Tesla Says Free Supercharging Is Back

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
tesla says free supercharging is back

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.

BREAKING: All new Model S and Model X orders now come with ⚡ free ⚡ unlimited ⚡ Supercharging ⚡

— Tesla (@Tesla) August 3, 2019

[Image: Tesla Motors]

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4 of 21 comments
  • Cprescott Cprescott on Aug 05, 2019

    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.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Aug 06, 2019

      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.

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Aug 05, 2019

    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.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Aug 06, 2019

      Many used Teslas have free Supercharging for life. The ad for the particular vehicle usually states this as a benefit.

  • Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.
  • Cardave5150 I've had 2 different 300's - an '08 300SRT and an '18 300C. Loved them both a LOT, although, by the time I had the second one, I wasn't altogether thrilled with the image of 300's out on the street, as projected by the 3rd or 4th buyers of the cars.I always thought that the car looked a little stubby behind the rear wheels - something that an extra 3-4" in the trunk area would have greatly helped.When the 300 was first launched, there were invitation-only meet-and-greets at the dealerships, reminding me of the old days when new model-year launches were HUGE. At my local dealer, they were all in formalwear (tuxes and elegant dresses) with a nice spread of food. They gave out crystal medallions of the 300 in a sweet little velvet box (I've got mine around the house somewhere). I talked to a sales guy for about 5 minutes before I asked if we could take one of the cars out (a 300C with the 5.7 Hemi). He acted like he'd been waiting all evening for someone to ask that - we jumped in the car and went out - that thing, for the time, seemed to fly.Corey - when it comes time for it, don't forget to mention the slightly-stretched wheelbase 300 (I think it was the 300L??). I've never found one for sale (not that I've looked THAT hard), as they only built them for a couple of years.
  • Jkross22 "I’m doing more for the planet by continuing to drive my vehicle than buying a new one for strictly frivolous reasons."It's not possible to repeat this too much.
  • Jeff S Got to give credit to Chrysler for putting the 300 as a rear wheel drive back on the market. This will be a future classic.
  • Lou_BC How to Fix Auto Media? Stop fixating on soft touch plastics and infotainment systems. I did quite a bit of research on my ZR2. There was no mention of the complexity of putting the transfer case into neutral. (9 step process). They didn't talk about how the exhaust brake works with tow/haul mode. No mention that the exhaust brake does not work with off-road mode. Nannies only stay turned off with the lockers engaged. Only one review mentioned the tail pipe as a vulnerability.