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Are Tesla Charging Stations Free? Learn If Your Tesla Qualifies


Tesla is one of the most popular electric vehicles today. Tesla EVs are available in different models. If you’re a Tesla car owner, it is essential to know how and where you can charge your vehicle, especially since its Supercharger network continues to grow.

Fortunately, Tesla owners can access free Charging, which is convenient and allows drivers to save on the cost of Charging. This is all thanks to the free supercharging program that they used to offer.

Are Tesla charging stations free? Well, it is a confusing question, but the car company is used to o free unlimited supercharging with new Model X or Model S purchases. Meanwhile, remember that Tesla is not offering free supercharging with new purchases.

What is the Tesla Supercharger Network? 

How much does it cost to charge a tesla at a charging station

The Tesla Supercharger Network is a combined network of Tesla’s proprietary charging stations. With this, the automaker will not depend on third-party charging networks like other automakers that produce electric cars.

The network was launched way back in September 2012 and started with 6 Supercharger stations. The launch has coincided with the Tesla’s Model S sedan, which was the first to use the network. An average charging station commonly has 10 Supercharger stalls, but some offer more.

Is Tesla Still Provide Free Supercharging? 

If you wonder whether Tesla offers Supercharging for free, the answer is yes. With the debut of the Model S in 2012, many Tesla owners experienced additional perks, including unlimited Supercharging. Meanwhile, this perk can be confusing for old and new Tesla owners. To help you understand, keep reading.

Is Your Tesla Qualified for Free Supercharging? 

Even though Tesla promotes their referral mileage bonus program, some Tesla models can access free unlimited supercharging. The following are the factors how to identify if your Tesla vehicle can qualify for the free Supercharging option or not.

The first thing to do is to know about the policy updates and news about Tesla. You can consider the following:

The original Tesla Roadster doesn’t come with Supercharging capabilities

Since 2017, fully-transferable and free unlimited Supercharging is not available

All Model S versions have a form of free Supercharging, but it excluded the Model S 40 because it’s a software-limited Model S 60, which requires to be unlocked

Performance Model 3 is available with free unlimited Supercharging for EV life from 2018 to 2019, but it only applied to first owners and is not transferable

Since mid-2020, the car company doesn’t mention additional free unlimited Supercharging

The Model Y doesn’t have long-term free Supercharging deals, but it can qualify for one-year free Supercharging.

How to Confirm If Your Tesla Model Qualifies for Free Charging? 

The following are the ways your Tesla battery can avail of free Charging.

Directly Contact Tesla 

The clearest and easiest method to confirm if you or your Tesla vehicle have free unlimited Supercharging is to contact them directly. You can reach out to their customer support team through chat or call.

Check Your Tesla Account 

Another way to determine if you can qualify for free Tesla charging is through a Tesla account. You can follow the steps below:

1. Log in to your account

2. Choose “manage” then “view details” to the linked Tesla vehicle

3. Go to the “free unlimited Supercharging” option

It can tell whether your Tesla vehicle comes with free unlimited Supercharging. Note that it will not inform you if the charging perk is transferable.

What Are the Types of Tesla Charging Stations? 

Tesla network of superchargers detailed explanation

Tesla has an extensive network of electric vehicle chargers. They have two types of public Charging stations, namely: Destination Chargers and Superchargers.

Destination Chargers

Tesla owners can also avail of the Tesla network of Destination Chargers. These are installed by the ‘Charging Partners” of Tesla. The Charging Partners are commonly landowners or business owners who install Tesla Wall Connectors on their property for public access. You can find them in places like restaurants and hotels.

Keep in mind that Destination Chargers come with a slower Charging speed compared to Superchargers. A Destination charge can take about 1 to 12 hours to fully charge your Tesla car. It can depend on how much charge is left on the Tesla’s battery.

It is best to use a Destination charger if you’re going to a place for an extended period, such as overnight at a hotel or dining at a restaurant. Destination charging stations will not be helpful if you make a quick stop. The Charging cost for the Destination charger can depend on the Tesla car model.

Tesla Model Destination Charger charge rate (Miles of range/ hour)

Model S 34 miles/ hour

Model 3 44 miles/ hour

Model X 30 miles/ hour

Model 3 Standard 30 miles/ hour

Model Y 42 miles/ hour


The Tesla Superchargers are not called super for nothing. They are ultra-powerful 480-volt charging stations that can let you charge a Tesla vehicle for an hour. It provides lightning Charging speeds, so Tesla vehicles can be used for traveling long distances. You can find the charging station in parking lots.

The Supercharger will charge Tesla cars to 80%. If it reaches 80%, the rate of Charging slows to protect the battery’s health. Keep in mind that it can take about 75 minutes to get the full 100% charge. Even though Superchargers are fast than other electric vehicle chargers, it takes long period than filling a gas tank.

The Charging rate of Superchargers can vary for every Tesla model.

Tesla Model Miles of range/15 minutes of Supercharging

  • Model S 163 miles
  • Model 3 175 miles
  • Model Y 158 miles
  • Model X 142 miles

What Are the Tesla Charging Station Locations? 

Tesla Superchargers are installed on famous travel routes to give EV owners fast charging sessions, especially if they are on long trips. On the Tesla charging station map, you can see the Tesla charging station at a distance from major interstate highways in rest stops, front parking spaces of hotels, and shopping centers.

The vehicle company also installs Superchargers in urban places. You can find urban Superchargers in downtown areas and grocery stores. Since they are conveniently located, you can get a coffee or shop while waiting to finish the Charging session.

Are They Conveniently Located?

On the other hand, Tesla’s destination Chargers are not always in similar convenient places. Thus, the Charging Partners of Tesla are not located along highly trafficked highways or big cities. The Destination charger can be found in local routes where Superchargers are not installed.

You can quickly charge a Tesla model with the help of the Tesla app. They have a Go Anywhere tool that can serve as a Tesla charging station map. It can generate a route with a Supercharging station along the highway. In addition, it will also tell you how long it takes to charge at every station. It also tells the location of Destination Chargers near your spot.

The feature is also available on the touchscreen of Tesla. The navigation system will locate the fastest route with charging stations along the way. Don’t worry since it will offer you updated and accurate information about the best route.

You Should be Aware Not to let the Tesla Idle 

Tesla instituted idle fees in its effort to prevent its Supercharging stations from being packed. The car company will charge you an idle fee if your car is fully charged while parking at the Tesla charging station. In the US, you will be charged $0.50 each minute if the vehicle is still connected to the Supercharger, even if it’s already charged completely.

Can You Charge a Tesla at Non-Tesla Charging Stations? 

Good news! Tesla cars can also charge at charging stations not owned by Tesla. You can do this with the use of a J1772 charging adapter. Tesla EVs all come with J1772 adapters. You can attach it to the charger and plug it in for charging.

Even though the chargers don’t offer fast Charging like Superchargers, they will still complete the job. However, it is recommended to use Tesla’s Supercharger network.

Can You Charge A Tesla at Home? 

Range per hour of charging a Tesla car battery at home

Yes, it is possible to charge Tesla cars at home. You can install a Tesla home charger to charge overnight affordably and quickly. You can buy a Tesla wall charger for about $400 for a home charging session. Expect to be charged added installation fees for an electrician. In addition, you can be eligible for tax credits for the EV charger installation expenses.

Can You Charge Tesla with Solar at Home? 

Some Tesla owners think that Charging can be expensive at home. However, it can be less expensive if you use solar to power your charging session. Make sure to get the right size for your specific needs.

How Does Tesla Supercharger Differ from Third-Party Networks? 

There are some similarities and differences between Supercharger and third-party networks. The market for charging infrastructure can depend, but it shares many elements depending on the electric vehicles compatible with different chargers like Tesla Superchargers.

How Much Is the Cost of Charging a Tesla? 

The cost of charging a Tesla vehicle can depend on several factors, including the amount of energy taken, location, and time of the day. Usually, you will pay for a full charge. Tesla used to offer free unlimited supercharging. If you qualify, you can charge it free at any of Tesla’s Charging stations; simply plug it into the Tesla Wall Connector.


Generally, Tesla Charging Stations are free if you’re qualified for unlimited Supercharging. You can choose between Superchargers and Destination Chargers. You can also charge it to third-party networks. The back and forth of Tesla’s free supercharging perk could be clearer.

Tesla owners can also charge for free at hotels and motels that have a Tesla destination charger and say it is free. The newer EV models come with free supercharging perks, and some older models still qualify for free charging.

Last Updated on: January 26, 2023

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