Up until now, Tesla’s Superchargers have only charged batteries, but starting next year, they’re going to start charging credit cards, too.
Tesla has said the upcoming entry-level Model 3 wouldn’t come with free unlimited supercharging, but now the company says no Teslas ordered after January 1, 2017 will get those precious unlimited electrons that were once free to all Tesla owners.
The good news, though, is that Tesla says vehicles ordered after the first of January will get 400 kWh worth of free Supercharging credit every year— that amounts to approximately 1,000 miles of free travel.
After those 400 kWh are used, Tesla says 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.”
The company doesn’t say what that fee will be, only that “prices may fluctuate over time and vary regionally based on the cost of electricity.”
Tesla says the reason they’re going to start charging owners to use Superchargers is not to make profit (in fact, the company insists their Supercharger Network “will never be a profit center.”), but instead to “greatly expand [their] Supercharger Network” as they await the Model 3.
The good news for current Tesla owners is that, like that unlimited cell phone data plan we all had in high school, customers who order their Tesla before January 1st and take delivery before April of next year are “grandfathered in,” meaning unlimited juice for life from any of Tesla’s 4,600 Superchargers.
So if you want free unlimited supercharging, you’ve got less than two months to place your order for a new Tesla.