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Tesla Just Pissed Off Every Single Future Customer They Will Ever Get

Tesla is here to stay. It’s why manufacturers, dealers, and the entirety of the industry is attempting to stunt their growth. To think they’re just going to go away or fail randomly is both foolish and ignorant. You don’t have to agree with Tesla’s platforms, but you can’t deny that they are ushering in a change in the industry.

One of the many changes they’ve made is the supercharger network implemented across the United States. You can essentially drive coast to coast with some careful planning. Up until now, all Tesla owners have been able to utilize any supercharger station free of, ahem, charge. Now, however, Tesla is changing their mind on the whole “freeness” of that model. With the Model 3 upcoming and more than 400,000 order for it, Tesla is now planning to charge all future customers a small fee for electrons.


In a press released put out earlier this morning, Tesla explains that any Tesla vehicles purchased after January 1, 2017 will receive approximately 1,000 miles worth of Supercharger credits. Once that threshold is reached, Tesla says that drivers will have to pay a small fee for Supercharger access. Not to worry, Tesla says that the price will be lower than what it costs to fill up a tank of gas on a comparable car. Notably, existing Tesla drivers will not be impacted by the change.

So that HAS to piss off anyone that’s got a Model 3 order confirmation. Those are the only owners that will be charged any money at these stations. Here’s the full press release.

Four years ago, Tesla introduced the Supercharger Network – the world’s fastest charging solution – to enable convenient long distance travel. Today, more than 4,600 Superchargers allow over 160,000 Tesla owners to drive across the continental U.S., from the Arctic Circle to the south of Spain, and across all of the population centers in China and Japan, among many other places. Supercharging has even helped owners drive their Teslas around the world.

We’ve designed our network so that all customers have access to a seamless and convenient charging experience when they’re away from home, as our intention has always been for Supercharging to enable long distance travel. That’s why today we’re announcing a change to the economics of Supercharging – one that allows us to reinvest in the network, accelerate its growth and bring all owners, current and future, the best Supercharging experience.

Ensuring Use for Long-Distance Travel
For Teslas ordered after January 1, 2017, 400 kWh of free Supercharging credits (roughly 1,000 miles) will be included annually so that all owners can continue to enjoy free Supercharging during travel. Beyond that, there will be a small fee to Supercharge which will be charged incrementally and cost less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car. All cars will continue to come standard with the onboard hardware required for Supercharging.

We will release the details of the program later this year, and while prices may fluctuate over time and vary regionally based on the cost of electricity, our Supercharger Network will never be a profit center.

These changes will not impact current owners or any new Teslas ordered before January 1, 2017, as long as delivery is taken before April 1, 2017.

The Road Ahead
Just as you would charge your cell phone, we believe the best way to charge your car is either at home or at work, during the hours you’re not using it. For travelers, the Supercharger Network has become a powerful, unique benefit of Tesla ownership. As we approach the launch of Model 3, this update will enable us to greatly expand our Supercharger Network, providing customers with the best possible user experience and bringing sustainable transport to even more people.

Of course, owners can still use their own home’s power to charge up their Tesla’s when there, but if you’re on the road and need a quick fix, the supercharger network was a huge, free tool for all owners. The biggest slap in the face is that all current owners won’t have anything change at all. Ouch town.

This will no doubt make a few consumers angry, but whether this actually helps Tesla’s growth will only be known years down the line.

(Source: BGR)

Written by Gregson

Gregson's love affair with cars began at a young age thanks to his father who introduced him to racing. He's been a fan ever since he saw his first race live at Watkins Glen at the age of 5. He loves GT3, F1, Rally, Touring, and Le Mans styles of racing. Intermediate knowledge of internal combustion engines. Any reading done for pleasure is devoted to automotive journalism. Gregson owns a WRX and can 4-wheel drift directly into your hedges, no sweat. He currently is a Senior Copywriter for McCann Torre Lazur specializing in pharmaceutical advertising. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Kate and their dog Savannah.


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  1. I’m not upset by that in the least. If you have a car, there are costs that go with it. I expect to pay for gas at a gas station. So what if I’ve spent a ridiculous amount on a supercar? That doesn’t mean that I get free gas for life, so why would anyone expect anything else? Electricity isn’t free. This isn’t ACTUALLY Tesla we’re talking about, just Elon Musk and his car company. Hell, be happy you even have the option.

  2. 1) This does not just apply to Model 3 owners, it applies to ALL Tesla vehicles purchased after Jan 1; as far as I know, Tesla is not discontinuing the Model S or X.

    2) The intent of the Supercharger network was to allow for long distance travel in a Tesla, not to provide free power for everyone that wanted to save a few extra dollars by not charging at home. This change still allows for long distance travel by giving owners nearly 1,000 miles of charging each year.

    3) Current Tesla owners are essentially beta testers and early investors rolled into one. Nobody would be able to buy a Model 3 if the current owners had not funded Tesla’s innovation until this point.

    4) Tesla has proven time and again that they will reinvest their earnings to better the company. For the Superchargers, this likely means more superchargers will be built faster, thus making it easier for all of us to travel long distances.

    This is the equivalent of getting 2 free tanks of gas per year with the purchase of a new Ford, then complaining that your car needs gas in the first place. Head over to the teslamotors subreddit and you will find very little rage or anger over these changes, it just doesn’t exist.

    I am a Model 3 reservation holder and I support this change.

  3. As one of the future customers, this is completely inaccurate. I think it is entirely reasonable to charge a small amount for use of the Supercharger networks. They are also giving you free miles each year, which for the vast majority of customers will handle the few long trips they take in a year. ICE perspective just can’t seem to get it through it’s thick head that you really don’t NEED superchargers in the same way you truly need gas stations. I charge my current EV at home, and it’s always full, ready to go, every single day. I charge around town mainly for the novelty, the rockstar parking or simply because it’s free but is not a primary source of power, it is purely secondary which is the case for the vast majority of customers. Tesla charging a few dollars to use the network will in no way scare off customers or “piss us off.” Poor journalism.

  4. The Tesla Supercharger network was never free. They paid about $2000ish to get access to it, let’s just charge every new Model 3 owner an additional $2000 for access as well…lol yeah right

  5. This article just sounds like more of “the entirety of the industry is attempting to stunt their growth.”

    I just ordered my Model S. Anyone that wants the free supercharge has until the end of the year to order a Model X or S and they get it. I’d gladly pay for it. Its still cheaper than gasoline.

    Imagine how bizarre it would sound for an auto blog to post an article that said something like:

    “GM has changed its ‘free oil change for life’ policy on all of its models starting next year. This will certainly piss off all of GMs future customers as they will have to pay for their own oil and current owners and those that buy a GM before the end of the year won’t. Will this move spell disaster for GM as everyone moves to their competitors that either charge full price for oil changes or don’t do oil changes at all? Only time will tell how hard this hits GM and whether or not it can survive the backlash of outrage!”


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