Is This How Tesla Supercharger Credits Will Work?


Tesla Superchargers, Image Credit (Tesla Shop)

Tesla Superchargers, Image Credit (Tesla Shop)

Recently, we reported that had discovered some code on the MyTesla page that possibly revealed how future Model 3 customers may be charged for Tesla Supercharger credits. Basically, the code showed an area for using a credit card, and an accumulated Supercharger credit area that will be listed in kWh.

Tesla Supercharger Westfield London

Tesla Supercharger Westfield London

Many speculators agree that Tesla may offer a “unlimited” package for some time levels Model 3. This obviously meaning that the consumer would prepay or the cost would be built into MSRP for top trim models etc.

However, Elon Musk has made it clear that there will be an additional cost associated, so if the package is not an option, or lower trims don’t allow for it, this new “buying Supercharger credits” option will be the “go to” way for Model 3 owners to gain access.

Being that it’s not legal to sell energy to consumers in some states, added to the accounting nightmares of tracking minutes or individual kWh, Teslarati believes that the credits will be simplified to 1 credit per charging visit. This could be modified in many ways, including a system that would track credits based on some type of tiered scale.

Different trims could come complete with a different number of initial credits included, or consumers could pre-purchase credit packages with larger packages offering a bigger discount.

This idea opens the door for giveaways, gift cards, competitions, holiday discounts, achievements … you name it.

Accounts would have the option of being pre-loaded to negate customer worry. Of course, no one has any idea about pricing yet, but it would have to be reasonable enough to be appealing and make sense. Leave it up to Tesla to come up with some variation of this that will likely be a cool, innovative system.

Source: Teslarati

Categories: Charging, Tesla

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40 Comments on "Is This How Tesla Supercharger Credits Will Work?"

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ChargePoint manages to deal with this issue, so it shouldn’t take anything particularly special.
This may be where SolarCity merger comes into play. Currently they are selling power in 20 states. If the charging is connected to Solar City, then Solar City may have the ability to charge by the kWh.

ChargePoint has charges of $0.60 cents KW/h more expensive than gasoline. Tesla has to get the price right and fair.

The ChargePoint fees for CHAdeMO DCFC, CCS DCFC at Royal Farms in MD are very reasonable at Cost $0.29/kWh, $3.50 minimum

Let’s use a Gen2 Volt as the point of comparison: a car that gets pretty good MPG on regular gas and pretty good MPGe on electricity. A Gen2 Volt gets 3.225mi/kWh, and it gets 41 MPG.

At your cited price of $0.29/kWh, that’s $0.0899 per mile on electricity. Since the Volt gets 41 MPG, $0.0899/mi is equivalent to paying $3.685/gal; the current national average gas price is $2.192/gal.

In other words, paying $0.29/kWh (in a Volt) is more than a 66% price increase over buying gas, which is not really “competitively priced” in any realistic sense of the term.

This is the real stumbling block of family-priced BEVs: commercial charging during the day is much, much more expensive than gas, and when you aren’t selling a $90,000 car, it’s a lot harder to hide those costs.

Paying, say, 25¢ per kWh would certainly be competitively priced when compared to the average 25 MPG gasmobile.

Sure, if you compare it to a very high MPG car, especially another EV like the Volt, it won’t look as favorable. And so what? That comparison doesn’t make any more sense than comparing the average gasmobile’s MPG rating to an EV hypermiler’s abnormally high miles-per-kWh rating.

Cherry-picking outlier figures, far from the norm, is the mark of someone who’s not interested in an honest debate or argument. Just what is your agenda here, Spider-Dan? I had never noticed you spitting out anti-Tesla FUD… until now.

I used the Volt because it’s one of the few cars that can use either gas or electricity, and it’s relatively efficient at both.

If I were trying to game the comparison, I would have used a Fusion Energi (equivalent of $4.0774/gal gas) or a PiP ($4.205/gal). And if I were trying to skew it in the other direction, I would have used an i3 REx ($3.299/gal), as that car has incredibly poor efficiency on gas; it’s less powerful and consumes more (premium!) gas than a gen2 Volt, despite weighing 600lbs less.

But in all of the cases above, I am comparing efficient cars to one another. It makes no sense to compare to a 25 MPG car, as that car is not likely to share the characteristics of an EV. That’s specifically why I wanted to use a car that can run on gas or electricity.

Chargepoint has all sorts of different charging schemes. By KWH, by time, free, free for an hour then charge after that, private, etc.

They have location that will host the charger decide how to charge.

You do realize that the price is set by the OWNER of the unit, not Chargepoint, right? The owner is the one PAYING for the electricity, so they get to set the price.

The Chargepoint at Fry’s Electronics in Sunnyvale, CA is so ridiculously expensive I won’t even park at it. OTOH, the ones at various Walgreen’s and the ones run by the City of San Jose, CA are reasonable.

Chargepoint lets you set a variety of prices, including per-use, per-KWh, and post-charge parking fees.

Indirectly, ChargePoint causes the higher price. They charge exorbitant fees for their software/payment license, which makes the per kWh rates that people decide to charge far too expensive.

Except when the station is free, then software license need not be purchased.

“Beat Gas” prices shouldn’t be the mantra. They should try to instead educate people on the value of rapidly being on their way for those one, or a dozen, times per year they actually need a supercharger.

I don’t think $10-20 visits should be out of the question. Go ahead and flame me. You’re paying for an extremely limited amount of especially convenient access.

The primary purpose of Superchargers is to support Tesla’s sales. All the free press Tesla gets from opening new superchargers, and from people reporting how nice it is to be able to use Superchargers, helps Tesla sell cars.

If Tesla started charging as much (or more) than gas/diesel to charge up their cars, then they would start getting bad press from people complaining about how expensive it would be.

Elon said that even fee-based Supercharging would be significantly cheaper than gasoline. I don’t expect Tesla to go back on that apparent promise. pjwoo1, it would be penny-wise and pound-foolish of Tesla to charge as much as you’re suggesting to use Superchargers.

On a side note, this is why Tesla is the only charging network operator to insist that automakers must buy in to the network (and become partners) in order for individual drivers to gain access: Tesla’s charging model doesn’t work if the Supercharger network is flooded with “family-priced” cars.

Mark the tape: the cost to use the SC network will be high enough to discourage MIII users from charging outside of emergencies. The idea of taking a cross-country trip in a MIII will be far too expensive to be practical for most people.

“The idea of taking a cross-country trip in a MIII will be far too expensive to be practical for most people.”

I’ll predict right now that that’s not going to happen.

You write as if the Supercharger network is going to be forever limited to the currently available stalls. Sure, Tesla is going to move to limit Supercharger use in an effort to reduce or eliminate freeloading and people using it when they don’t really need to. But at the same time, Tesla will be building out lots of new Supercharger network capacity, to make room for all those new Model ≡ drivers.

Don’t ignore the fact that with a much larger volume of sales, Tesla will have a lot more income with which to build out a large number of new Superchargers.

The number of SC stalls available has nothing to do with the price that will be charged. Electricity is electricity; if Tesla has a way to generate energy at a lower cost than the power companies do, then they should be in the power generation business. (Then again, if that were true, Elon would not have had to bail out SolarCity.)

Just to clarify what I’m saying: charging your car during peak hours will be prohibitively expensive whether you do it at home or at a SC station. Tesla has a very strong incentive to mask that cost when they are selling $90K cars and they aren’t required to be profitable. But when both of those things change, Tesla will no longer be able to use SC stations as loss leaders.

One $ 2k credit to go please. Should last the lifetime of the vehicle.

Problem with that $2K lifetime model is, once you’ve paid for it, you feel compelled to keep using it as often as possible – especially if there is a SC station near where you live.

Guess what happens next?

You get a letter from Elon telling you to stop using it too much? 😉

Personally I think charging per kWh makes the most sense. Whatever law on the books that says they can’t resell electricity needs to go. Then again maybe they could do what they did in LA awhile back and charge you $20 for toast but give you foie gras free. Maybe they can charge a transmission fee per kWh but give you the electricity for free 🙂

But if you charge only by KWH, you put up an incentive for people to charge up to 100% even though it is really only trickle charging near the end. If you make it by time, people will charge up what they need and then leave.

All sorts of models can be used & combined.

Actually, to charge by the session will incentivize longer charging times is even worse. I know I would rather get a full charge vs a half charge if paying the same amount.

So – how many people show up at a Supercharger with greater than 20% of their batteries energy remaining? How many show up with more than 40% Remaining, and How many show up to charge – at greater than 60% Remaining? I am sure Tesla has the Stats on that! So – How about 1 Credit for up to 45 Minutes, and another Credit for Longer? Similar – 1 Credit for up to 80% Charge, and 1 Credit more for up to 100% Charge? But – what about if you are needing a range charge to make it to a Destination Charger? Some areas – even by the time they are shipping the Model 3 will not have 100 – 150 mile Supercharger intervals in all directions and all cases! I have a co-worker friend that did a weekend trip this labour day weekend, that pushed him to the last few % of range left to get to his specific Supercharger needed on the way home, even after driving slow and leaving AC off! There will be places – even in 2019 – that does not have solid Supercharger Coverage – even in the USA and Canada, let alone Europe,… Read more »

Well said, MTN Ranger.

I don’t see that any simple system, either by the kWh or by the minute, will fully satisfy the needs of keeping Supercharger use limited to those who really need it. Charging by the kWh won’t discourage people from staying for that last few percent of capacity, and charging by the minute would unfairly penalize people who are sharing their Supercharger with another car.

Seems like the only truly fair pricing would be charging by the kWh until the car reaches, say, 80% charge, and then switching to by-the-minute charge for those who must have that last few percent.

Of course, Tesla’s purpose won’t be to achieve completely fair pricing. Their aim will be to avoid clogging of the Supercharging network, and thus avoid the bad press associated with that.

That is a good idea. Using KWh first and then minutes, once over 80%.
Although I still find the free charging included very appealing.
For the local supercharger abusers there is a solution in making the KWh price dependant on the distance from your home. So local charging would be way too expensive to profit from it but still possible if really needed. In the same time charging 1000 km away from home would be very low price and make the system really work well for its initial purpose.

True, but people will naturally unplug during the taper anyway, since they still value their time.

If the option for SC capability ~HAS~ to be tied to the higher/highest Trim, then I say BOOOooooooooo…..

Make it available from the bottom please.

Supercharger _capability_ is included as standard. Free electricity is not however.

Tesla doesn’t have to charge for electricity used.

It just has to charge for being plugged in, with the price depending on the battery size and state of charge. 😉


Charge an “Access” fee or “Port” fee or like the utilities charge you if you go off grid but stay connected like a “Connection” fee.

My guess:

Quick charge = up to 80% = 1 credit
Full charge = 81% to 100% = 1.5 credits

High demand stations may require different rates (i.e. Quick charge = 1.5 credits, full charge = 2 credits)
Low demand stations might run at a discount

Credits cost $8 ea.

The Model 3 could eventually encourage Tesla to provide good charging discounts on Low Demand Stations (LDS), due to placing them in lower income areas. Tesla should try and incentivize and create demand for the Model 3 Lease Returns, and the Trade ins/Pre Owned. This will add value to the resale market when the Super Charger insallations have branched out in 2020-2022.
Tesla must get captive cash into existing drivers hands, while trading them up the Tesla value chain. Doing this, while getting new drivers in the used $15 – 25k EV vehicle segment, will garner ever more market share. This is Elons additional path to profitability, and ROI for his shareholders. Tesla sales volume will be the ultimate market disruptor to the major legacy ICE manufacturers. Build and Deliver the Model 3 before the EV market saturation starts, trying to take Tesla market share.

While that’s better than 1 credit per visit, that will be almost as bad. People will charge up to 80% or 100%, not what they actually need.

I was waiting for a i3 at 92% using CCS. I asked him why, and he said he’ll take it to 100% because it doesn’t cost him anything extra (his time is worthless, apparently). Then fixed credit for % or visit will be just as bad.

The best will be charging by time. AFAIK, charging by time is allowed everywhere.


People don’t seem to understand the cost of these chargers. The cost of the electricity energy is barely more than a rounding error.

The real cost is the installation cost, the land rent, the cost of the Superchargers, demand charges in places, and the monitoring and maintenance of the chargers.

I suspect they will charge a price that is about the same as filling up a tank of gasoline. I’d find that be just fine. 95%+ of the time I would be filling up at home. Paying much more for access to Superchargers on the rare times I need them would be well worth it.

Someone calculated how many miles of Supercharger driving you would need to do to in order to break even for the $2500 price of lifetime Supercharger access. Assuming you are willing to pay only 14 cents/KWH, they calculated that you would need to drive some 55,000 miles. Clearly that is WAY MORE than any normal driver would access.

“People don’t seem to understand the cost of these chargers. The cost of the electricity energy is barely more than a rounding error.

The real cost is the installation cost, the land rent, the cost of the Superchargers, demand charges in places, and the monitoring and maintenance of the chargers.”

Would you say the same thing about the price of gasoline vs. installing a gas station? Because daytime (peak) charging is likely to be more expensive than gas, and it also takes a lot longer.

Would it make sense for Tesla to introduce some form of net metering? To allow solar panel users to return generated energy to, say, Tesla Energy, and then allow you to use the same kWh amount to super charge?

Of course, it would require Tesla to open an energy company. The same Apple did with Apple Energy (for different purposes, though).

If Tesla starts doing this this means that a lot of Chamo chargers will not be going away if they can offer lower charging prices then Tesla. In that Tesla with Tesla known to charge top dollar for most of everything a lot of Chamo chargers will be able to stand their ground angst the Supercharger network if they can upgrade.

If the fee for Supercharger use is significantly lower than the average gasmobile’s driver pays for gas, on a per-mile basis, as Elon said or at least implied, then it’s hard to see how either CCS or CHAdeMO could possibly compete. That would make the average Supercharger use significantly less expensive, on a per-kWh basis, as well as being faster.

Elon says many things. For example:

“as much as you want, for life”

If I buy a tesla3 I charge one time a week , thats if I get 100kw battery, thats will be cheaper than charging at home for me

Tesla can keep track of “billions of cars” on the road when 3 is out; then why is keeping track of few thousand supercharger by minutes any more complicated? It’s not complicated at all, and only charging by time makes any sense.

I think there are all sorts of different systems that can work. But time MUST BE included as at least part of it. Otherwise people might plug-in their car and then head to the movie theater for a 2 hour movie. Their car make fill up in an hour but their car would be hogging up a valuable charging slot. So they need to put something in there to incentive people not to do that.

Unless they make an update to the Summon functionality to have the car unplug itself when done charging (maybe with that automated snake connector) and move to a nearby parking spot to free up the charger space. 🙂