Tesla Motors Inc. has announced a change to the structure of Supercharging station fees. A change is necessary because a great expansion of stations is underway. Expansions come with costs. Those Tesla owners who were quite fond of free charging capabilities are likely unhappy about having to reach into their wallet to pay for charging. Such is the nature of progress. Tesla’s free charging stations could be deemed a brilliant short-term marketing strategy.
Few people have not seen a “free trial offer” for a product. The idea at work is a customer takes something out for a test run and, if suitably impressed, continues on as a paying customer. No, buying a Tesla is not the same as signing up for a magazine subscription. Once someone purchases a Tesla vehicle, he or she owns it until the model is sold. Since Tesla vehicles reflect such a radical departure from the common automobile in the marketplace, a few sweeteners must be in place. Free charging would be a great sweetener.
Trying something new requires an incentive. Free supercharging is definitely an incentive. Additionally, when there is a limited number of charging stations, free charging cuts down on annoyances on being inconvenienced to drive far.
Tesla is a growing company. The types of cars the company sells are growing in popularity. This means more supercharging stations must be built. Increased production of stations comes with costs. Consumers end up paying those costs.
The cost-conscious can take solace is some very good news. Tesla will be soon rolling out the Model 3 sedan, a lower-priced model. The lower price may offset charging fees. More good news exists. The fees associated with supercharging come into effect when an annual limit has been surpassed. Those who do not drive beyond the limit still reap promised rewards.