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.
Gallery: Tesla Supercharger Network
An Update to Our Supercharging Program
The Tesla Team November 7, 2016
Four years ago, Tesla introduced the Supercharger Network – the world’s fastest charging solution – to enable convenient long distance travel. Today, more than 4,600 Superchargers allow over 160,000 Tesla owners to drive across the continental U.S., from the Arctic Circle to the south of Spain, and across all of the population centers in China and Japan, among many other places. Supercharging has even helped owners drive their Teslas around the world.
We’ve designed our network so that all customers have access to a seamless and convenient charging experience when they’re away from home, as our intention has always been for Supercharging to enable long distance travel. That’s why today we’re announcing a change to the economics of Supercharging – one that allows us to reinvest in the network, accelerate its growth and bring all owners, current and future, the best Supercharging experience.
Ensuring Use for Long-Distance Travel
For Teslas ordered after January 1, 2017, 400 kWh of free Supercharging credits (roughly 1,000 miles) will be included annually so that all owners can continue to enjoy free Supercharging during travel. Beyond that, there will be a small fee to Supercharge which will be charged incrementally and cost less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car. All cars will continue to come standard with the onboard hardware required for Supercharging.
We will release the details of the program later this year, and while prices may fluctuate over time and vary regionally based on the cost of electricity, our Supercharger Network will never be a profit center.
These changes will not impact current owners or any new Teslas ordered before January 1, 2017, as long as delivery is taken before April 1, 2017.
The Road Ahead
Just as you would charge your cell phone, we believe the best way to charge your car is either at home or at work, during the hours you’re not using it. For travelers, the Supercharger Network has become a powerful, unique benefit of Tesla ownership. As we approach the launch of Model 3, this update will enable us to greatly expand our Supercharger Network, providing customers with the best possible user experience and bringing sustainable transport to even more people.