Tesla is probably bracing itself for a deluge of last-minute customers after it announced that those who will purchase the company's vehicles after Jan. 15 are no longer going to enjoy unlimited free access to its charging facilities.
The new policy, when it was announced in November, states a Jan. 1 deadline. There is no reason given so far, but the two-week reprieve has given some consumers who are saving for the car some breathing space.
This means that those who will purchase an EV in the next few days will still get their cars grandfathered into the unlimited charging service for the entire lifetime of the purchased vehicle.
Limited EV Charging And Supercharger Fee
Tesla vehicles bought after Jan. 15 are still entitled to free charging but it will already be limited to 400 kWh per year. This can be translated to about 1,000 miles of driving.
At this point, folks at Tesla are still tallying the numbers to cough up with the pricing scheme for charging. Officials, however, are assuring the public that the cost is still cheaper than gas.
For more insights, one can turn to existing third-party charging facilities such as ChargePoint.
This company is considered as one of the largest charging networks in the United States. Volkswagen and BMW had even contracted it to build their joint supercharging corridor in the country.
ChargePoint follows the pay-as-you-go scheme, but its prices vary since the bulk of its stations are independently owned. The company, however, stated that some facilities are still free.
Aerovironment, on the other hand, offers specific packages such as the $19.99 monthly subscription that includes unlimited charging access. There is also a pay-as-you-go option, which costs $7.50 per charging session for DC Fast Charger and $4.00 for a Level 2 charging station.
Tesla Moves Forward
Certainly, the free charging service is a huge incentive for buying a Tesla EV, but observers agree that it is not sustainable.
It could also form part of Tesla's recent drive to create a better and more efficient system for its customers. Having to foot the bill possibly for every kilowatt-hour of energy charged could discourage abusive owners who have been leaving their EVs idle in charging stations.
Tesla has already announced a fine for every minute these vehicles stay connected and parked at its Superchargers after getting fully-charged. These vehicles have been causing inconvenience for travelers who often find occupied spots when they pull over to recharge.