Tesla Creates Confusion Around Charging Station Membership for Non-Tesla EVs — Is It a Bargain or Not?

Tesla car charging
Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com

In a very short-lived announcement, it originally seemed Tesla had announced extremely low Supercharger membership prices for non-Tesla electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S.

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Tesla news site Teslarati, citing a Sawyer Merritt tweet, initially reported that the EV company was offering two plans: a pay as you go, access to Supercharger network and a membership for $0.99 a month.

“Couple things to note: The $0.99/months seems oddly low. Second, I just signed up to see if it would work. It does, but my account doesn’t have a non-Tesla EV in it. I have many questions lol,” Merritt tweeted on August 16.

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A few hours later, Merritt tweeted an update stating that it appeared Tesla removed the new feature from its app, adding “My guess is they accidentally hit publish prematurely or they mistakenly put $0.99/month instead of $9.99/month. I guess we’ll see.”

In November 2021, Tesla launched its non-Tesla Supercharger pilot, which is available for Supercharging stations in the following countries: France, The Netherlands, Norway, U.K., Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Luxembourg.

According to its website, non-Tesla vehicles may access the Supercharger network on a pay per use basis. Supercharger stations that are available to non-Tesla vehicles are indicated in the Tesla app.

Tesla also said it offers an optional Supercharger membership that allows non-Tesla vehicles to charge at lower pay per use billing rates than would otherwise apply. “A separate membership is needed for each Tesla Account, and each membership is limited to a maximum of five Supercharger charge sessions per day. Membership renews automatically on a monthly basis for a fee charged at the start of each month. Membership pricing and signup details are available in the Tesla app,” according to the website’s terms of use.

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As for U.S. plans, according to a White House fact sheet on the “Private Sector Commitments to Make EV Charging More Affordable and Accessible” released on June 28, Tesla is making investments at its Gigafactory in Buffalo, NY to support the deployment of new fast charging stations to add to its fast-charging network.

“Later this year, Tesla will begin production of new Supercharger equipment that will enable non-Tesla EV drivers in North America to use Tesla Superchargers,” according to the fact sheet.

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For now, the jury is still out on whether Tesla’s original $0.99 cents per month membership is too good to be true or not.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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