Paid access to Superchargers will likely have an imperceptible impact on most current and new owners. 400 kWh of complimentary charge or approximately 1,000 miles of road trippin’ annually will satisfy most everyday owners. Improper Supercharger etiquette is nearly as bad as ICEing. With the looming onslaught of new Tesla owners, the company had no choice but to establish a workable set of guidelines that will enable the best experience for everyone.
This was an excellent and very diplomatic move by Tesla to help mitigate local Supercharger abuse. It’s really a win-win-win for everyone involved.
- Current owners will not be affected
- New owners will still have some free and fair access
- Tesla will be able to grow and maintain the charging network
Perhaps the most magical aspect of owning a Tesla is the ability to charge at home or work. You don’t have to go out of your way to find a gas station or Supercharger on a regular basis. Everyone’s habits are different, but you really only need Superchargers during an extended road trip.
Remember the numbers that were relentlessly quoted at the onset of modern EV adoption? 95% of American drivers traveled 30 miles or less every day. This is obviously well within any Tesla’s range.
Tesla offers home charging equipment that is, in many cases, unnecessarily fast at 11.5 kW and beyond. A 7.2 kW Level 2 charger can replenish roughly 22 miles of range per hour and would suffice for most owners. Why would anyone go out of their way to abuse a Supercharger, just to get a free charge when you can charge at your home for the evening and slip into your comfy pants ASAP!?
How much is your time worth anyway? Is it really worth it for someone to go out of their way to find a Supercharger, plug-in, wait, and then drive to their next destination? When all you need is to drive from point A to B, and one or both of those points has a plug waiting for you, there is no reason to add a point C.
This shouldn’t deter most new owners from using their Teslas for periodic longer road trips. With the complimentary 400 kWh of Supercharger use, and an expected low-cost rate thereafter, most owners will hardly notice the difference. It will still be the best and cheapest fuel alternative.
I almost want to go on an environmental tangent. A fair amount of owners already have solar installed on their homes. The Tesla solar roof will hopefully become a popular option. Superchargers to-date widely depend on grid energy that comes from the traditional mix of generation methods. Charging at home gives you greater control over your carbon footprint. If you have the option to generate your own power or purchase renewable energy, you have a social and environmental responsibility to charge at home.
Tesla’s move to paid Supercharger use will encourage better management of our resources. You will still get 400 kWh of FREE Supercharger use EVERY YEAR. You’re going to want to use that wisely. It won’t be that difficult for most owners.