Electric car maker Tesla Motors has decided to stop offering unlimited free use of its 734 fast charging stations worldwide, just months before it’s scheduled to start selling a mass-market electric car.
Tesla Motors Inc. says cars ordered after Jan. 1, 2017 will get roughly 1,000 miles worth of credits each year for use at the Supercharger stations. But after the credits are used, owners will have to pay fees that Tesla didn’t detail. Vehicles ordered or sold on or before January 1 would still get unlimited free charging.
The move means that those who buy Tesla’s mass-market $35,000 Model 3, which is due to go on sale in the second half of next year, won’t get unlimited free charging. Tesla has more than 300,000 reservations for the cars, and if all those owners started using supercharger stations for free, that could get expensive for Tesla.
Tesla wouldn’t say specifically how much its fees will be, but it said charging would cost less than the price of filling a comparable gasoline car. The company says it will release fee details later this year and that prices could fluctuate over time and vary by regional electricity costs.
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