With Tesla’s New Supercharger Fee Program, Here’s What Trips Will Cost – Video


YouTube’s Ben Sullins took the time to crunch the numbers and put together a realistic calculator so that we can all figure out how much our trips will cost with the implementation of the new Supercharger Fee Program.

First of all, Tesla gives everyone that purchases a new Tesla vehicle 400 kWh for free. This is only about 1,000 miles, but if you think about the primary reason for Supercharging, it makes sense. People should really be charging their vehicles at home on a daily basis. Supercharging should be reserved for traveling. So, if you go on one average family vacation every year, the 400 kWh should do you well. If you buy a pre-owned Tesla, free lifetime Supercharging is built in.

Supercharger Rates By State (via Ben Sullns)

Supercharger Rates By State (via Ben Sullins)

Ben breaks everything down by Supercharger rates per state, type of vehicle, starting charge, credits applied, and Tier 1 and Tier 2 pricing. He takes you through the whole process on the video, but really if you jump on the calculator below, it’s not rocket science.

Click here for the calculator.

Video Description via Ben Sullins Data Geek on YouTube:

Tesla finally announced details about the Supercharger costs for new Tesla owners. Any vehicle ordered after January 15th, 2017 will receive 400 kWh of charging per year after which they’ll have to pay a fee. In some countries and states, the rates are per minute where there are two tiers. Once you reach 60kWh of charging the 2nd tier pricing kicks in. Since this can be a bit confusing, and the cost would vary by car, I wanted to try and help people figure out how much a trip might cost.

Visit this link below to calculate your trip. You’ll want to enter the total distance, starting charge, credits available, and car model. The model adjusts the coefficient used in the calculation of the effective rate. That basically takes into account the added cost of charging beyond 60kWh each time you stop. You could offset this if you only ever charge to 60 kWh but the estimate should still be fairly accurate here.

Building the Supercharger Network for the Future (Via Tesla.com):

The Tesla Team January 12, 2017

Tesla created the Supercharger network to make long-distance travel a seamless experience for drivers. Cars have always represented independence and the freedom to travel wherever and whenever people want to go. To enable this freedom, building a charging network that provides quick, convenient, and long-distance travel is critical to the adoption of electric vehicles. One of our top priorities this year is to significantly increase capacity of our Supercharger network.

In November, we announced a change in the Supercharger program that allows us to reinvest in the network, accelerate its growth, relieve congestion, and bring all Tesla owners, current and Model 3, the best Supercharging experience. Tesla Model S and Model X cars ordered after January 15, 2017 will receive 400 kWh (kilowatt-hour) of free Supercharging credits (roughly 1,000 miles) annually on the anniversary of their delivery. We carefully considered current Supercharger usage and found that 400 kWh covers the annual long-distance driving needs of the majority of our owners. As a result, most owners will continue to enjoy the benefits of Supercharging on road trips at no additional cost.

If customers travel beyond their annual credit, they will be charged a small fee to Supercharge. In North America, pricing is fixed within each state or province; overseas, pricing is fixed within each country. In most regions, Tesla owners will pay per kWh as it’s the fairest way to pay for the exact energy used. However, due to local regulations, in several regions we will charge per minute of usage instead, though we are actively working with regulators to update the rules. What’s important is that in every region, Supercharging will remain simple, seamless and always significantly cheaper than gasoline. We are only aiming to recover a portion of our costs and set up a fair system for everyone; this will never be a profit center for Tesla. Customers can just plug in, charge up, and access their charging history on our website.

To put the affordability of Supercharging into perspective, customers will pay about $15 for a road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, about $120 from Los Angeles to New York, about €60 from Paris to Rome, and about ¥400 from Beijing to Shanghai.

We are excited to continue the expansion of the world’s fastest and most sophisticated charging network. Additional program details are available here.

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25 Comments on "With Tesla’s New Supercharger Fee Program, Here’s What Trips Will Cost – Video"

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“When billing per minute, there are two tiers to account for changes in charging speeds, called “tier 1” and “tier 2”.

Tier 1 applies while cars are charging at or below 60 kW and tier 2 applies while cars are charging above 60 kW. Tier 1 is half the cost of tier 2.”

Tesla quote:

via Ben Sullins program description:
“Once you reach 60kWh of charging the 2nd tier pricing kicks in. Since this can be a bit confusing, and the cost would vary by car, I wanted to try and help people figure out how much a trip might cost.”

Did he do the math right??? He doesn’t seem know the difference between Kw and kwh. Could be a typo on his part.

Agreed George, still a great idea to build this interactive map. Needs to build some more logical tools into his map, otherwise, the casual user will make mistakes.
For example:
We take two trips per year to the beach and one to the mountains. Our beach trip is 220 miles one way with a Supercharger in route. Truth is, our reserved Model III probably could make it without the use of the SC, but lets say we stop for a 10 minute top off for peace of mind. If we started the return trip fully charged, we would barely touch our allocated free miles. Add a few more round trips per year and the Tesla’s new policy turns out to be just perfect for our use.

People seem to jump from “every day” cost to occasional “trip cost”. The calculator needs to account for annual usage too. Still bravo for the beginning of what could be a great calculator.

Is there a way for a Tesla owner to force the car to charge at a lower rate and “game the system” so they get billed at the lower rate in the bill-by-minute states?

There’s no advantage of doing that.

You pay half the price to charge half as fast.

It would then take twice as long to charge the same capacity at the same price. Nothing gained here.

If you saw you were charging at say 65 kW, there would be a definite financial advantage to backing that rate to say 55 or something.

Of course, that would assume there is some way to control the charge rate, which sounds like a no?

It’s a ‘Yes’. Teslas can be set to charge at a variety of KW, from a household outlet’s delivery rate (1.5kw) all the way up above 100kw.

It is too bad the speed of power matters, but it’s a charge Tesla also pays. (60KWh, at 100kw sounds more expensive, than 60KWh at 50kw).

Of course, lost in all this is just how much cheaper the slower other ~90+% of your charging takes place, overnight at home, at an off-peak rate.

That’s an interesting claim. I look forward to seeing reports of what happens when a Tesla driver tries to “game the system” that way, altho I think for most drivers, less time would be more valuable than saving a few cents.

We know the Supercharger charging cable allows two-way communication between the car and the Supercharger system. If I was Tesla, I’d set the Superchargers up to override whatever charge rate the driver had set. In fact, my guess is they already have. After all, the user-chosen charge rate is for everyday slow charging, not Supercharger fast charging!

You can’t set the rate at superchargers.
2015 S85D owner

It’s a ‘Yes’.

I can adjust my charging rate on my MS when plugged in at home. I have it set to 80a AC. on the wall charger…around 20 kw.

but when I go to a SC it doesn’t limit the charging rate. So I’m not sure if you can set a lower SC charging rate.

Not directly. There are no controls available to the driver to limit supercharger power, only for AC charging with the onboard chargers. Once can choose to charge next to another Tesla to share the supercharger and get lower power. Can also charge when the battery is cold.

However the price difference will not be worth your extra time spent at the supercharger, especially when you are on the road.

Under the heading of fortunate coincidences, in order to guess the equivalent $/gallon for your EV, multiply your $/kwhr times 10.

This is conservative, with uncertainty toward the precise $/gal number being lower, and it naturally adjusts to compare apples to apples if you have a larger/heavier EV.

The bad news about this is that it looks like the price of gas is within striking distance of the price of electrons. We should definitely have some sort of carbon price floor in law before that happens. Because if EVs take over, market forces will make it happen. You can pump existing reserves out of the ground rather cheaply.

Your “carbon price floor”, being legislated into a law, would be a success, for one and all. Getting it passed, so that it is implemented as a fossil fuel fee, instead of an additional “tax”, will be the only way the US gets it on the books anytime soon.

From your lips to a loving God’s ears!

This actually looks like a wide gap to me. My Ford Focus gets such terrible MPG driving in Northwest Houston that I’d be looking at 10 cents/mile at my local Kroger station. If I had a Model S I’d switch electricity plans because my usage would make that worthwhile. So my marginal power bill increase might be only 12 cents like for the Supercharger stations here. It looks like it’s 4 cents/mile with a Model S, and 3 cents/mile with a Model III or Bolt. These driving conditions would be favorable to an EV.

at 3.5 miles per KWh in AZ at 12 cents per KWh, that gets me 3.5/0.12 miles per dollar = 29 miles per dollar. If gas is $2/gallon, then I’ll get 58 miles per $2. My 2010 Prius gets about 58 miles per gallon. So I’m at parity with the two cars. But I’m happy with those stats. Now in Ca or NY, the prius is a lot cheaper to drive, but of course not nearly as much fun.

Gas is also typically > $2.70 in NY and California.

Good! I am glad people will need to pay a decent amount to use the Superchargers. This will stop people from using the Superchargers when they should just be charging up at home.

Superchargers are limited resource. Use them as needed. But don’t abuse them. Tesla doesn’t have the capital to waste on Superchargers that are just being abused because of cheapskates that are trying to get the most out of their “free” charging.

And for those that will ask “What about the people that can’t charge up at home?” . . . I say FIGURE OUT A WAY TO CHARGE UP AT HOME (or work). Why are you buying an $80K car if you don’t own a home anyway?!?! If you live in an apartment or condo then figure out someway to get chargers installed there! Or move to a place that has them or will allow you to install them. California law requires all landlords to allow renters to install chargers if the renters pay for it.

The biggest cost is time. Lots of it. The actual nickels and dimes are not material.

Exactly! Which then begs the question of what was the real motivation to implement this.

I agree that the biggest “cost” to any individual driver is time.

Contrariwise, the cost to Tesla for Supercharging thousands or tens of thousands — and eventually hundreds of thousands and perhaps even millions — of cars, all at the same time…

Well, let’s put it this way: If you want to pay Tesla’s monthly electricity bill for the entire Supercharger network, I strongly suspect they’d happily take your money! 🙂

As I understand it, Tesla’s goal is to make the Supercharger network revenue-neutral. And not to be a money-loser for them.

So, now one needs to hire an accountant who would keep a realtime tally of the supercharging cost…

Let’s get real, no one will pay attention while they are on the road. If they need to charge they will charge.

Surely we’ll soon be able to say “there’s an app for that”, and probably within days rather than weeks.


That’s my big takeaway from the calculator.

At 2.6 mi/kwh, you will really want a 100-ish kwh pack to make a cross country trip.

So at $4,875 x 2 for battery upgrade plus $6k for full autopilot you are looking at about $51,000 minimum for a “fully capable” cross country Model 3.

“If you buy a used Tesla lifetime free supercharging is included”

This is pure genius. Tesla’s marginal cost is small but it will have a huge effect on resale value