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Tesla ends free Supercharger credit program for Model S and Model X

As Tesla transitions from free Supercharging to a paid model, it looks like the automaker is still trying to tune its approach.

The company has now ended its free Supercharger credit program for Model S and Model X vehicles.

When Tesla first introduced its paid model for the Supercharger network almost two years ago, it eased the transition by giving 400 kWh of free “Supercharger credits” to new buyers of Model S and Model X vehicles.

Owners of those vehicles are able to get 4 to 5 full charges per year before Tesla starts to bill them for using its network.

As we reported at the time, it enables owners to do some road trips for free and some of them will probably even never have to pay for Supercharging since the credits are renewed every year.

That eased the transition – though it turned out that Tesla extended access to free Supercharging through its referral program for over a year, which also somewhat facilitated the transition.

Earlier this year, CEO Elon Musk says that free Supercharging is not sustainable and it won’t be coming back.

Now Tesla also updated its Supercharger support page to say that they ended the free Supercharger credit program for Model S and Model X last week:

“Please note that certain Model S and X, sold before November 2, 2018 receive 400 kWh (~1,000 miles) of Supercharger credits annually. For usage above the complimentary credits provided, a small fee applies.”

Apparently, vehicles sold after November 2 don’t receive the Supercharger credits and they fall directly on the paid program – unless they bought with a referral code, which comes with 6 months of free Supercharging.

After 6 months, they have to start paying for the charging sessions at Supercharger stations.

The cost varies per location. In some places, Tesla is not allowed to sell per kWh and it has to sell per minute of charging.

Normally, Tesla applies a premium on the price of electricity in the region. For example, Tesla charges $0.26 per kWh.

The company listed the main points about the paid Supercharging model on the support page:

  • All new Tesla vehicles require a small fee to Supercharge.
  • In North America, pricing is fixed within each state or province. Internationally, pricing is fixed within each country. All prices include taxes and fees.
  • Where possible, owners are billed per kWh (kilowatt-hour), which is the most fair and simple method. In other areas, we bill for the service per minute.
  • When billing per minute, there are two tiers to account for changes in charging speeds, called “tier 1” and “tier 2”.
    • Tier 1 applies while cars are charging at or below 60 kW and tier 2 applies while cars are charging above 60 kW. Tier 1 is half the cost of tier 2.
    • Tier 1 also applies anytime your vehicle is sharing Supercharger power with another car.
  • Supercharger pricing information may be viewed on the touchscreen and is summarized below.

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