Tesla Supercharger Credit System Detailed Ahead of Unlimited Free Access Ending

Free, unlimited access to its proprietary network of fast-charging stations was one of Tesla's main selling points as the company was growing up.
Tesla Model S at Supercharger 1 photo
Photo: Tesla Motors
It made the users feel even less aggrieved about range anxiety knowing the car would point them toward the nearest station every time the juice in the battery was running low, and they would be able to charge once they got there even if they had forgotten their wallet at home.

At first, some people thought this meant zero-cost mobility - the equivalent of going at a gas station with your ICE car, filling up the tank and setting off without ever bothering to stop by the cash register. It got to the point where Tesla had to detail the situation to it customers and let them know the network was only meant as a way to enable long-distance traveling, and not to make savings. Some who were deemed to "abuse" the system were even sent letters asking them to pipe down on the Supercharger use.

With the Model 3 (hopefully) just around the corner, the Superchargers are going to be teeming with activity like never before. Assuming everything goes to plan, Tesla's fleet on the streets is going to double in less than two years after the Model 3 launch, which will put significant strain on the charging network.

To cope with that, the company decided to cease offering the unlimited free access to its refill stations and have a Supercharger credit system put in place instead. With January 15 being the last day anyone can buy a Tesla Model S or X without worrying about Supercharger access, Tesla left it quite late to reveal details about what future customers are going to pay.

The best news is that everything will be done remotely through the My Tesla app, so no actual payment, special card or any other type of at-the-station interaction will be necessary. The procedure will remain exactly the same.

Once the annual 400 kWh of free Supercharger credits run out, each user will be taxed depending on their location. In most cases, the cost is calculated per kWh, but in some states, Tesla will be forced to sell access per minute. Thus, people charging their vehicles in Texas will pay $0.08/minute for 60 kW charging or less or $0.16 if they go over that threshold.

In other places, expect to pay anywhere between $0.15 and $0.20 per kilowatt hour, meaning a full recharge on a P100D will cost $20 at the most. Of course, prices will vary in time depending on the cost of electricity, but at the moment, they are considerably more convenient than filling up with gas for the equivalent mileage.

Tesla said it doesn't look to make money out of this, with all profits said to be used for maintaining and expanding the network. Something it will definitely need to do in the near future as the number of Tesla vehicles on the road keeps expanding.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
press release
About the author: Vlad Mitrache
Vlad Mitrache profile photo

"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories