Tesla surprised existing Model S and Model X owners, as well as new buyers, late Friday with a promotion that converted the previously set 400 kWh limit of free Supercharger use per year, to free and unlimited lifetime Supercharger use.
News of Tesla bringing back free lifetime Supercharging first surfaced on the Tesla Motors Club forum after a prospective buyer said they were told by their local sales representative that free lifetime Supercharging was being offered, once again, but only as a promotion on all Model S and Model X purchased before midnight Friday.
Updated: Official statement from Tesla below.
Though Tesla has not confirmed details for the apparent update to its Supercharger program, several Model S and Model X owners that were previously under the paid Supercharger program, said their MyTesla page no longer reflects this. Instead, the wording on the MyTesla page now reads “You have free, unlimited Supercharging, including your current Tesla and any new Model S or Model X you purchase.”
Friend to the site DÆrik, who gave us a first look on how paid Supercharging works, took to reddit to confirm that previous references to the 400 kWh Supercharging cap is no longer mentioned on his MyTesla page. “I have a 100D with paid supercharging.. Around 1 hour ago, the paid supercharging DISAPPEARED from my Tesla account… Ready for an announcement!”
The Tesla community responded with widespread glee, as news of this update propagated across social media. Many noted that they would become Tesla owners for life after learning of this gesture of goodwill. Offering free, unlimited lifetime Supercharging comes with seemingly no prospect of a financial return – just one more reason to love Tesla.
Tesla’s update to its free unlimited Supercharging policy also applies to the first 5 referrals made by a Model S or Model X owner. Existing owners can gift free lifetime Supercharging to 5 friends.
Tesla had initially rolled out free lifetime Supercharging to all Model S and Model X buyers, but as demand began to exceed the supply of Superchargers, Tesla began implementing a cap of 400 kWh of free Supercharger use per year on vehicles sold after January 15, 2017.
A Tesla spokesperson tells Teslarati (emphasis added),
“We heard from our customers that free, unlimited Supercharging was one of their favorite reasons to refer a friend to buy a Tesla, so we’re bringing it back for Model S and Model X owners through our referral program, which we update periodically. Beginning today, existing owners can give free, unlimited Supercharging to up to five friends by sharing their referral code, and all existing Tesla owners who purchase a new Model S or Model X will receive free, unlimited Supercharging too.”
The company also implemented an idle fee to deter drivers from leaving their vehicles at Supercharging stalls after it has completed charging. Drivers leaving their cars plugged in 5 minutes after charging completed would be charged $0.40/minute or a $24/hour penalty.