Tesla owners have had it pretty good. They obviously own a Tesla, which is pretty amazing on its own, but Model S and Model X owners have also had completely free and unfettered access to Tesla’s network of Supercharger stations. Now, some newer Model S owners as well as all Model 3 owners are going to miss out on the free juice. Paid Supercharger access has been rolling out to new Model S and all Model 3 owners, and Tesla has recently raised the rates for access. The company is quick to point out that even paid Supercharger access is still significantly less expensive than gasoline, and also that they never want their Supercharger network to be a “profit center.”
Paid Supercharger access falls into two different buckets. Most will see a pretty standard kWh pricing model where the user is charged based on how much electricity they’re using to charge their batteries. Some will see a simple time charge in areas where Tesla isn’t legally allowed to “sell” electricity. The new prices are rolling out this week, and electrek pointed out some of the changes:
Some states saw massive increases of as much as 100 percent – though most regions saw their rates increase by 20 to 40 percent.
For example, Oregon saw an increase of $0.12 to $0.24 per kWh, while California, Tesla’s biggest market in the US, got an increase from $0.20 to $0.26 kWh and New York’s rate went from $0.19 to $0.24 per kWh.
You can see the rates for your state on Tesla’s website. Tesla also responded to electrek’s request for a statement, providing the following:
We occasionally adjust rates to reflect current local electricity and usage. The overriding principle is that Supercharging will always remain significantly cheaper than gasoline, as we only aim to recover a portion of our costs while setting up a fair system for everyone. This will never be a profit center for Tesla.
Tesla has maintained that the majority of money raised through the network will go towards improving the network and adding additional Supercharger stations. Tesla would ultimately like to run all of these stations on solar power, eliminating the need to rely on local electric rates altogether. Until then, Tesla owners are likely to see the occasional fluctuation in prices. Tesla doesn’t want to make their Supercharger network a profit center, but I’m sure they also don’t want to take too big of a loss on it either.