Several superchargers in busy areas in California have had long waits such as San Mateo, Burbank, and San Juan Capistrano. A year and a half ago Elon gave a vague statement about supercharging that was never clarified by Tesla. Many owners have worried about the huge numbers of Model 3s clogging the supercharger network. Finally today Tesla has announced a new supercharging policy for cars ordered in 2017 and later.
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.
…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.
I am glad Tesla finally made a decision about the future of supercharging. Some speculation exists that the older cars have now increased in value, but newer cars can still use the superchargers for a fee. On long trips, I suspect newer drivers may choose more often to frequent hotels with destination chargers or utilize more public chargers. The greatest potential impact may be renters who wish to buy a Tesla, and now have to consider the cost of charging with their Model 3.
One thousand miles is not a lot of free Supercharging credit. A good percentage of my miles on my Tesla are supercharged. But I’m in a unique (and fortunate) circumstance with no commute and free time to travel when and where I please. I will be very curious what the actual fee is to supercharge a car and add say 50KWh.