As a replacement, new buyers get a certain amount of free kilowatt hours and have pay for Supercharging after that.
For the last few years one of the perks of buying a Tesla has been free use of the EV maker’s Supercharger network of chargers, but that benefit has now come to an end for new customers. The company is announcing that anyone who orders one of its vehicles after January 1, 2017 must pay for using the equipment. According to Tesla, this change lets the firm “reinvest in the network, accelerate its growth and bring all owners, current and future, the best Supercharging experience.”
Starting next year, new Tesla customers get 400 kWh of free Supercharging credits. The company estimates this gets owners around 1,000 miles. After consuming that amount of electrical energy, the firm says there’s “a small fee.” At the moment, the business is not outlining this cost, but the price could change with the cost of electricity in a given region. “Our Supercharger Network will never be a profit center,” Tesla’s statement says.
Owners that currently have free access to the Supercharger network can continue to enjoy it going forward. Also, if someone places an order before the first of the year and takes delivery before April 1, 2017, gets complimentary use of the system, too.
Tesla’s recent third-quarter financial report indicated the company had 715 Supercharger locations with nearly 4,500 individual chargers. There were also 3,222 destination chargers at places like hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers.
The company pointed to a major switch in Supercharger policy at its shareholder meeting earlier this year when the company announced Model 3 buyers would either have to pay for charging there or buy an unlimited-use package. At the time, Musk admitted the decision was not from a desire to increase prices, but “it is because we can’t figure out how to make it less expensive.”
Tesla is currently riding a wave of good news after very positive results for the third quarter. Deliveries were up 114 percent over the same period last year. A net income of $22 million was the second time since going public that the EV maker had a profit. The company also said production at the Gigafactory was on track to begin before the end of the year.