Tesla Launches New Supercharger Cost Estimator Tool



Tesla Supercharger

‘Less Than The Cost Of Gas’ – Tesla’s new Supercharger cost estimator

Due to so many recent changes in the Supercharger program, now Tesla is making the pay-per-use system more clear.

On Tesla’s website, there is a new calculator that allows you to estimate Supercharger cost versus gasoline cost for the Model S and Model X based on distance driven. It automatically accounts for the annual Supercharger credit (400 kWh credit each year).

Tesla decided to stop allowing free Supercharger use, but then pushed back the date that the change would take place. Now, new buyers are still able to charge for free by way of the Tesla referral program, but this is only going to be the case through the end of the year.

Tesla Supercharger

Tesla Supercharger

Anyone who buys a new Tesla vehicles is currently automatically in the pay-per-use plan, unless their purchase is fueled by a current Tesla owner’s referral. If you buy a Tesla from a referral, you get free Supercharging, as if you are part of the old model (free unlimited access). Tesla may change the rules again and again, but thus far, the company has said that this situation will only be available for the remainder of 2017.

The pay-per-use model with the 400 kWh upfront credit will get you a handful of charges before you have to begin shelling out your own money.

The new Supercharger cost estimator assumes that gas costs $2.73 per gallon, and the charging rate is $.20 per kWh. These are estimates based on California’s pricing, which makes sense since it’s Tesla’s biggest market. However, the estimator will not give exact numbers for those who can purchase gas cheaper, or where the Supercharger rate is more or less. In many area, gas is less expensive, but fortunately so is electricity, so it may end up being a wash. The estimator will give you at least an “estimate”, and that’s the whole point.

In some markets, Tesla is forced to bill you based on time rather than kWh, but according to Electrek it seems that you will still come out ahead. Factor in the fact that your home charging is probably much less than the $0.20 per kWh, so any part of your trip that is covered by that charge will also save you more money.

If you don’t yet own a Tesla vehicle, and are still shopping, you can use the estimator to compare Model S and X efficiency. It doesn’t take much to know that the Model S is more efficient, but you can get a better idea of how much. Once the Tesla Model 3 is added to the estimator, you will be able to compare the efficiency of all three.

Source: Electrek

Category: ChargingTesla

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30 responses to "Tesla Launches New Supercharger Cost Estimator Tool"
  1. spin says:

    With a 200+ mile range 95% of my charging will be done at home and the twice yearly holiday long distance drive will likely be covered by the annual credit, perfect. Just need them to hurry up and make my it now.

    1. Nix says:

      Yes, the annual credit is designed to provide around 1,200 miles of long range driving.

      The median summer family road trip in the US is 314 miles from home (628 miles round trip). Staring with a full battery at the beginning of the trip, 1,200 miles of free supercharging is enough for 2 of these typical trips per year.

      So the free charging should be enough to cover a free summer roadtrip even for statistical outliers who are as much as double the norm:


      The numbers align so well, that it is almost like Tesla took the median US summer roadtrip, then doubled it, and set that as their free charging allotment….

  2. Robster1979 says:

    In the Netherlands ‘retail’ price per kWh is roughly EUR 0,20. Hence SuC rate is the same as charging at home

  3. F150 Brian says:

    They really should work harder to become a service provider to all manufacturers. Maybe the best way to do this is to spin it off as a separate company – “The SuperCharger Company”.

    They can still give preferential treatment to Tesla owners if they want.

    It seems to be against his mission to “allow” many competing charger systems as this just makes EV ownership seem more complicated to the general public.

    Can you imagine if the gas pumps had proprietary nozzles? How pissed would you be if you have to find out which gas stations you could use based on a purchase of a Camry vs Accord vs Fusion?

    1. Nix says:

      That’s pretty funny Brian. Where were you back in 2004-2011 when Tesla was desperately trying to get the SAE car charging standards group (dominated by ICE car companies) to set the charging standard to support at least 150 kW charging?

      Where were you when the ICE car companies refused to agree to that, and continued to drag their feet on setting any fast charging standard at all — forcing Tesla to go on their own with a standard that would actually work for their cars? (The SAE fast charging standard wasn’t finalized until AFTER Tesla had completed all their dev work on the Model S, and was building production prototypes)

      Where is your outrage that the ICE car companies developed two separate charging standards that effectively crippled EV charging at such a low rate that it could never have a chance at being anywhere near fast enough to compete with their gas cars? A standard so slow and weak, that it didn’t even last half a decade before they were forced to replace it with new standards?

      Where were you years ago when Tesla offered all ICE car companies access to the superior Supercharger standard, and every single ICE car company refused to work with Tesla?

      Where where you when CHAdeMO was developed outside of SAE completely by a couple of ICE car companies, and was made into a standard that could only be licensed for a fee instead of made into an open standard?

      You have history so backwards, that your head is spinning. You are starting to sound like the CEO from Enerlat oil services company who tried to troll onto this board yesterday.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        You are using the classic Apple argument: the standards organization wouldn’t put my priorities over everyone else’s, therefore I’m ignoring standards and going proprietary.

        Do you think Nissan or GM didn’t have their own wish list of charging features that they wanted? And yet if either of them (or anyone but Tesla, really) prioritized their own wants over an agreed-upon standard, you’d be screaming that they’re intentionally trying to sabotage EV adoption.

        And since you mention CCS vs. CHAdeMO: CCS was developed as an attempt to correct the flaws of CHAdeMO (e.g. not backwards compatible with J1772). The Tesla Connector reproduces many of those flaws, and adds single-point proprietary IP encumbrance to boot.

        We’ve already talked about Tesla’s “open patents” with a built-in disclaimer voiding that promise, so no need to revisit that.

        1. Nix says:

          CCS standard wasn’t completed until Sept. 2012. Well AFTER Tesla sold their first Model S cars. And it was a full order of magnitude slower than Superchargers.

          You seriously think Tesla should have waited to test and release the Model S for months, and then use a much slower charging standard, just to get along????

          Yes, I’ve already thoroughly destroyed your BS trolling about Tesla’s open patents, so no need to cover that again. If you still don’t understand the law, go back and re-read the previous posts where I explained it to you and you finally were forced to admit you were wrong.

          Of course Tesla had to use their own standards when the other standards couldn’t come anywhere near enough power by a full order of magnitude. It isn’t like some people not getting what they want, it is like an airplane make having to set their own jet engine standards, because the rest of the airplane makers wanting to stick to propellers.

          You really make a joke of yourself asserting that Tesla should have built out their Supercharger network with 50 kW CCS or CHAdeMO chargers instead of upwards of 145 kW chargers like they have now, just to stick to the standards that were available at the time. Absolutely idiotic.

          Sadly, you don’t even understand well enough to know the implications of your comments, and how absurd the implications are.

          1. Spider-Dan says:

            For how many years are you going to continue to play the “But CCS was slow and unfinished in 2012” excuse? That was 5 years and two Tesla models ago. The Roadster had a different connector than the MS, and yet now we’re supposed to believe that Tesla is invariably locked into the Tesla Connector until the end of time?

            The fact that Tesla still refuses to standardize should make it clear why they never wanted to in the first place. If Tesla were really interested in EV proliferation over marketshare, the X and 3 would have had CCS ports on release and Supercharging stations would have gotten dual outputs long ago.

            Wait, let me guess: the CCS port is too big and ugly? Excuses spring eternal.

            1. Nix says:

              “For how many years are you going to continue to play the “But CCS was slow and unfinished in 2012” excuse?”

              Until you build a time machine and go back and change it so that CCS supported 150 kW charging by 2011 so Tesla could use it in Model S development.

              The first Public 50 kW CCS charger wasn’t built until June 2013, and it was built in Europe.

              You whining doesn’t change the historic facts. CCS was too little, too late. Tesla had no choice.

              That is simply a historic fact that will remain a historic fact forever.


              Are you under the impression that CCS currently has publicly available 150 kW+ chargers in the wild in the US that would beat the current 145 kW Superchargers? They still don’t. They only finally built a single DEMO charger not open to the public just a few months ago: http://insideevs.com/evgo-abb-first-150-kw-dc-fast-charger-california/

              So exactly what date do you think Tesla should have abandoned the current Supercharger standard, for a standard that is still under DEMO testing? Please be specific in both month and year.

              Stop the idiocy. You seriously are really hurting your credibility.

              1. Spider-Dan says:

                I had a long response typed out, but your Europe comment reminded me of something:

                The EU Model S uses a Mennekes Type 2-compatible connector. The Superchargers in Europe use the same connector. So since EU Superchargers use a standard connector and know how to speak the protocol of that connector, what is your excuse for why drivers of other European EVs are unable to pay for access to the SC network in Europe?

    2. Nix says:

      Brian — “How pissed would you be if you have to find out which gas stations you could use based on a purchase of a Camry vs Accord vs Fusion?”

      You do realize that this reality already exists with plug-in cars from these exact companies due to the differences between CHAdeMO vs. SAE connectors, right? All without Tesla having anything to do with it?


  4. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    “They really should work harder to become a service provider to all manufacturers”

    No reason to give up their competitive advantage to other manufacturers who have no desire/don’t give a sh3t to support their own products?

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      lol, that was supposed to be a reply to “F150 Brian”.

    2. Spider-Dan says:

      Ostensibly, the answer to “Why?” would be “Because Tesla is trying to encourage the adoption of EVs no matter who makes them, and making Superchargers available to everyone would help make EVs more practical.”

      However, the correct answer is the one you already offered: the SC network is a competitive advantage for Tesla, and therefore Tesla is disincentivized to allow non-Tesla owners to use it.

      This is why Tesla is the only charging network to insist that any third-party use of their charging network must not be funded by the drivers who would use it, but by automakers. They know that won’t happen, which is the intended outcome.

      1. Nix says:

        Spider-Dan — Individual car owners can’t convert their own cars to charge using Tesla standards. Their cars lack both the hardware and the software required to charge at a Supercharger.

        Neither Tesla nor the customer has access to the software in those cars. Only the car maker has the access to that charging software.

        You have it exactly backwards. Only the car maker can make their own cars compatible to charge from a Supercharger. Not the customer, not Tesla. Each and every ICE car maker has CHOSEN of their own free will not to work with Tesla.

        I’m sorry you don’t understand how charging standards work. You have to have both hardware and software on BOTH SIDES in order to make the software handshake to negotiate a charging connection.

        1. Spider-Dan says:

          The hardware and software to connect to non-Tesla cars is a well-documented open standard. Tesla has the ability to make their Superchargers compatible with them any time they wish, and the motivation to do so would be the fees that they would then be able to collect from the drivers of said cars… which is exactly how every other charging network works.

          However, Tesla feels that they have an even bigger disincentive: preventing non-Tesla cars from accessing their network. And so they insist on a requirement that no other charging network in the world does, which is that automakers must contact Tesla directly and buy in.

          Note that in none of Tesla’s statements on the matter has it been stated what you are implying, namely that such a deal would require automakers to install Tesla-compatible charging software in their cars. So the idea that Tesla has no idea how to connect to cars that use a thoroughly documented charging standard is nonsense, not least because Tesla already makes adapters to allow its own cars to connect through those standards.

          By your logic, how can a ChargePoint J1772 charger connect to a Tesla without Tesla directly paying ChargePoint money?

          1. Nix says:

            We’ve been though this before, and you still don’t get it.

            I’ve already explained how Tesla PAYS to be part of both SAE and CHAdeMO and pays their developers to program other charging protocols into the Tesla software in Tesla cars in order to charge from other standards.


            No, you aren’t Supercharging when you use different connectors and a different charging standard. Cars with different connectors and different charging software are not compatible with Superchargers, and cannot Supercharge on a Supercharger.

            No, Tesla isn’t going to build out completely new hardware using a completely different standard just because your EV car maker doesn’t have their own network of chargers and doesn’t want to invest into the Supercharger network. Funny how you guys don’t ever think your EV company should be building out a network, much less that GM or Nissan should build out a network of Supercharger stations for Tesla’s to charge at….

            Any expectation that Tesla has some obligation to build out a network of chargers that charge with a completely different standard is absolutely moronic. If car makers want their cars to charge at superchargers, they can invest in making their cars charge with supercharger standards with supercharger hardware the same as Tesla has.

            I’ve already went through all this with you on a previous story. If you don’t understand how chargers work, go back and read what I wrote before.


            Sheeh! We get a story about Tesla updating their webpage, and suddenly somebody thinks Tesla should be obligated to build out a national CHAdeMO network or something crazy!

            1. Spider-Dan says:

              Again with this “But then they wouldn’t be Supercharging™!” shell game. Let me try to make this clear:

              Tesla is perfectly capable of making Superchargers charge at less than SC speed to maximize interoperability with other cars, in exactly the same sense that USB 3.0 ports can use an adapter to work with much slower FireWire devices. Tesla chooses not to because it would be disadvantageous to their market strategy to do so.

              1. Nix says:

                USB 3.0 ports can use an adapter to work with much slower FireWire devices ONLY BECAUSE BOTH ENDS HAVE DRIVER SOFTWARE that allows it.

                What part of that do you not understand? If GM wants their car to Supercharge, they need to program it to communicate on the Supercharger standards.

                End of story.

              2. Nix says:

                Dan — Go post on a Bolt story how GM should upgrade their chargers at Chevy dealerships to be DC fast chargers with Tesla Supercharger connectors, so that Tesla owners can charge at GM dealerships.

                When they get done laughing you down, come back and post again.

                1. Spider-Dan says:

                  “USB 3.0 ports can use an adapter to work with much slower FireWire devices ONLY BECAUSE BOTH ENDS HAVE DRIVER SOFTWARE that allows it.”

                  Correct: the USB side speaks the USB protocol, the FireWire side speaks the FireWire protocol, and the adapter translates between the two. This is how adapters work.

                  So since Tesla understands their protocol, and they also understand the J1772/CCS protocol, Tesla can make an adapter to translate between the two any time they feel like it. But that helps sell EVs that aren’t made by Tesla, so of course Tesla doesn’t do it.

                  “Go post on a Bolt story how GM should upgrade their chargers at Chevy dealerships to be DC fast chargers with Tesla Supercharger connectors, so that Tesla owners can charge at GM dealerships.”

                  I know there’s a reason why you said “GM” and not “Nissan”: because Teslas are already capable of using the DC chargers at Nissan dealerships, with the CHAdeMO adapter that Tesla makes. And once Tesla makes a CCS adapter, Teslas will be capable of DC charging at GM dealerships, too (they have always been capable of AC charging at them).

                  That’s what happens when automakers doesn’t select a proprietary standard in an effort to lock out the competition through intellectual property.

                  And just to make sure you know I saw your shell game again: being able to use a Sueprcharger to recharge a car is not the necessarily the same thing as Supercharging™. You know this, but you keep trying to conflate the two.

                  1. Jason says:

                    Well, of Tesla can make an adaptor to allow their cars to charge on CHAdeMO, then I have no doubt Tesla could make an adaptor to let my CHAdeMO car charge on their SC. Provided that adaptor was not too expensive then I would be interested to purchase one and pay the SC per charge fees, which look pretty reasonable. If my vehicle can charge at 50kWh then it is only sitting there 20-30min, just the same amount as a Tesla would, and I can be well on my way again.

                    My car manufacturer doesn’t need to be involved, they have no contact with Tesla, it is purely between me and Tesla. And no doubt the adaptor would have Tesla smarts so it knows to bill me, and only people who purchase the adaptor are using SC, so it is not like you just opened SC to hundred thousand vehicles instantly.

                    I agree, if Tesla mission is to accelerate EV adoption then this solution would be available. The cynic in me thinks they like their competitive advantage of SC. Other non cynic in me thinks they are just too busy to worry about it.

    3. Someone out there says:

      I though the whole idea was to push other car manufacturers into makeing EVs?

      1. Nix says:

        Are you claiming that Tesla ISN’T pushing other car manufacturers into making EV’s?

        Specifically long range fast charging EV’s instead of slow charging 70-80 mile range compact punishment EV’s?

  5. Scott says:

    Just think of Tesla let the government build their supercharger network. It would still be stuck in Congress controlled by Big Oil Lobbyists! Tesla was genius by installing their chargers. Other manufacturers, like GM, are leaving it to the government to install. Big line ups for Leaf, BMW, and Bolt owners!

    1. Asak says:

      Congress really doesn’t have anything to do with it. It’s more being done on the state level. Unfortunately, while that works great on say the West Coast or North East, it’s a serious impediment to interstate travel since there are a lot of EV unfriendly states in the middle of the country.

  6. Bill Howland says:

    “…They really should work harder to become a service provider to all manufacturers….”

    Well I can’t read their minds, but Tesla certainly will have enough on its plate if Model “3” sales are going to be anything like we have been told they will be. Besides coming up with the cars themselves, there may be places where SC installations will become even more crowded, and those locations will need additional assistance and/or modification as per their SC rollout program.

    Private companies (which Tesla still is) can do whatever benefits them (and their CEO).

    At the moment, after cashing in on a Billion dollars or so, Musk seems to be doing ok for himself. He is under no obligation to do anything with his SC facilities other than what he has decided Tesla will be doing.

    1. wavelet says:

      “Private companies (which Tesla still is)”
      What do you mean by “private”? — established usage is to call a company whose shares trade on a public stock exchange “public” — certainly the case with Tesla.

      1. Nix says:

        The term “private” has two different meanings when it comes to businesses, depending on the context. You’ve correctly identified one context. But there is another context:

        Private Sector vs. Public Sector

        “What is the ‘Private Sector’

        The private sector encompasses all for-profit businesses that are not owned or operated by the government. Companies and corporations that are government run are part of what is known as the public sector”


  7. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    @Nix and Spider-Dan:

    Both of you have taken an extreme position which the facts don’t support and are now trying to shout the other down instead of engaging in real dialogue. Too bad somebody can’t knock your heads together until it cracks both of your ossified mental positions to let some real information leak in.


    You know I respect you a lot, and usually you’re 100% right on everything you post, but in this case you’re ignoring facts pretty firmly. Reading Tesla’s terms of use for its “free” patent license, it definitely says that any auto maker agreeing to use Tesla’s patents must agree to make its own EV-related patents equally free to all. (Those following this discussion can read the fine print for themselves at the first link posted below.) Arguably this is “fair” from Tesla’s viewpoint, but nobody who understands the reality of manufacturing and patent protection could honestly believe that any established auto maker would agree to those terms.

    Nix, your refusal to acknowledge those points are a black mark in your otherwise near-spotless record for scrupulous honesty.


    Your assertion that Tesla should abandon its proprietary tech for a true standard is complete nonsense, because there is no true standard. You are also ignoring reality quite firmly when you claim that Tesla developed the Supercharging format with the selfish intention of excluding other auto makers. Tesla was involved in the CCS development group, and only withdrew from that when it became clear that the group would not produce a format for the higher power connection that Tesla needed for charging the Model S.

    Tesla had no choice but to develop its own charging format; it was either that or indefinitely delay putting the Model S into production. That isn’t an opinion, that is a fact which you choose to pretend isn’t true.

    If Tesla had intended from the start to develop and use its own proprietary charging standard, then they never would have participated in the CCS development group. And trying to blame Tesla for the failure of the group to produce something Tesla could actually use when it needed to put the Model S into production — well, it’s very hard to see you making that claim in any light other than a very biased anti-Tesla position. That viewpoint is sharply contrary to facts.

    Now, you may have a point in claiming that at this moment in time, Tesla is treating the Supercharger network as proprietary infrastructure benefiting its own customers and nobody else. It may well be that Tesla’s attitude has shifted on this matter, since Tesla has spent all those resources building out that network. (See the parable of “The Little Red Hen”. Those who are not familiar with the tale can find it summarized at the 2nd link below.) But to claim that this is what Tesla intended from the start — again, that’s ignoring the facts rather firmly.

    Bottom line: Tesla has absolutely no motive to switch to a new charging format unless and until there is a true universal charging format. Unless and until that day arrives, Tesla is better off sticking to — and continuing to expand on — what it has already spent time, effort, money, and other resources to develop.

    If anyone doubts the latter point, then consider what would happen if Tesla decided to switch to either CSS or CHAdeMO — and then after that the government came along and arbitrarily mandated a new charging standard! At the moment I hope that’s exactly what will happen, because the various EV makers very obviously have no intention of all voluntarily agreeing on a universal charging standard.

    We didn’t get unleaded gasoline as a standard fuel type until the U.S. government mandated that all gas stations above a certain size had to carry unleaded gasoline. Sadly, it looks like the same situation is going to continue with various competing EV charging formats until the government steps in. 🙁