Tesla Model 3 – Free Supercharger Access Or Not?

1 year ago by Steven Loveday 139

Tesla Superchargers

Tesla Superchargers

One of the many big mysteries about the Tesla Model 3 is whether or not Supercharger access will be included in the base cost.

Tesla-Supercharger-Map-March-2016

Tesla Supercharger Network, Image Credit: Tesla Motors

Back in 2012, when Tesla first released the Model S, Supercharger network access was an additional $2,000 option. Now, Tesla includes the access to every Model S and X buyer.

There is much speculation as to how Tesla may handle access for the Model 3.

One, of course, is to stay consistent and offer it as part of the base package as the company is doing with current models. Another option would be to offer it up front, but to discount users that decline the coverage. A third option is to offer the access for a fee at the time of purchase. The final theory is that Tesla may include the option of “use-based” subscription plans.

There are currently over 100,000 Teslas on the road. If the Model 3 takes off as expected, along with the success of the Model X, there will be several hundred thousand more in the coming years. Offering a free service for Supercharger access is a great idea, and Tesla will be able to boast that every driver is covered. But, if there is overcapacity at the stations, making access unavailable, what’s the point?

Tesla could surely make hundreds of millions in extra funds by charging the $2,000 fee, and it can only be assumed that many of the 100,000 buyers would pay it. It’s not known if this information will be disclosed in the coming days as part of the unveiling. Only time will tell.

Source: Teslarati

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139 responses to "Tesla Model 3 – Free Supercharger Access Or Not?"

  1. jelloslug says:

    I will say that it will be an option. What better way to fund more superchargers than to have the people that really want to use them pony up some cash.

    1. Fabian says:

      +100

    2. evcarnut says:

      People will pony Up for the Pony !& that shall be sufficient enough!

      1. alain says:

        the problem will be those how abuse it to save $ 40 a month because they live close by a sation.paying to charge your car is already a joke, free or not who cares .as long as when i get off the highway there is a free spot ,i will be happy to pay for it!

    3. evcarnut says:

      I will say this much, On several occasions when Elon spoke, he said ., When you buy a Tesla you get free charging @ all our superchargers as a Tesla Owner for life ., or something to that affect .

      1. Orygun EV driver says:

        He also said the Model X would be delivered in 2013 🙂

    4. Bloggin says:

      I agree. Supercharger access is free for the Model S starting at $75k. But I expect the the entry price $35k Model 3 to have the option same as Model S was at launch.

      Supercharger access is for ‘Long Distance Travel’, and it’s doubtful that many 250+ mile Model 3 owners will be taking long road trips and need Supercharger access. Those who do, can pay for the access.

      Certainly, Supercharger access for a fee will NOT hurt Model 3 sales, as it did not hurt Model S sales.

      Tesla has already stated that over 90% of charging happens at home in the garage, along with sending notice to many using Superchargers when it’s not necessary. So it’s doubtful that Tesla would then make standard Supercharger access to an even larger pool of Model 3 others that potentially make the problem worse.

      It will be a win for the customer and Tesla either way.

      1. Robert Utess says:

        I don`t get how you came up with most model 3 owners will not travel long distance? Why would I not travel in a Model 3? Is it because a person buying a 35k car is too poor to travel. Please do explain this to me.

      2. Aaron.h2o says:

        I would argue that they may use it more. I would normally be in the market for a car that retails(I never pay retail) 28K max, but I would spring for the extra 7K+ for a model 3. With that said, my frugal butt would be taking advantage of free charging on my road trips; because I am not shelling money out to fly my family unless I have to drive more 24 hours (12hr/day).
        Just my 2 cents

        1. Aaron.h2o says:

          Oh, and for context; I drive an 02 reg cab ranger w/164,xxx and my wife drives an 06 civic lx w/14x,xxx. I might own about 7k worth the cars, but we have twice that in liquid assets and make less than 80k/yr combined.

          1. V2 says:

            Having proper amount of cash equivalent savings is very important. Some say 6 to 12 months of income is a good target.

            It is great to read that people are ready to spend 25% extra than the usual to get a Tesla. Truly want to see mass EV adoption.

  2. ffbj says:

    There is no free lunch. I think they will go for some sort of usage model.

    1. evcarnut says:

      N0 Free Lunch & don’t I Know It!

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Actually, you don’t seem to know it. I’m surprised that a grown person would expect a $35K car to come with free fuel for life.

        1. Brandon says:

          Exactly!! A+ that it won’t be free.

    2. x says:

      This pompous platitude is simply false.
      There is “free lunch”.

      in that Sun’s energy is “free” and therefore 99% (if not 100%) of the things we enjoy here on Earth are “free”. Plants grow regardless, water flows regardless of human intervention, etc etc.
      Other than the initial investment in solar panels and modest amounts for maintenance the Sun’s energy is free.
      of course, corporations don’t like this and they will try to milk us any way they can (they’ve tried to patent the human genome, etc).
      There can be free transportation, powered indirectly by Sun. Even solar panels can be built only with the power from Sun.
      But the rhinoceroses will fight against that for as long as they can, first by trying to instill that “oh, that is impossible, because we’ve told you 2 million times that there’s no free lunch”.

      1. Texas FFE says:

        Your analogies are pretty shallow. Whenever you move or whenever anything moves energy is spent. That energy has a value and a cost.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “TANSTAAFL — There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch” — Robert Heinlein.

        Nope, you’re wrong, “x”, and Heinlein was right. For anything worth having, someone (perhaps you, perhaps someone else) must pay for it in some fashion; in money, in time, or in effort, or some combination thereof. The cost may or may not be hidden, but it’s always there.

        If Tesla offers Supercharger use for “free”, then it will have to compensate for that, either with a higher base price for the car, or else by cost-cutting elsewhere on the car. There will be a tradeoff for providing so-called “free” Supercharger access, whether that’s apparent or not.

        1. x says:

          If there’s someone’s work involved , then , yes, you’re right.

          Judging by how nowadays world is setup by governments/corporations it does seem this way, as you both say, but if you think deeper it doesn’t have to be this way, as long as the Sun maintains basically life on Earth. Yes, for free. Of course on top of this humans can say this forest is now MINE, this land is only mine etc and then yes the “no free lunch” thing becomes obvious. It doesn’t have to be this way because, at the level of principles everything is free, it just is. Here and now and it has been this way since the Beginning.

          I agree about the problem of SC clogging by Uber drivers , by transport companies, etc. That is not fair, maybe not sustainable now. But even that for sure is possible in the future.

          I hope and wish that Musk can dare to take the high, seemingly impossible road , and defy all these naysayers.

          If US would spend only one year worth of defence budget on installing solar panels instead, in deserts, US will be free from oil, no need for propping up foreign dictatorships in MIddle East(with all that it entails, i.e many dead people, plus trillions of $), far less pollution etc. It is doable with today’s tech if they would really want it, no unicorns needed.

          1. Hari says:

            X,

            Very well put.

            To put it in another way, the cars you are driving is free if you ask your great grand father from 1900. There was no way he could’ve saved to buy that car. You are doing nothing more than what he had done, chances are you doing much less. Still you have a car. That, when you go deep down is ‘free lunch’.

            And yes, with current technology and investment in right places, there can be lot many more free lunches than there are right now.

            1. x says:

              Agreed.

              I was merely thinking about natural resources but you’re right in pointing out how cheap some things have become, gradually, and for less (physical) effort from most of us. In time as productivity rises even more, more automation, more renewable energy things that are now out of reach (go to ISS-like outpost) would be doable. Economy powered entirely by renewable energy and robots? Why not (see AlphaGo’s outstanding performance)?

              Interesting angle.

              1. Brandon says:

                Solar panels are for sure a prudent economic investment. But fast charge infrastructure is quite costly. Even in the future with higher kW levels the need for battery storage to offset peak demand charges may be needed.

    3. evcarnut says:

      Have N0 FEAR!They will make up the money $$ of the supercharging when we buy new batteries

  3. Speculawyer says:

    The obvious answer is that it will be available as an option that you have to pay at least $2000 to access.

    They would be INSANE not to offer it because it is the biggest advantage they have over the Chevy Bolt and other coming long-range EVs.

    1. jelloslug says:

      It’s a given that it will be offered. I think for a car in this price range it should be an option though.

      1. evcarnut says:

        You guys are giving them evil thoughts …If there is any form of a charge for Model 3 …I WILL for sure BE OUT!

        1. Speculawyer says:

          Well you should consider yourself out then. They are not magicians. You can’t expect them to cut the price of the current lowest price car in half and have all the same features. Heck, the 40 and 60KWH versions of the Model S didn’t even come with supercharging!

  4. evcarnut says:

    IF THEY WANT TO Mess It UP & LOSE CUSTOMERS REAL REAL FAST , THEY SHOULD MAKE THE SUPERCHARGER “0PTIONAL” & THEY WILL “INFACT” LOSE A LOT OF CUSTOMERS VERY QUICKLY to other brands.,0ne being me , Including Many 0thers I know..SUPERCHARGERS ARE THE “SOLE” REASON “MOST” ARE BUYING TESLAS…..It will be a disaster that would kill the model3 if the superchargers were to be extra……..

    1. Kumar Plocher says:

      Scorching hot take!

    2. Someone out there says:

      So what you are saying is that the cars themselves are crap, it’s only the superchargers that make it worth it? I’m pretty sure most people would disagree with that.

      1. evcarnut says:

        It’s a New Company With growing pains …

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “I’m pretty sure most people would disagree with that.”

        Indeed.

    3. Speculawyer says:

    4. kdawg says:

      Aren’t like a super-Tesla-fanboy? So you’re saying something like a $2000 charge is enough to make you go 180?

    5. Tim says:

      I’ll use my anecdotal evidence to counteract your anecdotal evidence.

      I personally don’t care much about the Supercharger network. If I’m going to travel more than a couple hundred miles, I’ll fly.

    6. jelloslug says:

      DC fast charging is optional on the Bolt and you don’t even get access to any charging networks.

    7. koz says:

      You’re freaking out over optioning. Whether they break Supercharging out as an option, offer pay per charge to Model 3, or include it in the base cost you will absolutely 100% be paying for it. Now for the rest of us with some common sense, PLEASE TESLA make it pay per charge. That will minimize unnecessary charging and save the majority a buttload of $ by not having to pay bulk for a service that is rarely used. Another option would be to have prepaid programs that allow KWH of charging per month or year. Ultimately that is where they need to be in the cities to give those without charging access at home a viable option while not overcharging the occasional users that do have charging access.

      1. Rick Danger says:

        How about a prepaid card that you can buy when you need it? For that once a year trip.
        You buy x kWh, and use it til they’re gone, then buy more. Whether it takes you one week or 6 months to use it up, doesn’t matter. Would be nice too if you could choose how many kWh you wanted.
        It should be possible to have the car and the charger keep track of it.

    8. none says:

      Being that Tesla says that the Model 3 will cost LESS than the bolt….I can’t see how charging $$ for supercharger access will prevent sales. The logic just isn’t there….Let’s see, I can buy a Model 3 for less money than the inferior bolt and if I feel like adding supercharging access in the future, I can still do that? What’s not to love here….Can’t add it to the Bolt, since they don’t have a supercharger network…

      You would rather have all model 3’s include FREE supercharging access and cost MORE. I say, only charge the people that need it and keep the base price down! Some people don’t want to wait for a charge on a trip anyway, so they take the ICE.

      I don’t mind waiting, since I love having autopilot on the road – however my dad is the opposite and takes the ICE every time on road trips…

  5. Model S says:

    What I want to see is how Tesla will deal with Supercharger availability.

    Once all these Model 3’s hit the roads there’s going to be lines of people waiting to supercharge.

    Maybe in the next 2 years the charge time will be down to around 15-20 minutes for a full charge which will be amazing.

    So we’ll see

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Well if they get $2000 for every new Model 3 sold, that will be a lot of money to expand the supercharger infrastructure.

      And I don’t think the Model 3s (or the Model S & X) will be clogging up the superchargers. People shouldn’t be using the superchargers more than a few times a year when they go on long trips.

      I suspect they’ll include some restrictions that prevent people from abusing the superchargers. For example, they could prevent people from using any superchargers within 50 miles of their homes more than once a month. It would be pretty easy to implement that.

      1. Braben says:

        There are reports that some popular supercharger locations are already experiencing congestion (e.g. the ones on the route between LA and Las Vegas).

        As for the business model, I’d be in favor of a pay-per-use model. Assuming that the Model 3 will be permanently connected via mobile networks like the Model S, billing could be handled automatically by the car without adding payment capabilities to the chargers.

        1. Speculawyer says:

          Well if the supercharger on the route between LA & Vegas is being heavily used then they should install more stalls. As long as it is being used on that long trip, that is fine. But I’d stop any locals near that supercharger from abusing it. The whole point of the super charges is for LONG DISTANCE charging. Not for normal everyday charging.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Yeah, but restricting any Superchargers within 50 miles of your home to only once per month use ain’t gonna sit well with those traveling from L.A. to Lost Wages Las Vegas every weekend, and from posts I’ve seen, that’s pretty popular among many Model S owners. What if you’re coming back and you need to stop at a Supercharger, which just happens to be <50 miles from your home? If that's a regular weekend thing, you'd be doing it 4-5 times per month. Even aside from that, any Model S/X owner may need a bit of quick charge at some point, even if they’re not that far from home. An unexpected side trip, or a higher than planned energy use during a planned trip, may leave you running low on juice.

            I think a better plan would be that if you use a Supercharger within 50 miles of your home more than once a week, Tesla should charge you a fee for that. And make it a high enough fee to discourage those who are using Superchargers to avoid charging at home.

            1. Djoni says:

              How about including a pre paid (or free) X amount of Supercharger use with base model, XY amount with this option and so on.
              And, provide option to buy pre paid supercharge with discount for volume or time of usage.

    2. kdawg says:

      They’ll take the $ from selling the SC access and build more SC’s.

    3. sven says:

      Tesla is using valets at busy Supercharger stations.

      http://electrek.co/2016/03/28/tesla-valet-charging-superchargers/

  6. RexxSee says:

    I bet low volume production will start in less than 1 year.

    With free supercharging for long road trips. no payments at the “pump”. Overuse charged directly at home.

  7. ffbj says:

    Thanks Jay!

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Yupper, your ID is out of unintentional purgatory, (=

  8. Someone out there says:

    Pay per use or a subscription plan would make the most sense. If another 500k cars per year gets free supercharging it will hog up the stations to no end no matter how many stalls they build. Having to pay for it, even if it’s cheap will make many people not bother doing it and charge at home instead. If instead there’s only a one-time fee, possibly built into the price of the car, people will go “well, I paid for it so I might as well use it” instead.

    Also, since they will (likely) make less profit on the model 3 having a revenue stream from the chargers would make up for it, at least a little.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      WhyNotBoth.gif

      Let people either buy the $2K lifetime (of the car) free charging or pay per use (with a relatively high charge).

      1. LEAF_n_PiP says:

        It’s pretty obvious why not both. If it’s a one time $2000 option to be able to use the Superchargers “for life”, a large percentage of buyers will opt in for it. Once I spend $2000 for this access, I’m going to try to use it as much as possible to make it worth my money. This would lead to unnecessary overusage of the Superchargers, whereas I could and should be charging at home with night time rates more frequently and only use the superchargers when necessary. A pay-per-use model would solve this problem, BUT they would probably have to charge quite a lot to cover the installation + maintenance + electricity costs, whereas an additional $2000 per car sold gets them the cash up front much quicker.

        1. Speculawyer says:

          You do know that every Tesla out there except a few 60KWH models already do come with free supercharging for life, right? And you can buy lifetime supercharging for a 60KWH Model S for $2000, right?

          The trick is to come up with some limitations that prevent abuse. The superchargers are designed to allow you to take long range trips. But for everyday commuting, you are supposed to charge up at home, not at the superchargers.

  9. Dwwayne says:

    Pay per use makes more sense to me. There is already a problem with people using the service when shouldn’t need to.

    1. Kevin says:

      Exactly. Tesla will give people the correct incentives by:
      (a) charging a fixed premium ($1-$2k) for supercharging functionality (or discount for removing option). Helps to keep price of Model 3 lower.
      (b) Supercharger usage costs ~15-20 cents/kWh. It should be close to, but slightly higher than, home charging rates. This allows people who can charge at home to charge at home, and lets people who can’t charge at home (in apts, etc.) to use superchargers at a reasonable rate.
      (c) consider including 2-3 free charges/mo as a courtesy or to help make long-distance travel free.

      The key is that you don’t want people to hog superchargers. The fixed price at time of purchase pays for capex/new stations, and the pay-per-use price pays for electricity and operating costs (more or less).

    2. Mister G says:

      Pay per use is the way to go.

  10. David Murray says:

    I can see advantages to either system. But since cost was the primary concern of the Model-III I don’t think they’ll include superchargers in the base cost of the car. It will have to be either a paid option, or pay-as-you go type of plan.

    1. pjwood1 says:

      Obvious, I agree. This will be an option, and it’s not that bad. There are LOTS of Model S owners who’ve never supercharged, and Model 3 owners, as much as Tesla will be happy to monetize heavier expected use, are apt to be better off going “ala carte”.

      Free, I highly doubt it.

  11. bro1999 says:

    For any Tesla owners out there: how would you feel if, in a few years, Supercharging stations you used to use to charge your $140k S/X with little congestion were now clogged up by $35k Model 3s?

    Tesla will HAVE to implement some sort of usage restriction on Supercharging. Be it making it a $2k option on 3’s, limiting # of charge sessions before charging money….something. The base Model 3 will NOT have free, unlimited Supercharging. Book it.

    1. alain says:

      agree with you all the way ,put a 20 uses per year or 4 a month ,that way nobody will abuse the free charging.

    2. kdawg says:

      $2K is baked into the S&X prices, so just charge for it on the Model 3. If someone paid $2k for it, it doesn’t matter if they are driving an X,S, or 3, all have equal rights to the chargers.

      1. Bro1999 says:

        Entitled S/X owners may not feel the same way.

        1. Anon says:

          There really are too many ‘Donald Trumps’ in the world. First World EV Problems, I guess… 😛

          Then again, many Model III owners could also have another Tesla at home (S / X / Roadster). Who’s to pass judgement on anyone who does not have the Same Model you do?

          What if Audi or some other EV Automaker buys into the network? You gonna chase ’em out with your shotgun, for not owning a Tesla? :0

          Such attitudes don’t make sense to me…

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Tesla will HAVE to implement some sort of usage restriction on Supercharging.” – bro1999

      Not necessarily. They could, at least in theory, add enough Supercharger stalls at busy locations to compensate.

      In practice, of course, land to build Superchargers at convenient locations isn’t unlimited. Expansion means putting in new locations, some of which will be less conveniently located than existing locations.

      1. MikeG says:

        Another option is a demand pricing plan where discounted or free Supercharging is available in off-peak hours.

  12. Daniel says:

    I for one have no expectation that Tesla should provide me “free fuel for life” any more than Ford, GM, or “any other” car maker should provide me “free gasoline for life”. That said “if offered” I’d be a fool not to take it or to believe that I had not, or will never, pay anything for it, but to “EXPECT IT” and be chapped that it is not offered “Truly” for free to the extent that I’d thumb my nose at ever purchasing a Model III makes no sense.

    It is HIGHLY unlikely that the Model III will be the equivalent of a Model S / X at a <40k price point complete with auto pilot, summon, automatic doors / handles and a boatload of embellishments and super charger access all included.

    The lions share of the cost of superchargers is and will be borne by those who purchase Tesla vehicles ( either at the supercharger or in the purchase price as a value added ) in NO SCENARIO now or in the future is access going to be free.

  13. Kevin says:

    They should make other ev owners pay to use the superchargers and free for all tesla owners!

    1. D.Trump says:

      They should make mexico pay for it!

      1. evcarnut says:

        only if they build a Tesla Plant In Mexico…will Mexico Pay ! But ! you’ll get a Free Sunbraro for every member of the family, with every Tesla Purchase////… l 0 l….

  14. Texas FFE says:

    I review checkins on Plugshare regularly for several states. I’m just curious to see who is plugging in and where especially along my EV route between Texas and Colorado. There are quite a few Supercharger stations along the routes I monitor and many of those stations only get checkins maybe once a month.

    So when you buy a Tesla you are also buying all these Superchargers in the remote locations all over the world of which many hardly ever get used. If you don’t believe me then go in Plugshare and start monitoring a few Superchargers in your area. These Superchargers are a great idea but a bad business model.

    I guess it’s a good business model if the Superchargers get people to pay for overpriced cars with the benefit of Superchargers that car owners will seldom if ever use.

    1. David Murray says:

      Well, I’m sure you realize that only a fraction of Plugshare users bother to “check in” at a station. So whatever number of checkins you see, the station probably gets 10x or more use. But just like our network of Chademo stations we have here in DF/W, they don’t get used that much. But knowing they are there will push some people over the edge to buy an EV even though they may never use them. Tesla knows this, and knows the network of superchargers has to allow travel to large areas, even if they are rarely used.

    2. Tech01x says:

      Why would someone check in on Plugshare for a Tesla Supercharger? I can see that for a Chargepoint J1772 since you never know if any particular unit is operating, but it is a very rare event for a Supercharger to be down. So most people on the Supercharger network don’t bother with Plugshare.

      1. Texas FFE says:

        Many of the Superchargers haven’t been around long and there still a lot of areas that don’t have Superchargers. Plugshare users, including Tesla operators, use Plugshare to check for charging locations other people have found. I have actually posted a bunch of charging locations on Plugshare.

        I like to monitor Plugshare to see who is using the charging locations I found and to see if any new charging stations have shown up in my search radius, the Supercharger stations just happen to be in my search radii. I’m always looking for new EV routes. I also like to check in when I charge so that people coming after me know the charging station is working and to show that I am an active EV operator.

  15. James says:

    I think it has to be optional, since there is no way to build enough of them to support a mass market rollout. The additional revenue could build new stations, though. If people wouldn’t abuse them, then it might be no big deal to keep them free, but as usual, a few ruin it for the many.

    The other option would be to keep them free outside of your immediate local area. So perhaps outside of a 150 mile radius of your house. Would be easy for them to determine where the car is usually located.

    1. kdawg says:

      I think 150 is too big of radius. More like 50 miles would be more reasonable IMO.

      Problem is what if you move, or have multiple homes, or…?

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Yeah, 50 miles is what I said. If you wanted to push it you might say 75. But you can’t go over 100. That could be the only supercharger between you and your 300 mile away destination.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Or what about someone who has a long commute, and parks his Tesla car at a Supercharger while he’s at work, which happens to be 51 (or 76) miles away from his home?

        There is no way to completely eliminate abuse of the Supercharger system. And it’s counter-productive to institute onerous or fiddly restrictions on everyone just to eliminate a tiny percentage of abuse.

        Everyone needs to accept the reality that some people are gonna “game the system” no matter what you do. Live with it and move on. There are more important things in life to concern us.

        1. kdawg says:

          His workplace would have to be close to a Supercharger, which seems unlikely. He could always Uber everyday from the charger, but that would defeat the purpose.

  16. SparkEV says:

    If $2K entitles you to unlimited supercharging, there will be LOTS of abuse. Given that low gas price result in EV paying about 35 MPG gas car, people will simply clog up superchargers rather than charge at home. After all, they paid for it, why not use it rather than paying additional to charge at home?

    You can look to Leaf/i3 who get free charging to see this effect. You can also see people driving many miles to get $0.01/gal lower gas.

    Not pay per use is powerful way to make things undesirable, whethere there was one time fee or not. If Tesla doesn’t cost per use, initial euphoria will be substituted with many angry users. That might become powerful motivator for Bolt.

    1. Texas FFE says:

      Most of the Superchargers are too remote for pay as you go. The remote Superchargers would never pay for themselves with the current population of Teslas. If the Superchargers are not paid for up front when the Tesla is purchased then many of the remote Superchargers would disappear.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Texas FFE said:

        “Most of the Superchargers are too remote for pay as you go. The remote Superchargers would never pay for themselves with the current population of Teslas.”

        You’re using the wrong business model. The Supercharger network isn’t composed of a bunch of unconnected individual businesses, like gas stations, each of which has to be profitable on an individual basis.

        A much better analogy would be cell phone towers. Cell phone companies install towers even in areas where they will get little use, to ensure good coverage everywhere. Cell phone towers aren’t installed on the basis of where each one will make the most money for the company; it’s the overall network that has to be profitable. Ditto for Tesla’s Supercharger network, except that doesn’t even have to make an overall profit. The Supercharger network might function as a “loss leader” by attracting more sales.

    2. pjwood1 says:

      Tesla sent letters to owners, who by some formula were supercharging excessively. It caused a stir, over at TMC. In reality, they did grant permanent supercharging access, and some owners have nothing at their condo, etc. These people were most upset.

      If it can happen with people affording 80+k cars, Tesla already knows better not to make a “pay one price” model too cheap. That’s dying like “lifetime ski passes” did.

      1. SparkEV says:

        If you mean “pay once price” to be more expensive, that’ll have the opposite effect of even more abuse. People will more likely to use it when they don’t need it since they’d want to get their money’s worth.

  17. Texas FFE says:

    In any industry there’s always an attrition rate but I haven’t heard of a single Supercharger shutting down. Some of these Superchargers have to be dead weight. Has anyone ever heard of a Supercharger shutting down or do Tesla owners just have to keep paying for this dead weight?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      It’s not Tesla car owners who have to pay to maintain the system, or pay for the electricity it uses. Once they pay the access fee, it’s free for the life of the car.

      It’s Tesla who has to pay to maintain and expand the system.

      And no Supercharger is “dead weight”, any more than any cell phone tower is “dead weight”, even if it doesn’t get used much. You’re using the wrong business model.

  18. RunningonSouler says:

    As a current Leaf owner and a prospective Tesla Model 3 buyer, I think the best arrangement would be paid access for use. Most of the time, I would charge at home, but I would need access to the Supercharger network for any long-distance trips. I would happily pay a per KW/h fee per use, even one that was more than the marginal cost to Tesla (which is still probably lower than the cost of gasoline), because a) it would allow me to make occasional long-distance trips, and b) paying a $2000 upfront premium would be much more than the value to me. And from Tesla’s point of view, I don’t see how they can continue a free-use model when there are hundreds of thousands of Model 3s on the road. Another option would be a monthly subscription that you could turn on and off (like data service on an iPad), but that would still leave Tesla with the problem that “all you can eat” incentivizes heavy use.

  19. Rick Danger says:

    There’s no way the base $35,000 Model ≡ will come with “free, unlimited Supercharger access”. It makes sense to make it a $2,000 option, just like it was on the S60.
    The $2,000 can be baked into the higher range/performance models, just as it is in the S85/90.

    1. Spec says:

      Exactly.

  20. Ian says:

    Just think of all the super chargers 100 000 X $2000 would build.

  21. Vexar says:

    Here is my take on it:
    Tesla has already determined everyone wants the supercharger access for the S and the X. However, there may be a market segment buying the III that says “let me buy the car for less now, and I’ll pony up the additional fees next year when I take a road trip.” I do expect all the vehicles will be constructed with supercharger integration equipment.
    I think one eventuality is that the cost of the III will go up and with that, if for some reason it wasn’t a default element, it will be included.
    My advice to everyone that is interested in buying the Model III eventually is to get reserved before the rules change. I’m not saying pitch a tent and camp out tonight, but some time before the end of July for sure. Once you are configured, it’s locked in, for the most part.

  22. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    We need to distinguish from what Tesla will do, and what would be best for customers.

    What would be best for customers is a per-use fee or a monthly subscription, because that will eliminate usage by those who don’t really need to use it.

    But Tesla (or Elon) has already said that Supercharger use by Model ≡’s will be, just like Model S’s, unlimited use “free” forever. That is, free after the initial access fee is paid.

    As to whether or not Tesla will make Supercharger access “standard equipment” for the Model ≡, as they now do for the Models S and X, that’s a good question. Again, it would be best for car owners to have to pay a fee, because again it would cut down on congestion at Supercharger stations.

    But Tesla moved from “it’s an option for which you have to pay $2000” to “It’s included in the price of the “S” (and “X”). So my guess is that whatever prompted them to make that decision — presumably making the car more attractive to potential buyers — will apply equally to the Model ≡.

    So, bottom line: I think Tesla will include unlimited, free Supercharger use as “standard equipment” in the M≡, despite the fact that this would be the worst choice for Model S drivers.

    1. garrity says:

      Tesla now likes to qualify their SC usage as “Free long distance travel on the Supercharger network” instead of Free Supercharger access.

      Where is SparkEv?? His blog sums it up well just search for sparkev blog free charging sucks I would list a url but then it gets deleted.

      I also prefer that SC or any charger have a per use fee. Even a few cents over what you charge at home would make it so that you will only use a SC when you need to. And I have a SC station right in town that I pass by everyday to work.

      Having to wait at a charger is no fun especially if you have to wait for someone who really doesn’t need to charge. It is already common at some Nrg chargers and is becoming more and more common at SC’s even with the relatively small amount of Teslas out right now. Wait till Tesla starts selling 10x as many cars as they do now.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        garrity said:

        “Tesla now likes to qualify their SC usage as ‘Free long distance travel on the Supercharger network’ instead of Free Supercharger access.”

        Okay, but that won’t really make any difference unless and until Tesla makes changes to actually restrict usage to long-distance travel. Sending out a letter to some Model S owners complaining about alleged abuse by using it for local charging (and some who received the letter claimed they were doing no such thing) isn’t going to stop someone who’s a freeloader.

        One thing I find quite surprising is that Tesla hasn’t instituted any “terms of service” for using Superchargers. I predict that Tesla will institute such terms before they start selling the Model ≡.

        One could make a legal case that any term of use restrictions wouldn’t apply to existing Model S/X owners; they should be “grandfathered in” for the original promise of “unlimited free use forever”. But hopefully Tesla will at least institute terms of service on Model ≡ owners, to reduce abuse of the system. Furthermore, if the terms of service include a clause such as “Tesla Motors reserves the right to change these terms of service at any time in the future, without notice and without recompense to the Model ≡ owner”, that would leave them legally free to impose further restrictions if they decide it’s necessary.

      2. SparkEV says:

        My brain must’ve been out to lunch (literally) when I didn’t include the link to my “Free charging SUCKS!” blog post in earlier comment. If the link doesn’t show, search my blog for that topic.

        http://sparkev.blogspot.com/2015/10/free-charging-sucks.html

    2. Ambulator says:

      “I think Tesla will include unlimited, free Supercharger use as “standard equipment” in the M≡, despite the fact that this would be the worst choice for Model S drivers.”

      I doubt it. Even though a substantial majority would opt for it, keeping it optional will let Tesla keep the base price down. It may be a bit silly, as I don’t think they will sell any without Supercharger access for some years, if ever, but it will look good on the price sheet.

  23. Priusmaniac says:

    If a Model 3 pays 2000$ for free supercharger access it would be more than fair to Model S owners that paid the same price but typically take up more energy than what a Model 3 would.

    If a pay per use is chosen, it would still need the system present in the car to begin with, so, if not a full 2000$ it seems normal to at least pay an entrance amount to the the pay per use system. Perhaps 700$.

    If condo dwellers have no charging possibility except a local supercharger, and openly so known to Tesla, it would be good to still allow them ev access by providing them a 100% supercharger charging possibility against a commonly agreed fair amount for it. Again in the form of an entry price and a pay per use additional cost. This would be clear and without surprise to either party and would allow an ev where it would not at first be possible. Of course this would be a last resort and be made more expensive than normal charge to avoid abuse.

    When more Tesla Model S and Model 3 are on the road and going to superchargers. Extra build up with the extra 2000$ on each car would provide a non congestion situation and even allow more comfort to all users by allowing more superchargers locations choice.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Priusmaniac said:

      “If condo dwellers have no charging possibility except a local supercharger… it would be good to still allow them ev access by providing them a 100% supercharger charging possibility against a commonly agreed fair amount for it… Of course this would be a last resort and be made more expensive than normal charge to avoid abuse.”

      I quite firmly disagree, for at least two reasons:

      1. Everyday use of the Supercharger would wear out the EV’s battery pack faster. Slow charging is for everyday use. Superchargers should only be used for fast charging when you have to wait at the charger.

      2. The intent of the Supercharger system is to be a nationwide (or continent-wide) network which facilitates long-distance travel using BEVs. If you allow anyone, even just one person, to use a Supercharger for his everyday charging, then you’re denying use of that part of the system to those for whom the network was intended for.

      Anyone buying a BEV, including condo dwellers buying a Tesla car, should ensure they have a dedicated parking place with an EV charge point installed before they take possession of the car. In fact, back in the early days of the Tesla Roadster, Tesla required that the prospective buyer had to allow Tesla to check to see that he had such a charger installed before Tesla would deliver the Roadster to him. That was a good idea, and arguably Tesla shouldn’t have stopped doing that.

      Of course, there are always going to be circumstances where a BEV owner is “orphaned” without a dedicated charge point. Someone may be forced to move, or may inherit a car; I’m sure y’all can think of other scenarios which will occur in real life.

      But even in such cases, other solutions should be found. At worst, the BEV owner should use a destination charger — not a Supercharger! — for daily charging. A better solution would be to arrange with the condo’s landlord, or with a nearby parking lot owner, to install an EV charger, and reserve that stall for the EV owner’s use.

      If there is a case where there is no option for the EV owner to use a Supercharger for everyday charging, it should only be a temporary solution, and only to allow the owner time to make other arrangements. In such a case, Tesla should charge them a fee per use or per week, with the stipulation that this was only for 30 days; and that any further use beyond that 30 days would result in an onerous surcharge. In other words, Tesla should give them 30 days to make other arrangements, and if they don’t, then they should have to pay through the nose until they do.

      All just my opinion, of course. Tesla may see things differently.

      1. What would happen if Tesla used the Destination Charger Team, and the Supercharger Team – and made up – a new team – that actually installed mini-fleets of 6-20 of the Destination Chargers – at or beside, or Near, the supercharger Sites, as well as other sites?

        I am sure that the price of one Supercharger set (A& B) could go a long way for the much less expensive Destination Chargers! Also – even at full power – with 100 Amp Breakers – it takes about 10 of them to equal the Grid Load of one Supercharger Running at full power!

        I Believe – that Tesla Could offer the sort of Co-Located Destination Chargers – with Unlimited Access for Model 3’s at no cost, daily, as required – for those who want to site for a couple hours+ at a time, and such co-locations could also relieve some Supercharger Crowding in busier sites, with a new instruction – to move the car from Supercharger to Destination charger once it reaches 75-80% SOC! (It would make the Supercharger Space then Available – and – if you want to continue charging to 100% – it would likely still be at about the same time frame remaining, since above 80% the Supercharger is slowed down quite a bit!

        If Tesla Decided to expand to Workplace Charging for employers that have employees with the Model 3, offering something like 4-10 of the Chargers they currently use as Destination Chargers (Which are actually – the High Powered Wall Chargers – meant for Home Garages!) – as a promotional offer to employers – in a new Workplace Charging Program – they could begin to deal with the People with No Home Charging – as they could typically charge up at work!

        (Might want to recommend employers to limit them at 25 – 30 amps 240V power – so people are not going nuts using them at work if they don’t need to! Even that level of power covers most commuters needs over an 8 hour day!)

        Many can get by with a Good Level 1 Charge at work – just 110V x 15 Amps x 8 hours = ~ 12 kWh or 36-48 miles charge; so offering 25-30 Amps at 240V x 8 hours should deliver about 48 kWh – 57 kWh = 144-172 Miles Range {@ 3 Mi/kWh} up to 192-230 Miles Range {@ 4 Miles/kWh}!

        Just a few ways to deal with some of the overcrowding at Superchargers, while still promoting their brand!

    2. Spec says:

      If you live in a condo you need to figure out how to install a charger at your condo before buying an electric car.

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        No I don’t live in a condo but I know people that do and they have to park on the street on public places. That is obviously not a good start situation for an EV but on the other hand it shouldn’t be a total showstopper neither. Otherwise people will still buy an ICE just because they can’t plug or because they have to walk a mile away to find a destination charger. If Tesla knows about it openly and the EV buyer accept to pay a premium above the standard 2000$ supercharger access, like double the price for instance, then why not, since it compensate for more superchargers installation possibility and more electricity. By the way a supercharger “fill up” will leave the typical condo dweller not needing another charge for a easily a week. But then again, he can go the extra mile on foot once a week as well, would you say and that would also be correct. I just want to talk about it to open up this real life situations debate.

  24. Foo says:

    If there is “overcapacity at the stations” (excess capacity), then there would always be stations available.

    I think you meant to say, if there is “undercapacity at the stations”.

  25. UBER, Lyft and similar “make money with your car” apps will kill any kind of free charging, because they will hug any free charger at any possibility to maximise their personal profit.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      This is one of the reasons why I say Tesla should institute terms of service. It’s pretty typical for any company selling consumer products to restrict use, warranty, and/or liability to non-commercial use.

      And no, I don’t at all think it would be unfair for Tesla to say “no use by taxis, nor by uber drivers on any day when they are using their car for commercial use.” The Supercharger system was never intended to be used for providing free daily charging for anyone… including taxis and uber drivers. Especially taxis and uber drivers.

    2. SparkEV says:

      Last november, there was a teen offering shuttle service from LA to Las Vegas using Tesla S. He probably got “free” supercharger access. I wonder if he’s still in business.

      “Free” or “pre-pay then use as much as you want” will just invite abuse.

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        Of course if you do LA LV full time you are going to use superchargers way more than intended originally. On the other hand you are going to put miles on your odometer way faster than originally planned as well. You car and battery is going to be used very early. So you will need to buy a new one sooner. I am not sure that free charging means free cost, seeing it that way, because you go back to the ”buy a new one” square more often. Moreover at the present time Model S drivers are still acting like advertisers when they drive around. So in the end the LA LV driver may end up providing publicity to Tesla worth even more than the extra supercharger electricity. Not to mention the faster car turnover just like what happens when someone is crashing a car. Things are more complex and surprising than expected and overall that atypical behavior is likely not changing much to the average global supercharger use. One must not forget that many people almost never use them as well, so that is balancing things the other way around. Sometimes it just take a pregnancy and you don’t do long trips for one or two years resulting in zero supercharger use in that period.

        1. SparkEV says:

          There’s lots of talk that supercharger reduces battery life. Yes it does… about 5% according to Idaho researchers. For non active cooled battery like Leaf, it could be worse. But for active cooled like Tesla, it won’t matter all that much.

          As for ad, Tesla doesn’t need any more ad. However, having experienced much waiting behind those who get free charging and live local, I can tell you that it *almost* makes me want to go back to gas cars.

  26. scott franco (the evil republican EV owner) says:

    Charge per kWh, like blink. No minimums, no tricks. They can make it different for M3 vs S/X models, since they are going to need a charge card/identity in any case.

    Why?

    – Pay for what you actually get, eeerrrrr power.
    – Let people decide for themselves how much charge they want/need.
    – No incentive to camp on chargers.
    – There will automatically not be an incentive to supercharge vs. charge at home.

    PS. Hopefully Tesla will id the car through the charge port. Its a good way to show that the company knows what century it is living in.

    1. SparkEV says:

      Charge per kWh is not good. People will just park the car there and go away for hours even after full charge as often happens with Leaf at DCFC. With charge taper (esp severe with Tesla), that’s not good when last 20% could charge slower than even SparkEV. Better is to have at least some form of time based fee.

  27. Don H says:

    240 volts free for Model III

  28. mustang_sallad says:

    This won’t be popular in this crowd, but: CCS.

    1. wraithnot says:

      That makes absolutely no sense. The existing CCS network is terrible and switching superchargers to CCS would infuriate existing Model S and Model X owners.

    2. Speculawyer says:

      Why? The Tesla network is more extensive, better located, and just a one-time payment? CCS wouldn’t be bad to have as an extra but NO WAY INSTEAD of supercharger.

      Supercharger + Chademo Adapter is more than enough.

    3. mustang_sallad says:

      CCS is cheaper to implement (no complicated re-routing inside the car) and has more room to grow in terms of power due to pin size and spacing (plan is to go up to 350kW). No need to swap over existing Supercharger stations if they make a Supercharger to CCS adaptor and sell it to Model 3 owners who want in (and sell it to non-Tesla EV drivers, including a premium to unlock access). Meanwhile, Model 3 drivers benefit from CCS deployment which is accelerating without any effort on Tesla’s part, and with more and more players on board (now including Hyundai as well as NA and EU automakers).

      Tesla’s done an amazing job of kickstarting the market with their own infrastructure, but in the long run, it makes sense for them to harmonize with the rest of the industry.

      1. Wraithnot says:

        According to JB Straubel it was the other way around. The CCS plug couldn’t handle enough current so Tesla went with their own standard: http://articles.sae.org/11923/

        I use both Superchargers with our Model S and CCS charger with our i3 on a fairly regular basis and at least based on my experience Tesla had a MUCH better design. Not needing an adapter with our i3 at public L2 stations is the only advantage I find with the CCS plug. Disadvantages include a larger, clunkier plug, lower power, basically no stations outside of urban areas, the dreaded “cannot lock plug to car” error, as well as other types of errors that seem to be specific to the CCS plug because LEAFs seem to be able to use the CHAdeMO plug on the same ABB charger. Superchargers just seem to work.

  29. John says:

    I think they should include it for free, but put limits on how often you can use it.

    Surely they can design software to prevent abuse. If you’re traveling cross country, no problem, charge away.

    But if you’re hitting the charger a few block from your house once a week. Denied.

  30. wraithnot says:

    The NRG EVgo DC stations near where I live aren’t very reliable and are often down for days or even weeks at a time while they wait for parts and available technicians. And the local BLINK CHAdeMO station used to break frequently until BLINK basically abandoned it and left it broken. The screens and/or the RFID card readers required for the payment system often seem to be the culprits. In contrast, I’ve found Tesla superchargers to be extremely reliable and I bet this is in part due to the fact that they don’t have screens, RFID card readers, or credit card readers. The software in the car is what determines if the car can use the supercharger so the system still works even if the network connection goes out. Any sort of pay-per-use or subscription service would add complexity and make things less reliable. So for the Model 3 I bet Tesla follows the strategy they originally used with the Model S and makes supercharger access an option that can be enabled later for a slightly higher fee. Perhaps they’ll work with private parties to build supercharger compatible pay-per-use chargers near cities. But I doubt they’ll risk adding complexity to their current system anytime in the near future.

  31. Amazing how every EV potential owner is focused on a technology that was barely deployed 3 years ago. (120 kW Supercharging spaces every 150 miles or less apart nationally across 3 continents)

    The Model 3 will very likely include 18 kW AC onboard charging by default. (ie: charging up to 80 amps from from 220/240 volt AC power).

    It is just as interesting to view a Map of Tesla High-Power Wall Charger (HPWC) network as it is to view a map of the Supercharger network. While not as fast as many DC charging locations, coverage and charging speeds are not much different than the current generation of 80-120 mile range EVs.

    Be happy … even without Supercharging the Model 3 should be able to charge at over 60 miles of range per hour! 😎

    1. Spec says:

      If you get the double charger option. I doubt they make that standard. It may not even be offered.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Where is that?

      1. garrity says:

        Australia. From Elon’s Tweet

    2. Big Solar says:

      Just saw one camper at the Eatonville Store at 11pm tonite. I’ll wait til morning.

  32. Jonathan says:

    Simple. You get 12 free per year and have to pay for anything beyond that. That should take care of most people’s long distance travel needs for the year and deter people who live near one from making it their home charging network.

    1. Spec says:

      I don’t know if I would pay $2K for that though.

  33. Alain says:

    Simple with class,i like it.

  34. Compare:
    https://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger
    Versus:
    https://www.teslamotors.com/destination-charging

    In Toronto, ON – there are quite a few Destination Chargers in and around the City, with Many of the Destination Chargers – free to public – not requiring a Hotel Stay, etc.

    By the time – the Base Model 3’s start arriving (maybe about 2.5-3 Years out from March 31st, 2016), there will be a LOT More of these, AND a Lot More Superchargers out there!

    I would expect fully loaded, or larger battery capacity Optioned vehicles, would – like the S had, Supercharging Included, so the issue with cars that cost ‘Only’ $35K – will be delayed some time beyond that!

    1. garrity says:

      This is what I want to avoid when I travel and is becoming more and more common:

      Comment from plugshare Toronto Supercharger:

      Gerry Feb 18, 2016 8:38 AM
      These chargers are constantly full and used mainly by people who live in the area, dropping off their cars to be charged and then coming back later to pick them up. This is NOT the intent of the chargers and leaving a very poor experience for those of us that actually need these for road trips, long drives or low battery situations. Spending 100k+ plus on a car and being too cheap to charge it at home is ridiculous.

  35. Omar Sultan says:

    Its would be interesting to see how many people offering opinions about how Superchargers should work or to “fix” the current Supercharger model or complain about capacity have actually used the network–my guess is it would be a single digit percentage.

    My guess is they will handle SC access on the M3 the way they originally did on the MS–an option on the smaller battery and included in bigger battery/performance edition.

    On the capacity side, Tesla increased the number of Teslas on the road by 40% last year and increased the number of Superchargers by 50% — seems like they have a handle on things. 🙂

  36. EVA-01 says:

    I believe that the recharging should be paid for, be it any of Tesla’s vehicles. That way, Tesla makes a profit and be able to use that extra capital on other projects. Best case scenario would be to reinvest it into more superchargers globally.

  37. Spec says:

    Well. ..I’m camp in front of the Palo Alto Tesla store.

    WTF am I doing? This is silly.

    1. Ian says:

      Once in a lifetime.

  38. Terawatt says:

    A lot of people write as if only two possibilities exist – either free, or a one-time fee.

    Neither of those models are any good tho. Both create incentives for “opportunistic” charging rather than a preference for home/destination charging over fast charging.

    A much better model is to price supercharging at about twice the cost of home charging. I bet the system is perfectly able to identify the specific vehicle that’s connected, so you could simply let people pay online within ten days (or prepay, but I dislike that because it’s a little hassle should you ever need to charge without having planned for it) without having to change anything at the superchargers (except update their software).

    That would be enough to deter stingy freeriders and still give you a “tank” for $20 or so. Obviously those who have already bought and been promised “free for life” access should get just that. But they are few compared to the total number of Teslas hopefully on the road in, say, 2025 or 2030. So they will clog up the network less and less as the density of chargers and number of access points increases.

  39. Mario Landry says:

    implementation costs of these “SuperCharger” must be significant as the operating costs.

    Personally I would be very surprised that access to recharge the charging stations “SuperCharger” is free.

    Unless the cost is “hidden” in the price of the car; This is not the mentality of Tesla.

    Does Tesla could; with a view to taking significant market share, would include the “SuperCharger” on the N first 3 models? Or include for (the) first (s) year (s) this access?

    I would see a more open terminals “SuperCharger” to other models fee for use. One way to monetize or at least lessen operating costs and implementation. Is this feasible? Again I do not have the answer.

    just want the details on the model 3 be made public on March 31. Also wish that all the “stuff” are not interesting options … like the autonomy of 320 km and more.

    I want a model 3 with conventional doors, conventional windshield towels, a basic battery system of 320 km or more and some features worthy of Tesla as the navigation system, steering wheel and heated seats, a good system sound, the climitisation … and some surprises. All for the advertised price of $ 35,000 US.

  40. phr3d says:

    congrats spec – and we got our answer – admit surprise at SC incuded, but pleased

  41. Spider-Dan says:

    There is no way that Tesla can sell the volume of MIIIs they are targeting and maintain unmetered charging. In order to avoid congestion so bad that it would defeat the purpose of the network, they would have to grow it by over 10x its current size. They would cease to be an automaker and become primarily a utility company that also happens to make automobiles.