Tesla Model 3 buyers will have to pay for Supercharger access

Tesla Model 3

During the annual shareholder's meeting, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that, one of its models will not have unlimited access to the Supercharger network.

"...The Superchargers are setup, at least to date, for people who bought cars as free long-distance for life," Musk said. "Obviously, that has, fundamentally, a cost. I don't want to make this some big news headline, but the obvious thing to do is decouple that from the cost of the Model 3."

Instead of including the cost of lifetime access to Tesla's Supercharger network in the price of the vehicle, there will be optional packages for consumers to pick.

"It will still be very cheap - and far cheaper than gasoline - to drive long-distance with the Model 3, but it will not be free long distance for life unless you've purchased that package," Musk added.

While Tesla never promised to have free, lifetime charging for the Model 3, it has been included in previous models. However, Musk admitted the oddity of using Superchargers near your home.

"The best thing to do with an electric car is to charge your car where you charge your phone. Would you really take your phone to a gas station?" Musk said. "Driving to a Supercharger in order to get $5-worth of electricity and spending half an hour of your time, you're like, maybe barely at minimum wage."

Tesla has not announced the price of the access plan, though the the Model 3 starts at $35,000.

Currently, Tesla operates 632 Supercharger stations featuring a total of 3,780 chargers worldwide with an approximate 266 open in the US and another 35 either under construction or permitted for construction. Tesla vehicles can also utilize regular EV charging stations for a cost, but they do not charge a Tesla as quickly.

Source: Venture Beat