Despite Report To Contrary, Tesla Sales President Confirms “All Teslas Purchased With Supercharging For Life Carry That Benefit” Forever

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 23

Tesla Sales VP Confirms

Tesla Sales VP Confirms

Tesla Supercharger

Tesla Supercharger

A rumor is swirling regarding Supercharging on certified pre-owned (CPO) Teslas.

The rumor started when, for some reason unknown to us, Tesla removed the mention of Supercharging on its CPO site. After noticing this removal, Model 3 Owners Club posted this on Twitter:

“Just received positive confirmation that CPOs purchased after Dec 31 lose lifetime Supercharging. Private sales are grandfathered.”

Jon McNeil, Tesla’s president of sales, chimed in more than a week later to shoot down the rumor. He stated:

“@Model3Owners not correct. CPO’s carry lifetime Supercharging with the car.”

The words of McNeil were doubted, but he again responded with what we believe to be a definitive answer:

“@Model3Owners @elonmusk Firm answer: All Teslas purchased with Supercharging for life carry that benefit for the life of the car.”

McNeil even tagged Tesla CEO Elon Musk with the Tweet, so we think this answer has been verified to be accurate by the CEO.

So, if you’re shopping for a CPO Tesla and it originally had free supercharging for life, then it will retain that perk for the life of the car.

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23 responses to "Despite Report To Contrary, Tesla Sales President Confirms “All Teslas Purchased With Supercharging For Life Carry That Benefit” Forever"

  1. ClarksonCote says:

    They probably removed the language from the CPO site so it wouldn’t detract from their new policy for new vehicles.

    Why entice people away from buying new?

    1. Josh Bryant says:

      The number of vehicles will be small in the grand scheme of things.

      Resale value is huge for all automakers, but even more so to Tesla getting loyal (wealthy) owners to upgrade often.

      1. GeorgeS says:

        Yes Josh. They are a good alternative to a new BoltEV…..and roughly for the same money plus unlimited long distance driving.

  2. DonC says:

    A welcome clarification which should help sales of used Teslas.

    1. GeorgeS says:

      I am relieved. All my bragging about what a screaming deal my used model S is is not for not.

      Im not sure why more people dont do the same.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “…is not for not.”

        You mean “…is not for naught.”

  3. Trollnonymous says:

    Well that’s good news. Maybe I’ll scoop up a CPO instead of a Model ≡.

  4. Terawatt says:

    It would be very strange to say the least if Tesla were to just change their mind. There is such a thing as contracts, and what is said and advertised about the terms is part of the contract – so there is no way Tesla could just walk away from it if they wanted to. Nor do I think they would want to, since people generally prefer doing business with people/entities that uphold their part of the bargain.

    But free supercharging for life is a bad model, and it has to go. That doesn’t mean Tesla were stupid to offer it – in fact, I think it was quite smart. By having people pay for charging upfront you initially get a couple of grand extra cash in for each car, and in the beginning the charging network is very expensive because of low utilization. Even if twenty chargers could supply the needed capacity you’ll need much more than twenty locations and thus much more than twenty chargers, and in the circumstances using the free-for-life model was probably a smart move, helping to finance a fast roll-out of a very useable network and generating quite a bit of chatter, not to mention customer satisfaction, as a bonus.

    But now that the number of cars on the road isn’t as tiny anymore, and especially with Model 3 hopefully sending that number quickly up to many times today’s fleet in a few short years, it is pretty clear that paying for each use (and ideally per minute) is a much better solution.

    In short, they’ve done pretty sensible things so far – although I doubt they will prove smart enough to follow the logic to its conclusion and charge per minute.

    1. wavelet says:

      By paying-per-minute do you mean a combined kWh & time model, or switching to time-based only?
      If the first, it seems confusing not transparent enough. As a driver, I want to be ale to roughly estimate what a “tank” or half a tank will cost me, just like I do today.
      IIRC the SC stations aren’t capable of providing all chargers with max rates simultaneously; if there are many cars charging, they share the overall wattage capacity — so time is indeterminate.

      If you mean the second, this is all SC-rate charging, so compared to L2, the absolute differences in terms of time it takes to charge up are fairly small, and I doubt worth charging money for.
      And of course, they still have the anti-abuse mechanism, for charging money for a car still attached ot the charger after it’s battery’s full.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “As a driver, I want to be ale to roughly estimate what a ‘tank’ or half a tank will cost me, just like I do today.”

        It certainly would serve Tesla drivers better to have a flat rate at all Superchargers, assuming you have to pay by the minute or by the kWh, or some combination of both.

        Unfortunately, Tesla has already said that the price will vary based on the local cost for electricity, so it looks like prices won’t be the same everywhere.

  5. 3laine says:

    Why would the guy ask Elon for a “firm answer” after the VP of Sales already directly answered him?

    1. Trollnonymous says:

      The question is, why didn’t they clarify this all in an official announcement?

      IMHO, a “Tweet” isn’t really official.

      1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

        Not even when Twitter makes an announcement via Tweet?

        1. Trollnonymous says:

          I’m sure they would tweet and in that tweet they would include a link to their official EULA or whatever. Other than that, a personal tweet is just that.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        IMHO, a “Tweet” isn’t really official.

        In most cases I would agree, but Tesla’s policy is that Elon’s tweets trump what even official press releases from Tesla Motors say. An unwritten policy to be sure, but that’s how it actually works.

        As has been observed by many, working at Tesla’s publicity department must be about the worst job in the world! They should just append “…unless Elon tweets otherwise” to the end of every press release, and the bottom of every web page. 😉

  6. pjwood1 says:

    This is tricky because Tesla has used the term “purchased” to relate specifically to cars bought before ~June 2015, for eligibility for Ludicrous upgrade for example. Then, then they modified that language to “puchased new from Tesla”.

    Here, it is a bit different, but to me the word play “purchased from Tesla with supercharging for life” probably means the text “with supercharging for life” had to be there when you bought, either new or CPO. If there’s room to interpret it that way, you better interpret it that way.

  7. speculawyer says:

    I know it will annoy many people but the elimination of the “Free for life” charging was a good move. Ask any economicst when they are travelling LONG DISTANCE. “Free” anything just creates inefficiencies and greed. It invites self-serving arbitrage. It creates a “Tragedy of the commons” problem.

    It is just a bad way to do things. I think people should get easy cheap access to superchargers when they are travelling and maybe very occasional access near their homes. But the vast majority of people’s charging should be done on their home chargers.

    1. I might be being a bit presumtuous, but I would think that New Tesla Owners would do more road trips in the first year or two, than later on, after the first brush excitement thins a bit!

      That said, not everyone that earns the big bucks to buy a Tesla, chooses to fly on longer trips, in spite of being able to afford such luxuries, as some don’t like flying!

      As for me, the price of a Tesla, new, and loaded, would be about equal to the price of a nice, nearly new, small aircraft, but those still burn way too much fuel, so I watch what happens in the world of Electric Flight, regularly!

      Just hoping, after reading that the Model 3 will still get some of the current benefits of the Free Long Distance Supercharger access, and the 400 kWh limit is clarified to be about the limit for repeat charging on Superchargers close to home base.

      For a 55 kWh Model 3, even that would be still good for about 8-9 good charges at a ‘Local’ Supercharger! However, I don’t see it (400 kWh) covering the last two road trips I did last year: Toronto to Orlando, and Toronto to Massanutten Resort, in Virginia!

      As to paying for using the Supercharger after the 400 kWh is used up per year, Elon’s abbreviation of a price reference: ‘less than a Tank of Gas’, is quite Vague! For example, is this the “Tank” of an SUV, the “Tank” of a Large Sedan, or the “Tank” of a Prius (@ 10 Gallons)? Then, would that be in: $ at the Pump, or in equivalent to the kWh worth of Gas, in usable Miles – per “tank”?

      Basically, Elon introduced a new variable into the Tesla Purchase Equation, without full and complete Definition, causing some confusion, fear, uncertainty, and, doubt! I am sure he is busy today, what with being with SpaceX to Launch a new Rocket, and working hard to reach Sales and Gigafactory build Goals, but it would be nice to hear some better clarification on the “Post Fee For Life” model, for the Superchargers!

      I guess, by the time the Model 3 next ‘Unveiling’ happens, at the latest, would be good to hear the details, particularly for the Model 3, if not for All Tesla Vehicles, going forward!

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “Basically, Elon introduced a new variable into the Tesla Purchase Equation, without full and complete Definition, causing some confusion, fear, uncertainty, and, doubt!”

        I would guess that Tesla has not decided on what the exact pricing will be, and perhaps has not even decided on just how it will be structured. Elon’s vagueness was probably due to the lack of any final decisions on policy there.

        Note that Tesla has already backed off on charging for leaving a car parked at a Supercharger after the car is charged. Apparently due to a lot of comments and/or complaints, Elon now says they’ll only charge when the station is “busy”… but failed to specify exactly what criteria Tesla will use to decide if a station is “busy” or not.

        So I can certainly see why Elon would be hesitant to give too many details about “charging for a charge” before Tesla execs have had time to create a firm policy on the matter, and do some cost/benefit analyses.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “…the elimination of the ‘Free for life’ charging was a good move… ‘Free’ anything… invites self-serving arbitrage. It creates a ‘Tragedy of the commons’ problem.”

      I’ve made the same point myself — altho not as well as you did. But to play Devil’s Advocate, we must counterbalance that “Tragedy of the Commons” problem with the understanding that the entire purpose of Tesla setting up the Supercharger network was to fight “range anxiety”, and to promote sales of their cars.

      From that perspective, the promise of “free for life” should be supported as long as possible. Tesla certainly does not want to get a reputation for reneging on its promises!

  8. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “All Teslas purchased with Supercharging for life carry that benefit for the life of the car.”

    Well, it’s good that Tesla directly addressed this question. Frankly I’m surprised at the answer, because I expected the opposite. I expected the “lifetime” guarantee to apply only to the first owner (and/or his heirs), not to the 2nd owner.

    Interesting that Tesla here appears to have made a decision which, on the surface, appears to have a negative impact on their profit margin. But then, perhaps I haven’t looked deeply enough at the cost/benefit here. Supporting the “lifetime” guarantee would help keep prices up on used Model S’s, which in turn will help sustain a high resale value, which in turn helps support new car sales.

    Or maybe it’s that the “fine print” in the terms of sale guaranteed “unlimited” use of Supercharging for the life of the car, rather than the length of ownership of the first owner.

    1. JohnMB says:

      A BIG PLUS for resale..and much appreciated…

  9. JohnMB says:

    My experience.. the CPO rep insisted that the lifetime Supercharging was ending for CPO cars on 12/31…

    The mis-information I’m sure is motivated by CPO sales reps trying to close deals by the 12/31 deadline….