Tesla offers $5k to eliminate Free Supercharging, but is it enough?

Credit: Tesla

Tesla recently launched a new incentive to its Ownership Loyalty Program that is attempting to woo Model S and Model X owners to trade in vehicles with Free Unlimited Supercharging, but is the $5,000 trade-in boost enough?

“Current Tesla Model S or Model X owners with active unlimited free Supercharging are eligible for an additional $5,000 toward their trade-in value,” Tesla said. “To qualify, owners must trade in their Model S or Model X with unlimited free Supercharging and purchase a new Model S or Model X.”

tesla model s model x

(Credit: Tesla)

Tesla offered Free Supercharging for life in the past to incentivize the purchase of its vehicles, but now it wants those vehicles back. While an additional $5,000 may seem like a reasonable incentive, owners may not necessarily agree that it is worth it.

“We’ll be keeping our 2016.5 & 2020 Model Ss with free supercharging for a long time,” one person said.

“I bet many would only consider it if unlimited supercharging was transferred to their new Model S/X,” another commented.

When Tesla first started offering this program, it only extended the trade-in to certain owners. The company initially offered a $3,000 trade-in boost, or three years of free Supercharging. Owners we spoke to who were offered the initial incentive did not seem interested in trading in their vehicles as the Free Supercharging was too good to pass up.

It is unclear why Tesla would want to pull vehicles with Free Supercharging enabled off the road. For starters, Tesla could be attempting to put some vehicles with new Hardware 4 in owners’ hands, and if the owner has Free Supercharging, it could be a good trade-off. Hardware 4 was first seen after it was pulled out of a new Model X unit and put under examination by noted hacker greentheonly.

With Tesla recently announcing that it would open some Superchargers to other manufacturers, traffic, and congestion could increase. Free Supercharging likely is a reason for those owners to go to Tesla’s devoted piles to gain more range. Pulling the capability could be a way to push owners toward home charging, but it seems like a stretch.

Free Supercharging seems like one thing that many owners would not consider giving up for what Tesla is offering. While the company did up the trade-in boost from $3,000 to $5,000, it is unknown how many owners actually will consider taking the offer.

Do you have a qualifying Model S or Model X vehicle with Free Unlimited Supercharging? Are you considering trading it in for an additional $5,000? Why or why not? Please let reach out to me @

Tesla offers $5k to eliminate Free Supercharging, but is it enough?
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