Whether you’re a new or veteran Tesla owner, you’re hopefully aware of how and where to charge your Tesla, especially on its ever-growing Supercharger network. Especially if you’ve had your Tesla for a few years, you have – or still do – qualify for free Supercharging from Tesla. Here are the best ways to determine whether you or your Tesla model still qualify for free charging.
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Tesla Supercharger Network
The Tesla Supercharger Network exists as a combined network of proprietary charging stations developed and implemented by Tesla. As a result, the automaker doesn’t have to rely on third-party charging networks like most automakers producing electric vehicles currently do.
The Supercharger network was introduced in September 2012, beginning with six Supercharger stations. This debut coincided with the launch of Tesla’s Model S sedan, the first to utilize the new network.
Since then, the Supercharger network has grown to over 20,000 stalls worldwide within over 2,100 stations or hubs. This includes North America, Europe, Asia, and even the Arctic Circle. Tesla recently passed 1,000 Supercharger stations in North America alone.
The average station usually features about 10 Supercharger stalls, but some stations offer many more. For example, Tesla opened a 72-stall Supercharger station in Shanghai at the end of 2020, making it the world’s largest. Currently, Tesla is working through permitting for a 62-stall station on the west side of Los Angeles that could easily make it the largest in North America.
Most recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated that the company will open up its Supercharger network to non-Tesla EVs later this year.
As a result, the interchangeability between third-party networks and Tesla’s Supercharger network will expand significantly to the benefit of all EV owners.
For full details of Tesla’s Supercharger network, check out our detailed Supercharger guide.
Does Tesla still offer free Supercharging?
The short answer is yes, but not recently. When Tesla EVs truly began ramping up deliveries to customers after the debut of its Model S in 2012, many customers saw added perks like unlimited Supercharging. Over time, Tesla has incorporated similar promotions for specific models or customers who made a referral.
However, this still remains one of the most confusing potential perks for Tesla owners, old and new. We get a lot of questions, such as: How can I tell if my Tesla has free unlimited Supercharging? Does free Supercharging transfer over? and Does Tesla still offer free Supercharging?
For now, there remains a select group of Tesla owners that are still able to receive free Supercharging perks. Earlier this year, however, Tesla shared that it would be revamping its referral program as it admitted to spending over $23 million on free Supercharging in 2021 alone… and that was in May.
Does your Tesla still qualify for free Supercharging?
While Tesla seems to be pivoting its referral mileage bonus program, there are still plenty of Teslas out there that have been grandfathered into free unlimited supercharging. Here are some of the best ways to determine if you or your Tesla qualify.
First, it’s important to note some of the policy updates and Tesla news that has happened since the automaker began offering free unlimited Supercharging in 2012. This should help get you up to speed:
- The original Tesla Roadster does not have Supercharging capabilities
- All versions of the Model S have seen some form of free Supercharging from Tesla
- Excluding the Model S 40, since it was software-limited Model S 60 that needed to be unlocked
- Fully-transferrable, free unlimited Supercharging has not been offered since 2017
- The Performance Model 3 came with free unlimited Supercharging for the life of the EV in 2018-2019
- However, this deal only applied to the first owner and is non transferrable
- Since mid-2020, Tesla has made no mention of additional free unlimited Supercharging
- As the newest Tesla, the Model Y has never seen any long-term free Supercharging promotions
- In a push to hit Tesla’s sales goal, Model Y purchases made in later December 2020 may have qualified for a year of free Supercharging
Current Teslas that (may) qualify for free unlimited Supercharging
Here’s a breakdown of what Tesla models may still have a promotion for free unlimited supercharging. Remember to check with Tesla to confirm if your EV qualifies or not:
|Tesla Model||Year(s)||Unlimited Supercharging status|
|Model Y||2020-2021||None (Unless you purchased in late December 2020)|
|Model 3||2018-2019||Performance trim only and must be original owner|
|Model X||2016-2020||Potentially available, confirm with Tesla|
|Model S||2012-2020||Potentially available (excluding the S 40), confirm with Tesla|
How to confirm whether or not your Tesla qualifies for free charging
Contact Tesla directly
The easiest and clearest way to check if you or your Tesla have free unlimited Supercharging is to contact Tesla directly. These days, it may be tougher to get a hold of someone, but whether it’s through call or chat, it might be worth the wait to know for sure whether you still qualify or not.
Check your Tesla account
- Login to your Tesla account
- Next to your linked Tesla vehicle select, “manage” then “view details”
- Look for the “free unlimited Supercharging” option listed
Note: This option will only tell you whether your Tesla has free unlimited supercharging or not, it will not tell you whether that charging perk is transferable.
Tesla charging FAQ
While you may have a better idea of whether you or your Tesla qualify for free unlimited supercharging, you may still have other questions about the entire charging process. Here are some common questions and answers.
Depends. A lot of different factors play into charging speeds including the Tesla model you’re driving, the level of charging you’re using, and the capacity of your Tesla’s battery pack.
We have compiled everything you need to know into one cohesive guide found here:
How long does it take to charge a Tesla?
Another great question, but again not one so easily answered. Much like charging speeds, multiple factors such as location, amount of energy taken, and time of day can all affect how much you may pay to recharge your Tesla.
Luckily, we’ve broken it down for you in greater detail to estimate what you might pay for a full charge: How much does it cost to charge a Tesla?
Check out a state by state breakdown of charging a Tesla: The most affordable states to charge and drive your Tesla
There are a lot of differences as well as some similarities. The market of charging infrastructure varies, but shares a lot of the same elements depending one what EVs are compatible on various chargers, including Tesla Superchargers. You can find more detailed information here:
Electric vehicle (EV) charging standards and how they differ
Don’t qualify for any free unlimited Tesla Supercharging? Ask Electrek‘s Fred Lambert for some miles, he has over 1 million saved up!
Truthfully, Fred can’t give away these free Tesla Supercharging miles, although he has previously asked Tesla to allow it… to no avail unfortunately.
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