Model 3 might get some free supercharging after all

Model 3 might get some free supercharging after all

According to this post, a Tesla employee at Freemont said that the Model 3 will get 1000 kWh of free supercharging:

If true, that would amount to be about 4000 miles of free supercharging! That seems too good to be true. It's hear say so take it with a grain salt.

mntlvr23 | 26. August 2017

Very nice, if it is true.
No big deal, if it isn't.

carlk | 26. August 2017

That's 1000 kWh not 1000 kWh per year I assume. Either way like mntlver23 said not a big deal.

hoffmannjames | 26. August 2017

I doubt that it is 1000 kWh per year. That would definitely be too good. A flat 1000 kWh would make more sense. Still pretty great, I think. I imagine a lot of Model 3 drivers, especially if they have charging at home that they use on a daily basis, could probably go years before they use that much free supercharging.

Bluesday Afternoon | 26. August 2017

Experiencing Tesla's Supercharging policies over the years is like playing ping pong.

noleaf4me | 26. August 2017

My bet is those who buy the upgraded version will get some supercharging -- base model nada.

carlk | 26. August 2017


Yes this makes a lot of sense. People will not rush to use it if this is all they going to get for free. If it's xxx kWh per year many would make sure they use it up in a year whether there is a need or not and clogging up the SC.

Famman49 | 26. August 2017

This is based on one employee's comment at Tesla Fremont Design Center. Been there and was not impressed with at least one employee's knowledge. Take it with a grain of salt. In my case an employee there stated that Model 3 colors would be limited compared to the S and X. Not true.

jefjes | 26. August 2017

That employee was probably confusing the comments that had been made about the 400 kwh equaling about 1000 miles driving. Easy to see how they could start saying you'll get 1000 kwh free supercharging instead of 1000 miles of free supercharging. Neither is probably true but in a video I watched this morning by the Model 3 Owners club, they are still saying the Model 3 will come with the 400 kwh annual allotment.

hoffmannjames | 26. August 2017

I always assumed that the Model 3 will get the 400 kWh free supercharging since that is the only official supercharging "package" that we've heard about.

@jefjes you might be right that the employee simply mispoke.

KP in NPT | 26. August 2017

I'll believe it when I see it. Seems they would have mentioned it by now, but with Tesla you never know.

Haggy | 26. August 2017

It wouldn't make sense to give 1000 kWh to Model 3 owners and only 400 to other vehicles where there's no referral. It's likely 400 per year if it's true.

In the long run, it is a big deal and is good. 400 kWh on a Model 3 has to be put in perspective with how many miles a person gets on a battery pack, so it's more miles than the estimate for a Model S. Assuming it's 400, and you leave home with a 100% charge on a large battery pack, it could mean going 1850 miles. More realistically if you make a 1000 mile round trip, use 310 of those miles from home charging, 800 of the miles are there and back, the rest are local driving at the destination, and there's a place to plug in at the hotel, then you'd use 90 miles getting there, and 90 miles back, and the rest would be covered by local charging assuming you plugged in when you got to the hotel and again before your return trip.

In that scenario, a person could make eight 1000 mile round trips without exceeding the allowance. Assuming no local charging, it would be more like two such trips, or 2000 miles of driving where you pay for part of it by charging from home.

That could easily cover the average user's road trips. More importantly, it would allow Tesla to advertise "free road trips for life*" with a disclaimer that it's based on average usage, and additional usage will be charged at a rate that's much cheaper than gasoline.

Considering how much a typical manufacturer spends on advertising per vehicle, giving up what they would normally charge $80 or less for per year seems like a bargain. It would be in Tesla's best interest not to advertise this feature if they do give it for free since it gives more reason to get a Model S (unlimited is plenty of incentive though) and Tesla could also easily make it a feature later and even make it retroactive as they did with the Models S and X. But all that would become important to them only once the backlog is largely reduced.

miguelcampeau | 27. August 2017

Perhaps only for Day 1 reservations?

garyjtate | 27. August 2017

“Each year, owners receive 400 kWh of free Supercharger credit, enough to drive about 1,000 miles. These credits cover the long distance driving needs of most owners, so road trips are completely free. Customers who travel beyond the annual credit pay a small fee to Supercharge—only a fraction of the cost of gas.“

From tesla web page

stevenmaifert | 27. August 2017

"Pay Per Use Supercharging" from Tesla Model 3 Web page when comparing Model S vs. Model 3.

Tropopause | 27. August 2017

Maybe it was 1,000 gallons of free gasoline which is useless for a Model 3. ;)

Haggy | 27. August 2017

Everything they say on their website is supposed to be true or it's false advertising. If they say there's an allowance, there should be one. If they say there's pay per use supercharging, that should be available too. That's not a contradiction since a person who uses up the allowance may want pay per use supercharging after that. Tesla isn't claiming that it's an exhaustive list of features, so saying that it has pay per use and not mentioning that the car also has air conditioning or a steering wheel isn't a problem, and neither is not mentioning the allowance on every page that mentions features.

The only thing that's relevant is whether that part about the credit is on the web page the day I sign my papers.

stevenmaifert | 27. August 2017

People make reservation/purchase decisions based on what a manufacturer advertises about their product. Back in 2012, Tesla advertised the Model S would have 4 USB connections, be a WiFi hotspot, have lighted sun visor vanity mirrors and on-board memory storage for thousands of songs. Never happened. Was that false advertising? Probably, but they shield themselves with legal disclaimers at the bottom of the page. Heck, my initial purchase agreement has verbiage that says they are under no obligation to deliver me a car.

rxlawdude | 27. August 2017

"The only thing that's relevant is whether that part about the credit is on the web page the day I sign my papers."

No, the only thing that's relevant are the words on the CONTRACT you sign. You might see words to the effect of "this agreement is the complete understanding between parties," (an integrated contract).

Now, could you potentially win if something on the website contradicts (or is not addressed in) the contractual language, but courts give great weight to the written contract that effects agreement between the parties.

Sandy’s 3 | 27. August 2017

I doubt we will get any SC credits at all. If we do it might one time only for 1'st day folks certainly not everyone. At this price point for what we are getting they 'owe' us nothing. Elon however really does care about those that, sight unseen, jump onboard.

Tâm | 27. August 2017


It could mean 1,000 miles!

For S and X, 400 kWh means 1,000 miles if your driving style is 400 Wh/mile or 0.4 kWh/mile

1,000 miles x 0.4 kWh / mile = 400 kWh


Let's do that for Model 3.

Standard battery is 50 kWh with a range of 210 miles

Thus, 50 kWh / 210 miles = .227 kWh / mile or 227 Wh / mile

1,000 miles x 0.227 kWh / mile = 227 kWh

So, for Model S and X, they get 400 kWh per year, but for the Model 3 example above, you'll get 227 kWh per year.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 28. August 2017

FYI... As of 8:45 am CDT today, the EPA's website still doesn't show any official data for the Tesla Model 3, as either a 2017 or 2018 model year vehicle. I find that interesting, since we have seen a Monroney sticker for the long range Model 3.

Haggy is correct.

stevenmaifert: I think most of that can be filed under 'DUH.' for future reference.

andy.connor.e | 28. August 2017

Ya i think thats a flat 1000kWh. Once you use it all, you're done. My god that is alot though.

PhillyGal | 28. August 2017

I'm with those who assume the employee misspoke. 400kWh (~1,000 miles) is far more likely.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 28. August 2017

Yay! I can still see PhillyGal's posts! w00+! That's good to know. Someone who is now among The [IGNORED] got on my absolute last nerve yesterday and had to be banished from my web browser. I'm glad she was not affected by the decision. | 28. August 2017

If you get 400 kWh per year free, that would be worth maybe $50-$60/year.
We pay 11.5 cents per kWh, making it worth $46 per year. Zzzzzzzzz.

jordanrichard | 29. August 2017 you are not the only one to use that math, but you are looking at it the wrong way. The superchargers were built to enable you to take a road trip that you would other wise be using an ICE car for. For example if you had a Leaf, you would need to use an ICE to go on a road trip. So the way to look at it, is how much would you have spent on gasoline to travel the equivalent of 1,000 miles in a similar size/performance ICE car.

However even if you stuck to the electricity costs, using what you pay home is not the same as all the locations that you would be supercharging at.

SUN 2 DRV | 29. August 2017

George's approach is right on. The value of the potentially missing 400kWh is about $80, based on what it would cost you at a supercharger on the pay-per-use pricing model. I think the highest priced SC is about $0.20/kWh right?

Jordan, even if a Model 3 owner has to PAY for SC usage, that's still less than the equivalent ICE cost. So it doesn't make any sense to include the ICE-SC savings in the value of the free 400 kWh SC credit. a Tesla owner will enjoy that cost saving NO MATTER WHAT.

Carl Thompson | 29. August 2017

"Jordan, even if a Model 3 owner has to PAY for SC usage, that's still less than the equivalent ICE cost."

It depends on what you mean by "equivalent ICE." At that price of $0.20/kWh in CA it can actually be cheaper to run a regular old Prius or Ioniq hybrid from a fuel / energy cost standpoint. And you'd save a bunch in upfront purchase price too. (This is more true of the much less efficient Model S or Model X. But it could still be true that an Ioniq or Prius hybrid is cheaper in fuel costs than the Model 3 in areas of CA where gas prices are exceptionally low.)

But I can understand (and agree) if a Prius or Ioniq isn't "equivalent."


dyefrog | 29. August 2017

Taking the electric range of the Prius and Ionic out of the equation since the electric use would be a wash between the Model 3 and them, they would need to get 50mpg on gas only based on $2.50/gallon and the Model 3 getting 4 miles /Kwh. But I don't know of any ICEV that gets 50mpg that would be comparable to the Model 3.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 30. August 2017

dyefrog: That is precisely the point that ICE, Hybrid ICE, and Plug-In Hybrid ICE proponents tend to overlook, time and again, as if it does not exist, or does not matter. The performance and style that the Model 3 is able to present is unmatched by any of the 40+ MPG ICE based products on the market. Plus, they have no hope of matching the Model 3 on emissions either. Yet, the [ICEHOLE] who remains among The [IGNORED] was such a champion of the PRIUS Prime... C'mon, Man!

kzodz | 30. August 2017

Wow, people go crazy for FREE supercharging. Personally, I think it is the scariest aspect of owning a Tesla. If the Supercharging network is a loss leader for them then there is little motivation for them to over supply the chargers. Even worse is that there is no profit incentive to build private chargers by outside companies. If I'm on a long distance trip I would rather pay $50 to fill up quickly, rather than $5 but potentially have to wait hours for my car. The Eclipse showed what happens when too many people are travelling and there aren't enough chargers. The Model 3 is expected to more than double the entire Tesla population in its first year alone. These chargers could easily become a nightmare.

jordanrichard | 30. August 2017

It is generally agreed that the Model 3 in size, style and performance is equivalent to a BMW 3 Series, A4, etc. What would it cost to fuel up one of those cars for a 1,000 miles worth of gas. Remember, those cars require Premium gas. Here in CT, that works out to $3.00 per gallon.

If you think that a Prius, especially the new cyborg styled ones, is even remotely on par with the styling and performance of a Model 3, you need to stop huffing the exhaust pipe on that Prius.

dyefrog | 30. August 2017

At 28mpg, that would be about $100 of gas for 1,000 miles. It seems everyone here agrees the Prius is not on par with the Model 3.

Peanut01 | 30. August 2017

If your electricity costs 20c per kWh - 1000 kWh would only be worth $200. That is a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things.

PhillyGal | 30. August 2017

@Red - I took a brief hiatus from the forum because the day job that pays my salary actually assigned me a project that (gasp!) took all day effort for several weeks.

jordanrichard | 30. August 2017

Peanut01, yes, but you add up several other "just a drop in the bucket" things and you get a full bucket. I don't know if you own a MS or not and if so for how long. However, when I ordered my car in Jan 2014, the rear parcel shelf was optional at a cost of $250. Sure, a "drop in the bucket" compared to the price of the car, but would you go to Home Depot and pay $250 for a 1/2" cloth covered fiber board? I guessing not, but hey, "it's a drop in the bucket"

ReD eXiLe ms us | 30. August 2017

PhillyGal: [ HOMER ] Stupid having to work for a living... Grumble, mumble, ~*expletive deleted*~ ... [ /SIMPSON ]

Mike83 | 30. August 2017

When robots and AI take over a stipend like the monthly trust fund baby check will be needed for people. Of course that is if civilization survives. I hope the AI likes people ;-)

locnguyencalalum | 30. August 2017

Remember when Elon mentioned that M3 buyers could potentially buy an unlimited supercharging package? What happened to that plan?

locnguyencalalum | 30. August 2017

Also, Elon also mentioned free long distance supercharging comes standard with M3 but not local supercharging. Do we get more news/confirmation on this?

danielebernd | 30. August 2017

The 1000 kWh could be the "something special" Elon Musk promised to 31/03/2016 reservation holders.

But it's most likely only once, not every year. Too bad.

Carl Thompson | 30. August 2017

"Remember when Elon mentioned that M3 buyers could potentially buy an unlimited supercharging package? What happened to that plan?"

"Also, Elon also mentioned free long distance supercharging comes standard with M3 but not local supercharging. Do we get more news/confirmation on this?"

Times change, plans change. Not everything EM says ends up happening.The company has a right to change its mind about specific implementation details.


ReD eXiLe ms us | 30. August 2017

Loc_Nguyen: Yes. I remember that. Most here deny it happened at all, or choose to avoid the subject entirely. For some reason, current Tesla owners are not at all in favor of 'FREE (of additional fees) for LIFE (for as long as you own the car)!' Supercharger access for Model 3 owners. Some claim to be absolutely certain that would lead to overuse, abuse, and an eventual Supercharger Apocalypse/Armageddon/Gridlock due to 'locals' and 'cheapskates' overstaying their welcome..

Over the years, some have gone so far as to suggest there should be segregated Supercharger access, so that the 'commoners' must pay to charge, while those who purchase the high end vehicles wouldn't have to worry about being inconvenienced (blocked) by the flood of oncoming mass market buyers. But, one thing that has been consistent since at least 2012 is that before it was revealed that a 'FREE for LIFE!' plan was to be offered at all, many Tesla Enthusiasts presumed there would be either a Pay-Per-Use or Subscription plan to access the network. And, once the plan was revealed as 'FREE for LIFE!' both Tesla Naysayers and Tesla Enthusiasts alike largely agreed that it couldn't possibly last and that Tesla would have to charge for it eventually.

Then, after the announcement of the Model 3, dozens and scores and hundreds of Tesla Enthusiasts it seems posted with regularity here that they would be 'happy to pay' their supposed 'fair share' to charge their cars... Meanwhile others complained that they wouldn't be driving so very far anyway and their cars should be equipped WITHOUT SUPERCHARGER HARDWARE AT ALL so that they, personally, could 'save money' on a 'Supercharger Delete' option. At this point though, it seems that Tesla has relented, and decided to give those guys what they want. A so-called 'Pay-Per-Use' system, even though it is actually a prepaid service, and is not at all 'Pay-At-The-Pump' or 'Point-of-Sale'.

I hope though that after finding that the expense of the Supercharger network is minimal at most, and possibly far less than that, Tesla will again reinstate the 'FREE for LIFE!' status to their entire fleet of new vehicles, as they had done in mid-2015.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 30. August 2017

mr.bro: It is highly unlikely, as others have noted already, that it would be 1,000 kWh for 'free' -- whether it were per year or in total due to the fact that would not offer parity with Model S or Model X. It would be a very nice 'gift' though for early reservation holders.

Rocky_H | 30. August 2017

@Red Exile, I don't know how you did that, but it looks like you accidentally copied and pasted one of your comments from 2015.

Oh, and this...
Quote: " A so-called 'Pay-Per-Use' system, even though it is actually a prepaid service, and is not at all 'Pay-At-The-Pump' or 'Point-of-Sale'."

WTF, dude? That is totally flat-out false and was established a long time ago. You charge your car up, and then they charge your credit card for what you just used. It's definitely not prepaid.

topher | 30. August 2017

"Some claim to be absolutely certain that would lead to overuse, abuse, and an eventual Supercharger Apocalypse/Armageddon/Gridlock due to 'locals' and 'cheapskates' overstaying their welcome"

I said it would lead to rent-seeking behavior that would cause problems for Tesla being able to price it fairly. Which was never refuted.

Thank you kindly.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 30. August 2017

Rocky_H: I was primarily speaking of conversations on the subject from around three years ago. I suspect you are speaking of things from eight or nine months ago. But I still don't consider buying 'blocks' of Supercharger usage as being 'Pay-Per-Use', no matter what you say. And it sure as heck isn't Pay-At-The-Pump, Point-of-Sale, or Subscriber based -- so there! :-P ;-) :-D

topher: And I said that the Supercharger Apocalypse would not happen because Tesla would continue to expand the Supercharger network. Also, never refuted. ;-)

Rocky_H | 31. August 2017

@Red Exile, Quote: " But I still don't consider buying 'blocks' of Supercharger usage as being 'Pay-Per-Use', no matter what you say."

Right. I remember you insisting that they were going to use "blocks" so that it would be prepaid so that you could claim your terminology victory. You forgot a really critical step, though. They decided not to do that. Whoops. Yeah, they don't let you prepurchase blocks of Supercharging credits.

Quote: " And it sure as heck isn't Pay-At-The-Pump, Point-of-Sale, or Subscriber based -- so there!"

They don't happen to have the credit card reader physically on the Supercharger stalls. It is online instead, like a sophisticated modern 21st century company would do. What difference does that make? You still fill up the car, and THEN they charger your credit card. Why do you insist that's not how it works? So instead of "pay at the pump", it's "pay when you pump" because it's online instead. Why so adamant that they are different?

Rocky_H | 31. August 2017

Jeez, it is such a psychological struggle when typing on this site to actually say "charge your credit card" instead of accidentally saying "charger your credit card".

ReD eXiLe ms us | 31. August 2017

Rocky_H: OK, you win. I won't mention any of it anymore.