Elon Musk Confirms Free Supercharging for Tesla Gen 3 (Model E)

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 124

Someday We'll See Gen 3 Tesla Parked Next to the Model S and Model X at Supercharger Stations

Someday We’ll See Gen 3 Tesla Parked Next to the Model S and Model X at Supercharger Stations

Supercharger Map

Supercharger Map

Yesterday, in Munich, Germany, Tesla Motors CEO mentioned a Gen 3 (Model E) feature that had not been previously known.

Musk confirmed to the crowd of gatherers that Gen 3 will get free access to the growing network of worldwide Superchargers.

This, of course, will be a huge selling point for future Gen 3 buyers.

We suspect that access to the Supercharger network will be an option for Gen 3 (so, some will undoubtedly say it isn’t free then).

Our advice for future Gen 3 buyers is simple: opt for Supercharger access.  Tesla’s Supercharger network is a game-changer for EVs.

Source: The Contrarian Investor

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124 responses to "Elon Musk Confirms Free Supercharging for Tesla Gen 3 (Model E)"

  1. taser54 says:

    That means that the Gen III price will be higher than earlier proffered by Tesla

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      It’ll be optional I’m sure. But once you opt for it, then access to Superchargers is free.

      1. Aaron says:

        That’s how the current Model S is. Supercharging access is an option.

        1. PJS says:

          Only an option on the model 60. All 85’s are Supercharger capable.

          1. Josh says:

            Even 60 kWh Model S has the SuperCharger hardware, you just have to activate it. $2k at time of purchase, $2500 after.

            I imagine it will be the same with Gen III.

      2. Jouni Valkonen says:

        No, I think that supercharging will be included as standard for every Model E. And this is what Elon Musk explicitly said, imo.

        I think that why it was an option for Model S 60 kWh and 40 kWh was perhaps that the technology was immature — small battery size deteriorates faster when supercharged and activation fee was there mostly to insure possible warranty problems if high frequency supercharging causes battery to fail before 8 year warranty period. And as supercharging network was underdeveloped, they did not think that it was good selling point for 60 kWh model.

        But when Model E arrives, there is just no economical case for keeping it as an option, because more than 90 % would take it as an option anyway. And Tesla has by then enough data to be certain that frequent supercharging does not compromise battery longevity too much.

        1. Tom A. says:

          It was not an option for the 40kWh version. It is widely believed that the smaller pack coulnd’t take it.

          But that’s not why it is an option for the 60kWh – it’s just because they probably thought that someone opting for the 60kWh may not be as inclined to take road trips in it.

    2. Spec9 says:

      Yeah, that was my reaction as well.

  2. GeorgeS says:

    This is a good thing. There is a very good chance I will put myself on the list for this car when it becomes available. My Volt lease is up in one year and 4 months and if GM hasen’t coughed up the scoop on Gen 3…..or if they have and I don’t like it, I will say goodbye to GM and go with this car.

    My main concern is that by the time I get done adding super charging and whatever other accy’s I want, the car will be 50000$. My bet is that will be the case. even at 50 K I might go for it anyway. Still need to see the styling. If it looks like the X it will be a negative for me,

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      My Volt lease runs out this coming November and I’m interested in the Model E too. However, since it will not be in decent production until 2016 or even 2017, I need another 3 year lease.

      1. kdawg says:

        November.. hmm I wonder if the 2015 Volt be out by then? You may have to find a loaner for a couple months.
        (you could also do a 2 year lease)

      2. DaveMart says:

        With your time constraints I would think about the Outlander PHEV if I were you.
        It is due in the States in 2015, and hopefully that means early 2015.

        Downsides are that the EV range is not as good as the Volt, so depending on your commute that could hit you.

        The upsides are that it is a small SUV, with the accomodation that implies, and in the markets it has been released in so far undercuts the Volt in price.

        Buyers in Europe who have got one love them.

        1. MTN Ranger says:

          I would actually like to replace my wife’s SUV with the Outlander PHEV. I’m guessing that the Outlander will be expensive/hard to find for the first six months or so due to high demand. I would love the Fusion Energi, but the 20 electric miles is frustratingly low.

          Since the Volt is so cheap now (compared to when I got mine), it is the leading contender. The new model Volts usually come out in late summer, so a 2015 may be a likely candidate.

    2. Rob Stark says:

      The first Gen III car will be a sedan like the Model S and the second a CUV(not really SUV) like the Model X.

      Although Model E will start at $35k-$39.9k, of course checking off the options list will easily get you to $50k. My guess fully loaded it will be $65k. Half the price of a fully loaded Model S.

  3. bukweet says:

    This is big… VERY big! No other BEV manufacturer will be able to match this.

    BTW, what is the maximum distance between Superchargers? Will a Gen3 with (optimally) a 200 mile range cover the distance on a cold winter day?

    1. kdawg says:

      The 60kWh Tesla’s are *supposed* to be able to drive cross country on the network, so I’d say yes. (of course when it’s -22, it could be an issue, IMO)

      1. Ted Fredrick says:

        Who in their right mind would take a cross country trip in the middle of winter. Says the California native.

        1. kdawg says:

          If I had driven to Chicago from Michigan any weekend this winter, several times we were in double-digit negatives. When you have to (or want to) go somewhere, the temps aren’t on your mind in a gas car. Will just have to consider temps more w/a Tesla to make sure you can reach the SC.

          1. Anderlan says:

            Bolt this to a plate of metal so it can’t possible fall over and put it on the passenger floor. 🙂
            http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/hvac/heaters/kerosene-propane/23k-btu-indoor-kerosene-convection-heater-246637?infoParam.campaignId=T9A&gclid=CLedutbZqLwCFVQV7AodgUcAng

            Given unchanging cabin insulation and convection no heater is any more efficient than another. Heat losses in a heater aren’t losses. These are even for indoor use, but you might also get a CO/CO2 alarm for such an enclosed space.

            1. Anderlan says:

              Actually, that unit would be serious overkill. I know they sell much smaller ones.

              1. kdawg says:

                That would help a lot w/cabin heat, but still have to warm the battery. I’m not sure how many kWhs that takes. (Bueler?) Once it’s warmed up though, it should stay warm from use. Another factor is that the air is denser in cold weather, so takes more energy to push through it (nothing we can do about that).

            2. Keith Grayson says:

              Electric resistive heat is 100% efficient in converting Watts to BTU’s, 3.41 BTU’s per Watt.
              An electric Heat pump using the refrigeration cycle is around 300% efficient providing about 3 times the BTU’s per Watt compared to resistive heat strip heaters.
              A Nat gas furnace even if 80% efficient beats electricity due to the fact electricity is originally Nat gas or coal which is converted to heat converted to power which is converted back to heat at your end.

        2. Big Solar says:

          Who are all these people needing to cross the country in a car anyway?

          1. kdawg says:

            Cross country.. eff no. A 4 to 5 hour drive?.. me

          2. Brian says:

            I’ve done it twice (once when moving to California, and once when moving back to New York). It’s a great experience, but I never want to do it again.

            However, I frequently vacation out of state in Vermont or Pennsylvania. Plus I have family about 250 miles away. So I drive plenty of trips that are outside the purported Gen 3 range of 200 miles.

  4. kdawg says:

    Ermahgerd. That was almost a must have for me to consider a Gen3. Good news. If it’s a $2000 option like the for the 60kWH, i’d buy it.

    1. taser54 says:

      I proffer that supercharger access will only be offered on the highest trim level Gen IIIs. If you want it, it’s going to be $50k or more.

      1. kdawg says:

        I think it will be an option, period. No other trim options required. This is based on the Tesla Model S 60kWh. You are not required to buy any other options with the SC option.

        1. Tom A. says:

          That is my assumption, as well.

  5. Brian says:

    I’m going to go against the grain here and say this is potentially a bad thing. If Tesla is really going to sell 100,000+ of these cars per year, the superchargers are going to get quite congested. Once the SC rollout is complete, most people will have one close enough that they could get away without charging at home.

    40 miles / day
    200 miles / charge
    = hit the SC every 5 days, much like one hits the gas station.

    My concern is that now when I want to go on a road trip, I have to contend with those who are using the supercharger for everyday use. I would rather pay for reliable service than have free but spotty service.

    This will, of course, be game-changing for those who don’t have access to overnight/workplace charging.

    1. kdawg says:

      It depends how close the stations are (they aren’t supposed to be in major metro’s). If I have to drive 20 minutes to get to one, sit there for an hour for a full “range charge”, then drive 20 minutes home, that’s almost 2 hours to save less than $5 if I just charged at home.

      Also, i think it will be some time before we hit the congestion you suggest. (other than some exceptions we hear about now). How many people are taking long trips every day, and then what percentage of them will be Telsas? But when congestion does start to creep in, they can always add more stalls or even more stations.

      1. taser54 says:

        Well it’s not every day a Tesla owner is worried about, JUST the day that THEY travel. I believe weekends will be a cluster at the supercharging stations in less than two years (before Gen III). After Gen III, it will be unpossible.

        1. Brian says:

          That’s a big part of it. Can you imagine what these will look like on Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving?

      2. Brian says:

        Yes, but if you happen to live or work near one (or it’s not far out of your way home from work), why wouldn’t you stop through every Friday evening after work to recharge from the week? You may be underestimating the lengths to which people will go in order to save some money. After all, many of us will be stretching our budget already just to afford the Tesla.

        Yes, I hope that the network will grow as the use goes up, but there is bound to be congestion and growing pains along the way.

        1. kdawg says:

          I just don’t see that many Tesla owners living/working that close to a SC where it becomes convenient (at least not in the next 5 year min). Will there be a lucky few that are, yes. Even then, if congestion is an issue, how low would you let your battery level get to head over to the SC to get a full range charge? And then would you be risking that there’s a spot open. To me it seems like a waste of time unless it’s next to your house. But I was never one for driving to the other side of town to save 5cents on gas either. I doubt i will drive more than 10 miles (20 round trip), and sit at a SC for an hour to save $5.

          1. Suprise Cat says:

            Well, in Europe you will likely safe more than 20 € per 80 kWh charged….

            1. kdawg says:

              Europe? My what? LOL j/K

              Europe average is about ~30c/kWh.
              So $24 if you do a full range charge and you squeeked in on 0 miles.
              That’s 1.25 hours of my life, + travel time + any range I lose driving to this station, for about twenty bucks.

              I probably still wouldn’t do it, unless it was 1 mile from my house/work and I had something to kill the 75 minutes.

        2. Rick says:

          My guess is, if you can afford a Tesla, you don’t care much about what it costs to charge it at home.

          1. Brian says:

            I hate this line of thinking. People use it as a blanket statement without really thinking about it. Many people, myself included, will likely be stretching their budget to buy a Tesla. People do this for any number of reasons. For some, like myself, it would be to get off of gasoline completely. For others, it’s more of a status symbol – to appear that they have more money than they do.

            One could easily save $20 / week by hitting the supercharger twice. That’s over $1000/year – hardly pocket change.

            1. kdawg says:

              $20/week? You are making an extreme case IMO.

              Average daily drive is 40mi or less
              at 250wh/mi thats 10kWh/day or 70kWh/week
              Avg price of electricity is 12c/kWh
              Weekly cost of electricity = $8.40

              You have to factor in any losses by driving out or your way to go to this station. And how much is your time worth?

              1. Brian says:

                I think $20 is hardly extreme. Charging at my home is 14c/kWh. $20 would buy you ~143kWh. At 3 miles / kWh, that’s 429 miles / week or 22,308 miles / year. Plenty of people put this many miles on their car. I put 25,000 miles on my hybrid in the first 12 months of ownership.

                As for how much is my time worth, well that’s a highly subjective question. Besides, the superchargers are designed to be placed in an location where you could easily spend an hour doing things other than standing next to your car.

                My point isn’t that you would do it. It’s not even that I would do it. My point is that the option will be there, and there will be people who take advantage of that.

                1. kdawg says:

                  So you are an extreme case. You drive over double the average amount.

                  I never said no-one would do it, but it will negligible, IMO.

    2. Priusmaniac says:

      If competitive use becomes an issue, there can be more superchargers or at a certain point, no free charging at the superchargers that are in a 100 mile radius of your residence. If you do charge at a supercharger close to your residence, like what would be the case for the abusers, you could receive an electricity bill at home at a rate just higher than the domestic rate in order to discourage you from that behavior.

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        An alternative way and perhaps somewhat stealthier would be to bug your charging in case of abuse so that it takes hours and hours when you supercharge next to your home.

        1. Ocean Railroader says:

          If they pull something like that on the super charging then it’s a scam in that there are several places with in 80 miles of my house that I would like to super charge at to avoid running out of juice if the hotel doesn’t have a outlet or if i get stuck in traffic.

          If Tesla is going to hold the promos of free supercharging for their network they can’t weasel there way out of this one by saying sorry not with in a 100 mile range. They are going to have to face the 900 pound gorilla in the face that they are going to have to build up tens of thousands of super chargers. And along with that they are going to have to build 30 and 50 stall superchargers to replace the six and four stall superchargers that they have now.

          But the good news is if Tesla raises the charging speed from 20 minutes to ten minutes and then five minutes it will free up more superchargers by allowing them to fill up cars even faster allowing the same ten stall supercharger to service far more cars then before.

    3. Anderlan says:

      There are thousand ways Tesla might prevent abuse using IT, without precluding anyone from legitimately using the service for long distance runs. This is one of the biggest reasons I’d like to work at Tesla, just to hear rumors about their planning. I’m sure they’ve run the stats for how most people use their cars and have figured out how they can’t possibly use unless car miles used under the new EV regime doubles or something amazing like that.

      1. Anderlan says:

        s/can’t possibly use/can’t possibly LOSE/

    4. DaveMart says:

      If they are more than a few miles from a supercharger those driving to it to use the electricity rather than charging at home would have to be seriously mathematically challenged.

      It costs money to drive a car, from tire wear to depreciation.
      The cost of charging at home is so small anyway that it would be nuts to drive to a charger if it was out of your way.

    5. arne-nl says:

      Yeah, I don’t want no Model E driving riff raff clogging up MY Superchargers! 😉

      If they pay $ 2000,- for it, just like you did, they have every right to use it at their discretion, like you.

      But see it from the positive side: more people paying the Supercharger fee, means more money that goes into expanding the Superchargers. More locations means more options for everyone, including you.

  6. David Murray says:

    Why am I not getting excited over this news? I guess because everyone and their brother already knew that Model-E would be able to use the superchargers. And being the chargers aren’t really setup to take money or cards, free use is the only logical option.

    However, I really wonder what the cost of the option will be. On a Model-S you can add a few thousand dollars worth of options and it really doesn’t matter much being the car is insanely expensive already. But when you are dealing with a cheaper car, a few thousand can be a dealbreaker for people.

    1. kdawg says:

      I’m also curious what kind of charging rates the Gen 3 will get. With the current battery tech, the 60kWh Tesla’s can only charge at 90kW. How much kWh will the Gen 3 have and will the technology have progressed enough by 2017 for faster charging w/a smaller battery?

      1. Brian says:

        I would look at it more in time. As in, it should take the Gen 3 the same amount of time to charge to 80% as the Model S, regardless of the total capacity. If the Model S can go farther on 80%, then so be it. The charge rate in “miles per hour” will scale proportionally with the range on an 80% charge.

        Of course all of this could change with whatever battery tech goes into the Gen 3, but if the new Model S gets the same batteries, it will equalize again…

        1. kdawg says:

          I’m hoping the time is less (or the rate is the same) because if I have a smaller battery in my Gen 3, I’ll have to stop more often. Essentially I’d like to get the same range in the same time as the Model S 85, but it’s not possible w/the current batteries. It’ll be interesting to see what is possible at that time.

          1. Josh says:

            I would guess that the Gen III will have similar time/rates to the current Model S. i.e. 55 kWh and 75 kWh batteries with 120 kW charge rate.

            With the new cells, the Model S will get a bump in range and charge rates, so there will still be a gap. i.e. 100 kWh and 125 kWh packs with 160 kW charge rates.

      2. Mike I says:

        Today, Model S 60’s can charge at up to 105kW when really empty.

    2. Anderlan says:

      THIS IS ELON MUSK, THE DUDE CREATED PAY PAL. Why does he need or want an anonymous payment system at the station? You could pay per use, but it would be through your Tesla account. Why does Tesla need freaking Blink or Chargepoint?–says Musk, while laughing like a Bond villain. The ID for the user is the car itself. This is how Nissan should be thinking. But they aren’t, no one is, because no other large car company is an Electric Car Company.

      1. Brian says:

        Exactly. This is probably how they will bill for the battery swap stations. They already have a plan to track which battery in yours. There has got to be an ID in the battery itself. Obviously the car can identify itself. It’s probably already part of the handshaking at superchargers today.

  7. KEVIN says:

    This does 2 things,1 it crushes any other car maker who tries to go big on ev’s but is not willing to invest in and develop its own version of supercharging. Chademo is a close second to supercharging but its 50kw top rate limits its usefulness to longer range cars.In my opinion no ther car maker is capable of the moves tesla has made and no network of chargers will compete with supechargers for many many years if ever.
    2 second thing is it creates an issue for Tesla, once the E hits the road in numbers will model S owners get along and play nice with the newcomers hogging up the superchargers?
    will there be enough ports at each supercharger location ? how many ports can they add without huge investment(how many additional ports are futured in at each location?)

    1. Aaron says:

      Just a technicality, but CHAdeMO tops out at 62.5kW.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CHAdeMO

      1. CHAdeMO is designed for 100kW (500 volts * 200 amps), but is currently limited to 125 amps (62.5kW).

        When Nissan LEAF goes to a 36-48kWh battery in 2015-2016, assuming they get at least some rudimentary cell cooling, it should be able to still handle 2C that it does today.

        That is 96kW for the 48kWh battery, however even the 100kW future CHAdeMO, it will only supply 80kW (400 volts * 200 amps).

        Of course, there is a way to make the same LEAF charger inlet have coaxial pins on the DC side (just like Tesla) that will both plug into a 62.5kW current charger AND a future 150kW charger, but the 150kW charger could only plug into the 150kW coaxial pins.

        I’d also put a big notch on it, just like Tesla did with the Mennekes plug in Europe.

  8. Brian, that will be a good problem to have! 🙂

    The Tesla Model E is the scariest thing about Tesla – to all the other car makers. GM is admitting as much, and I’m sure they are not the only ones.

    Maybe Tesla will sell the Model E before I can finish my CarBEN EV?

    1. Brian says:

      Indeed it will. But it will be a small consolation to me if I have to wait for 3 hours before even getting a stall in the middle of a road trip!

      1. Ted Fredrick says:

        I went by the supercharger in Buelton on the weekend about six months ago and there were appx. eight empty stations out of eight stations. I think the fear is overblown. In ny city of Santa Clarita there are appx. 80 thousand cars in 30 square miles. I never have to wait for a gas pump and all the cars have to use the gas pump. Almost every One of the 30K Teslas across the united states has its own home charging station. The fears are overblown

        1. kdawg says:

          That’s pretty much how I feel. The day may come when the SC’s become saturated, but at that time, what’s to stop 3rd parties from partnering w/Tesla to open stations? Sort of like gas stations spread across the US. Not sure if they would give the juice away for free, but fueling stations make their $ off of food/drink/lotto/smoke/etc sales anyway, not the fuel. If they have a captive audience for 20+ minutes, that could generate a lot of sales.

        2. Brian says:

          Define overblown. I never stated how much “fear” I have of this situation, just that I have a concern. Given that I did not state my level of concern, the only way you can categorically state that “the fear is overblown” is by proving that there is zero concern.

          Tesla is selling a “measly” (Musk’s words) 30,000 cars / year, and have sustained that for approximately one year. I’m not worried about congestion based on that number. I’m concerned that there could be congestion after a few years of 200,000+ Teslas (Models S, X, E) / year.

          You don’t have to wait for a gas pump because 1) it takes 5 minutes to fill a gas tank, 2) there are typically 8-12 pumps / station and 3) if you can’t find a free pump, you go to the station across the street. There are gas stations I go to that regularly have all 12 pumps in use.

  9. Priusmaniac says:

    I would be more exited of a high tech Rex on the Gen III then free supercharge. Either replaceable single use aluminum air batteries or a direct free piston micro generator shoebox size on biofuel.

    1. Why can’t you have both?

      1. Although it won’t be biofuel. Some type of high density, low cycle battery might be.

  10. pjwood says:

    Make it optional, so people confront energy costs and leave fatter skid marks from gasoline. The option’s price tag won’t be anywhere near the TCO of filling the tank.

    I’m noticing what looks like a tightening to the major cities, as to how the superchargers are being cited. Is anyone else seeing this? Could it be it’s own signal as to Tesla’s availability planning, for a lower range car? The mobile superchargers are another exercise in flexibility.

    Also, as I bet average Tesla ownership won’t be 3 years. I wonder if supercharger access becomes non-transferrable? After finally test driving one the other night, I’m surprised at how much I simply want one to move the concept along. No one else chose to do this. Intangibles matter.

    1. GeorgeS says:

      Mobile superchargers?
      Que?

      1. Brandon says:

        George, see this link for details: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/26484-Supercharger-Bethesda-MD/page3

        “Mobile” is a bit overblown as a description for this station. A better term would be relocatable. There is still quite a bit of work involved bringing in that much power safely.

        However, given advance knowledge of an event requiring massive charging resources (and sufficient nearby power), it’s conceivable that Tesla could truck in a few of these pallets and hook them up specifically for an event.

    2. kdawg says:

      I would assume the free charging goes w/the car since it’s part of the price of the car.
      We should check in on the status of the person putting the Tesla drivetrain into a stretch VW, to see if he’s got it working enough yet to try charging it at a SC.

  11. Aaron says:

    Take a look at the Tesla Supercharger map:

    http://www.teslawiki.net/supercharger/

    Look at the overlap on the north-eastern states. I believe eventually we’ll have that level of overlap across the country (where warranted by population and Tesla density).

  12. Anthony says:

    I’m kind of disappointed. I was hoping tesla would monetize their supercharger network eventually so they could turn it into a revenue source instead of a sink – especially if they end up selling millions of model Es over the course of the first 5 years they’re going to need to expand the network. Maybe they’ll just be charging more for the supercharger option on the car to monetize it that way.

    1. Anon says:

      It’s no more a financial sink, than the cost of television ads are, for other automakers– and its existence sells more Tesla EVs. Financing for SCs comes directly from users who opt in… It’s a brilliant sales strategy. No, it’s more than that. It’s world changing.

      *BRAMP!* Done! Elon Musk owns the automotive world..

      1. kdawg says:

        I think Tesla makes more $ by selling the option upfront. Think of how many people are going to buy the SC option but rarely use it. If they do use it, it would take very many charges to get the cost of the electricity back. So either way, taking the cash first is the most profit for Tesla. Don’t forget they can generate cash with the battery swapping, and if the solar canopies sell juice back to the grid.

        1. Anderlan says:

          I think you’re on to something. Tesla sees thousands of idiots saying EVs are worthless because they can’t drive me on that cross country trip that I only take every 5 years! So, what do you do about that? Take advantage of those people’s irrationality! Idiots will pay $2000 for a convenience they almost never use. Everyone wins!

    2. GeorgeS says:

      Yeh Anthony,
      They need the money for the giga factory in Utah. Maybe if Elon makes a generous donation to the Mormon church that would help.

      OT but what’s your guess on Gen 3 battery chemistry. I can’t see Li-S….too far out.

      1. kdawg says:

        The battery chemistry is the last piece of the puzzle to me (other than what this thing looks like, but the pic below may be a clue). Elon says they have the suppliers lined up fort the Gigaplant, so once that info is out, we may have a better idea of which direction they will go. I think he said he was going to announce something in Feb.

        http://insideevs.com/unofficial-tesla-model-c-sketches-leak-out-drawn-by-a-tesla-intern/

      2. Anthony says:

        I think by the end of this year we’ll know whether Li-S will make the cut for end of 2016 or not.

        I’m still hopeful. There are several companies that have solved the cycling issues with Li-S and it’s just a matter of getting the energy density specs up and mass manufacture capability. Oxis has 200wh/kg cells that are super safe, they just need to increase 20%/year (which should be easier since it’s an unoptiimized technology vs existing Li-Ion which is already fairly optimized (at least with carbon anodes).

    3. Brandon says:

      Why charge your own customers when you can charge the customers of other companies who haven’t had the foresight to build out a national charging network?

      Elon has mentioned being open to licensing Supercharger network to other companies. My bet is that this license comes with a clause that says the other automakers can only sell the access as an option and can’t bundle the cost into the price of the car. Then Tesla can continue to say that they include “free” Supercharging while other adopters have to offer “optional” Supercharging.

      Either way, Tesla gets the money upfront for their investment and gets to make their own cars look like a better value at the same time.

      1. SeattleTeslaGuy says:

        Steve Jobs talked a lot about licensing various apple designs in the early days. Once he realized that they could own the market, he conveniently got amnesia. I see Elon as no different. It makes a good story but is bad business. The SC network is a strategic advantage that they would be pretty stupid to license out.

        1. Anon says:

          You forget… Jobs was out to make money– not to fundamentally change the way people burn a limited energy resource whose pollution makes living on this planet (moreso as time goes on) much more difficult for everyone.

          1. SeattleTeslaGuy says:

            Uh, so Elon didn’t say they they wanted to have 20% margins? You sound a bit naive to think that he isn’t a business man. And Apple/Job was never reluctant to say they were changing the world!

            1. Anon says:

              Elon’s personal convictions make him the formidable businessman he is. He knows that dreams without money to back them, stay dreams.

    4. SeattleTeslaGuy says:

      This is an important point to understand. If the option is priced at $2000 (like it currently is) that translates into approximately 15MW of power at the national average cost per kwh and figuring in some amount of charging loss (15%). For a model S this translates into 45K-50K miles depending on driving habits. I assume that the model E will be more efficient and that will translate into even more miles. Of course, that’s just a “break even” analysis but I seriously doubt the average lifetime supercharger use will even come close. I have about 8K miles on my MS and have driven about 500 miles on SC power.

      So, then, one would need to model the actual SC usage to determine the level of profitability of the Tesla SC network. I suspect the actual usage will be like 10% of total miles driven and if the average Tesla vehicle goes 100K miles, then only 10K will be driven on SC power for about $450 of power at national average kwh cost with 85% charging efficiency. That leaves $1550 for overhead, maint, debt service and so on. Plus, there is a need to figure the future value of the upfront cost. Adding solar canopies to the mix is a factor I don’t know how to figure in but believe it makes the numbers even better. I need to ask my CPA (who is also my wife) about the accounting rules for something like this but think it’s very favorable to the company.

      Based on that thinking, I’d say the SC business could be very profitable.

      1. kdawg says:

        Yes, buying into the SC network, is like buying insurance. And we know insurance companies are very profitable.

        1. Tom A. says:

          =D

          When I get a Tesla, it will have SC, whether included or an option, it’ll have it.

    5. Nix says:

      Tesla can still monetize their charging infrastructure by licensing the connection to other car companies, and charging those companies to connect to the supercharger network.

      Step 1) Build out a successful Supercharger network free to Tesla owners.
      Step 2) Start licensing other cars from other car companies to have access to the Supercharger network.
      Step 3) Profits!!

      1. Tom A. says:

        More clever, but probably no more likely, than underpants.

  13. Alex says:

    To Eric Loveday:
    STOP telling that the Gen 3 name is Model E.
    You are spreading a rumor, not a fact.
    You are confusing people that reads you.
    Please stop.

    1. Anon says:

      I’m not confused. Teslas are S E X Y! 😉

    2. kdawg says:

      And I don’t like the name “Model E”. Sounds frumpy. What does the “E” stand for, Economy Model? Yikes!

      1. Doug B says:

        What does the S stand for?

        1. kdawg says:

          Sedan? Super-Dooper? Sexy? Is the Model X named after the X-shape with the doors open? I don’t know what the ELR stands for in the Cadillac ELR either. There’s also a Tesla Model C. C for Compact? C for City?

          I sort of like the name Model U (for Urban). Or just drop the whole “model” system.

      2. Anon says:

        No, “E” stands for “Economical”, “Everyone” and “Environment”. 😉

      3. Josh says:

        Also rhymes with T.

        I am pretty sure Ford would flip their lid if they used Model T. I actually suggested using Model T to George B when I met him a few years ago. He just laughed at me.

        Talk about getting free publicity on your new model. Apple did the same with iPhone. Picked their name, sorted out the legalities later.

        1. kdawg says:

          Let’s all pray that the iWhatever moniker eventually goes away for non-Apple products.

          1. Anon says:

            Segway Inc., still uses “iWhatever” for their current machines. 😉

        2. Tom A. says:

          I checked online at USPTO.gov – the Model T is still an active trademark owned by Ford Motor Co.

    3. Eric Loveday says:

      Elon Musk has publicly referred to its as Model E, so we’re going with that as the expected name.

      1. SeattleTeslaGuy says:

        +1. It might not be Model E but I am pretty sure it will be Model so E is the best bet.

      2. Tom A. says:

        And also because Tesla Motor Co. has a trademark for Model E.

  14. Anderlan says:

    I would imagine the caveats are: free long distance forever, as long as it’s not part of your income stream and you register and accede being tracked when you fill up. OKAY, I’M IN!

  15. Bloggin says:

    Go Tesla!

  16. Doug B says:

    I think the bigger question is, if I don’t opt to pay $2000 for infrequent SC use (which adds up to about 60,000 miles at home pricing of $0.10/kWh) then will I be able to buy on the day?
    I expect that this will be Teslas next update once the X and E are running, will be to allow SC use from within the car for a daily or kWh cost. Pull up, plug in, and confirm purchase from within the car.

    1. SeattleTeslaGuy says:

      Nope. That would totally undermine their proposition. Right now, there is no alternative to charging that fast. Even with the (unreleased) chademo adapter, you won’t get charging that fast. Even if you were willing to live with the slower speed of chademos, the network is basically non-existent except for a few states. Tesla has momentum with it’s charging network and no other company even has publicly stated they want to do something similar let alone announced plans.

      Also, adding authorization, payment and metering infrastructure is costly. The blink and chargepoint networks still have serious problems with this. The flat fee, upfront payment makes for a nice clean business model not to mention immediate funds to use for network expansion.

      1. Doug B says:

        At $250,000 per SC station, you need to sell 125 cars just to break even, not counting the cost of the energy, which is soon likely to be higher than you pay at home due to peak demand charges.
        so for the 73 stations currently available they need to sell 9125 cars just for the install. So far, given 4m miles driven on superchargers, Tesla has payed out about $140k in energy or 70 more cars worth. With the expansion and availability of these chargers, it could soon become a drag to their finances, whilst being a huge boon publicity wise.
        Tesla will start charging at some point, only available to its own cars, which will keep payment and metering very simple.

        1. Josh says:

          I don’t think they will charge per use for SuperCharging while Musk is running Tesla. I could see 10 years from now, once their growth phase has ended, that someone else takes over (when Musk moves to Mars) and changes the model.

          1. kdawg says:

            LOL @ Mars.

            Yeah, they aren’t going to charge. They make more money from the customers by making them buy into the network in the beginning at $2000. (or $2500 if you decide to join later).

            When more solar canopies cover the stations, they are to collect more energy than the cars use, selling the net extra back to the grid.

            The stations cost ~$150k and they have sold enough Teslas to date to pay for 200+ stations, enough to cover the entire US.

            1. Doug B says:

              Solar, err, it would take 330sqf of current solar panels 10 hours to charge one Model S battery 60kWh.
              Solar will provide only a small offset to the charging needed.
              1 Solar panel = 275Watts * 10 hours = 2.75kWh
              60kWh / 2.75kWh = 22 panels, each is 3’x5′ giving you 330sqft
              All that energy one Tesla can sup down in 30minutes.
              If one charger is used for 6 hours a day for quick 80% charges, then it will use 120kW * 6hours, 720kWh which would need 260 panels covering nearly 4,000sqft.
              Multiply that by an average of 6 stalls and you need 24,000 sqft of space for solar, not counting cloudy days, inverter and charger inefficiencies.
              Not impossible for sure, but unlikely, and would another $150K+ to the cost of each site.
              I love that Tesla is doing this, and turning transportation on its head, I just have a hard time seeing the financial sustainability of its network, which is probably why I’m not an accountant or entrepreneur. But I’m also not blinded enough by the bling to see there are some challenges ahead for their business model.

        2. SeattleTeslaGuy says:

          They’ve sold about 30K Model Ss to date. See my post above on the math. Note that the SCs are capital and get depreciated over some number of years. You don’t do check book accounting for this stuff.

  17. ffbj says:

    I am with kdawg and others on the non-existent charging congestion problem. Something for the future, and probably never in the middle of Montana. Also you are not on the
    super-charger all day anyway. If you are travelling maybe around 30 minutes.
    They will never charge for them directly as that would put a lie to one of their company motto’s:
    Drive for free on sunlight forever.
    Nothing personal but at times I think there is a sort of ‘mountain out of mole hill’ mentality some people exhibit; or a: ‘ when in danger or in doubt run in circles scream and shout’, response , which, incidentally, is my personal favorite of the coping mechanisms.

    1. Brian says:

      Since I started that theme, I assume this is aimed at me. Nothing personal taken. However, I would like to reiterate a statement I made earlier – I never said how much of a concern this is to me. I am hardly running in circles screaming and shouting ;). I have no intention of making a mountain out of a mole hill, I only wanted to point out that the mole hill exists.

      It may never happen in the middle of Montana, but it certainly could in Albany, NY. There are hundreds of thousands of people living nearby, plus Albany is at a cross-roads of sorts between Western NY and New England, or NYC and the Adirondacks. A lot of people travel through the region, especially during the summer months. I can see that one getting a lot of use.

      If congestion does appear, it will likely be short-lived. One solution I could see is a private CHAdeMO network sprouting up on a pay-per-use model. A Tesla driver could then try the SC, and if it’s full, choose to wait or go across the street to the pay CHAdeMO. But this whole “drive for free forever” motto probably will not scale with the Gen 3. In fact most Model S owners pay for the majority of their electricity despite the fact that they *could* drive for free.

    2. Doug B says:

      Drive for free on sunlight forever, hmm that’s a little bit of a fib as only 2? SCs are solar supported.
      Looking forward to seeing many more solar carports on their SC.
      I do believe charging will become a necessity for Tesla to do in the future, or hand over the burden of those costs to it future buyer. Those install and running costs have to be recovered and selling more cars that use more SC energy will not do that in the medium to long term.

    3. Nate says:

      Yep + 1.

      The infrastructure doesn’t need to be the same for EV chargers compared to gas stations. Only a small proportion of gas cars are able to do home fueling (a few businesses and farms here and there).

      Where you currently have charging congestion is at the free chargers. If they were priced slightly higher than the typical home rate, there wouldn’t be congestion.

      If I bought a Model E I would rarely need to use a public charger. On a typical month we drive our Volt about 900 miles. We’re over 90% EV, and charging is mostly done at home. Oh, and that 900 miles a month is many more miles than our other car, and it is higher than the national average. Considering how much we can drive our Volt just off of home charging, and considering it how much less range and charging speed it would have compared to a Model E.

      Sure, if I were driving an BEV 20,000 miles a year I’d be a little more concerned regardless of what type of BEV it was. However, if I were driving 20k miles a year I think my bigger concern would be how I can make a lifestyle change so I would not have to drive 20,000 miles a year. Even driving electric, that’s not all that healthy for myself or the rest of society. For the past 8 years, the average number of miles driven per year by Americans has decreased. That’s a good thing.

  18. ffbj says:

    I should also say that the comment section on this site is probably one of the best.
    You get a lot of good, well presented information by reasonable people.
    A refreshing change of pace from most comment boards.

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      We agree.

  19. @Anthony, it’s not a sink, it’s a source. Tesla charges $2,000 to add the supercharger option to a 60kWh Model S at time of purchase. We can safely assume that the +$10,000 you pay to upgrade from 60kWh to 85kWh includes this $2,000 allocation. ($8,000 for added 25 kWh battery capacity is $320 per kWh, in line with estimates of Tesla battery cost and comments by Tesla CTO JB Straubel [Jay Cole, InsideEVs estimated $238 kWh in June 2013).

    At $2,000 pre-paid, a Tesla owner would have to charge 500 times at $5.00 per charge ~(40kWh x $0.12) for Tesla to lose money on the power cost, and that’s at 20% higher rates than national average (my conservative estimate because a lot of that power is delivered on the coasts, where electricity is more expensive).

    500 charges is almost ten years at one charge per week!

    Probably very few Tesla Model S owners are, or ever will, averaging anything close to 50 SuperCharges per year.

    Tesla is making out like a bandit on “pre-paid fuel”, because those calculations don’t even take into consideration Net Present Value of money, which for Tesla, is considerable.

    If 20,000 of the 25k Tesla Model S owners opted for the SC option (the real number is likely higher), Tesla collected $40 million in pre-paid “fuel purchases”, enough to capitalize the construction of at least 200 Supercharger Stations, and liekly many more (estimates have been $150k to $250k per site, more sites almost certainly drive that cost down to the lower figure).

    It’s easy to see how, if Tesla sold another 20k Model S’s per year with SC option, covering the operation costs will not be a problem.

    1. Doug B says:

      Cheers,
      Though that doesn’t include maintenance and construction costs, which likely we pay for through some tax depreciation loophole :O)
      40kWh per charge is low as that does not get you between stations, for any sort of road trip 60kWh would be better, but this still gets you 277 charges at $7.20, (at $5,per charge $2000 gets you 400 not 500 charges). This is still 5 years of weekly charges or 10.8k miles per year for 5 years of SC charging.
      $0.12 may be conservative due to the high power output of these chargers, Tesla will likely end up on a more expensive peak demand rate.
      But its making a little more sense.

  20. ModernMarvelFan says:

    So, that is a good thing for 3 reasons:

    1. It means the Gen III model has the true 200 miles range to cover the distance between SC stations or all SC stations will be closer together to accomendate the range.

    2. It means the battery will be somewhat large enough to make sense in SC network.

    3. It means the SC network would be ready by the launch to have the distance properly fit for the Gen III.

    3 other concerns.

    1. With increase usage, will the SC network be enough to handle all the Model S, E, and X?
    2. Will SC option available on the base model or an expensive option. This could be the current model where cheap “baseline” model starts at $35K and everything is optioned up to a fully loaded $55K model E…
    3. Since it will be popular, I am probably NOT going to be able to get my hand on one soon enough….

  21. DougB> 40kWh per charge is low as that does not get you between stations

    Thank you for correcting my math, I had created a couple different models, didn’t update the post fully prior to hitting send.

    The 40kWh number was pulled from the Tesla Hawthorne Supercharger dashboard, which shows the distribution of kWh per charge session. Most sessions are 30kWh, followed closely by 20kWh, then 40kWh, then 10kWh. 60kWh sessions appear to be tied for 5th place with With increase usage, will the SC network be enough to handle all the Model S, E, and X?

    Tesla has shown a willingness to install more SC stalls where needed. Gilroy for example, the busiest SC site other than Fremont and Hawthorne, was recently upgraded from 4 to 12 chargers. That was done prior to the coast-to-coast buildout was complete, which clearly was an urgent priority for PR and positioning reasons.

    Many of the SC sites are ~100 miles distant or less from each other. With an 85kWh, you can hop over a congested spot if you don’t want to wait. The SC Sites most distant from each other are the ones in the boondocks, they will be least busy.

    The availability of the CHAdeMO adapter for Tesla means that there will be other options as well. Over 500 ChAdeMO sites nationwide now. I believe that fast DC charging will grow much faster as more retail sites follow Simon Property Group’s lead and figure out that the average EV driver is way above average income. Free or low cost fast charging is a really easy way to make friends (customers) with EV owners with lots of disposable income.

  22. Regarding demand charges, If Tesla pays any now, they will pay far fewer or none going forward.

    Tesla uses large battery buffers at SC stations. Tesla has already publicly committed to using solar for SC energy source and as Musk is the chairman and largest shareholder of Solar City. Solar City is also famously installing battery storage with solar systems. Tesla has disclosed that they will be building a battery “giga factory”. Both companies have easy access to cheap capital and debt. The fed grants alone are worth 30% of the cost of the installation. Massive use of solar for SC sites is a fait accompli. No demand charges for solar, especially with big battery buffers which Tesla and Solar City are uniquely qualified to provide.

    National commercial/industrial rate for electricity is ~$0.10 per kWh. Tesla will almost certainly be able to beat $0.12 per kWh, especially over the next 10-20 years.

    I’d be surprised if they weren’t able to drive that down to nearly match utility cost rates. Think about Musk’s ability to perform co-generation type power supply or wholesale sourcing. The guy could buy/build a utility if he wanted to, and that is in fact the Solar City business model in the abstract.

    For reference, think about how PayPal is now playing alongside the “big boy” banks. The man thinks big. Builds from scratch and still runs with the big dogs.

    Cheap access to electricity will not be the limiting factor of the SC rollout.