When Tesla put an end to free lifetime Supercharger access for new customers, it left more than a few people crestfallen -- one of the nicer perks of ownership just went out the window. However, Tesla has had a (partial) change of heart. As of now, any existing owner has free Supercharger use, even if you bought after the January 15th cut-off. And if you upgrade to a Model S or Model X in the future, you'll get to keep that gratis electricity. There aren't many people who'll need the offer right away (the Model S is only 5 years old), but this could give you a reason to upgrade quickly instead of holding on to your EV for as long as possible. And if you're a first-time buyer, don't fret -- you'll have a way of scoring free charging as well.
The automaker's referral program now lets current Model S and Model X owners give that unlimited free Supercharger use to as many as five buyers through their referral code (which still includes $1,000 off, we'd add). If you know a friend who's an early adopter, you might just catch a big break.
These moves have been a pleasant surprise to at least a few recent owners, but they make sense in a larger context. While Tesla's sales are already ramping up even before the Model 3 arrives, they're still small compared to some mainstream car brands. Whatever financial hit Tesla takes by extending free Supercharger access may pay for itself by keeping sales healthy, especially among potential customers who were kicking themselves for not buying before 2017.