An Update to the Supercharging Program

An Update to the Supercharging Program

"Ensuring Use for Long-Distance Travel
For Teslas ordered after January 1, 2017, 400 kWh of free Supercharging credits (roughly 1,000 miles) will be included annually so that all owners can continue to enjoy free Supercharging during travel. 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, and while prices may fluctuate over time and vary regionally based on the cost of electricity, our Supercharger Network will never be a profit center.

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.

The Road Ahead
Just as you would charge your cell phone, we believe the best way to charge your car is either at home or at work, during the hours you’re not using it. For travelers, the Supercharger Network has become a powerful, unique benefit of Tesla ownership. As we approach the launch of Model 3, this update will enable us to greatly expand our Supercharger Network, providing customers with the best possible user experience and bringing sustainable transport to even more people."

Would love to hear the community's thoughts...

starcrusader | 7 novembre 2016

Ouch time for new customers. Glad mine is due to arrive in December.

christopher.severn | 7 novembre 2016

Weird. I ordered my model 3 back in March 2016.

Likely will not get it before April 2017 though.......

I guess this pretty much affects every single model 3 owner

Mike83 | 7 novembre 2016

Smart move. Should help advance Solar. Good for everyone. They still give free power but those that use it for business will have to pay a bit to charge. That's very fair.

KP in NPT | 7 novembre 2016

This is the fair way to do it. If you don't supercharge often, you have up to 1000miles free so peace of mind that you can use if you need it. Heavy users will pay their fair share and help expand and maintain the network.

And it's simple. For tesla and for owners. I think it's great, and will be happy to pay when we get our Model 3.

bdrathburn | 7 novembre 2016

Was anyone really expecting unlimited free lifetime charging on their $35k car? I have been waiting for this clarification since the Model 3 announcement and I think this was the best way to handle supercharging going forward.

RedMachine | 7 novembre 2016

From a UK perspective.

Absolutely gutted by Tesla's Supercharger announcement today.

As someone who could never really afford a Tesla I worked hard to save up and was also very lucky to be able to get into a Model S back in 2014. It was a huge financial stretch for me. One major factor in my decision to go for such an expensive car out of my price range was the 'free' Supercharger access. Although it was actually a £2,000 cost built into the car, 40kWh cars (maybe 60 also I can't remember) had to pay £2,000 to access the network. Tesla promised free power for the life of the car, and to be fair they're sticking to that promise, but not for new cars from Jan 1st 2017 or April 2017 depending on when you order or take delivery.

I drive 25k miles a year, and I rely on the SC network (and have been waiting for expansion into Wales since 2014), without the free access to the SC then I could never afford this car. But that's my own personal circumstance, nothing Tesla should care about, I presume most Model S owners are a lot more affluent.

I charge at home, but driving across the country means I have to rely on the SC network, and still have to make compromises to get where I need to be, and back again.

My big gripe is Tesla say they will charge for access over 400 kWh (or 1,000 miles) and it will "cost less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car." This statement gets me worried. Firstly a 'comparable car' could mean basing it on £100 to fill the tank. But if they're pricing it to reflect petrol then it's all wrong. A SC station doesn't need staff, doesn't need a huge amount of real estate, doesn't need fuel delivered to it several times a week by highly paid truck drivers, and the lekky isn't (or shouldn't be if they're sensible) linked to the fluctuating price of oil, with solar it could even be close to free. So the cost of fuel plus the SC overheads should be a tiny fraction of the same cost of fuel needed to power an ICE.

This is the same argument with the overpriced Polar network and even Ecotricity's Electric Highway here in the UK. Polar price their service so that it's almost the same cost as if you had an ICE and were buying petroleum which ignores all the extra cost savings that providing electricity via unmanned posts gives.

The best feature of my Tesla is that the SC network is free. And I would want any future Tesla to have the same benefit. Obviously with 500,000 rolling off the lines in Fremont next year and lots of cheaper Model 3's coming onto the road and using the network it will cost a lot more to expand the and keep up with demand, but is maintaining a free SC network really that much of a drain on Tesla's resources compared to the boost it gives them with sales? And they could re-introduce a £2k lifetime access fee for the cheaper cars like they used to do with the S40.

dsvick | 7 novembre 2016


You didn't actually order yours, you only reserved one, so, yes, it will affect everyone that reserved a M3, since none of us will get it before April.

KP in NPT | 7 novembre 2016

@redmachine you will continue to get free supercharging with your 2014 tesla. Only if/when you get a new tesla will you have to pay. And by then maybe you'll go for a less expensive model 3 and be able to afford to pay for your own electrons. Tesla will charge based on actual electricity prices and not gouge "for profit" like the public chargers you cited so I would expect it to be less. Wait for the details before you assume the worst.

bp | 7 novembre 2016

Use of the supercharger network was never free. It was originally a separate option ($2000?) and then bundled into the price of every car - with "free long distance travel" on the supercharger network.

It didn't seem reasonable Tesla would provide free charging for the lower cost Model 3's.

Tesla also had to do something about owners taking advantage of the supercharger network for free "local charging".

But... The Model S and X are considerably more expensive than the Model 3 (at least 2X), if Tesla enforced "long distance" charging restrictions, it may have been better to continue to provide free long distance charging for the more expensive S & X models, and use that as one of the benefits of buying the more expensive Tesla cars.

We're waiting to order a 100D - hopefully Tesla will be introducing it soon - and we'll get it before April - because that car we plan to use as our "road trip" car...

msggschneider | 7 novembre 2016

As one internet commentator eloquently wrote: it's most important that the Supercharger is there, not that it's free.

Dramsey | 7 novembre 2016

But this amounts to a $2K price increase. Sigh. I was going to wait, 'cause I really wanted a grey interior like my current car, but this pushed me into ordering now, which I'm sure is exactly what Tesla intended.

Kipernicus | 7 novembre 2016

Yes that the Supercharger is there is important. There and *available*, which means Tesla should implement idle fees as well as usage fees. If all stalls are occupied, charge idle cars some fee per minute for causing others to have to wait.

Rocky_H | 7 novembre 2016

Hmm, I have a couple of thoughts on this:

I thought Tesla had stated specifically that the Model S and Model X would always have Supercharging free for life (after they were done with the 60kwh optional thing). But they had never committed to that for the Model 3. It does surprise me that they are now going to apply this fee system to the Model S and X vehicles in the future.

Tesla is notorious for being terrible with feature/option changeovers by changing their minds on orders people had already placed. Since there have been people waiting for a year+ for their 5 seat versions of the Model X, and they are just now starting to deliver those, Tesla had better not screw people by failing to deliver all of those already-ordered vehicles by the April 1 deadline and hitting people with the Supercharger fee when they had ordered long before this was even announced.

But, as for vehicles ordered in the future, I like the overall policy. 400kwh included per year seems pretty good for allowing one or two trips a year free, and being fairly cheap for the rest.

Blue85DCalifornia | 7 novembre 2016

> Tesla should implement idle fees as well as usage fees. If all stalls are occupied, charge idle cars some fee per minute for causing others to have to wait.

Yes, and this should apply to all owners as it will not break 'free charging for life of car'

Johnn_hardy | 7 novembre 2016

This is a prudent chabge and addresses the Model 3. All current owners, including those who order before the January cutoff date, will continue to enjoy free supercharging as long as they own the car.

However, supercharging has always been touted as "for travel". I go from AZ to CA fairly often to visit my sons, and can tell you that almost all superchargers I visit are extensively used ... and I find it hard to believe that all of those cars are "traveling" and far from home. Tesla should have made one additional change, and exempted superchargers close to the owner's home from free use. Even for current owners. Software could determine if the owner were returning from travel and in that case not charge for use (recharging when low on return).

dborn | 7 novembre 2016

The local supercharging model breaks down in places like Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. The Sydney service centre has 5 stalls and our downtown casino hotel has another 4 stalls. These are clearly for local users and I do. It is 3 miles from home, so why wouldn't I? In fact, the staff encourage it. One of our early owners has now bought over 6 cars and runs her limousine business out of those superchargers. At least one of her cars has done over 60000 miles in the less than two years she has owned it. That is straight commercial use of the facility for personal gain. I personally don't agree with that kind of use, but I believe she has done this above board with the agreement of Tesla.
Yes, it won't affect me and I plan to keep my car for a very long time. Of course it had to affect model 3. At least they have kept their promise to existing owners. It would have been a massive breach of faith otherwise. However, I do intend to continue getting my two grands worth of " free" power. Power costs in Australia are among the highest in the world, which does drive one to use the facility.

dborn | 7 novembre 2016

By the way, modelX has not yet been released into the Australian market. Not sure when first deliveries are scheduled but it is going to be a close thing with the the dates proposed above for people who have had their cars on order for well over a year now.

SamO | 7 novembre 2016

Free for life will be included in a larger battery package, per Elon's previous comments. Not sure if this supercedes or supplements.

KP in NPT | 7 novembre 2016

@SamO, I was wondering that. What comments indicate that, and would they apply now? Batteries have been getting bigger - when would it end? (If ever.)

nyc124b | 7 novembre 2016

What about a 2 year lease, if I buy the car in 2 years (Sept 2018) will I still get free supercharging?

starcrusader | 7 novembre 2016

Of course.

Justincoleman | 7 novembre 2016

It will massively advance solar at home and I'd suspect that's the real motivation here. SC's for free make sense as a loss leader to get people buying cars whilst range anxiety is a real issue but as the battery capacity has grown there's much less need to offer such support as any new Tesla is on a close footing to ICE cars in terms of range. I'd rather they remained free of use outside of a set radius from the owners home address. That needn't be a physical place but a centre point based on the cars aggregated location data. That way people couldn't just use them for local day to day driving.

grega | 7 novembre 2016

It's needed. I'd probably offer a few more free charges than they have, but otherwise needed.

* encourages home charging (cheaper for people to charge at home, even factoring in charger setup).
* frees up the superchargers and funds more
(I agree with the idea above to charge for idle time though!)
* stays cheaper than gasoline.
(Hopefully not tied to gasoline prices in anyway though).
* opens Tesla up to selling to other car companies (or individuals).

Tesla Energy has an obvious opening in selling power for any car. They're already members of CharIN, perhaps in some countries they could expand what they're offering.

SO | 7 novembre 2016

@Dramsey - "I was going to wait, 'cause I really wanted a grey interior like my current car, but this pushed me into ordering now..."

Why can't you still order the grey interior? The supercharger change is for cars ORDERED AFTER January 1, 2017.

KP in NPT | 7 novembre 2016

@soudman, because the gray interior has been showing mid 2017 delivery - might not make the April 1 cutoff for deliveries. I haven't checked lately to see if that date has changed.

Dramsey | 7 novembre 2016


Because you have to take delivery by April 1, and if you click the gray seats, it says "mid 2017".

Dunno WTF the problem is with the gray leather. It's a standard automotive leather color offered by multiple vendors.

SO | 7 novembre 2016

@Dramsey - drat.. now I see what you mean. The grey seats would be after April 1. I just called and confirmed. The sales person said that since I would knowingly be taken delivery after April 1 waiting for the seats (most likely June or July), that I wouldn't get the super charger network access.

Red Sage ca us | 7 novembre 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...? And cookies...? And root beer? And ice cream?

vp09 | 7 novembre 2016

Excellent. Time to do it. Makes sense. Maybe that kid who plugged in at Rancho Cucamonga (California) and walked across the street to his apartment, will start paying for local travel. No-- I guess not as he already has a Model S.

Good idea for traveling forward. 400 kWh only though-- I think we used a quarter of that last night at Fountain Valley California-- anyway it is time to set those rules. "Free" is not free.