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Published on October 10th, 2018 | by Zachary Shahan


Breaking: Tesla Offers Free Supercharging During Hurricane Michael

October 10th, 2018 by  

Following its tradition of lending a helping hand to those in need (which is, more or less, the entire underlying mission of Tesla), the Californian company is again letting Tesla owners who are in the path of a hurricane — this time Hurricane Michael — get out of the way quicker via free Supercharging.

New to Tesla Supercharging? Find this a little confusing? Let’s go back a bit to explain a few things:

Whereas most other fully electric cars have a max charging capacity of 50 kW, Tesla’s vehicles have the capability to charge at a rate of approximately 120 kW at one of its 11,000+ Superchargers.

What that means in human terms is that you can drive a long distance at a convenient pace, taking breaks to charge up while you use the restroom, get some food, etc. (My experience from driving a Tesla Model S from Poland to Paris and back was that it was a little slower than it would have been in a gas car but much more comfortable and highly convenient. I didn’t have to think about the pit stops at all since Tesla’s brilliant navigation did all of the work and Autopilot is a dream feature for a road trip.)

Supercharging was free for Tesla Model S and Model X buyers for years, but it is now something you may have to pay extra for when you buy a new Tesla, and certainly if you’re buying a Model 3. (Slight clarification for nuance: You do get some free Supercharging credit with a new purchase, but it is no longer an unlimited amount of free Supercharging.)

Free Supercharging is enabled via the car’s ID in Tesla’s system. Older Tesla vehicles have it enabled for free forever by default, while newer vehicles have some other kind of coding to make it only available for free up to a certain limit and in the case of events like Hurricane Michael.

Back to the hurricane, Tesla opened up free Supercharging to all Tesla drivers in the path of another hurricane in Florida last year. Since then, when a new giant storm comes along (which, unfortunately, we can count on more and more), Tesla opens up its charging ports free of charge to all Tesla drivers (no pun initially intended). It’s now doing so for people near Hurricane Michael.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Why not engineer more hurricanes for the benefit of free Supercharging?

I’m sure some mad scientist is working on that right now. 

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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