't be the same as targeting Model S/X buyers.

I'd like to see "free" SC for Model E, but I think it won't make financial sense for Tesla, they want to make Model E as cheap as possible while including free supercharging would make it few thousands $ more expensive.

And final thought - if next generation of supercharging for GenIII will be even faster it would give even more incentives to charge at SC only (for people living nearby). Especially in the Europe which does not have such open unpopulated areas as US.

For now, all we know for sure is that current Model S owners have "free" charging for life of the car. Other Tesla cars are subject to change.

bent | 13. September 2013

in reply to Benz:

The 40kWh model was never offered with supercharger capability so its existence likely would have had no impact on the supercharger map planning.

The general impression I got was that the 40kWh was only offered as some sort of pseudo compliance model to have an offering priced below a psychologically important threshold. (I forget, $50k?) When very few actually ordered that model they figured the threshold wasn't so psychologically important after all and discontinued it.

I suspect that decision may have been a bit premature as the orders so far have largely been from enthusiasts who will go out of their way to raise enough money to go for the higher models, and the 40kWh would come into its own right only after a year or two when a bigger audience starts to catch on. But, Tesla probably also disliked the 40kWh for other reasons.

bonaire | 13. September 2013

We don't know the MS40 order profile - but it was talked down as "bad" (subjectively) as why get a 40 when you need a 60 or 85? Many people don't drive more than 40-50 miles a day routinely. Why are models like the Leaf selling with a 24 kWh pack? Surely people with less mileage needs but who want a larger car wouldn't mind a MS40 at all. I have various suspicions why the 40 was cancelled. I don't think any of them are because the demand was low. If demand for a 40kWh car is low - why is the Model-E coming out with just a few more kWh in its battery size (perhaps 50-55kWh).

carlk | 13. September 2013

@Benz That's why 40kWh was not offered the SC capability.

As for whether future models will have free supercharger I'm sure Tesla will do whatever that makes the most sales and financial senses.

SamO | 13. September 2013


"If demand for a 40kWh car is low - why is the Model-E coming out with just a few more kWh in its battery size (perhaps 50-55kWh)."

The Model E will be 20% smaller and thus will have some corresponding increase in range. 200 miles is going to be the minimum range moving forward and the 40 just didn't make the cut. It was a compromise car.

Maybe it was designed with the intention of eliminating the lowest cost variant, but if there had been a large demand (i.e. more than 400 after 3 years of reservations and building cars) then it likely would still be sold.

Benz | 13. September 2013


I am sure that the demand in Europe for the 40 kWh Model S would have been significant, meaning at least 20% of all Model S sales in Europe.

But there is more (and this came to my attention via Brian H on TMC):

It's much easier to promote a brand and a product when you can say: "all Model S (and future vehicles) are hardware capable of supercharging". And it makes your brand also more premium as well (without the 40 kWh Model S).

I think that when they first decided to offer the 40 kWh Model S, they had not expected that Tesla Motors would be so successful so soon. I mean that they might have expected to be successful of course, but maybe in 2015 or so. And when they saw that succuess came so soon, then they decided to change their course/plan. And that's a wise thing to do, see possibilities and react accordingly.

Kaboom | 13. September 2013

Also coming soon from tesla:

Reservations required for Superchargers

Seriously if they are going to give every tesla free access to all superchargers at anytime, even once the lower end car for the masses is out, supercharging might become more of a pain. Imagine that one station along the highway on a friday afternoon before the long weekend..... yikes! The charge itself might only take 10 minutes, but you might only be number 6 in line for the next spot

Benz | 13. September 2013


Don't think that the 2015 Supercharger map is final. It will develop further and further. The Supercharger network will grow in line with the sale of Tesla EV's. Not only geographically, but according to the demand each Supercharger station will get more and more charging spaces to allow more Tesla EV's to charge simultaneously. Start thinking BIG.

sharpe222 | 13. September 2013

@Kaboom Tesla is trying to revolutionize the auto industry and lead to a phasing out of the ICE. They are not content with selling 25 thousand cars to folks like us who can afford to pay MS prices. If they don't build up the network to handle the cars they sell then it will flop. Things might take a little longer than they anticipate but I don't doubt they will succeed.

jbunn | 13. September 2013

I recall that the demand for 40s was about 4%, but don't recall the source. In order to do streamlined configuration management Tesla seems to trying to keep it's number of possible options low. My understanding is the 40 pack is really a 60 pack and the capacity is software limited. This kept Tesla from having to build three separate packs. This implies that if you have a 40, you should be able to upgrade for a price. My understanding is Tesla made a similar decision with the Supercharging hardware. All cars have it installed, and it's turned on and off in software. If those are true, it should be possible (for a price) to have Tesla take a 40, enable the 60kWh capability. Then enable the supercharging ability. If true, that would be a great option for an owner that loves their car, and wants to pay for the upgrade.

Benz | 14. September 2013

Actually the Model S as a product is a much too valueable and premium product. And for that reason this product should not be offered with a 40 kWh battery pack. For example, you also won't find a Porsche with a 1.6 engine. I know, this is a very simplyfied example, but I guess you get the point.

So there must have been many reasons which resulted in the cancellation of the 40 kWh Model S.

Benz | 14. September 2013

The Model X is also a too premium product to be offered with a 40 kWh battery pack.

Brian H | 14. September 2013

The "consolation" 40s are software limited 60s, but the original ones were with their own batteries. One of the reasons for cancellation was that the setup and changeovers it required on the production line weren't worth the candle.

Everyone is ignoring Solar City's role in the SC network. Essentially, they run it and profit from it. They are installing enough associated arrays to earn more from FIT than the cars will consume on an annual basis. As for usage patterns, Fri and Sun evenings are most of the load. Buffering is going on, too; a photo was posted by someone of an incomplete station with a stone wall separating it from a battery housing, to hold 10 packs. This will help store cheap or free power in down times for the peak demands, and cut costs. Remember Elon saying, too, that the stations would still be usable after "the Zombie Apocolypse"? That's how.

Benz | 15. September 2013

I do remember Elon Musk talking about the "the Zombie Apocolypse". Just imagine people still being able to charge their Tesla Model S, while nothing else works (because there is no electrical power available due to some power failure).

Benz | 15. September 2013

Elon Musk is not only active on the vehicle mobility market (car companies). But he is also active on the fuel market as well. What a concept.

I remember having heard him say something that had to do with "first principels".

Benz | 15. September 2013

This is what he said:

"I think its important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy…The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy…"


“First principles” is a physics way of looking at the world…what that really means is that you boil things down to the most fundamental truths…and then reason up from there…that takes a lot more mental energy…

Benz | 15. September 2013

First principles of mobility: vehicles and fuel. But burning Fuel has a very bad side effect for our planet. So, we need vehicles that do not use fuel. How about electricity instead of fuel? And that leads to the EV. Is that how he did it? It couldn't have been that easy.

bonaire | 15. September 2013

You guys are underestimating the size of batteries and solar array size needed for an off grid but fully functioning SC serving recharges for dozens of cars a day. How big is an SC array in KW to start? Then, how many KWh are lost converting to charge the battery bank. Next, charging losses from big battery to car. An off grid SC would have to enormous and approach a cost of $millions for the solar and batteries alone. SCTY could install it for cost but it would still be hugely expensive. American modules or would they go with cheap Chinese to save on overall costs?

Buffering is no easy feat. A good SC is a grid supplied SC. Apocalypse recharging is fantasy, really. You would have to guard the station with National Guard to keep people from wanting to use the power for other reasons or just vandalizing. Grid loss is not a pleasant event we ever want to see. Interesting sidebar, Japan just shut off their last remaining Nuclear power plant for maintenance. They are running entirely non nuclear today.

tes-s | 15. September 2013

I agree with @bonaire. Take Gilroy - 4 stalls in continuous use 12 hours a day (I believe they are expanding from 4 to 12 stalls).

Assume 100kW for each 2-stall SC, so that would be 200kW. With an average of 6 hours of daylight, the energy source would have to be 400kW - that is 4000 100-watt solar panels to produce the 2.4mWh or electricity needed daily. Don't forget the buffer - a minimal 24 hours to handle a day of rain? That is 2.4mWh of buffer (battery) capacity needed (30 MS85 batteries).

That is current usage. When all 12 bays are in full use 12 hours a day due to additional sales of the MS and the MX - triple the size of the array and buffer.

And that is just Gilroy...

Building an off-grid SC is much more daunting than a grid-connected one with a pretty "feel good" solar canopy.

slipdrive | 15. September 2013

Can't remeber where I read it...but the idea of "load shifting" and assiting the grid by selling back kwH at peak or on-demand, especially in summer from SC's battery storage arsenals is exciting. This is far more environmentally benificial and certain, in my mind, that debating the actual energy source or hypothetical carbon footprints. Peak shaving saves or defers need for expensive and inefffecient peaking gas turbines, or spinning reserves in cola plants.
Selling peak power in the future could pay all the SC bills! Another example of brilliance associated with these cars we are enjoying....

SamO | 15. September 2013

The SC are not going to be "off the grid" but will "offset the grid" used energy as @slipdrive explained above.

Tesla intends to benefit from Time of Use (TOU) so that it can get credit for kWs during peak usage 10am - 6pm and use energy at low, mid and peak rates. Batteries even allow them to sell kWs that they purchase overnight and discharge during the day. Neat, huh?

They've calculated that the network should balance in electricity produced (net) and electricity consumer by the MS, X and eventually, Model E.