Tesla’s Not-So-Free Free Supercharging

Ok, ok, so we were all blown away at the media event that Tesla Motors threw a few months ago, especially when they announced that their supercharging stations were already in existence and the entire network was built in secret. Kudos to you Tesla, that was some sneaky $hit.

Though what really blew us away was the announcement that these stations were going to be completely free for Tesla Model S EVs, for the life of the car. But there is a price to free, and to Tesla, that price is a $2000 upfront fee.

Got it, $2000. One hundred dollars, twenty times. Hmmm… Anyone else wondering how this is considered “free?”

Suppose that even if you we’re able to charge up at these stations for free “for the life of your car,” how many years would you actually keep a Model S before trading it in for the next beauty that Tesla will unleash?

Kelly Blue Book reported that Americans are now holding onto their cars longer than ever. That length, just shy of 6 years (71.4 months to be exact.) Still though, is this long enough to really consider the “free charging” to be close enough to free?

Say you keep your Model S for 7 years, I mean it is electric after all. That would bring your average charging bill to $285 and some change a year ( $2000/7 years=$285 a year.) Divide that now by the average a person drives in a year, 15,000 miles, and you end up with almost .02/mile.

That is about the same amount I am paying for my not so free charging at Blink Network stations. Not to mention the price tag of a Tesla model S runs about $49,900 for the base model. At the end of the day it appears Tesla’s Model S and free charging options are just for the wealthy, ultimately making the wealthy more wealthy with insanely low, “free,” transportation fuel.

As with any new technology you should consider all of your options. Although Telsa’s gorgeous Model S base model starts at $49,900, the battery technology it holds is by far the greatest in the EV market right now. Also consider how long this car will last. Yes, $49k is alot of money, but how long will you be driving this electric powered machine? Probably well beyond any average motor vehicle you’ve ever driven before, so cost versus time might balance itself out with gasoline and car repair costs.

So Tesla, yes, you’ve brought the world a sexy S, but like so many mama’s have said before “nothing in life is free,” not even free supercharging.




Lukas was different from the start. Born a bit jaundiced, he spent a few days in an incubator and attributes this to his longing for warm climates and curling up at night in a toasty bed. After spending the first 22 years of his life in South Florida he took a job opportunity on the west coast where he soon realized his passion for protesting, self awareness and good deed doing. On an average day you could find Lukas protesting in the streets of San Diego, collecting cigarette butts from gutters for art projects, or enjoying a superb late night bike ride with his SLR strapped to his back for some experimental night photography.

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Previously Posted on Unplugged