Tesla Motors, world famous electric car producer, has announced this week to stop offering unlimited use of its supercharging stations. There are currently 734 supercharging stations world-wide. This move comes months ahead of their schedule to start selling a mass-market electric car. However, it is not as gloom as it seems or a price gouge tactic. All vehicles ordered or sold before January 1st, 2017 will still have unlimited free access to supercharging. The delivery must take place before April 1st, 2017 in order to get the unlimited free charging. So if you already have a Tesla electric car, you're in the safe and will not have to worry about paying either. However, vehicles ordered or sold after January 1st, 2017 will still get credits towards supercharging for the equivalent or 1600 kilometers. Once the credits are depleted, owners will have to pay fees which Tesla has not specified as of it.
Tesla says the purpose of the charge is not to make a profit but to expand the supercharger network. The supercharger stations in Canada are only in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. While there are supercharger stations nationwide in the US, they are mostly concentrated in dense population centers along the East and West Coasts. Tesla hasn't detailed how much the fees will be, but it has said that charging would cost less than the price of filling a comparable gasoline car. The company also said they will release more details later this year and that prices will fluctuate over time and be dependent and vary due to regional electricity costs.
What about the Model 3? The super popular and exciting Tesla mass-market $35,000 USD Model 3 has already gathered more than 300,000 preorders. They are ordered before January 1st, but they will not be going on sale or delivered till the second half of next year, missing the deadline of April 1st. The owners of the preorder sale of the Model 3 will get the 1600 kilometer credits but not the unlimited free use of the supercharging stations. Which makes sense for Tesla because 300,000 vehicles with unlimited use of the free charging stations will be extremely expensive.
Although this move might seem expensive or a huge factor of backing out of the Tesla Model 3 preorder, Tesla sales shouldn't be affected much by it. The company remains the poster boy for electric cars and has the whole market looking towards their lead. They also control 30 percent of the market for electric vehicles. And almost all Tesla owners charge their cars at home more than 90 percent of the time. Superchargers are mainly used for trips when they need extra range.
The supercharging stations can give the cars 274 kilometers in range in a half hour charge, while a 30-amp public charging station can only do 16 kilometers in half hour. The supercharging stations only make sense if the owner is making a long trip. The current network of supercharging stations are set up to enable long-distance travel by Tesla electric cars. The company's Model S sedan has the capabilities of between 352 and 486 kilometers per charge depending on battery and software configurations. So before you decide to back out, think of how often you are going to be making long-distance trips with your Tesla.