Elon Musk is getting into the Christmas spirit.
Christmas is fast approaching, and thousands of families across the nation are getting ready to pack their bags and hit the road on the annual family holiday road trip. For most that means stopping at the gas station a couple of times to fill up and take a bathroom break, but for a growing number of people, Tesla Supercharging stations are the new roadside oasis. Tesla manages the largest EV charging network in the US, and has recently opened up its chargers to other manufacturers. Supercharging costs may have quadrupled in the last few months, but the Christmas spirit has clearly rubbed off on Elon Musk and his little helpers, as Tesla just announced free supercharging at select locations across the country.
There is a method to Tesla's seemingly generous gesture: the company wants to limit congestion at its stations by offering free charging at off-peak hours only. Tesla's website indicates that the free charging period will open up from Thursday, December 23, and continue to December 26. The website also states that free charging will be offered before 10 am, and after 7 pm. This magnanimous gift is offered to all Tesla owners, from the lowly Model 3 driver, all the way up to Model S Plaid pilots.
The majority of free charging stations are focused on the West Coast (where else?), with California offering over 30 free locations. Arizona and Nevada also offer a decent amount of charging options. This makes sense, as Tesla sales are concentrated in those areas. Tesla will also provide free charging in New Mexico, Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Oregon and Utah. Despite Tesla's ever-expanding network of Supercharging stations, congestion is still a regular issue, and the company has had issues with long lines, especially over important holidays. In November, Tesla pulled the same stunt over Thanksgiving, and used the same off-peak strategy. Once the US charging network becomes more ubiquitous and democratized, these issues should become a thing of the past.