Tesla is eliminating free, unlimited Supercharger access for new customers

By Shawn Knight ยท 36 replies
Nov 7, 2016
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  1. Tesla on Monday confirmed that it’ll soon be doing away with one of its biggest perks – complementary access to its vast network of Supercharger battery recharging stations.

    As it stands today, all Tesla owners have unlimited access to the automaker’s more than 4,600 speedy Superchargers which makes free, cross-country travel possible. If you live or work near a recharging station, you can just as easily pop in and top off your vehicle’s batteries, thus not having to spend a single dime on electricity to power your vehicle.

    Come next year, however, that won’t be the case for some buyers.

    Customers that order a Tesla after January 1, 2017, will no longer have free, unlimited access to Superchargers. Current owners and those that place an order before the first of the year will not be impacted (so long as delivery is taken before April 1, 2017.

    Moving forward, customers that order or take delivery outside of this window will instead receive 400 kWh of free Supercharging credits (roughly 1,000 miles) annually. Beyond that, Tesla says there will be a small fee to use its Supercharger stations that’ll be charged incrementally and cost less than the price to fill up a comparable vehicle with gasoline.

    The electric automaker said in June that its upcoming Model 3 sedan wouldn’t receive free, unlimited access to its Supercharger network.

    Tesla didn’t publish full details of the program, instead opting to do so later this year. The company did say, however, that pricing may fluctuate over time and vary regionally based on the cost of electricity. Either way, Tesla doesn’t see its Supercharger network as a tool to generate profit.

    Some will no doubt criticize Elon Musk and company for eliminating the perk but with more than 160,000 Tesla vehicles already on the road and at least twice as many Model 3 reservations in queue, continuing to offer the benefit would simply be untenable over the long haul without further cutting into the company's bottom line.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2016
  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,347   +1,988

    Ahhhhhh .... so after they have their first good quarter they want to boost profits? No doubt that "free" can't be maintained forever so the jury is still out on this idea. if a charge is in the range of $5-10 it might be palatable for most of these drivers, especially considering what they were willing to pay for the cars, but if it goes the way of the ATM's, the drivers will soon be howling about the amount ... of course, that could spawn a whole new industry of competitors so in the long run, it might be a good move for all of us......
  3. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 711   +381

    L M A O
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    Electricity is not free to produce, not yet. It was an obvious marketing bait to offer it free initially, and the trap is about to spring.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  5. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    Human population growth itself creates more waste. The problem is that the human population continues to expand exponentially because of advances in technology and medicine.

    "Global Warming" is a scam designed to tax energy usage. It's the most profitable scam ever.

    Taxing me $2000 didn't stop me from buying a Hellcat and Jeep SRT. It just made it "harder" on my finances than necessary and put more money into the pocket of some worthless liberal representative. Taxing me didn't stop Chinese or Indian billionaires from buying a Rolls Royce or a jet. Al Gore's jet, for example, uses more fuel in a week than I use all year.

    I invested in Tesla back in 2012. I assumed their supercharger network would always be "free" (that's what they told us).

    But that made me wonder:

    a) you have a large and wide instal base: what happens when a non-Tesla needs to charge?

    b) why can't your chargers be universal and accept payments like the universal chargers on college campuses?

    c) Why is the government subsidizing your cars, rather than subsidizing electrical charge points with tax incentives or rebates?

    It occurs to me that if we were really worried about "saving the planet" - we'd make electrical chargers ubiquitous and free to use so that more people would see the benefit of switching from cancerous, polluting gas.

    There is no shortage of electricity. We don't import electricity. A guy is trying to sell me solar panels right now in fact promising that I'll see immediate reductions on my Con Ed bill and that installation is free - takes a few hours - and is warrantied.

    So it seems to me that if more solar panels are subsidized in this manner and become more ubiquitous, we'd see so much production that demand would be lower. Right now, electricity demand is low - even during summer - in comparison to demand for oil.

    If I were President, that's what you'd see. Free to use charging systems available everywhere.

    the more chargers out there, the more we combat range anxiety. Wireless charge pads are also a possibility. Battery swaps are also a possibility.

    But right now, America is the stagnant one while Europe and Asia move forward.

    I used to live in China. I'm certain their totalitarian government will eliminate gasoline/oil/coal in less than 50 years. Hell - they'll probably be on MARS by then. - while our deadlocked, polarized, useless, unproductive citizens are arguing.
    wizardB likes this.
  6. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,319   +1,408

    Considering you can give your car a full charge at home for ~$12 for a 400 mile charge, I don't know why you'd want to spend time at their charging station. And realistically, I don't know who's driving 400 miles a day. Anyone who has an EV is familiar with the fact that you have to pay for pixies at the plug just like you have to pay for dinosaur squeezings at the pump.

    I never thought that free charging from Tesla was economically sustainable long term, anyone who did is a fool. However, most people charge at home so this is pretty much a non issue. People are getting mad at Tesla for doing something for cars they had never intended to purchase anyway.

    People are saying that free charging stations are the biggest perk to having a tesla. I think the biggest perk to having a tesla is not having to stop at stations at all to charge it.
    mbrowne5061 and cliffordcooley like this.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532


    Well first GM sells more cars than that in a month. That's just a guess, but with GM's annual sales hovering in multi millions of units, I'd like to think it's a pretty good one..

    As far as Tesla's "bottom line" goes, this is the first quarter in probably years, said "bottom line", hasn't been drowning in a sea of red ink anyway. And yet, Musk's personal wealth continues to grow. How does he do that?
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
    mbrowne5061 and Raoul Duke like this.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    Everybody who incessantly talks this crap about "the convenience charging at home", obviously has never lived in a 3rd floor apartment, or even lived in a house without a garage and/or driveway. So, from where I sit in the "hood", only people with those upper middle class perks, will benefit from electric cars in general, let alone $70.000 Teslas.

    All these "great ideas" people have put up, seem to be leaning toward the government interceding on the behalf all all these, noble minded, environmentally responsible individuals.

    So then the question becomes, "where the heck is the government going to get the money for all these wondrous deeds"?

    Haven't you heard, all of our infrastructure is crumbling? But what the hell, lets just wire a nationwide charging system right on top of the decay.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
    Reehahs likes this.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    If what "they've done with the place here", is indicative of what they would do to Mars, then 50 years after they get there, Mars will be over populated and terribly polluted, and they'll have to move to Jupiter or beyond.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  10. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,319   +1,408

    I don't think market saturation for electric vehicles well ever reach 100%, so lets be clear on that. I am well aware of all the limitations regarding electric vehicles. There is a large portion of society where cars are nothing more than an appliance and a means to get from A to B and then back again. EV's are perfect for most of them, considering that the cars they drive are already for people who have just about had it with cars.

    When I started writing this I had some point that I wanted to make but I already started drinking for the day so I lost that thought a few sentences in.
    Phr3d likes this.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    Well, keep in mind I'm not simply replying to you.

    There's a whole lot of air-headed, naive, millennial zealots, who pass through here running their collective yap about, "outlawing vehicles with internal combustion engines, along with outlawing humans being allowed to drive cars at all". "O Brave New World".

    Carl Yung said we have a "collective consciousness", I don't know whether he ever speculated as to what its IQ might be.
  12. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,319   +1,408

    Those are the type of people I want lock in an airtight room with the fumes from my Ford 6.8L V10. I personally think EV's can be cool if they aren't *****footing around with things like hypermiling and whatnot. That's one reason I like the Tesla's so much, they're the first car to show that EV's can be cool and they were always missing the cool factor.

    I suppose that missing cool factor is what makes them appeal to so many millennials. They hear a loud V8 and piss themselves all the way back to the safe zone of their tumblr blog
    captaincranky likes this.
  13. rvnwlfdroid

    rvnwlfdroid TS Booster Posts: 177   +41

    This is sad news for me. I was getting ready to reserve a Model 3. They've just recently installed a couple of SuperCharging stations in my area that would have made it a worthwhile purchase. Looks like I'll be holding off to see what the program pricing will be.
  14. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,106   +1,282

    That whole "loud engine = manliness or power" argument is a pretty well ingrained marketing scheme in people 30 or older. Electric cars were only ever uncool to those influenced by the large media campaign by ford, GM and other auto makers at the time. The newer generation wasn't around to see that and thus they don't equate power / performance to noise generated by the engine.
    mbrowne5061 likes this.
  15. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,319   +1,408

    Electric cars were uncool because they lacked any real world performance until Tesla came along. Before Tesla you basically just had the Prius. Which, lets be honest, it's still more socially acceptable to be caught sucking another mans **** than it is to drive a Prius.

    I wouldn't go as far as saying it's all marketing. Reducing the exhaust resistance does increase performance( such as straight pipe racing exhaust systems) and that means it's going to be louder. The main reason high hoursepower engines are so much louder is that there is a larger volume of air going through the exhaust. If you used the same sized muffler on a 2L engine vs a 6L engine all things being equal, the 6L engine would be louder because the muffler isn't designed to handle the increase in exhaust flow.

    Power generated is proportional to the amount of fuel burned and to burn more fuel you need a larger volume of air. You can either do this by increasing engine displacement or through forced induction like turbo or supercharging.

    here is an easy way to think about it, bigger fireworks are louder because the increase in gunpowder makes a big explosion.

    There are ways to make small engines sound louder (like fart cannons), but you don't get the same "hit you in the chest" feel. They have a higher pitch sound to them where as large engines produce lower frequency exhaust notes. I start my truck up and the exhaust notes hit me in my chest. I start my honda v6 up and I barely know it's running. Now, my honda v6,while sporty, was not designed as a sports car. It's a commuter car with a little extra go in it. At idle both my V6 and V10 are about as loud as one another. The v10 is a little bit louder but that's probably because it takes more gas to idle and the exhaust diameter is slightly larger. I think my truck is a 3" exhaust whereas my v6 is 2 1/4"

    TL:DR exhaust notes are a good indicator of power.
    Evernessince likes this.
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    Yeah well, I think "equating roaring with manliness", predates Madison Avenue by about a million years

    Have you met the first president of an ad agency?
    Or a car named after him?
    "Pant(h)era", It's the family's surname.......

    Do you think this generation would equate crapping their pants with meeting "the prez" on his home turf? Or would their smartphone tell them what to do?

    He really is rakishly handsome, it's a crying shame we've killed most of his kind.
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,726   +3,700

    I'm nearly 45 and that is one idea, I never was brain washed to. The noise I wanted to hear was from a speaker, not the as_hole of my ride.
    Phr3d and mbrowne5061 like this.
  18. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,319   +1,408

    Then quite simply your speakers aren't loud enough!
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    Yeah well, the roar of an engine is comparable to the roar of a cat.

    The noise of a sub woofer is rather more like a gorilla beating on his chest.

    So, same sh!t, different method to the flush.

    Unless you're either in denial, duplicitous, or naive to the point where you won't admit all that bluster from a car's sound system, is a claim of its owner's manliness being inflicted on everyone within earshot.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
    davislane1 likes this.
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,726   +3,700

    The irony about that statement is. If people really wanted to hear their tail pipes, they would put them in the cab with them. That is after all where I had my speakers.
  21. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,319   +1,408

    People don't put tailpipes in the cab because they don't want to suffocate or burn todeath.... Although I do have heated cup holders in my honda accord because of the position exhaust canal
  22. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 747   +357

    It is no wonder that hearing aids are selling like gangbusters to the Boomers and GenX'rs.
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    You know Cliff, that's one of the silliest statements I've seen in quite a while..People don't want to hear their own tailpipes, they want people everywhere to partake of the owner's good fortune and enjoyment of driving such a magnificent vehicle.

    It really is quite similar to the ultra loud car stereos, which blast out profanity and thud in "glorious" abundance, for the "betterment" of those unfortunate enough to be within range of it. Those individuals want everyone in the world to know, just how important they think they are, just how desirable they think they are, just how tough they think they are, and most of all, how manly they think they are. The only reason they seem park the ungodly loud, obnoxious piece of crap, is so they can go to a football game a take part in a national anthem protest.

    I always get a kick out of some fool with a $500.00 car, with a $1000.00 (or so), car stereo. Sure, it's riding around with three bald tires, the spare donut on the left rear, and it's hit on all four sides. But man oh man, that baby's blaring out the "hip hop art", of the latest "ghetto philosopher", loud and proud.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    Nah man, they're more likely blowing out their ears at point blank range with those crappy "ear buds". Those things will hit at least 100+db without breaking a sweat, so to speak.
  25. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 814   +371

    This was no different then car makes saying "buy a car and get 5,000 liters of fuel". Eventually, the freebie will run out.
    MilwaukeeMike likes this.

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