For Tesla Model 3 owners, there may be no such thing as free Supercharger access

Attention, would-be Tesla Model 3 owners: Expect to pay up for access to the company’s Superchargers.

Hundreds of thousands of people (373,000, the company said last month) have plunked down $1,000 reservation fees for the yet-to-be-made electric sedans they don’t know much about. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk gave out a little more information at Tesla’s annual shareholders meeting Tuesday at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

“Free Supercharging fundamentally has a cost,” Musk reportedly said. “The obvious thing to do is decouple that from the cost of the Model 3. So it will still be very cheap, and far cheaper than gasoline, to drive long distance with the Model 3, but it will not be free long distance for life unless you purchase that package.”

Model S and Model X owners have free access to Tesla’s 632 Supercharger stations worldwide. But those vehicles cost a lot more than the Model 3’s starting price of $35,000.

Superchargers allow for fast electric-car charging — giving about 170 miles of range in about 30 minutes, according to Tesla’s website. There are more than 3,700 Supercharger stations from coast to coast, plus in Europe, Asia and Australia.

The Model 3, Tesla’s cheapest vehicle to date, is scheduled to begin deliveries late next year. Musk did not elaborate on how much Model 3 owners would have to pay for the Supercharger package.

Also at the company’s shareholders meeting, Musk reportedly talked about the history of Tesla and the mistakes he’s made throughout the years. Here are some excerpts, according to reports from USA Today, Bloomberg and Fortune:

The early days: Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin got test drives of the Tesla Roadster, but a bug in the prototype Roadster caused it to run at a mere 10 miles per hour. Still, Page and Brin invested in the company after Musk reassured them the real car would go faster.

Musk and CTO and co-founder JB Straubel also talked about how risky it was to start Tesla, with Musk saying they had “no idea what we were doing” and Straubel saying early Tesla employees knew it was risky but wanted to change the world.

Hubris: Musk again cited his own hubris — as he’s done before — as the reason for the Model X’s issues. The Model X has falcon-wing doors that have caused the Palo Alto company headaches, including that some of the doors won’t open. Musk reportedly said the company is working on it,  is “almost there” and that “if you buy one now or soon, you will love the doors because the software will be right.”

Batteries: Musk said he expects the company’s battery-storage business to one day have “roughly similar” revenue as the vehicle business.

 

Photo: Tesla Motors unveils a Supercharger station at its factory in Fremont, Calif., on Aug. 16, 2013. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

 

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  • Walking Fool

    Bernie said there are and always will be freebies.

    He would never lie to us. It’s a FREE world!

  • SMolloy

    Can people seriously be complaining/disappointed/shocked by not getting
    free fuel for life for a 35K car??? Where on planet Earth can you go
    buy any car (even one where you pay a quarter of a million dollars) and
    get free gas for life???? Get a solar charging setup at home and have
    completely free fuel, or pay a $50 cost at a charging station that
    allows you to travel across the USA, help save the planet from the
    destruction of the usage of fossil fuels and support a company that is
    so innovative and trying to change the world for the better…. What
    kind of processed food are people eating that are causing them to write
    such absurd negative comments on articles about this topic being posted online – unbelievable.

  • Pluto is a Planet

    This is not a new concept, and no supercharging isn’t free to all Model S and X owners. It’s included in the price of the car, but prior to last year it was an upgrade (especially for the Model S 60). You can see the price for the upgrade here (which has existed for some time): http://shop.teslamotors.com/products/enable-supercharging

 
 
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