It had something fabulous right from the start: An automaker provides its customers with drive energy free of charge and also provides for the infrastructure itself. Since 2012 can TeslaBuyers at the fast charging stations set up by the American e-car manufacturer self-refuel, and at the end of 2013 the first so-called superchargers were set up in Germany. Now Tesla has announced that it will delete the free charging option, at least for new customers.
Tesla founder Elon Musk, who sees himself as a pioneer of the long-distance electric car, wanted to prove with the expansion of the charging stations, the practicality of electric mobility in general and its at least 76.600 Euro expensive luxury sedan Model S in particular. The Tesla's big battery promises to range between 400 and 600 kilometers anyway. Thanks to the 4.600 rapid-charge options worldwide, which meanwhile promise more or less seamless coverage, inter alia, on main traffic routes across Europe, the United States and densely populated centers of China and Japan, Musk has actually succeeded in proving this.
Now, the promised "forever free shop" has come to an end, at least for new customers: for Tesla vehicles after the 1. January 2017 are ordered, including 400 kWh annual loading (according to Tesla corresponds to about 1.600 kilometers). Thereafter, a not yet quantified, "small fee" due. It should definitely be less than the refueling of a comparable combustion vehicle, promises Tesla.
The adjustment allows new investments in the expansion of the network, it is said by the Americans. For another reason, one can only guess: Maybe some Tesla owners have used the free system. According to media reports, the e-carmaker has already called 2015 some customers not to "overstrain" the network - they had probably fueled their vehicles permanently at the charging stations. "Our goal has always been to offer Supercharger as a long-haul solution," the official Tesla statement says. As in dealing with a smartphone, one is convinced that loading a Tesla home or workplace is the best option. With power for 1.600 kilometers annually, customers could "continue to enjoy the benefits of free supercharging when traveling," it said.
The 160.000 existing customers are not affected by the new rule, as are all Tesla Model S or Model X models before the 1. January 2017 ordered, as long as the delivery before the 1. April 2017 is taking place. For the announced, smaller and cheaper volume model 3 model the free loading option was apparently not provided anyway.
(Hanne Schweitzer / SP-X)