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Tesla revives unlimited free Supercharging yet again

It's the greatest on-again, off-again relationship in the auto industry.

Tesla hasn't said if free unlimited Supercharging will go away again, but if previous moves are any indication, it's probably not sticking around forever.

Tesla

Many, many moons ago, Tesla offered free unlimited use of its Supercharger network as a perk for buying a car from the California-based automaker. Since then, this perk has disappeared for stretches of time, only to reappear for various reasons. It's been off the menu for a while, but a tweet from Tesla shows that it's back from the dead yet again.

Tesla announced on Saturday that it has introduced free unlimited Supercharging yet again. This time, according to the automaker's tweet, the perk is now offered alongside a new Model S or Model X order. Replies to the tweet show the usual mix of excitement and sadness, with the latter emotion coming from buyers who placed an order before the perk was reintroduced.

While some posit that Tesla brought back free unlimited Supercharging to boost lagging sales of the aging Model S and Model X, that doesn't appear to be the case here. Model S and X deliveries were actually up in the second quarter by almost half, and both vehicles were recently given an under-the-skin upgrade that included a boost in maximum range. The cars are now capable of hooking up to Tesla's V2 Superchargers, too, which can provide 200 kW of charging power.

According to Electrek, which saw a copy of the memo Tesla sent to its sales staff, the revived perk exists for the length of vehicle ownership and is not transferable to a second owner. It's unclear when the benefit, which Elon Musk once referred to as "unsustainable," will once again disappear into the ether.

Tesla reintroduced unlimited free Supercharging in mid-2017 with the caveat that a purchase required another owner's referral code. Earlier this year, Tesla revived its then-defunct referral program by including 1,000 miles of free Supercharging. Two months after that, Tesla said that free unlimited Supercharging would again be offered, but only for people buying new Model S or X vehicles from Tesla's inventory built before the range-extending update. Will it go away again? Probably, but Tesla's not saying when.

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