Tesla has been overwhelmed by nearly 400,000 pre-orders for its mass-market electric sedan Model 3. But that doesn’t mean owners of the upcoming car can access the Supercharger network for free. During the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Mountain View, California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company would likely charge Model 3 owners to use its vast network of Supercharging stations.
Model 3 owners will have to buy that package
Responding to an investor’s query, Musk said free Supercharging has a cost. One way the company can keep Model 3 costs down is to decouple free Supercharging from the vehicle. Owners of the mass-market EV will get lifetime access to Superchargers only if they purchase that package. Musk did not reveal further details of the add-on package. Currently, there are more than 600 Supercharger stations across North America.
The California company gives the Model S and Model X owners free lifetime access to Superchargers. Musk added that the separate Supercharging package “will still be very cheap, and far cheaper than gasoline.” The Superchargers enable long-distance driving and ease the “range anxiety.” The best thing for Model 3 owners will be to charge their cars at home and work.
Tesla’s ambitious production plan
Model 3 has a starting price tag of $35,000, roughly half of the base price of Model S. Huge demand for the mass-market electric vehicle has prompted Tesla to re-evaluate its production plans. The company had previously planned to increase production to 500,000 units by 2020. But now it wants to achieve that production level by 2018. Model 3 deliveries will begin in late 2017.
Last month, the EV maker raised roughly $2 billion to finance its production plan. Tesla suppliers have expressed concerns about the company’s ambitious production roadmap. Suppliers believe that it is almost impossible to kick off Model 3 production by July 1, 2017 because placing orders and installing the assembly machinery could alone take up to 18 months. And the Elon Musk-led company has only about 13 months to begin production of its mass-market EV.