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Are Tesla charging stations free? Which Tesla models can be charged for free?

Tesla charging stations

Are Tesla charging stations free? Tesla Supercharger stations are not free for all Tesla owners. While Tesla initially offered free Supercharger access for some early adopters and certain vehicle models, they have shifted to a paid model for most new Tesla vehicles.

Owners of Tesla vehicles that were ordered after a certain date (typically those ordered after January 15, 2017, for Model S and Model X, and after September 29, 2017, for Model 3) do not receive free Supercharger credits and are required to pay for charging at Supercharger stations.

Tesla owners are billed for Supercharger usage, and the cost is typically based on the amount of electricity (measured in kilowatt-hours or kWh) consumed during the charging session. The pricing can vary by location and may also depend on factors such as local electricity rates and whether the charging station is part of Tesla's urban or long-distance Supercharger network.

What does it cost to charge at a Tesla charging station?

Depending on the model, it costs between $9.62 to $18.30 to fully charge a Tesla. Teslas have a unique charging port and charger, but you can also use a J1772 adapter to charge at most EV charging stations. An extensive network of Tesla Superchargers is available for quick charging on the go or for road trips.

Tesla continues leading electric vehicle market sales: their two best-selling electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S., the Model 3 and the Model Y, make up nearly 70 percent of all EV sales, according to Kelley Blue Book. When you're on the go in your Tesla, finding Tesla charging stations is important to help you travel for long ranges. You'll also need to plan for stops at chargers on a road trip.
Tesla currently has one of the largest charging networks, with five percent of overall charging happening at commercial chargers.

As with other EV charging stations, costs vary depending on the type of charger and your location.

Tesla Supercharging pricing

Tesla notes that in most locations, Supercharging costs are determined by kWh, though some locations are priced based on the amount of time you're charging. Additionally, at some locations, pricing may vary depending on the time of day (as with some utilities' electricity rates, you may pay less to charge at night or other off-peak hours). Tesla doesn't list specific Supercharger pricing on its website, but they do lay out pricing tiers, with prices lowest at Tier 1 and increasing up to Tier 4:

Tier: Charging Level (k W)
Tier 1 Supercharging: At or below 60 kW
Tier 2 Supercharging: Above 60 kW to 100 kW
Tier 3 Supercharging: Above 100 kW to 180 kW
Tier 4 Supercharging: Above 180 kW


Tesla charging stations

Frequently asked questions about Tesla charging

How much does it cost to charge a Tesla?

Depending on the model, it costs between $9.62 and $18.30 to fully charge a Tesla. In general, the cost of charging a Tesla is 3.6 times cheaper per mile than fueling a gas-powered car: 4.56 cents per mile compared to approximately 16.66 cents per mile for gas vehicles. Check out this article to learn more about the cost of charging a Tesla (as well as how it compares to fueling gas-powered vehicles).

How many different types of Tesla chargers are there?

There are two main types of Tesla chargers: Superchargers and Destination Chargers. Superchargers are the fastest charging option for Teslas, whereas Destination Chargers are most useful for overnight chargers or when you don't need a substantial amount of energy added to your battery quickly. You can find both Superchargers and Destination Chargers on Tesla's website, via your Tesla's navigation system, and on your Tesla app.

How much does it cost to install a Tesla charger at your home?

It's free to charge with a Level 1 charger – you'll just need a standard 120-volt outlet accessible to your garage, carport, or where you park your car and an adapter. If you want to charge f


aster, you can install a Tesla wall connector for approximately $400. Your exact cost depends on whether you also buy a pedestal for the charger and if you need any electrical work done depending on your home or garage setup. Professional installation can run between $200 – $1,200.

Are Tesla charging stations free?

In most cases, Tesla charging isn't free. The one caveat is if you have a Model S or Model X you purchased in 2017 or earlier, you may have free Supercharging, but most Tesla owners do have to pay a Supercharging fee. There were also some free Supercharging credits previously given by Tesla for referrals. If you do have any free Supercharging miles available, they'll show up in your Tesla account. Destination charging is usually free, though.

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.

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