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Tesla brings back free Supercharging as end-of-quarter incentive – with a caveat

Tesla is bringing back one of its most popular sale incentives; unlimited free Supercharging, as an end-of-quarter incentive, but there’s a caveat.

For the first few years of the Model S and Model X program, unlimited free Supercharging has been one of the top perks that Tesla was offering to its customers.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the perk wasn’t sustainable and he even admitted that they should have ended the incentive earlier:

“Sorry, it’s not really sustainable at volume production & doesn’t incent optimal behavior. We probably should have ended this earlier.”

After that, Tesla still brought back free Supercharging as an incentive to sell inventory cars and even Model 3 during a few periods last year.

For a while, free Supercharging was also linked to Tesla’s owner referral program, but the automaker has since ended the program and the incentive.

Sources have now told Electrek that Tesla is bringing back the free Supercharging incentive as an end-of-the-quarter discount to help convince current owners to upgrade their cars.

According to people familiar with the matter, Tesla is offering existing owners with free Supercharging on their current vehicles to be grandfathered-in when purchasing a new Model S or Model X and get 3 years of free unlimited Supercharging if they order and take delivery by the end of the quarter.

We contacted Tesla about the new incentive, but the company declined to comment.

Electrek’s Take

I know the shorts will be all over this saying that Tesla has a demand issue. I don’t think it’s the case – at least not in the mid to long term.

Tesla has an issue with being a public company and focusing on quarterly results too much. That’s why they do end-of-quarter discounts like that to find customers who can take delivery before the end of the quarter in the markets where the cars are actually going to end up.

For example, Tesla isn’t making cars right now to go to Europe because it will result in a high number of vehicles in transit at the end of the quarter. Instead, they are making cars for the US market where it can be delivered quicker, but it results in an unreasonably high need for demand in the specific market for a short period of time.

Hence discounts like that to drive sales.

That’s fine by me. We have known for a while that there’s often a way to get some kind of better offer at the end of a quarter, but I think Tesla should be honest about it.

With all the different price changes lately and now this, I think it’s clear that Tesla has abandoned its no-discount policy.

We are not in the days of Elon sending emails like this anymore:

“There can never — and I mean never — be a discount on a new car coming out of the factory in pristine condition. This is why I always pay full price when I buy a car and the same applies to my family friends, celebrities, no matter how famous or influential.”

You could try to argue that it is not a “discount” per se, but Elon himself claimed that free Supercharging should be worth thousands of dollars and therefore, it’s an incentive with the monetary value offered to buyers for a limited period of time – aka a discount.

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