As Tesla evolves from a low-volume startup into a major automaker, its decision to stop offering unlimited free Supercharging for new vehicles is entirely understandable. The company recently announced the details of the new pricing policy, which is designed to keep charging convenient for everyone, while still allowing drivers to fill up for long highway trips at a bargain price.
Here’s the new deal, as described by Tesla in a blog post:
Tesla Model S and Model X cars ordered after January 15, 2017 will receive 400 kWh of free Supercharging credits (roughly 1,000 miles) annually on the anniversary of their delivery. We carefully considered current Supercharger usage and found that 400 kWh covers the annual long-distance driving needs of the majority of our owners. As a result, most owners will continue to enjoy the benefits of Supercharging on road trips at no additional cost.
If customers travel beyond their annual credit, they will be charged a small fee to Supercharge. In North America, pricing is fixed within each state or province; overseas, pricing is fixed within each country. In most regions, Tesla owners will pay per kWh, as it’s the fairest way to pay for the exact energy used. However, due to local regulations, in several regions we will charge per minute of usage instead, though we are actively working with regulators to update the rules.
Tesla pledged to keep prices low, saying that Supercharging will never be a profit center, and will always be significantly cheaper than gasoline. For example, drivers “will pay about $15 for a road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, about $120 from Los Angeles to New York, about €60 from Paris to Rome, and about ¥400 from Beijing to Shanghai.”