Tesla will end the free unlimited use of its supercharging network to new customers after 1 January 2017.
Owners of new Tesla vehicles will instead get a supply of roughly 1000 miles’ worth of free supercharging credits per year, although existing owners will still get the same supply as they previously did.
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Tesla will now charge owners a “small fee” to use a Tesla supercharger, which, the car maker claims, will continue to cost less than filling a car with an internal combustion engine. The price Tesla charges to use its network will not be fixed and will depend on the cost of energy at that time.
The electric car brand claims that the supercharger is the world’s fastest charging station, providing “up to 170 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes".
Tesla has not released any more details on the updates to its charging scheme, although it does add that any new Teslas ordered before 1 January will not be affected, provided that delivery happens before April.
Cars that arrive after this will have to pay to use the supercharger network, which comprises 734 stations and 4605 individual chargers, according to Tesla’s website.
The company recently revealed its solar roof, so it’s thought that this change in strategy could be an attempt to get drivers to adopt Teslas that charge on solar power. Tesla’s wall connector for home charging costs UK users £398 for a system with a 2.5m cable, and £438 with a 7.5m cable. The system can charge at up to the equivalent to 51 miles of range in one hour, claims Tesla.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk also recently revealed that the Model S P100D – the company’s highest-performance model with a 0-60mph time of 2.5sec – would soon get a performance upgrade.