Before production of the Tesla Model 3 began, company CEO Elon Musk promised Tesla would offer owners some sort of free Supercharger use.
Specifically, Musk said, "free long-distance charging is [included]," which led many reservation holders to believe they would receive free Supercharger credits, just as owners outside of the Model S and Model X referral program earn.
Now, it appears Tesla has no plans for any sort of free Supercharger use for Model 3 owners, despite Musk's comments last year.
A Model 3 customer took to Twitter after Tesla billed him for 42 kilowatt-hours of energy at a local Supercharger station, claiming he received no free-charging credits.
Following the owner's tweets, Tesla confirmed to Electrek the company has no plans to hand out Supercharger credits to Model 3 owners.
While the current credits equal about $80 per year worth of charging time, at $0.20 per kwh, the bigger issue is the higher cost of ownership some Tesla Model 3 owners will face.
2018 Tesla Model 3
It begs the question of how owners might cope if Tesla restructures its Supercharger station use again, or it decides to raise charging rates.
According to Seeking Alpha, owning a Model 3 for 10 years might include an additional $1,000 worth of expenses owners likely didn't expect because they thought at least some fast charging would be free.
Few expected Tesla to offer unlimited free charging for the automaker's first mass-market offering, but the lack of some type of charging credit might leave a few potential Model 3 owners sour.
Tesla once envisioned its network of Supercharger stations as a long-distance safety net for its owners, with most charging to occur at home.
Over time, a few owners have nonetheless flocked to Supercharger stations to charge their cars for routine use.
The speed of charging, and the fact that it's free for many Model S and Model X owners, have proved alluring.
2017 Tesla Model 3
Tesla is now expanding the Supercharger network into urban areas, though city-center stalls will boast 72-kilowatt power, lower than a traditional Supercharger station along a highway.
Owners who use the urban stations will see 45 to 50-minute wait times for an 80-percent battery charge, according to the automaker.
While it seems unlikely the lack of free charging programs will sway many with Model 3 reservations to cancel, it does represent somewhat of a broken promise from Musk himself.