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Airbnb, Tesla partner to make road trips easier for Model S owners

August 20, 2015, 9:21 PM UTC
Tesla Model S electric car
Tesla Model S electric car
Courtesy: Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors has invested millions of dollars into its superchargers—a growing network of nearly 500 fast-charging stations—to make long-distance travel feasible and stress-free for owners of the all-electric Model S. Now it’s teaming up with home-sharing start-up Airbnb to bring charging stations to select hosts’ homes.

The partnership, announced Thursday, will focus on Airbnb homes in California and eventually expand globally, the companies said. Just 12 homes are equipped with Tesla home charging stations, but the two companies hope to expand that number through a targeted campaign.

An existing Airbnb host who lists an entire home, has had more than more than five bookings, and has an average overall star rating of 4+ is eligible to receive a free Tesla charger, which cost $750. The host must pay for the installation, which costs between $200 and $900 depending on the layout of the home.

Tesla (TSLA) will select the properties from a pool of applicants who meet the criteria.

Tesla owners should expect to pay about $10 for a night’s charge of electricity, according to an estimate provided by the company.

The partnership marks Tesla’s broader effort to convince consumers that owning an electric car is not a hassle, a perception that has prevented EVs from being widely adopted. About 119,710 plug-in vehicles were sold in the United States in 2014, a 23% boost from 2013 and a 128% jump from 2012, according to research from Despite the double-digit increase, plug-in electric vehicles made up less than 1% of total vehicle sales in the United States.

Tesla has also been aggressively building out its so-called destination charging program over the past year. Tesla has installed its high-power wall connector at hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other destinations a Model S owner is likely to visit. The company had nearly 1,2o0 destination charging sites worldwide as of June 2015, with an average of two connectors at each location.