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Power The Almighty Buck Transportation

Tesla Raises Prices At Its Supercharger Stations 167

Tesla is increasing the cost of the paid Supercharger access, but a spokesperson for the company says that it "will never be a profit center." Electrek reports: When introducing the program, Tesla said that it aimed to still make the cost of Supercharging cheaper than gasoline and that it doesn't aim to make its Supercharger network a profit center. Instead, they want to use the money to keep growing the network which now consists of over 1,180 stations and close to 9,000 Superchargers. But this week, the rates were updated across the U.S. Some states saw massive increases of as much as 100 percent -- though most regions saw their rates increase by 20 to 40 percent. For example, Oregon saw an increase of $0.12 to $0.24 per kWh, while California, Tesla's biggest market in the U.S., got an increase from $0.20 to $0.26 kWh and New York's rate went from $0.19 to $0.24 per kWh. A spokesperson for Tesla said in a statement: "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. This will never be a profit center for Tesla."
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Tesla Raises Prices At Its Supercharger Stations

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  • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @06:20PM (#56249303)

    esla said that it aimed to still make the cost of Supercharging cheaper than gasoline and that it doesn't aim to make its Supercharger network a profit center. Instead, they want to use the money to keep growing the network which now consists of over 1,180 stations and close to 9,000 Superchargers.

    So they're just reinvesting their profits back into the business then. I don't have a problem with that, and I think it's the appropriate thing to do in their case, but don't piss in my face and tell me it's raining.

    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      What doesn't make sense, though, is that in CA where the commercial cost of electricity averages ~15 cents/kWh, they're charging 26 cents. In Oregon, where it costs ~9 cents, they're charging 24. In NY, cost ~14, sell 24. So, markups of 73, 167, and 71 percent. Oregon seems to be getting screwed.

      But, maybe they plan on expanding their network in Oregon proportionately more than in the other two states, so this is to pay for it.
      • Their overhead costs likely do not scale with direct energy costs, and in Oregon if people are better incentivized to charge at home it reduces the burden on Tesla's infrastructure.

        (And to the GP... they are re-investing cash flow rather than profits from what i can see... not to be pedantic.)

    • Profits? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Tesla has never had a profit - except for that ONE quarter and that was from some accounting tricks.

      Tesla is a money loser and has been for over 14 years. And if it can't make money now while is pretty much has the EV market, they're gonna get their asses kicked. They are burning through about a HALF A BILLION dollars every quarter in operations: marketing, salaries, and other expenses. That money is gone- forever. So, when stupid people say, "Tesla isn't losing money, they're investing in factories.", t

      • by Calydor ( 739835 )

        Elon Musk's net worth is right now above 20 billion USD. He can literally bankroll all of Tesla's losses out of his own pocket for a decade just with what he has NOW.

        Unless something happens that shuts Tesla down hard so he decides to cut his losses, we won't see it bankrupt in the next year or two.

      • by laird ( 2705 )

        This is somewhat incorrect - Tesla is making a profit on each car sold. However, they are investing those profits, and more, into building out their infrastructure. So while it's true that right now they're spending a lot more than they are making, the fact that each car sale is profitable means that if they stop building new infrastructure they instantly turn profitable. Or, a more rational strategy, they grow sales (which is why they're spending so much on their factories and charging stations) to cover t

    • Tesla created these stations so that people would be able to make long multi-state trips without having to stop for an entire day when the battery ran low. The problem is that people are using these stations for convenience when they don't necessarily need to. This is causing traffic issues so when they start to release a larger number of cars they don't want people to be queued up five or six deep waiting for a recharge.

      I would expect them to raise the price further so that the people who are buying the ch

    • by olau ( 314197 )

      If you're going to nitpick, at least do it properly.

      The statement doesn't say there's a profit. When they raise the Supercharger price, they could very well just be losing less money, hence increasing the investment budget, given that they still receive the same subsidies from other branches of Tesla.

    • Markup != profit
  • by TomR teh Pirate ( 1554037 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @06:48PM (#56249451)
    Keep in mind that the supercharge network is intended to help people traverse long distances. For the 99% of the time that you drive your vehicle as a city car, your home charging is still the same cost it was before. Tesla has made no secret of its desire to get people off superchargers for their daily charging needs, so this announcement should carry nearly zero impact for people who are using the network as intended.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Plus if you can afford to drive a Tesla then the few hundred bucks you could save by using the Supercharger regularly is neither here nor there, especially if it wastes your presumably valuable time in the same way as going to a dedicated petrol station does.

  • by Mister Liberty ( 769145 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @07:28PM (#56249665)
    Never has a term been so apt.
  • 3rd Party Stations (Score:4, Insightful)

    by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Monday March 12, 2018 @07:47PM (#56249765)

    Are non-Tesla entities allowed to make supercharger stations? It's a non-issue at this point, but eventually the electric vehicle market will grow large enough to make independently owned charging stations viable.

    Not only do you want competition to make sure Tesla never decides to start gouging at the stations, but when more electric vehicles come on the market it would be much better if they all shared a common charging interface. No one wants to wander around town looking for a compatible charge-station.

    • by steveha ( 103154 )

      Are non-Tesla entities allowed to make supercharger stations?

      Tesla has offered to license all its patents so it might be possible.

      What is 100% possible right now: businesses that want to offer Tesla charging for their guests can get a "destination charger" from Tesla. As I understand the deal, Tesla gives the charger for free, as long as the business offers the charging for free. So the only cost to the business is the cost of the electricity.

      Also, anyone could buy a Tesla home charger and set it up. I g

      • by afidel ( 530433 )

        As I understand the deal, Tesla gives the charger for free, as long as the business offers the charging for free. So the only cost to the business is the cost of the electricity.

        Correct, the charger and installation including any needed facilities upgrades (up to some cap, I've seen $3k quoted) are covered, the business only has to pay for the electricity.

    • by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @09:12AM (#56251703) Homepage

      Are non-Tesla entities allowed to make supercharger stations? {...} but when more electric vehicles come on the market it would be much better if they all shared a common charging interface. No one wants to wander around town looking for a compatible charge-station.

      In Europe, there's a standard to which most manufacturer are gravitating toward : Mennekes (official name Type 2 (VDE-AR-E 2623-2-2) [wikipedia.org]).
      It's mostly designed to carry tri-phase AC current.

      Most of the cars sold in Europe tend to use Mennekes or have adapters for it. European Tesla, as far I've seen, come with Mennekes sockets instead of the weird proprietary shit that they use in the US.

      Different Type 2 connectors will simply advertise different max current to the car. Your home charger will advertise current up to 15A (perhaps 25A) on 1 or 3 phases. High speed charger will advertise much higher currents.

      The main difference setting appart Teslas is how they handle DC.
      The current standard is based around "Combined Charging System" (CCS) : two extra pins below the connector to carry the high voltage high current DC power.
      Tesla instead re-use the AC pins with some proprietary signaling to advertise DC instead of AC.

      At least where I live, you can find AC Mennekes charger in lots of public places, and nearly every parking at least features normal house-plugs giving low current AC.
      On some big highways you can even find charging stations that features Mennekes, CCS and ChaDeMo.

      Usually the house-plug style chargers are free (they are actual house plugs with only fancy box around them advertising them as vehicle chargers).
      AC Mennekes charge tend to be paying, but not much more expensive than base electricity costs.
      All the tri-standard high speed chargers I've seen are paying, but again, close to electricity costs.
      Most of the above are usually made available in partnership with the local utility city company.

      You can charge Teslas at them but :
        - due to differing standards, you can only charge them with the AC Mennekes. You can't charge them DC (they lack the CCS pins).
        - they'll charge slower than on Tesla Super charger (or than if they had the DC pins).

      I think I've read that Elon Musk isn't asking royalties for companies to implement the DC Tesla protocols.
      So maybe eventually the tri-standard high-speed chargers can be modified to allow DC Tesla charging on their Mennekes plug.
      (I've read about un-approved Tesla mode enabled on some multi-standard charger)

      I'm sure there as some ChaDeMo or CSS to Tesla adapters on the market, too.

      In short :
        - Yes, in Europe, there are other brand of fast chargers than Tesla.
        - Due to differing implementation for DC, Tesla can't user their higher super charging speed there, but they still can "normal charge" with AC.
        - The charging interface is already common, except for the above exception (and except for some older cars that use older standards like Type 1).

  • OK, granted I have driven less than 3000 miles a year for a decade. Yes, I get the low mileage discount on my car insurance ;) My 1999 Ford Expedition only gets 12 mpg, but my office is 2 miles away, tbh I work in my home office most days.

    I love my expedition, even with 12"+ of new snow I can open my garage door and just go where I want to.

    I do blow out the driveway if the wife needs to go to work ;)

    I know I am an old Neanderthal heck I don't want modern electronics (usb, nav, etc, etc) in my vehicle
    • OK, I have rambled a bit. But here is my point, what is the lowest cost Tesla and will it still be in use 18 years from it's purchase date

      The lowest cost brand new Tesla is $35K (Model 3). If you want a used one then wait a few years. Also learn how to use Google.

      Why would I buy a 50k - 60k vehicle with a short life span ( 3-5 years).

      What makes you think that an EV only lasts 3-5 years? Why do anti-EV nutjobs always have to lie so blatantly? You think your little monologue makes you sound like an anti-fad classic old soul, but instead it just makes you sound like an uniformed moron.

  • Someone with hard facts please fill in. Won't supercharging ANY battery result in a reduction in durability and/or premature failure of the pack vs. sedate trickle charging? Or have they magically managed to longevity a constant irrespective of how the charging is carried out?

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