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.

  • Ollicat I have a Spyder. The belt will last for many years or 60,000-80,000 miles. Not really a worry.
  • Redapple2 Cadillac and racing. Boy those 2 go together dont they? What a joke. Up there with opening a coffee shop in NYC. EvilGM be clowning. Again.
  • Jbltg Rear bench seat does not match the front buckets. What's up?
  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )