Find out where and when you can get free juice for your EV.
Chris PaukertFormer executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015.
Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Tesla is making its Supercharging free for the holidays -- with some caveats. The move, which is intended to curb long wait times at the automaker's charging stations during this busy season, is limited to off-peak hours in select locations.
A map on Tesla's consumer website confirms that between Thursday, Dec. 23 and Sunday, Dec. 26, owners motoring along select travel routes in the US can receive free charging at specific stations between the hours of 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. (local time zone). The perk is available for all Tesla models, including Model S, Model 3, Model X and Model Y.
The majority of stations covered under this incentive are concentrated on the West Coast, primarily in California, where over 30 locations are free, as well as Arizona (10 locations) and Nevada (7 locations). This makes sense given the high level of Tesla sales and operation in this part of the country.
Other states promising Superchargers with free juice include Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah. Not every Supercharger in those states will be free during these time periods, so check Tesla's official map to see if stations along your drive route are covered.
This isn't the first time that Tesla has experimented with discounted Supercharger pricing during holidays. Elon Musk and Co. have struggled with Supercharger network capacity issues in the past, especially during busy holiday travel periods, a situation that has resulted in long wait times and even limited maximum charging times on occasion. The company's rapidly expanding Supercharger web is already the best and most comprehensive EV charging network in the country, and newer, higher-powered terminals have gone a long way to limit customer dwell times. However, in some areas of the country, growing demand for the company's vehicles have continued to make Supercharger wait times a periodic pain point for owners.