On January 1, Tesla Motors extended the availability of its unlimited free Supercharging program to new car buyers for 15 more days. The new deadline is now January 15, with expected vehicle deliveries starting on April 15.
All owners enjoyed this service by Tesla to recharge their cars for free at any given station, but the Elon Musk-led company announced it would start charging a small fee for each recharge to new buyers starting in 2017.
The news of the grace period for all aspiring Tesla owners comes along with the latest Autopilot 8.1 update, which was also a limited release for just 1,000 cars in its initial phase.
Elon Musk recently managed to merge its alternative energy startup, SolarCity, with Tesla Motors back in November. The new company promises to revolutionize not only the automotive industry but also the clean energy movement in the U.S.
If you couldn’t finalize your purchase by 12/31, you can still order a Model S or X until 1/15 to receive unlimited Supercharging.
— Tesla (@TeslaMotors) January 1, 2017
What is Tesla’s Supercharging network?
Besides developing and manufacturing the technology behind their electric, semi-autonomous cars, Tesla also has its network of charging stations called Superchargers.
Superchargers refill the battery cells in Tesla models in a couple of minutes instead of hours like regular electric vehicle charging stations. The North American network counts with approximately 200 Supercharging stations, and 769 are available worldwide today.
How does the new deadline affect potential buyers?
Tesla owners up until this year had the right to recharge their vehicles for free, as many times as they wished at the company’s Supercharging network.
However, Tesla announced back in November that new buyers would receive a 400 kWh of free Supercharging credits with the purchase of one of its vehicles. This translates into an estimated 1,000 miles of traveling distance.
The new deadline of January 15 gives aspiring Tesla drivers the opportunity to order either a Model S or a Model X and enjoy the service at Supercharger stations for free. Past this date, the above procedure will apply.
Tesla charging time
Supercharger stations of the global Tesla network all deliver battery recharges in about 30 minutes time.
The battery technology packed in Tesla vehicles makes them able to support the unique charging method that the stations use.
These power stations convert alternating current to direct current and charge each cell at a regular rate, similar to the fast charging technology seen in smartphones nowadays.
As such, 30 minutes at a Supercharger station can give drivers as much as 80% of battery capacity. They just have to pull over at one of the locations, plug the car in, and check on the Tesla mobile app if it is ready to go.
Tesla vehicles as a standard come with a 17-inch display that shows all the nearby Supercharging stations. This system will continue to be free and included in all cars, but the charging service itself will come at a price.
The company claims the service at a Supercharger station will still be cheaper than filling a tank with gas.