Tesla to stop offering free Supercharging to owners

Customers who order a Model S or Model X from January 2017 will not get free use of Supercharging stations

Tesla has announced that it will no longer bundle free use of its Supercharger network with every car it sells, starting from 1 January 2017. The company previously confirmed the perk would not be offered to buyers of its upcoming Model 3 small executive saloon, but from January it won’t be included with the larger and more expensive Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X, either.

Supercharging will still be free for those who order their cars before 1 January and take delivery before 1 April next year. After that, all Tesla buyers will be charged for using the service. Owners will, however, still get 400kWh of free charging credits each year before they have to start paying. This equates to around 1,000 miles worth of charge for the battery.

Beyond that 400kWh limit, a small fee will be charged for using the stations, but Tesla is keen to point out that it’ll still cost considerably less than filling a comparable petrol or diesel car’s fuel tank. The company is also keen to emphasise that the Supercharger network was never meant as a permanent solution for charging its cars – rather as a boost for longer journeys.

It said in a statement: “Just as you would charge your mobile 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 travellers, 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.”

Exact details of what the charge for using Supercharger stations will be haven’t been decided yet, but we do know that Tesla isn’t planning to make money from it. The company stated: “We will release the details of the programme 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 centre.”

These changes will affect all new Tesla Model 3 owners, as well as buyers of the Model S and Model X who order from 1 January 2017 onwards. It’ll also affect those who order before the end of 2016, but don’t take delivery before 1 April 2017.

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