Tesla has raised the rates at its proprietary Supercharger stations as production of its lower-cost Model 3 sedan ramps up.
The Electrek blog first noticed the adjustment, reporting that prices jumped this week between 20 percent and 100 percent, depending on the state.
For example, Oregon saw an increase from 12 cents to 24 cents per kilowatt-hour, while the rate in New York was hiked from 19 cents to 24 cents.
Due to electricity distribution regulations, a per-minute fee is charged in some states like Alabama, where prices are linked to the charging speed. The fastest charges there cost 20 cents per minute, while slower ones are priced at half that rate.
For the first few years that they were on sale, all Teslas were offered with a lifetime of free Supercharging, but now the high end Model S and X come with a credit for only 400 kilowatt-hours of Supercharging annually, while the entry-level Model 3 is pay as you go from the start. A referral program exists for current Model S and X owners to give new buyers lifetime free charging, but it does not applly to the Model 3.
“We occasionally adjust rates to reflect current local electricity and usage. The overriding principle is that Supercharging will always remain significantly cheaper than gasoline, as we only aim to recover a portion of our costs while setting up a fair system for everyone,” a Tesla spokesperson told Electrek, adding that “this will never be a profit center for Tesla.”
Based on the new rates, a Model 3 recharged at a Supercharging station in New York would cost $6.24 to drive 100 miles, or around $936 annually for an average owner driving 15,000 miles per year, according to its EPA fuel economy rating. The gas for a similarly sized and priced Cadillac ATS would be $10.50 for 100 miles, or $1,527 annually.
Tesla expects most owners to do the majority of their charging at home, while the Superchargers are strategically located to facilitate long trips.