Tesla has announced that fees will start to be introduced for use of its Supercharger network, which will come into effect next year.
Until now, all Tesla models bought could count on free use of the worldwide Tesla charging network, with the forthcoming Model 3 the only car to be excluded from that set-up. Now though, all Model S and Model X cars ordered after Sunday 1st January 2017 will come with 400kWh of free Supercharging credits.
Those credits should allow for around 1,000 miles of free electric motoring, with everything used after that coming with a ‘small fee’ that will be ‘charged incrementally and cost less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car’ according to he company.
All existing Tesla owners, and those that place their orders before the end of 2016 and receive their car before 1st April 2017, will continue to have free unlimited use of the Supercharger network.
Further details of the payment system and costs will be announced at a later date, though Tesla said in the statement: ‘while prices may fluctuate over time and vary regionally based on the cost of electricity, our Supercharger Network will never be a profit centre’.
It is promised that the reason behind the fee system is to allow Tesla to reinvest in the Supercharger network, expanding it at a quicker rate than before.
The news came in the same week that Tesla increased its manufacturing capabilities with the creation of Tesla Advanced Automation Germany, and saw success in the same country with the Model X awarded a prestigious Golden Steering Wheel.
As part of Tesla’s aims to build 500,000 vehicles a year by 2018, the company has bought Grohmann Engineering – a firm that is one of the world leaders in automated manufacturing systems. The announcement also saw Tesla chief Elon Musk reveal that ‘Gigafactory 2’ will be set-up in Europe, though with no details where yet.
Finally, to cap a busy few days for the American EV manufacturers, the Model X won Auto Bild’s Golden Steering Wheel for Best SUV. Judged across a number of different criteria, and by the likes of professional drivers, designers, journalists, and digital analysts over three days, the Tesla beat a number of other strong contenders to take the prize.