When the Tesla Model S first went on sale in 2012, access to the company’s quick-charging Supercharger network was a $2,000 option at the time of ordering. Since then the company has decided to include Supercharger access directly into the base cost of every new Model S and Model X produced. Will Supercharger access also be a standard feature on the upcoming Model 3 or will Tesla be offering it as an extra cost option?
One theory is that Tesla could very well include free Supercharger access as a standard item on the Model 3, but offer a discount for those that remove the feature, bringing the vehicle price down to $35,000 before incentives. The theory comes after members within the Tesla forum community made references to a story that appeared on Inside EVs two years back. The outlet states that Elon Musk gave a speech in Munich and announced that Model 3 owners (known as Gen 3 at the time) would receive free access to Superchargers, just like every other Tesla owner. Having Supercharger access baked in as a standard feature on the Model 3 would make for a good story to tell – every Tesla owner can drive free, for life.
On the other hand, some believe that Supercharger access will be an extra cost option for Model 3 buyers, some going as far as speculating that Tesla may offer a Supercharger subscription plan priced according to how often a Model 3 driver intends to use the charging network.
Ask any existing Tesla owner how they feel about the Supercharger and they’ll likely tell you that it’s the best thing to have happened since the advent of sliced bread. Tesla owners and enthusiasts are happy to see the company grow and flourish, but success also means an increasing number of Teslas on the road leading to capacity strains across popular Supercharger locations. With already a hundred thousand Teslas on the road and presumably several hundred thousand more over the next few years, congestion at Supercharger locations could become chronic. Free access is only a benefit if a Supercharger is available when needed.
By having a $2,000 upgrade option, and assuming the company converts reservations to 100,000 orders with the Supercharger upgrade, Tesla can raise $200 million to be used for further expansion of its global charging network.
We’re two days away from seeing the official unveiling of Tesla’s 200 mile mass-market Model 3. It’s unclear whether Tesla will discuss Model 3’s availability to the company’s quick charging network, but one should expect Supercharger access will be an extra cost option when it comes time to place that order.
Feature image: Redondo Beach Supercharger via EVA_2015
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