Free Supercharging Is Back For Tesla Model S, X In Bid To Boost Sales

Tesla has reversed course on free supercharging, once again offering a lifetime supply of electricity for Model S and X owners.


Tesla has brought back free unlimited supercharging for the Model S sedan and Model X SUV.

Way back when Tesla first started selling luxury electric vehicles, they offered new owners free supercharging from their growing network of electric charging stations. This was done to encourage sales and help electric car owners get over the false impression that their vehicle could never venture too far from its home charging stations.

As Tesla’s network of charging stations grew, the company felt that the time was right to stop offering free charging. That and the number of Tesla owners made the offer of free electrons increasingly expensive. First, the company pared down the offer to just 400 kWh credits per year and then ceased offering any energy credits at all in November of last year.

Currently, owners of Tesla vehicles have to pay per minute of supercharging. Right now that’s 28 centers per kWh, which is between 13-26 cents per minute of charging, depending on the which Tesla you own.

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However, removing the free supercharging suddenly made the Model S and X a far less attractive deal to luxury car owners. Sales of the top-end Teslas tanked, with both vehicles suddenly running an 18-day inventory after an entire life of having zero-days inventory.

So, In an apparent bid to shore up sales, Tesla has brought back free supercharging for the Model S and X. The announcement came on August 3rd via Tesla’s Twitter account and applies to all new Model S and X models purchased after that date. With over 1,600 supercharging stations around the world, this deal is far more attractive today than ever before.

While free supercharging will certainly boost the Model S and X’s sales, it will also increase their ongoing costs. Tesla is already hurting for cash thanks to its massive debt load, and it looks like this is a bet that increasing Model 3 and future Model Y sales will be big enough to overcome the ongoing price of supercharging.

We’ll have to wait and see if Tesla’s gamble pays off.

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