Skip to main content

Tesla tweaks referral program, replacing $100 credit with six months free supercharging

Buyers can now receive 6 months of free supercharging with any new Tesla vehicle order when using a current owner’s Tesla referral code to purchase a new Model S, X or Model 3.

This incentive replaces the previous $100 supercharging credit and is retroactive – all owners who used a referral code on a purchase since September 19th will receive 6 free months of supercharging in addition to the $100 credit they already received (which does not have an expiration date).

These retroactive changes only apply to those who purchased using a referral code, not to any owners who purchased without one (including Model 3 owners who purchased a car before that model was added to the referral program).

The move comes just a month after Tesla ended free unlimited supercharging for good.  Originally, the place was to replace free unlimited supercharging with one year of free supercharging for new owners.  Then Tesla suddenly changed the program to give a $100 supercharging credit instead.

Along with these changes, earlier this month, Tesla made some updates to available awards, replacing the Model S for Kids/Tesla Wall Connector reward for 1 referral with a promise to send an owner’s photo into space, and replacing the Powerwall 2 for 4 referrals with priority access to vehicle software updates.  Since the referral program was opening up to lower-priced vehicles (it’s now usable on all Model 3 orders, not just performance ones), Tesla seemingly wanted to save a little money by replacing easier to get/high value awards with simpler ones.

Tesla also recently added an additional “secret level” to the referral program, allowing those who get an exceptionally high amount of referrals to launch a time capsule into space through Tesla’s collaboration with SpaceX.

Other details of Tesla’s referral program are available on their website.

Electrek’s Take

I had thought that once free unlimited supercharging disappeared, Tesla would stop fiddling with program rewards and the program would stay mostly the same for good.  However, we’ve had several changes to the program in the last month, so it seems Tesla can’t leave well enough alone and will continue to tweak the program.

I suppose these are valuable methods for helping Tesla to manage demand on various models, but it’s a little bit confusing to keep track of all the changes.  Nevertheless, they’re free perks for both current owners and new purchasers, so we can’t complain too much can we?

On the last incentive update, I mused that a $100 credit didn’t seem like much, but that, on average, it was about equivalent to the 400kWh yearly “supercharging allowance” given to Model S and X, and that it would be able to cover a pretty extensive ~1,000-3,000 mile roadtrip.  And, given that the credit wouldn’t expire, this could be useful for people who weren’t able to schedule a roadtrip within the first year (or six months, as the case is now) of ownership.

Nevertheless, people like free things, and free supercharging for six months still seems more “fun” than a $100 credit, and will incentivize new owners to plan adventures with their new car in a way that a $100 credit wouldn’t.

So…if you’re going somewhere important for the holidays, perhaps schedule a little extra time on your trip in case the lines get long at superchargers from all these new Model 3s going on roadtrips.  Hopefully Tesla’s supercharger expansion (and new idle fee policy) will be enough to cover increased demand from all these Model 3s looking to make the most use of their free supercharging plans.

As always, if you’re looking to order a Model S, X, or Model 3, you can use our referral code to receive unlimited supercharging for the first six months of ownership.  The same code can be used for a 5-year extended warranty on a Tesla solar energy system.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.



Avatar for Jameson Dow Jameson Dow

Jameson has been driving electric vehicles since 2009, and has been writing about them and about clean energy for since 2016.

You can contact him at