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Are Tesla Charging Stations Free? Read to Know More!

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Is Tesla charging stations free? The back and forth of Tesla’s free supercharging perk could be clearer. But the fact is that it’s no longer a choice for new Teslas. Read to know more.

As the switch to electric cars starts to happen slowly in the US, there are a lot of questions and a lot of talk at the dinner table. A family friend told me he thought Tesla electric cars could charge for free. This is only partly true.

It’s a simple idea, but the truth is a little more complicated. Yes, Tesla EVs used to get free charging, and sometimes and in some places, they still do. Yes, other electric cars can charge for free at some EV chargers. But you have to know which ones they are.

Is Tesla charging stations free?

You’re just one of many who think that sounds vague and hard to understand. Because of this, the topic deserves a more in-depth explanation.¬†

Is Tesla charging stations free?

Once upon a time, Tesla cars could always charge for free. Tesla gave customers free charging at its network of Superchargers for life so that early adopters would buy cars from the young company. It even tried a short-lived plan in 2018 to get people to buy more Teslas by letting Tesla owners give free Supercharging to a friend.

The perk was tied to the Tesla owner’s account instead of the car until 2017. When the Model 3 came out, customers got free Supercharging that couldn’t be given to anyone else. However, as the company grew and worked to make money, the perk was taken away in May 2020.

Once upon a time, Tesla cars could always charge for free. Tesla gave customers free charging at its network of Superchargers for life so that early adopters would buy cars from the young company.

Brief History of Tesla free charging rumors

When Tesla was the single leader in the electric car market, one of the brand’s most enticing selling factors had nothing to do with the automobiles themselves; rather, it was free to access Tesla Superchargers.

People who bought and took delivery of a Tesla before April 2017 could also charge it for free at any of Tesla’s supercharging stations across the country. After April 2017, Teslas no longer came with this option, except for a short time in 2018 to boost sales. But in mid-August, Tesla brought back the option for Model S and Model X sales. However, it was taken away again at the start of 2020 because of the Covid pandemic.

Tesla owners received 1500km of free Supercharging per referral

Along with the free Supercharging for life, Tesla offered free 1,500km of Supercharging for every purchase made through a link from another owner. Many say this strategy has succeeded since the EV maker is the best-selling car in many countries.

But this plan was also canceled in September 2021, when the EV maker said, “Until further notice, we are not offering Referral awards.”

Why Tesla’s Superchargers are no longer free

The main reason Tesla got rid of the free supercharging program, or at least the most recent one, was the Covid-19 pandemic that started in 2020. As the economy of the whole world worsened, so did Tesla’s sales and production rates. Because of this, Tesla had to lower the starting prices of a few of its models and take away the perk of unlimited supercharging for good.

Even though the perk was no longer available for new or resold models, Tesla still spent over $23 million on free supercharging for owners who already had the option before the program was changed. Since Tesla’s sales have gone through the roof, the company has spent more on free supercharging than it has made from extra sales because of the perk.

The main reason Tesla got rid of the free supercharging program, or at least the most recent one, was the Covid-19 pandemic that started in 2020. As the economy of the whole world worsened, so did Tesla's sales and production rates.

How To Find Out If Your Tesla Gets Free Supercharging

Even though no new Teslas come with free supercharging perks, some older models still boast it, so here’s how the rules work:

If you bought your Tesla before April 2017 with the free supercharging option, you should still be able to use the perk right now, as long as you’re the original owner. Also, supercharging perks from before 2017 should be fully transferable, which means that if you sell them to someone else, they should still work. But Tesla has changed its supercharging rules so often that it’s hard to tell if the perk is still transferable.

Between 2018 and 2019, the Performance Model 3 could be bought with unlimited supercharging. However, this was not a feature that could be passed on, so only those who bought the car during that time still had it.

Some hotels and other locations offer complimentary Tesla charging

Tesla owners can also charge for free at hotels and motels. This is with a Tesla destination charger.

Usually, this service is free as long as you are a customer of the business. However, some places will let you use the charger if you are not a customer but offer to pay for the electricity. Remember that it’s not polite not to check and offer to pay if you’re not a customer.

How do you find these hotspots for charging? Way.com, the car super app, is a good way to find these places and find out how they are doing. 

Some public charging networks offer free Tesla and EV charging

There are also public charging networks that anyone can use for free. These are set up by road motorist associations or city councils. 

Large DC fast chargers can fill up an electric vehicle in less than an hour. Sometimes in as little as 15 minutes!. They have CCS2 and CHAdeMo plugs, so all EVs can charge there.

Smaller AC “slow” chargers, which take a few hours, usually only have CCS2 plugs. Nissan Leafs and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs might need an adaptor to use them. But they will work for all other EVs.

Some people who run these free networks may charge fees in the future. So it’s good to check with the Way.com app again. With Way.com, we let other EVs know when you’re done and lessen the stress of range anxiety.

Other electric vehicles have fast charging free for the first few years of ownership. Some other companies that make electric cars have made deals with charging networks. New owners can charge their cars for free for up to the first six years.

Find your way to the nearest EV Chargers via Way.com

Find your way to the nearest EV Chargers via Way.com

The smart choice is electric mobility. We also make it easy for you. We have focused on giving everyone involved in the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) the best charging experience possible.

Way.com is a one-stop shop for people who own cars. We can assist you with your parking needs, give you affordable car insurance and refinancing quotes, tell you where the closest car wash is, and show you how to get cash back on your gas.

Way.com is here to help protect what’s around you. We also give you the best insurance rates for your most valuable asset, your home.”

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