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Charging for Supercharging

I know a lot of people are riled up about receiving polite letters encouraging charging at home.

But lets be real,

1. Superchargers are very expensive to run and setup, but free to use, and as more and more Tesla's are sold, there will be some bad apples who will abuse supercharging.
2. Apartment dwellers NEED supercharging. It's not a nice to have, it's a must have.

My suggestion is, allow free supercharging once or twice a month for everyone. Beyond that, I would be totally cool paying a nominal fee covering the cost of electricity, say 10c/kwh. It's five bucks to fill your tank people! You bought a $100K car, surely you can afford $5 to fill it every now and then when you need it.

This will,
1. Help Tesla focus their energies on expanding the supercharger network.
2. Prevent supercharger abuse.
3. Stop all this negativity about receiving letters.

Add to that, Tesla could have our credit card # on file, you plug in to charge, and it automatically charges your card.
What I would NOT be cool with however is, if Tesla starts charging a ridiculous amount to supercharge.
They should charge just enough to make charging at home more attractive out of convenience, so people using superchargers, are the ones who actually need superchargers.
Charging for supercharger use right now would torpedo the company. Those superchargers are part of the big advantage they have over other companies offering electric vehicles. Honestly, if Tesla were to start charging per use, I would cancel my order and never look back.

The only way I see something like that working is for the Model 3 - it would allow them to price the car lower for people who don't need long distance travel capabilities, while still leaving options open for revenue from the increased load on the supercharger network.


Model S: VIN 65513, Model 3: VIN 1913
Jan 29, 2010
Redwood Shores, CA
The only way I see something like that working is for the Model 3 - it would allow them to price the car lower for people who don't need long distance travel capabilities, while still leaving options open for revenue from the increased load on the supercharger network.

This. Tesla's come too far with the Model S - and, I'd think the X is in the same boat - to change the Supercharger pricing model. But, for Model 3, it's definitely going to be different from the looks of it. Something more than a fixed, upfront SC access fee is in order.


Vendor & Senior Tinkerer
Feb 23, 2014
Hickory, NC, USA
I get the sneaking feeling that by the time you FULLY spec out a model 3 it's going to be close to double the $35k we've been hearing about and just a couple $1000 short of a bottom rung Model S.
Super charging, Rust-proofing,Transport charge, storage surcharge, additional overcharge, finder's fee, floor mats, keys. Keys!? Well how you gonna start it?
The cost of supercharging is built into the price of the car, being charged even more on top of that would leave me feeling a bit nickle and dimed. It's already difficult to justify the purchase of a $100k vehicle, removing free supercharging would make it even harder to justify. Just my opinion :smile:

THANK YOU! I'm not sure why the fact that we've already paid for SC is lost on so many people. If Tesla decides this feature has become a loss leader then they can change the policy for SUBSEQUENT owners.

When new features are introduced without notice, there are many here that answer the outrage with, "you got what you paid for, be happy". Well, as part of the purchase price I paid for free lifetime Supercharging... and I'm happy with it.
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Trust me by the time we have 400-500 mile batteries the load on superchargers will drastically lighten up.

By then we will be commuting to mars in pink jumpsuits!

- - - Updated - - -

"you got what you paid for, be happy".
I can see and agree with that. New policies should apply to new owners. We bought the car based on current promises.
The supercharger network is one of the major selling points of the car. "What if you want to take a long trip?" is probably the most frequent question I get from people I show the car to. People's initial impressions are that the car is fantastic unless you want to go long distances. I explain the supercharger network and how the car is fantastic especially when you want to go long distances.

I think the "free" (really: prepaid) access is a huge part of that. Because let's face it: the supercharger network is not nearly as good as the gas station network. There aren't nearly as many of them, and it takes longer to fill up. This is not a big deal because, as I tell the people who ask me about it, they're spaced out conveniently along major travel routes, and by the time you unload your old coffee, load new coffee, and stretch your legs, the car is ready. But what really seals the deal is "they're free!" (Really: prepaid.) If they were less convenient and you still had to pay for them, the case would be a lot less convincing.

Running the numbers on the supercharger network, it is not that expensive for Tesla in relative terms. And it's a huge selling point for them. This is not an area where you want to pinch pennies. Tesla's success is based on proving that EVs can be more than just environmentally friendly, but that they can be great cars, period, on their own merits. Part of that is the fact that fuel is so cheap the manufacturer can easily afford to just give to you while you're traveling.

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