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Are Tesla Charging Stations Free?

Tesla Supercharging Stall

By: Otaiba Ahsan

The vast network of Tesla Superchargers creates the opportunity for owners to go on long-distance drives free of range anxiety. You may have seen people post about how they charged at a station for free, while also hearing about others who paid when refueling. This may confuse some owners, especially those who are new to the Tesla community. So, are Tesla charging stations free? Continue reading for more.

Free Supercharging Miles

In short, you can Supercharge for free under certain circumstances, but otherwise will have to pay. While under normal conditions, you’ll have to pay to charge like anyone else would, if you purchase a Tesla during one of their on-site promotions or refer someone who buys one, then you’ll get a set mileage amount of free Supercharging.

NOTE: Depending on Tesla’s policy at the time, free Supercharging miles can be transferred to a new vehicle purchased directly from Tesla from your old one. However, this cannot be done if you’re buying a Tesla used unfortunately. Lastly, these free miles typically expire two years after your delivery date, so keep that in mind.

To get free Supercharging, you can:

  1. Refer and Earn: Each time you refer someone who purchases a Tesla, you collect credits. Those credits can then be redeemed for different perks such as free Supercharging miles. To refer someone, simply open the app, tap the three lines at the top right of the screen and then hit Refer and Earn. Lastly, hit Get Started and then send your link to whoever is interested in buying.
  2. Keep an Eye Out for Tesla Promotions: The electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer typically displays any promotions they have running on the front page of their site as well as on the order page for any of their models. During certain times they may offer a set amount of miles for free Supercharging when you take delivery of a new model.

NOTE: It’s best to reach out to an advisor at your nearest Tesla Service Center to see if there are any ongoing promotions at the time.

Paying at Superchargers

It’s difficult to pinpoint a single price for Tesla supercharging. This is because some stations bill you per kWh while others bill you per minute. Tesla claims that whenever possible, owners will be charged per kWh. According to SolarReviews, the average supercharging cost per kWh in California is 0.25 cents. However, this number is subject to change as rates continuously vary.

TIP: Try not to charge past 80% at chargers where you’re billed per minute. This is because superchargers become much slower to safeguard battery health once the battery reaches this percentage.

The Bottom Line

Are Tesla charging stations free? Under normal circumstances, you’ll have to pay each time you Supercharge. However, if you’re able to collect enough credits by referring others who purchase a Tesla, or are lucky enough to buy one when they have an ongoing promotion, then you can get free Supercharging through those methods as well.

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