Tesla Gets Major Changes, Supercharging No Longer Free [Video]By Erwin Castro, UniversityHerald Reporter
Last week, Electric car maker Tesla Motors has announced that it will stop offering unlimited free use of its vast networks of supercharging stations. The move follows after the company announced its plans to launch a mass-market electric car.
Today, the American car maker is making another big change to its Supercharger programs and this time it's taking a huge step backward. It now requires certain Tesla owners to pay a small amount of fee when charging their electric vehicles at Tesla's Supercharging station.
The charge applies to those vehicles ordered after Jan. 1 next year and those who ordered before this date but not delivered until after April 1, 2017. This also means that supercharging will no longer be a free standard feature. Instead, customers who ordered after Jan. 1 will receive 400 kWh of free Supercharging credits each year, which is about 1,000 miles of all-electric driving. After that, they will be charged with a "small fee".
Tesla has not yet issued details regarding its pricing, claiming it as a small fee that cost less than the price of using a gas-powered vehicle. The change on its Supercharger program was likely to happen eventually, especially as the U.S.-based automaker tries to ramp up productions to meet the growing demand for the upcoming Tesla Model 3.
As stated on the company's blog, supercharging will never be a profit center for the company and that supercharging is only needed for long distance trips for which Tesla is not designed.
Reports said that the planned small fee will likely to go toward expanding its Supercharger networks for the forthcoming Tesla Model 3, for which the Silicon Valley automaker has already thousands of reservations listed on its book.
The automaker said that it will release additional information about the change on its Supercharger program later this year, but added that prices may change based on the cost of electricity and location of the charging station.