You may want to consider this change to the company's policies that could affect how you charge your car's battery. Although Tesla's longtime approach has been to let drivers use its exclusive network of 3,500-plus superchargers for free, that benefit is going away for future customers. Beginning Jan. 1, anyone who orders a new Tesla will be expected to pay a "small fee" at superchargers once they've exhausted a yearly package of complimentary charging credits that's good for about 1,000 miles of range. It isn't clear how much the charging fees will be; Tesla said the prices will likely fluctuate based on regional demand for electricity, but that they will be on par with what it costs to fill up a tank with gasoline. Customers can still avoid the supercharger fees after using up those free miles by hooking up their vehicles at home.
Charging a Tesla is about to get a lot more convenient. The Palo Alto-based electric car manufacturer announced today that it intends to double the size of the Tesla charging network by the end of 2017. This expansion, which will take place across the globe, comes at a time when Tesla is preparing to increase its manufacturing output to 500,000 electric cars in 2018. The charging network is a vital part of Tesla's mission to sell all-electric cars to consumers worldwide. While owners can always charge their car overnight at home, this isn't an option for those looking to go on road trips or people who don't have personal overnight parking (like apartment dwellers).
New Tesla owners in China will no longer enjoy free supercharging for life, Tesla China announced in a post on their local blog. Tesla China says the proceedings of the new fee will be used to expand the supercharger network. The fee applies to owners of the Model S, Model X, and the upcoming Model 3. Owners of cars ordered after January 15 will have to pay 1.8 yuan ($0.26) per kWh. To ease the pain Tesla grants owners a free 400 kWh of supercharging credits per year, which is good value for around 1,600 kilometers of driving. Owners will only start paying after the 400 kWh has been fully used, and they will be billed via their account on Tesla's website.
It's highly unusual for the head of a major company make a significant announcement in such casual manner. The tweet prompted questions about how serious Musk's intentions were. His asking price of $420 would be 22 percent of Monday's closing share price, and nearly 9 percent above the stock's all-time closing high of $385. The figure even drew some jokes on Twitter about whether it was a pot reference, with 420 being a common slang term for marijuana.