Tesla Supercharging - Free to a point (Official)

Tesla Supercharging - Free to a point (Official)

Tesla just started to clarify what we've all been wondering:
Hardware will be included
400 kWh per year will be free
Anything more will have a charge, to be spelled out later this year

KP in NPT | November 7, 2016

Fair, simple, helps maintain and expand the network.

PhillyGal | November 7, 2016


PhillyGal | November 7, 2016


PhillyGal | November 7, 2016

The real star of the show is that folks ordering a Model 3 won't have to worry about the added cost of an option to enable superchargers. I agree that it's a real conundrum if you take just one trip a year. You certainly don't want to pay thousands of dollars up front, but don't want to have to rent a gas car either.

Now, you can take your annual long trip, fall in love, plan many more trips and just pay for what you use. WITHOUT built in profits like your current gasoline powered road trips do. And if some years you take trips and others you don't, no harm done.

zakeeus | November 7, 2016

My card says, "thank you for ORDERING a model 3. Yay I ordered before 2017, I still get free supercharging lol

dsvick | November 7, 2016

@zakeeus - "...I still get free supercharging..."

Actually, you only placed a reservation, you didn't order it yet. And, regardless of when you placed your reservation, you wont be receiving it before April of 2017. The pertinent quote is "These changes will not impact current owners or any new Teslas ordered before January 1, 2017, as long as delivery is taken before April 1, 2017"

DesignArt | November 7, 2016

Smart move. This is probably the one thing that has concerned me since I reserved my Model 3 on March 31st. Without something like this, the lines at superchargers, once the Model 3s are on the road, could be massive.

starke49 | November 7, 2016

I take maybe 2 long trips per year of about 400 miles so this is fantastic, I have PV solar installed for local trips, this is a great fit for me when my M≡ arrives. And as mentioned above I will not need to pay for supercharging option. I understand this may not work for some but it allows the SC Network to expand. I also feel Tesla is going to partner with a foreign auto maker at some point in sharing/expanding SCs. Another Automaker dedicated to a large production EV like VW or Toyota perhaps because without the charger network they are years behind!

topher | November 7, 2016

Awesome. I am very happy, this is exactly what I was hoping for (actually a bit better).

Thank you kindly.

carlk | November 7, 2016

The only remaining question is how much, if any, Tesla will charge M3 for supercharging hardware. Probably not going to be a lot since free charging for life will not come with it.

robsurvey16 | November 7, 2016

They aren't going to charge for supercharging hardware directly. They said straight out that it'll come standard on all cars. Now they could bake some of it into the base price, but i feel like the Model 3 is designed @ 35k with it already included.

tigardspaz | November 7, 2016

I didn't read in the announcement that you would or would not be able to purchase unlimited supercharger access. Further, if one were to purchase a pre-owned Tesla that had unlimited supercharging, would that continue with the new owner?

jefjes | November 7, 2016

Just saw this on the owners club video and came right here to see it verified. This is fantastic news and makes completing my order once my reservation comes up even more appealing. Now if autopilot usage can be rolled in on a similar limited use for free and pay as you go for extended use. Never hurts to dream and Elon just proved he knows how to make dreams come true with this latest SC reveal for the whole Tesla line up of models. Thank you EM!!

dave.m.mcdonough | November 7, 2016

Fair enough, energy isn't free.

Octagondd | November 7, 2016

Such great news. This is a common sense solution and adds to the list of Advantages Tesla has over any other EV.

@gregcropper - I believe it was stated in the past that free SC for life goes with the vehicle, so it is probably tied to the VIN.

Mike83 | November 7, 2016

Excellent. Very pleased.

PhillyGal | November 7, 2016

Fair warning to all you Model 3 folks who wouldn't have paid extra for supercharging but will use the free credits for a trip just to try it out: Road-tripping in a Tesla is addictive!

Red Sage ca us | November 7, 2016

Meh. For some reason, I prefer the language of 'annually' to 'per year', even though they basically mean the same thing. I don't actually like this, but I don't really dislike it either. I do like that those who didn't want to pay for Supercharging as a separate line item because they insist they never do road trips can be satisfied that they won't be locked out when an emergency situation arises. I also like that there still won't be a tap, swipe, please pay before you pump, Point-of-Sale system -- as that is what I have argued against all along. And, I fully expect that the version of the car I will purchase will have 'FREE (of additional fees) for LIFE (the life of the car)!' Supercharger access included. Oh, and I still vehemently disagree with all the prognostications of a 'Supercharger Armageddon' with lines as far as the eye can see with 'locals' hogging them everywhere. There. Now everyone can declare 'Victory!' over this, no matter their position on the subject. OK, where are the sandwiches...?

dsvick | November 7, 2016

"OK, where are the sandwiches...?"

And the cookies, don't forget the cookies.

SamO | November 7, 2016


1. Free for life as part of a package is still a possibility.

2. Tesla Network and Self Driving necessitate a change where a car can drive itself 50,000 miles per year.

Rocky_H | November 7, 2016

@Red Sage, You should be pretty happy. I remember you predicting, and not any others I can recall, that there would probably be some amount of Supercharging included before any of the metered fee part. Good call.

sandeep.bajpai.... | November 7, 2016

Very Smart ! I rather have Tesla supercharger past of the business be break even so they can continue to build more superchargers and be accessible to all owners.

andy.connor.e | November 7, 2016

400kWh? Thats fine to me. So long as they dont charge $0.5/kWh after.

PhillyGal | November 7, 2016

@andy - They won't. Tesla will charge only as much as they need to, not a penny more. No profit center intended.

Haggy | November 7, 2016

This isn't about taking one long trip per year. It's about taking several. If you do most of your charging from home, you will start your trip with a full charge. If you make a 500 mile round trip, and have the smallest battery, it depends on whether you are going to a hotel with a destination charger or using the supercharger exclusively once on the road. One would use about 100 miles of the allowance and the other would use about 300 miles of the allowance. The allowance could mean five round trips of 800 miles each, or even more trips if you have a bigger battery. If you typically take shorter trips that still need a supercharger, a larger percentage of your miles will be from the home charger. You will start at 100%, and charge at a supercharger with the plan being to get home with maybe 20-30 miles of range left. If you miscalculate, you might have to slow down to 55 mph and stay in the truck lane for part of the trip, but chances are you will be able to estimate properly and not have to do that.

It also means that it's almost certain you will be able to pay for miles without having to pay for an unlimited package. Tesla isn't likely to send you out on the road with a 1000 mile allowance and leave you stranded if you run out.

bj | November 7, 2016

This news will certainly solve concerns some people had over whether or not they would have to make a decision on purchasing supercharger access or not. My observations:

400 kWh is quite a lot for just casual use. At Leaf-type economy of 140 Wh/km, this represents nearly 2900 km of driving. At Model S-type economy of 240 Wh/km, this is nearly 1700 km. So you would think enough for those who do just 1 or 2 road trips per year.
We don't know if a buyer will still be able to elect to purchase SC access "for life" or whether that option will no longer exist into the future.
We don't yet know how the charging regime will work - is it prepaid blocks of kWh, PPU, or something else? All Tesla say is there will be an "incremental" charge.
"Our Supercharger Network will never be a profit center." could mean a number of things. Some back of the envelope calculations:It could mean Tesla do nothing but recoup the cost of the electricity, let's say 20 c/kWh, and recover no other costs (not even the electricity that has already been given out for "free").Or it could mean Tesla recovers the cost of the electricity including what has been given out for "free" plus (for arguments sake) the $5000/year it costs them to keep an SC running: property leases, local taxes, the comms network to each SC, the back office software and platforms that keep it running. If, say, a SC delivers on average 120 MWh per year, and only half of this is directly paid for, the per kW/h charge to recover opex costs goes up to 28c/kWh.Or it could mean they also charge enough to recover the capital investment, say $50k per SC depreciated over 10 years. Then the electricity cost would have to be 37c/kWh, not taking into account the time value of money.
In my book the third option would still be legitimately called cost neutral. Now I don't know if any of my assumptions are correct, but you can plug in any assumptions you like and do your own calculations.

Well done Tesla, I think you needed to do something like this in order to make the SC network sustainable.

Red Sage ca us | November 7, 2016

dsvick: Yes. Definitely cookies.

SamO: OK.

Rocky_H: Thanks.

PhillyGal: Yup.

Haggy: Correct.

bj: Meh.

SoFlaModel3 | November 7, 2016

I am thrilled!

I fall into the 1-2 road trips per year category. Most likely 1,000 miles or less. This meets my needs without causing me to have to shell out a large some up front for usage in the 4-5 "fill ups" max per year.


SoFlaModel3 | November 7, 2016


zakeeus | November 7, 2016

I wonder if a CPO Model S ordered next year would still have free for life charging.

zakeeus | November 7, 2016

Hopefully they give us credit for visits to service centers. From my home to the nearest one is about a 550 mile round trip.

tstolz | November 7, 2016

For Teslas ordered after January 1, 2017, 400 kWh of free Supercharging credits (roughly 1,000 miles) will be included annually ... beyond that, there will be a small fee to Supercharge which will be charged incrementally and cost less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car. All cars will continue to come standard with the onboard hardware required for Supercharging.

We will release the details of the program later this year ...Supercharger Network will never be a profit center ... changes will not impact current owners or any new Teslas ordered before January 1, 2017, as long as delivery is taken before April 1, 2017.

I like it ... but it does appear that free for life will be gone effective January 1, 2017 ... that's how I read it anyway. That said, you can buy $2,000 worth of time and probably effectively have free for life :)

mos6507 | November 7, 2016

Red Sage was predicting for the longest time that Tesla would never charge per KWh on superchargers, that the cost of the vehicle covered the Sueprcharger network, that the M3 would have free unlimited supercharging for life, that Tesla wouldn't/couldn't act like a utility, etc...

Little by little I'd say rabid fanois are going to have to admit that when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. That's reality for you.

Red Sage ca us | November 7, 2016

And with that...? Goodbye, mos6507.

gekcut | November 7, 2016

Oh well, back to shopping for a couple of ICE's. At least they didn't keep us hanging until next year.

gekcut | November 7, 2016

Very poorly written or misleading announcement. While "cost less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car" may be true, a comparable gas car might get twice the range of a fully charged 3 and thus the 3 would be costing the consumer a lot more to drive.

SoFlaModel3 | November 7, 2016

So people are really not going to get this car over this announcement? Within a matter of 2 years there can be upwards of 1,000,000 Teslas on the road. If everyone had free unlimited charging you would wait so long for it that it wouldn't be worthwhile anyway.

This is great. It ensures the network will not be abused. Elon said it long ago. Your car should be like your cell phone. You charge it at work, at home, and at a hotel.

KP in NPT | November 7, 2016

Still don't really get it. Free SCing with our Model S is great - but I won't buy an ICE since I have to pay. I don't expect BMW to buy my gas. Electricity is cheaper than gasoline.

gekcut | November 7, 2016

No we did not expect free unlimited supercharging. We expected unlimited Supercharging to be an option and was willing to pay well for it. We are retired and plan to travel a lot in the coming years. We do not care about the AP options, the sub 3 second 0-60, and RWD is fine for us but we would have purchased the pano roof, extended range battery and SC (and possibly air suspension). But pay by the charge for SC will keep us from buying.

KP in NPT | November 7, 2016

But we don't know the pricing. If enabling supercharging was 2K on the Model S, what if the prices in this new scheme are relatively close but paid by those who actually use it? Lets see how much it will cost first, I say. We don't even know if a one time unlimited supercharge option will be a choice. It could be.

gekcut | November 7, 2016

We are planning to wait but will start shopping for ICE's in case it turns out the blog announcement is the only option. If paid unlimited SC was an option then it was very, very likely we would buy a 3 (barring some unexpected problem with ergonomics, etc.) and would not waste our time doing test drives, etc.

Calibrotha2000 | November 7, 2016

@gekcut why don't you just buy a used model S in 2 years that still has super charging for free you might be literally the only person I've heard that free super charging was thier #1 reason to want a model 3. Like you'd really cancel a reservation for the IT car of the decade over having to pay for super charging? That's a head scratcher if I've ever heard especially if it could be say as little as like $15 to fill up so you'd panic over paying say $60 to get across a few states using a few super chargers for limited trips and pay for gas ALL THE TIME instead?

Also I don't get you say you'd pay for unlimited super charging as an option but wouldn't pay as you go so you'd rather pay potentially 2k up front for life rather than a few dollars here and there? You could spend $100 a year on super chargers and it would take you 20 years to recoup that 2k you spent up front.

bj | November 7, 2016

@gekcut - if that's all it takes you to not buy a Model 3, then your commitment to Tesla was wafer-thin from the start. So you're prepared to pay "well" (say up to $2k) up-front for "FFL" SC but you are not prepared to pay something like a couple of hundred bucks per year (depending on how much driving you do and how much charging you don't to at home or at Tesla destinations) in order to keep Tesla's SC network sustainable.

Truly bizarre logic.

bj | November 7, 2016

@gekcut - and re While "cost less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car" may be true, a comparable gas car might get twice the range of a fully charged 3 and thus the 3 would be costing the consumer a lot more to drive. No, your interpretation is totally wrong. BEV's running costs are around one-quarter to one-third that of a comparable ICE over the same distance. Tesla's statement is correct.

bj | November 7, 2016

@zakeeus - Hopefully they give us credit for visits to service centers. From my home to the nearest one is about a 550 mile round trip..

So you're buying a $35k+ car which will be car of the year if not decade, and you're nickel and diming Tesla?

cloudohana | November 7, 2016

Economics depend on the viewpoint. * If you are a low mileage driver, most of your driving is within the roundtrip range of your car & you only make 1-2 shorter road trips per year, then the new pay per plan use is great economically for you, but not really for Tesla. You don't really use the superchargers, so you really are not contributing much to maintaining or expanding the network. *If you mostly charge at home, but use superchargers a couple of times a month & paid the $2000 built in price for supercharging, or only own your car for a few years, then Tesla wins economically. Based on the average cost of electricity you only used part of that $2000, but you & Tesla still get benefit because Tesla has more money to put into maintaining & expanding the supercharger network. *If you drive lots of long distance miles. don't have a easy way to charge at home, or keep your car for many years, then you would economically benefit from paying $2000 upfront for lifetime supercharging and would never need to worry it again. Tesla would have lesser benefit, but could spend that upfront money on expanding the supercharger network, or invest it and use the dividends to pay for electricity since they would have the benefit of compound interest on large sums.

As far as crowding goes, I could see charging per use actually making the superchargers more crowded. It may be cheaper or more convenient to just use the super charger than installing the right outlet or upgrading your home electric service, especially if you rent your home. Tesla loses their ability to discourage daily or local use if people are paying per charge.

How will Tesla determine pricing? Will superchargers along the highway in the midwest states cost more because the maintenance costs are spread between fewer drivers? Will busy superchargers in CA charge a premium to discourage frequent use or cost less because maintenance costs are spread between many drivers? Will superchargers with solar power cost less? Will the price be flat rate per state? per country? Will there be peak and off-peak pricing?

zakeeus | November 8, 2016

@bj "So you're buying a $35k+ car which will be car of the year if not decade, and you're nickel and diming Tesla?"

No, I'm saying I waited in line to reserve a Model 3 and early Teslas often have some small problems. I'm saying there shouldn't be a penalty for living far away from a service center.

Sparky | November 8, 2016

An elegant solution to a complex problem. Speaks well for the company and the brains behind it!

danielebernd | November 8, 2016

That is very good.
As long as handling of charging keeps being simple and easy as now....
Only plug in the cable....

bj | November 8, 2016

@zakeeus - well there won't be a penalty. You'll get 400 kWh free per year, which is enough for two round-trips to your service centre annually. What's there to complain about?