By on August 5, 2019

Tesla has resurrected its plan to provide free, unlimited access to its supercharger stations for the automaker’s customers. While the company frequently rejiggers its product offerings, this one still came out of left field. CEO Elon Musk called the plan unsustainable when the company officially eliminated it in 2018.

However, with the manufacturer seeing increasing sales volume from the Model 3, its premium models are falling by the wayside. Tesla reported 95,200 deliveries in the second quarter, the vast majority being the Model 3. While the company managed to generate $6.3 billion in revenue in the second quarter from those transactions, weaker Q1 volumes took a bite out of its share price and it still lost money through both periods. But it lost a couple hundred million less in Q2 thanks to the uptick in sales. 

We imagine some egghead at the Fremont factory noticed a correlation between losing less money and higher sales, had a eureka moment, and ran to tell Musk the good news. And, since it’s the Model S and X that are losing ground, the firm realized it makes good sense to incentivize them.

The company is doing everything in its power to improve the profit margins of its flagship products. In addition to dumping the basement trims, it sought to mitigate manufacturing costs by reducing options and streamlining assembly. But that’s all for naught if it can’t get customers interested in those vehicles.

Which is why unlimited supercharger access is limited to the Model S and X.

Unfortunately, with Tesla making changes to pricing, content, and rewards on a monthly basis, we’re dubious as to how long this deal will last. At present, there is a supercharger referral program that allows for 1,000 miles worth of electricity and a chance to win a new car while older programs are still being phased out. When questioned, Tesla reps said the new arrangement wouldn’t be limited to any specific length of time — which is kind of a nice way of saying “whenever.”

Regardless, we imagine anyone who purchased a Model S or X beforehand are extra salty right now. Numerous comments in the weekend Twitter announcement’s thread used colorful language to help make that point. The rest politely suggested free supercharging be extended to all loyal customers.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

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21 Comments on “Tesla Says Free Supercharging Is Back...”

  • avatar
    R Henry

    “Regardless, we imagine anyone who purchased a Model S or X beforehand are extra salty right now. ”

    Yes, Musk abused them. For those interested in S or X models should demand their sales contract include a written rider guaranteeing the their free supercharger access. Never mind, Musk would then just remove the superchargers and replace them with something called “TESLA Lightning” or somesuch, and charger plenty to use it.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    “Regardless, we imagine anyone who purchased a Model S or X beforehand are extra salty right now. ”

    Yes, Musk abused them. For those interested in S or X models, demand a sales contract including a written rider guaranteeing the free supercharger access.

    — Never mind, Musk would then just remove the superchargers and replace them with something called “TESLA Lightning” or somesuch, and bill all users plenty to plug in. Liars gonna lie.

    • 0 avatar

      He has to lie, he’s in the car business. :-)

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        Sadly, there is too much truth to that.

        I have never endured a new-car dealer sales experience that did not include lies, attempts at intimidation, and promotion of valu-less extras.

        On the used side, I did buy a 2015 Mustang GT Convert from CarMax. While the price was NOT rock bottom, I was treated respectfully, was never lied to, and CarMax delivered exactly what they promised to deliver, on time. I hope my experience there was not an outlier.

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t understand why people are so happy with CarMax’s system. It’s not like you couldn’t go to any dealer and pay asking price without haggling. The only difference at CarMax is that the haggling option is missing.

          • 0 avatar

            CarMax doesn’t put you through the wringer about stupid extras or try to hide fees in a monthly payment. The prices at CarMax are too high, but they are actually what you are going to pay, and you don’t have to scan multiple contracts with an eagle eye to make sure of that.

            That said, I’ve never actually bought a car there, because, well, the prices are too high.

          • 0 avatar
            R Henry

            The “CarMax System” includes “not insulting the customer” which is what I was talking about–not pricing.

      • 0 avatar

        How do you know if Elon Musk is lying?!

        His lips are moving!

  • avatar

    Better financially for Tesla than rebates, because the spiff gets collected over a lengthy period of time.

  • avatar

    More desperation from the fake automaker.

    Musk is such a cheating, lying scumbag. How people can still waste their money on low quality fashion accessories sold by one of the most dishonest and poorly run manufacturers in the world is beyond me.

  • avatar

    While on the subject of Tesla, resale had been surprisingly resilient on the S and X models however apparently once they have minor accidents or other problems they are much tougher to move because of high repair costs.

    • 0 avatar

      From what I’ve seen at the auction sites, it doesn’t take much damage to total a Tesla, simply because the cost of repair is so high. Seems like the insurance industry is figuring this out and pricing accordingly, although Musk has promised his own Tesla branded coverage which (shockingly) is already past the promised deadline to start up.

  • avatar

    Tesla has a real problem – while they try to say their Model 3 is selling well (despite a huge problem with quality forcing upwards of 70% of what is made to go back to a lot to be fixed), there has been a distinct shift in product mix that is starving the company for revenue. Quite simply it is stupid to sell Model 3’s at a significantly lower price than the larger sedan or model x – both of which have lost significant sales. The extra $30k in lost cash flow per car is going to kill Tesla – and the Model 3 hatchback (that is no SUV in the Model Why?) will do nothing to reverse this – instead it could steal Model X sales and do further damage to the company.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      From the beginning, the Model 3 was intended to be the volume leader. Tesla does not want to be a luxury car mfr, necessarily.

      The problem isn’t the product mix. The problem is that the Model 3 isn’t always profitable.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Is this included if you get a used S through Tesla? Kicking it around for the wife. Not a ton to fear getting one with a few miles on it.

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