Supercharging Included - What an allowance could look like

Supercharging Included - What an allowance could look like

We all knew free and unlimited was not a sustainable model as Tesla scales up to mass market.
We also know that as of now, Model S and X vehicles come with an included 400 kWh allotment of supercharging, to be renewed annually on your anniversary date.

In case the Model 3 comes with a similar allotment, I wanted to break down some real world experience to illustrate what that might look like.

Last week, my husband and I took a pretty epic road trip in our Model S. We hit 18 superchargers and two destination chargers. We spent most of the drive doing 9 miles per hour over the speed limit. Our terrain was all over the map (literally) and ranged from very flat to a huge mountain climb then descent. All told our trip was 2,655 miles and took 768 kWh. The weather was warm and we had the air conditioner on for most of the trip - but it was not hot enough that the AC had to work extra hard.
We had two adults (okay, 1 adult plus me - kid sized) and a week worth of luggage, plus several gallons of water on board. Our tires are toward the end of their lives and winds were not a factor.

I say all this to say that assuming a modest 10% increase in efficiency for being a smaller, lighter vehicle, the model 3 could have done this same 2,665 mile trip for 691 kWh.
That equates to about 1,500 miles for 400 kWh.

What could that look for you and your family?
6 round trips from Washington, DC to New York
1 way from Boston to Disney World
2 round trips from San Diego to Las Vegas
2 round trips from Chicago to Nashville

Assuming you start at home with a full charge, you get more.
Assuming you start at home with a full charge AND charge at your destination while there, even more.

Where do you live and like to travel? We can figure out some potential free trips!
Just don't come to Pennsylvania, toll costs are outrageous!

Carl Thompson | 17 April, 2017

Yeah that's a pretty awesome benefit that might make me travel by car more often!


jamilworm | 18 April, 2017

Thanks for breaking that down PG!

akgolf | 18 April, 2017

Will be taking ours on the road for sure.

Mike83 | 18 April, 2017

Nicely analyzed PhillyGal. In addition the cost to charge at Superchargers and destination charging will be pretty cheap for long distance. There are hotels and some free charging places. Clean and almost free travel. Or like me I have friends where we stay and charge at their place which many want to see how charging works. More converts.

JuJo0 | 18 April, 2017

@Mike Get them on our level. :)

@PhillyGal Thanks for breaking it down! That sounds amazing! Even though I'd rather fly for convenience, I might be taking a trip down to Disneyland on the road a few times :) --I live in NorCal--

Haggy | 18 April, 2017

Assuming a person uses all of it in one trip, charges at home, and at a destination charger, and has a 60kWh battery pack, that's 460kWh for the trip, with the destination charger being used after the trip is done. That's roughly a 1700 mile trip. Assuming that people drive closer to 400 miles per day on trips at the most, starting with 60 kWh at home, that would use about 46 kWh more to get to the destination. Assuming that there's a destination charger, about the same amount would be used to get home. That means a driver could get roughly 3400 miles worth of trips using the allowance, starting off with a full charge, and using a destination charger every 400 miles. After 400 miles, it's a good time to stop for the day.

If you assume the same trips are taken without destination chargers, coming home from a 400 mile trip would use an extra 60 kWh of supercharging. A person who made three such round trips would end up paying for supercharging on the way home from the third one. It would be about 2100 miles without paying for supercharging.

It's realistic for people to expect to be able to get about 2500 miles worth of trips without paying for supercharging if they use destination chargers when possible. There are countless scenarios ranging from trips that take 65 kWh with free charging at both ends, in which case a person could take 80 such trips, to one where a person starts out empty in which case it could be 1500 miles before the allowance is used up. So you can expect somewhere between 1500 miles and 19,500 miles worth of trips without paying for supercharging.

leskchan | 18 April, 2017

This is more complicated than needed.

You get 400kWh free per year. Per Tesla California Supercharger rate (varies across states), it's $0.20/kWh. So you get $80 credit to use each year. Just drive the car and enjoy your trip.

PhillyGal | 18 April, 2017

@JuJo - I used to think the same but now, I hate air travel. In fact, I'm dragging my feet as we speak about booking a return flight from the west coast in June. Kinda have to get on it though since the outbound flight is already booked.

@Haggy - Agreed. Thanks for the additional information.

socaldave | 18 April, 2017

That's two round trips from LA to SF!