Tesla announced last evening at its 2023 Investor Day event that it will offer a new plan for unlimited overnight EV charging for just $30 per month. Guaranteed charging for $1 per day while people sleep could be yet another game-changer for the US EV maker and for the US electric grid, in general.
We typically refer to Tesla as an automaker, but we've often noted over the years that it's actually much more. Tesla is a technology and software company that's also an energy company. While Tesla's energy business hasn't quite boomed like some expected early on, it's growing quickly, and the company is now becoming its own utility company.
As part of Tesla's electric energy retail division, it's working with Tesla Powerwall owners to create a sort of grid of its own. Tesla can buy energy from Powerwall owners and then turn around and sell it, which helps offset peak prices and ensure that there's an excess of stored energy available in case of an outage.
According to Electrek, Tesla's virtual power plants program was essentially a stepping stone to launching its own "Tesla Electric" energy utility business. The new division will allow Tesla to offer the overnight charging plan to owners. However, it will only be initially available to owners that have a Tesla Powerwall and live in Texas.
Tesla senior vice president of engineering Drew Baglino shared the upcoming $30-per-month overnight charging program as follows via Electrek:
"By this summer, we are going to offer retail electricity plans to people who have our cars where they can have unlimited overnight home charging for $30 per month. This is part of reducing the total cost of ownership of our vehicles, and the reason why we can do this is because Texas as a ton of wind. And in Texas, the wind blows at night."
Texas currently relies on its own aging power grid, which isn't connected to the rest of the US grid like other states. The Texas grid has been taxed and failing of late, so it's high time for Tesla to step in and help as it can.
With Tesla owners potentially subscribing to the plan and charging overnight via Tesla's business, it will take some load off Texas' grid. CEO Elon Musk also previously mentioned that Tesla could help fix the grid in Texas with a commercial battery energy storage system.
The Tesla Electric plans in Texas are expected to become available in July 2023, with other locations launching thereafter.