When I purchased my first Tesla – a Model S 70 in 2016, it came with unlimited free Supercharging. At the time I was renting and did not have adequate charging at my rental home so this was an added bonus. I relied heavily on the Burbank Supercharger that was a few miles away from my home and I can imagine that my experience with Tesla would not have been as pleasant without free access to a Supercharger.
Cut to 2019 when I purchased my second Tesla – a Model X 75D, and came to the shocking realization that it DID NOT come with free Supercharging. So not only will I have to spend up to an hour at a Supercharger station waiting for my car to be fully charged (which I was OK with up until this point because it was free), I will now also be stuck with a bill afterwards. So much for living The Supercharged Life.
So when Tesla announced that it is resurrecting the free Supercharging perk for Model S and Model X owners, I was pleasantly surprised. However upon learning that it was only limited to new Model S and X purchases, I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed to the point i even tweeted Elon Musk and Tesla..
Tesla announced yesterday that all new Model X and Model X purchases will come with free unlimited access to its Supercharger network. The announcement comes on the heels of a second quarter of wider-than-expected losses of $408 million despite record deliveries of its electric vehicles spurred on my Model 3 orders. Actually of its 95,200 deliveries, just 17,650 were Model S and X vehicles. Tesla doesn’t separate delivery or production figures for the S and X. So you can understand why Tesla is pulling out all the stops to help boost sales of it’s Model S and Model X.
Now I can understand why Tesla removed this perk. It definitely affected Tesla’s bottom line and even Elon Musk once called it “unsustainable”. However Tesla could not deny the fact that having free Supercharging solved the #1 reservation people had about purchasing a Tesla – Range Anxiety. Range anxiety is a common barrier for consumers across the globe. In the UK, three-quarters of people believe electric vehicles don’t go far enough on a single charge. In the US, the idea of running out of power is also a worry for most American drivers.
Tesla made the decision to bring back the popular perk – as they should because it just made life so much easier especially for new entrants into the Tesla/EV lifestyle. But what about me? I don’t think I being selfish because I speak for all Tesla Model S and X owners who still have to pay for Supercharging. It hurts especially more for second time Tesla owners like me who have experienced free Supercharging on their previous Teslas and now have to watch the cost for each Supercharging session stare them right in the face every time the plug into a Supercharger. I might as well be at a gas station because I am back to feeling the “pain at the pump”.
Free Supercharging for Tesla has had a quite colorful history. For when the first Supercharger went online, free unlimited supercharging was part of the package of buying a Tesla. This made sense because Tesla only sold the higher end Models S and X at the time. So the cost of Supercharging could be baked into the already premium price people had to pay for either a Tesla Model S or or Model X.
Then a few years back, Tesla began phasing out free unlimited access to its supercharger network when it announced that customers who buy cars after January 1, 2017 will have 400 kilowatt-hours, or about 1,000 miles, of free charging every year. Once owners surpassed that amount, they would be charged a small fee. Fun fact, I purchased my first Tesla in March of 2016 and my second Tesla in March of 2019. So if you do the math, I had 3 years of free supercharging and not 5 months of “pain at the pump” or should I say “pain at the charge”.
Tesla then limited the the free unlimited superchargers perk through it’s referral program and only to buyers of performance versions of the Tesla Model S, Model X and Model 3. However the referral program is now scheduled to end on the 18th of September 2019.
This is not the first time Tesla has reinstated the free unlimited supercharging just to take it away sometime after. Perhaps is purely coincidental that the free unlimited Supercharging perk get’s announced shortly after Tesla has had a less than spectacular sales quarter…who know. But whatever the reason, I would appreciate it if Tesla spread the love and reinstated free supercharging for ALL Tesla owners. Otherwise the next time I’m in the market for a Tesla, it might be wise to wait for a bad quarter for Tesla before making my purchase. Alternatively if Tesla and Elon Musk will make the upcoming Netflix addition to the Tesla’s entertainment system Free to all Tesla Owners, that might go a long way to not just alleviating my “pain at the charge” but also give helping us pass the time while Supercharging. Just thinking out loud.
By the way if you like this post and you are in the market for a new Tesla, Tesla has an amazing referral program that offers you 1000 free supercharging miles if you use a referral code when you make your purchase. As a two-time Tesla owner, having owned a model S and model X, I can assure you that purchasing a Tesla will be the best automotive decision you’ve ever made and will ever make in your life. So why not make use of my referral code below and we can both continue to enjoy the wonderful Tesla life.