While there is a possibility of matching Tesla on a product level, it is next to impossible for the automakers to come up with something as convenient and excellent as the infrastructure of Tesla Supercharger Network. Those who own Tesla enjoy the access to the highest and fastest power network of DC boost chargers who are strategically spaced for long-distance tours and get a reliable user experience at every station. The access to this humungous network was free of cost by now until Tesla decided otherwise. Soon, the buyers who will buy a new Model X or Model s fastback will no longer be able to get the privilege. Instead, the company has introduced a billing plan in the place of an earlier buffet.
Despite the change being announced in November, it was only last week that the company explained the working of the new plan. U.S. owners of the vehicle get an annual allowance of 400-kWh, which is enough to cover almost 1000 miles and then have got to pay for the additional charging. The payment is made by either kilowatt-hour wherever possible or on a per-minute basis. Both the payment bases have been decided upon conforming to the charging requirement of customers.
The rate for kilowatt-hour ranges from 11 to 22 cents per kWh and it depends on the state utility rates. The per-minute basis of payment can be categorized into two tiers. Tiers 1 is found to apply when the charging of cars is at or less than 60 kW or when a Supercharger is being shared among two cars. Tier 2, costing almost double than Tier 1, applies when charging is more than 60kW. Tesla is found to note that the charging rates are dependent on battery charge level, climatic conditions and the present use of the Supercharger station. The new fees of accessing charge vary from station to station in accordance with the regional utility rates, i.e., from 7 to 13 cents per minute at Tier 1 or 13 to 26 cents per minute at Tier 2. Although, the Tesla Destination Charging – the usually slower chargers installed at hotels, restaurants, and other businesses – will continue to remain free of charge for the patrons, with the establishment paying a fee for every charge themselves.
When Tesla first announced the intention of terminating unlimited charging, it backed the announcement by adding that Supercharging will never be a profit center. Tesla looks forward to power the most of its Supercharger network from solar panels. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla said last month that the grid will not be required for the moderate-use Superchargers present in the sunny regions. Apart from this, the company is planning to roll out yet faster Supercharging, surpassing 350kW – power that is capable of recharging a 100-kWh pack in 15 minutes or even less. The detailed specifications, although, have not been disclosed by the company yet.