Published on May 27th, 2019 | by Chris Boylan0
Tesla Referral Program – How Does a Referral Code Work & What Do I Get?
May 27th, 2019 by Chris Boylan
Though Tesla has been making and selling purely electric cars since 2008, and has sold well over 500,000 cars as of Spring 2019, the company still spends next to nothing on marketing and advertising. Instead, Tesla relies mostly on word of mouth from existing owners and excitement from bloggers, YouTube influencers, and journalists to sell cars. To this end, the Tesla referral program has been an effective tool in bringing new customers to the brand.
What Is the Tesla Referral Program and What Benefits Does it Offer?
With the Tesla referral program, any owner of a Tesla vehicle can share a unique Tesla referral code or referral link with prospective Tesla buyers. If a buyer uses this referral link or code to purchase or lease a Tesla Model 3, Model S, or Model X, then both the buyer and the referrer get a reward or bonus. The actual bonus varies over time, but normally the referral bonus is a free credit on Supercharging. As of October 1, 2019, the bonus is 1,000 miles of free supercharging. This means that if you buy a Tesla online using a referral link or over the phone by providing a unique referral code, you and the person who referred you each get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging at Tesla Supercharger stations worldwide. If you have a friend, family member, or acquaintance who owns a Tesla and has influenced you in your decision to buy one, be sure to contact them for their referral link. If you’re looking for a referral link to get a Supercharging bonus on your own Tesla purchase, feel free to use mine (below), so we can both benefit from the referral bonus:
- Tesla Referral Link – use this for Supercharging bonus with purchase or lease of a Tesla Model 3, Model X or Model S
If you order over the phone, you can use referral code “christopher55570.”
In September, 2019, Tesla added solar panels to the list of eligible purchases. So if you purchase (or refer the purchase of) a Tesla solar power system, you can get a cash reward of $100, once the customer has the Tesla solar panels installed. In addition to the Supercharging bonus, or cash reward for Solar referrals, owners who refer Tesla sales get entered into drawings to win a Tesla Model Y or a new Tesla Roadster (neither of which is on the market yet). If you’re a Tesla owner with unlimited free Supercharging, then you get additional entries into the car giveaways for each referral. Model Y giveaways are (or will be) held monthly, while Roadster drawings will be held once per quarter (four times per year). As of October 1, 2019, no winners of either the Model Y or Roadster have been announced.
How Do I Find My Tesla Referral Code?
Once you own a Tesla vehicle, you’re eligible for the referral program and can begin referring new Tesla sales. If you haven’t received an email from Tesla with your Tesla referral code yet, you can email the company at email@example.com. But first check in your Tesla app. As a Tesla owner, your referral code appears in the Tesla app in the “Loot Box.” This is the little treasure chest visible in the top right of the Tesla app. From there you can share your code via email, messaging app, or social media. You can also check there to see how many referrals you have and you can see the balance of any bonus miles in your account. In May, 2019, Tesla also restored access to the referral program stats from the “My Account” area of the Tesla web site, so you can also check there for details on your referrals.
Can I Refer a Sale to Myself?
Tesla has stated in the past that owners are eligible to purchase a new Tesla using their own referral link so we assume this is still valid. I used my own referral link when upgrading from a Model 3 to a Model 3 Performance. So if you’re already a Tesla owner, you can click on your own link and complete the purchase in order to get the referral bonuses.
Where Can I Find a Supercharger and How Do I Use It?
Tesla’s Supercharger system is a global network of high-speed EV chargers that are currently designed for exclusive use by Tesla cars. Every Tesla made — other than the original Tesla Roadster — is capable of using the Tesla Supercharger network. Tesla continues to add more Supercharger stations every month and has even delivered improved charging speeds to owners via a combination of upgrades to the chargers themselves, hardware improvements to the cars, and software updates delivered over the air to Tesla vehicles. To use a Supercharger, you simply pull up to the charging stall, open your charge port and plug in the charging cable. A read-out in the car and in the Tesla app will show you charging rate and estimated time to a full charge.
Finding a Supercharger is easy, as their locations are built into every Tesla car’s on-board navigation. If you want to find one nearby while driving in your Tesla, just press the right button on your steering wheel and say, “Navigate to Supercharger.” This will present you with a list of the closest Superchargers. Pick one and the navigation system will take you there. If you plot a long-distance trip using Tesla’s on-board navigation, the car will include Supercharger stops along the way automatically, so you’ll never have to worry about running out of juice. You can also find current and planned Supercharger locations here on the Tesla website: www.tesla.com/supercharger
Is the Referral Program Available Worldwide?
The referral program and its benefits are currently available in several countries worldwide, however the program is subject to state, local and national restrictions. So you may or may not be eligible for the program, depending on where you live. In the United States, residents of Ohio and Virginia are ineligible to receive benefits of the referral program, due to local laws. The offer details in different countries may differ from those in the United States (e.g., 1,500 km of free charging in Europe vs. 1,000 miles of free charging in the United States). If you have any questions as to the availability of the referral program in your state or country, you can contact a Tesla referral program rep via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Much Is this Supercharger Bonus Really Worth?
The value of free Supercharging varies depending on which Tesla you buy or lease (or already own) and the cost of Supercharging in your area. In most parts of the United States, Tesla charges a flat rate per kWh of charge. The national average cost per kWh for Supercharging is currently $0.28 (28 cents per kWh). So we can estimate the value of this bonus using the published fuel efficiency estimates for each model. Each Tesla has an EPA-estimated efficiency that is included on the Monroney sticker and is published on the EPA’s Fuel Economy website (www.fueleconomy.gov). As an example, the Tesla Model 3 AWD and AWD Performance are rated at 29 kWH/100 miles. So, the average cost of charging a Model 3 Long Range AWD at the national average of 28 cents per kWh is around $8.12 for 100 miles of range. Thus, with the current Supercharging bonus of 1,000 miles, the value of this perk is about $81.20. If you own or purchase a Model S or Model X, which aren’t quite as efficient as a Model 3, then the value of this bonus is actually higher, because you use more electricity to travel those 1,000 miles. And if you purchase or own a Model 3 Long Range RWD, Standard range or Standard Range+, then the value is slightly lower as those versions of the Model 3 are slightly more efficient. After your referral bonus is depleted, you will need to pay per use for Supercharger access.
Do the Bonus Miles Expire?
According to the current program terms, unused bonus Supercharging miles expire after six months. Depending on how often you use Superchargers, you may not use the full credit within six months, in which case the unused miles will no longer be available in your account. But if you are an owner who refers an additional Tesla purchase, this extends the expiration date by an additional six months. So, theoretically, if you can refer at least one new buyer to Tesla every six months (on average), your bonus miles should never expire. Some time in the Summer of 2019, Tesla modified the expiration terms of the agreement such that the expiration date is now capped at a maximum of 36 months (3 years) from the most recent referral date. Even so, you can keep extending your expiration date with new referrals.
Are there Secret Levels to the Referral Program?
In Tesla’s earlier version of the referral program, there was a secret bonus level. For every referral purchase that was made using an owner’s referral code, after the first five referrals, that owner would get a 2% discount toward the purchase of the upcoming new version of the Tesla Roadster Founders Series. Two percent may not seem like much, but considering the Founders Series Roadster will sell for $250,000, this little bonus was actually quite substantial. Once the owner reached 55 referrals, they earned a free Roadster. There are some active bloggers, journalists, and YouTube video producers who exceeded this referral cap and will be able to take home a free Roadster once it’s available. Unfortunately, that initial referral program was discontinued, and, according to the Tesla reps with whom we spoke, the current referral program does not include any secret levels. Of course, Tesla could change this at some point, but the “official” Tesla word is that there are no longer any secret referral bonuses.
Previous Referral Bonuses (Revised Referral Program):
- 1,000 Free Supercharger Miles (March 22, 2019 – April 27, 2019)
- 5,000 Free Supercharger Miles (April 28, 2019 – May 29, 2019)
- 1,000 Free Supercharger Miles (May 30th, 2019 – September 9, 2019)
- 2,000 Free Supercharging Miles for Tesla Solar referrals (started September 10, 2019, changed to $100 cash reward on or around September 19, 2019)
- 2,000 Free Supercharging Miles with Delivery before October 1, 2019 (September 10, 2019 – September 30, 2019)
Where Can I Find Out More?
Tesla maintains a page with details about the referral program at tesla.com/support/referral-program Last Updated: October 1, 2019
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