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Are charging stations free for Tesla?

Ideally, a free charging station is where you’d want to go. But do they exist? Let’s find out.

Tesla car charging at charging station
Image: Pixabay

Quick Answer: Charging at a Tesla Supercharger does come at a cost. However, some public stations that aren’t Supercharger stations, such as those found at certain supermarkets, are free to use.

Let’s face it—electricity isn’t cheap. It never has been, and unless a breakthrough technology comes along, it won’t be any time soon.

On top of that, the cost of buying a Tesla is quite high, so finding a way to charge your vehicle as cheaply as possible is worth the effort.

Ideally, a free charging station is where you’d want to go. But do they exist? Let’s find out.

Are charging stations free for Tesla?

Short answer: Generally, no, but there are exceptions.

If you’re using a major charging station, you will need to pay for the electricity you pump into your Tesla. The cost will largely depend on your location (electricity prices in your area) and the charging station you choose to use.

Tesla supercharger
Image: Unsplash

Even at a Tesla Supercharger, they’re not giving anything away for free, and you’ll need to pay for every kWh of juice you squeeze out of the grid. Hey, someone’s got to eat the cost.

With that said, some public charging stations will let you charge your Tesla—or any electric vehicle, for that matter—for free. Let’s discuss potential freebies further.

How can you charge a Tesla for free?

Short answer: Find and use a free public charging station in your area.

As electric vehicles become more widespread, charging stations are popping up like weeds. Good weeds. Weeds you welcome into your garden. Sorry, bad analogy.

Anyways, free charging stations exist, but you’ll need to hunt for them.

Common locations of free EV chargers are:

  • Shopping malls and supermarkets
  • Hotels and motels
  • Car dealerships
  • Other retail and service-based businesses

To help you on your hunt for a free Tesla charging station, you can use online map apps, such as PlugShare, that show all the nearby freebies on an interactive map.

Keep in mind—if you’re on the hunt for a free EV charger, others almost certainly are as well. So, you might need to fight for a spot at the charger, and the juice may not be worth the squeeze.

Essentially, nothing in life is free. Or is it that the best things in life are free? Either way, if you want to charge your Tesla, in most cases, you’ll have to pay.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Matt is an Australian writer with a degree in creative and critical writing. Prior to commencing his studies, he worked in tech support and gained valuable insights into technology and its users. He is also an editor and author coach at Dean Publishing.

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