After Snatching Away the Perk, Tesla Returns Free Charging to Certain Owners

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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after snatching away the perk tesla returns free charging to certain owners

Chatty Tesla owners who compel their friends and family to consider buying a Model S or X are apparently behind the company’s U-Turn on paid Supercharger use.

At the beginning of the year, Tesla, in a bid to fund a doubling of its fast-charge network, withdrew a big perk from the purchase of one of its vehicles: free Supercharger use. No longer would new buyers be able to sail off in their new Tesla, confident in their ability to juice up at one of the 750-plus stations scattered across North America. Owners who purchased their vehicle prior to January 1st were grandfathered.

Supercharger hogs were also slapped with an “idling” fee, all in the hopes of freeing up space at the stations. While the pricing structure remains — new buyers receive 400 kWh of annual free charging with their purchase, after which a variable fee applies — there’s now a way to get unlimited free power.

According to Electrek, Tesla has revealed an incentive hidden within its updated referral program. In an email, the automaker explained that customers said “free, unlimited Supercharging was one of their favorite reasons to refer a friend to buy a Tesla,” which is why the feature was partially revived.

“Beginning [May 20th], existing owners can give free, unlimited Supercharging to up to five friends by sharing their referral code, and all existing Tesla owners who purchase a new Model S or Model X will receive free, unlimited Supercharging too,” the company wrote.

That’s not the only change to the program. Tesla has retroactively granted free Supercharger use to owners who purchased between January 1st and the announcement of the referral incentive. This means the upcoming Model 3, due for deliveries at the end of the year, remains mostly a pay-to-use proposition.

That is, unless you have friends in green places. In this case, knowing someone who already owns a Model S or X bought before the announcement, (or bought a second one sometime after), is the only way to go above 400 kWh of free juice a year. Otherwise, you’re stuck using your own money to propel a vehicle you bought to save the planet. Ugh.

[Image: Tesla]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Brandloyalty Brandloyalty on May 23, 2017

    "They also constantly brag about SpaceX’s success as though it’s their own personal achievement." And then there are the motorheads who call Musk an idiot no matter what he accomplishes.

  • Ixim Ixim on May 24, 2017

    Maybe GM could include free gas with every new Chevy? Then, they could be just as nonprofit as Tesla.

  • Marty S Corey, thanks for your comment. Mercedes has many different models, and will survive. Jaguar is planning on only offering electric models and will be in trouble. They should continue their ICE models as long as possible, but have discontinued the F-Type already and will probably be discontinuing everything else. We purchased the current XF this year, which is a nice car, but would have been splendid if they had just continued the supercharged V-6 in it.By the way, I have really enjoyed your Continental and Eldorado series. Was just showing it to my barber, who owned several 1954-56 Eldorado convertibles.
  • Marques My father had one of these. A black 1984 Pulsar NX with a 5-speed stick and a grey interior. Dad always kept it in pristine shape-that black paint was shiny even in the middle of the night. I swear I could still smell the Rain Dance carnauba wax! The only issue that car ever had was that it was never driven enough-it would sit for 10 days at a time! The Hitachi carburetor on it(and other Nissans of the time) were known to be troublesome. It went to the boneyard at 72K miles when a hole got punched in the block. By that time the Pulsar had long ceased production.
  • VoGhost This is the only new vehicle I have the slightest interest in.
  • VoGhost I love it. Can't wait to get one. Finally, trucks are becoming actually capable, and it's great for America.
  • Peter Just waiting for Dr. Who to show up with his Tardis, and send these things back to the hellish dark dimension from which they came.