Elon Musk Offers Free EV Charging To Tesla, Other EV Owners Fleeing Ukraine

Zinger Key Points
  • Electric vehicle registration has grown in Ukraine. The country saw 8,541 electric vehicles registered in 2021, up 20% year-over-year.
  • Used electric vehicles outnumber new ones in the country seven to one.
Elon Musk Offers Free EV Charging To Tesla, Other EV Owners Fleeing Ukraine

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has led many people in the smaller Eastern European country to leave for other countries for refuge and safety.

A leading electric vehicle company is helping those fleeing by offering free charging services in nearby countries.

What Happened: Electric vehicle giant Tesla Inc TSLA is offering free electric vehicle charging at its Supercharger stations in nearby countries.

Electric vehicle owners from Ukraine can use a Tesla Supercharger for free in Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. The move by Tesla covers those who own Tesla vehicles and also other electric vehicle brands.

“Beginning Monday, we are temporarily enabling free Supercharging for both Tesla and non-Tesla vehicles at sites in areas impacted by the recent situation in Ukraine,” an email from the electric vehicle company said. “We hope that this helps give you the peace of mind to get to a safe location.”

Tesla does not officially operate in Ukraine but has hinted at expansion to the market. Tesla also laid out plans for Supercharger station locations in the country earlier this year.

Electric vehicle registration has grown in Ukraine. The country saw 8,541 electric vehicles registered in 2021, up 20% year-over-year. Used electric vehicles outnumber new ones in the country seven to one. Around 30,000 electric vehicles are registered in the country, a figure that has grown every year since 2016.

The Nissan Leaf from Nissan Motor Co NSANY is the most popular electric vehicle in Ukraine, representing around 25% of new registrations for EVs in the country in 2021.

The Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt from General Motors Co GM were the second and third most popular EVs in the country, with 827 and 762 registrations in 2021, respectively.

The Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt represent around 55% of all electric vehicles registered in Ukraine.

Related Link: How Apple, Tesla, Meta And Other Companies Respond To Russia's Aggression Against Ukraine

Why It’s Important: Tesla has previously offered free electric vehicle charging for areas affected by natural disasters such as hurricanes in the U.S. This marks the first case of Tesla providing free charging due to a war or political crisis.

This is also the first time that Tesla has offered free charging at its Supercharger locations for non-Tesla vehicle owners. The move coincides with Tesla opening up its Supercharger locations for non-Tesla owners across several European countries.

The move by Tesla follows up the world’s richest man providing Starlink service to the country after a plea from Ukraine's vice prime minister to Elon Musk

While the move by Tesla could cost the company potential revenue and profits at Supercharger locations, it could also go a long ways in showing the company is doing the right thing.

When and if Tesla opens for business in Ukraine, this move could be remembered and help put the company ahead of rivals.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky signed laws in August 2021 providing tax incentives for electric vehicles imported and sold in the country.

TSLA Price Action: Shares are up 5.26% to $852.47 on Monday morning. 

Photo courtesy of Tesla. 

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