Model S

40 kwh - why is supercharger access denied?

edited November -1 in Model S
I'd gladly pay the fee to access the supercharger network in my 40. Why doesn't Tesla allow this without paying for the 60 kwh upgrade? I know the SC network is built for 60s, but I don't need to drive across the country - I just want to drive from San Diego to LA.


  • edited November -1
    I think they call it marketing.
    You're lucky you have a 40 I want one for second car but that's impossible now
    I read somewhere that the guy tried it with the 40 and it work you might want to try it let us know
  • edited November -1
    I was initially stated that all Tesla models S would have free supercharging then it changed for some reason. 40's should get it since anyone with 40 was an early adopter when it was advertised all Tesla's would have free super charge.
  • edited November -1
    The superchargers were not even part of the conversation when the 40s were ordered...

    And all can have it. Upgrade the 40 to a 60 via the software upgrade and then pay the supercharger activation fee...
  • edited November -1
    As a 40 owner I'm naturally biased.

    I can think of a few minor reasons why Tesla doesn't offer the SC option for the 40. As others have stated, Tesla made a big deal about how Model S owners could use the SC network. Given how infrequently a 40 would use the SC network, I think Tesla could get a lot of possitive exposure by offering 40 owners the SC option at the same price as 60/85 owners.

    I think this is an area where Tesla could improve. People frequently ask me questions about the car. I tire of explaining how the 40's were excluded without being able to provide a good reason. I think it takes a bit of the shine off an otherwise good experience.
  • edited November -1
    My understanding is that the original 40kWh battery was not going to be able to handle the amount of juice a Supercharger delivers.

    Later they decided to just software limit the 60kWh battery instead of making different batteries because there was so few orders.

    There was so few car orders without Supercharging that they just decided it was more efficient to just install the hardware and make it software activated.

    They were adapting to the market on the fly. It turned out great for the 40kWh customers.
  • edited November -1
    eAdopter - I agree, I find myself explaining to others a lot that yeah, the SC network is out there for longer trips, but I can't access it, so I have to use my wife's ICE. It's just confusing to explain.

    church - I don't think this is a marketing tactic, but rather Tesla not wanting 40 owners trying to make it to the next SC and running out of juice on the way there. I'm pretty sure this would be a rare occurrence though.

    webcrawler - I don't really need a 60 for range purposes, and $11k is a lot to cough up for something I don't really need on a routine basis (and would only add about half of the upgrade fee to the value of my car). I'd rather put that $ towards my next Tesla.

    Would other 40 owners pay $2500 to get access to the SC network?
  • edited November -1
    Just called tech support - they didn't have an answer as to why the 40s can't access the SC network, but they are adding this to the "feature request" list.
  • edited November -1
    I ordered the 40 since it met my range requirements and the car battery would weigh 30% less then the 60 kw battery pack and would allow for better acceleration and range. Now I get to carry around the extra weigh which reduces range and acceleration. We get to carry the extra baggage with none of the benefits.
  • edited November -1

    I understand your complaints, but you do get some benefit from having the 60 kWh battery in your car.

    1. You have to option to increase capacity via OTA update at anytime. Even if you don't use this, it would make your car worth more at resale.
    2. Your battery should last longer since you never charge to the maximum.
  • edited November -1
    I would definitely pay the full $2,500 for the Supercharger access if that was an option on my 40 (and I mention this just about every time I visit a service center). Yes, it wouldn't get me long-distance travel, but it would open up my Model S traveling options to Madison, WI; South Bend, IN and a few other places (Indianapolis maybe soon). These are places that I travel to often for work in my wife's sporty Honda Odyssey.

    That being said, when we confirmed our purchase on the 40s, we thought we were getting a 40 kWh battery, no option for Supercharger access, and a slower car (acceleration and top speed) than the 60 kWh version. We did get a great deal in that we received the performance of the 60 kWh version at no additional cost, plus we now have an option to upgrade in the future to a full 60 kWh car (with or without Supercharger access). These are all things we didn't think we would be able to do when we confirmed.

    In the end, I don't mind at all that Tesla makes us upgrade the battery first before allowing Supercharger access given that this is the same decision/dilemma we had before final confirmation; however, I personally will never upgrade at full price (especially given that the longer we own our cars, the less time we will get to use the benefit, plus the benefit is reduced even further by our batteries degrading over time).

    I do believe that they will eventually reduce the price to unlock. I don't know if that will be this year or two years from now, but if they ever do offer a reduced price, I may or may not upgrade based on their asking price and my perceived remaining useful life of the vehicle.
  • edited November -1
    @robgoodin: actually, the 40s were going to be slower in acceleration. At the time we ordered, they were quoting 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds for the 40. As for range, I believe they gave us access to a little over 40 kWh to make up for this (43.2 kWh is what I remember calculating).

    In addition, the top speed was going to be limited to 110 mph for the 40 (vs. 120 mph with the 60). However, this point doesn't mean anything to me given that I will likely never test the top speed.

    Now, we do likely use more energy per mile given the extra weight, but I'm okay with that given the increase in performance.
  • The other problems with the original 40 kWhr packs is that if they did Supercharge, they would tie up a Supercharger for just as long as a 60 kWhr or an 85 kWhr. This is because, all other things the same, smaller batteries can't accept as fast a charge as larger ones. They would then tie up the Superchargers by needing to stop at every one for longer time each.
    Unfortunately, the 40 kWhr battery pack weighed just as much as the 60 kWhr and the 85 kWhr. This is because the handling and safety design assume the same mass for all cars. My understanding was that the 40 kWhr pack was going to have to have a lead weight added.
    I wonder if the fact that this seems wrong was one of the motivators for Tesla to cancel that option.
    You 40 kWhr folks really did come out ahead since your packs should last longer than the original 40 kWhr packs since you can't put as much stress on them by charging fully or discharging fully.
  • edited November -1
    " I know the SC network is built for 60s, but I don't need to drive across the country - I just want to drive from San Diego to LA."

    That's a good reason. No one owes you anything if you recognized it when you made the purchase.
  • edited November -1
    carlk - I guess my point is that I'm willing to pay Tesla $2500 to access the SC network, but not $13,500. It's lost revenue to Tesla (not much I admit) to not allow 40s to purchase access to the SC network. I just can't think of a valid reason to not allow 40s to use it if they are willing to pay for but don't need/want the range of a 60.

    It would make a small group of their customers happy. Would 60 and 85 owners be upset if 40s could pay $2500 to access the SC network?
  • edited November -1
    @DavidE35 You were not allowed to pay $2500 to access the SC network when you placed the order. For that you need to make the hard choice of if it's worth it for you to spend more. The pricing structure is such that the priority is for Tesla to make reasonably profit and not to make everyone happy which is an unachievable goal anyway. Nothing has changed because you took advantage of getting a software limited 60kWh. You don't think that is fair?
  • edited November -1
    I have two of the 40's and we were told that if we get leather and air, that would speed up the car delivery. Also supercharging was included when we places our orders.

    I thought that the supercharging option would be nice, for $2,500, for the once or twice I would use it. It would be extra income for Tesla.

    I don't think that the approx. 400 of the 40's would even make a dent in the supercharging network.
  • edited November -1
    @David, to the specific question that I, as an 85 owner would be upset if you could activate supercharging for $2500...the answer is no. Given so few 40's I don't think it would impact wait times at SC's much at all.

    That said, @carlk is making a ton of sense.
  • edited November -1
    I have been on from the point Model S became configurable. The Superchargers were never available to the 40kWh battery. The pricing structure is included supercharger access with 85kWh battery. $2500 with the 60kWh battery and following that logic if it were ever to be added in the future it should be $5000 for the 40kWh battery.

    Any other car company would have not accommodated the less than 5% that chose a 40kWh battery. Not give you a battery that costs $10K more and software limiting it to 40kWh to keep the small group of people happy.

    Now those who when they confirmed their order knew exactly what they were ordering because you don't need to drive beyond the range offered by the 40kWh battery think that should all change to allow the very things they did not need when ordering their car. And to insist that ontop of not paying for the 60kWh additional cost.
  • edited November -1
    I was one of the original reservation for the S40 and knew the car was slower, and could not use the SC's. It was always clearly communicated in the website. I switched my configuration to the S60 just a few days before they made the announcement of the substitution for the S40 reservation holders. Yes, I was pissed for a few months. We all know the S40 reservation holders got a sweet deal from Tesla. Don't forget that most or all of the S40's were priced at the 2012 pricing which was $2,500 lower. You basically bought the base S40 car for $49,900 once the federal rebate was factored in. You will benefit for a long time since you will have a longer battery life with little or no degradation, much much slower depreciation, and endless upgradability to an S60 with SC access. If I want a S85 I have to sell my S60 and buy a S85 to get one as opposed to just making a call to Tesla and having it done OTA. S40 owners got the best value for their money of all the Tesla owners. If SC access is wanted the $13,500 should be paid to be fair and not undercut all the other owners.
  • edited November -1
    Hey Chuck! It's nice to hear from you.
    I'm not sure if I read your post correctly. Did you get a 40 with Super Charging enabled?
  • edited November -1
    I'm not complaining at all. I love my 40 and got a great deal. I understood that I would not have SC access at the time I bought it.

    My question is what business purpose does Tesla have to disallow 40s from using the SC network. So far, I haven't really heard any compelling reasons. Although I'm sensing from some of the comments that some 60 owners that would have otherwise selected a 40 if not for the SC access restriction may be a bit resentful if the 40s are allowed to just pay $2500 to access the SC network.

    Just because they didn't offer SC access for 40s originally doesn't mean that it makes sense to continue to restrict access. Seems like it would be revenue neutral for Tesla and would align the customer base. But then again, I'm biased.

    Not complaining, just asking the question in hopes other 40 owners are interested and Tesla is listening. Perhaps they could put in a rule stating that 40 owners have to buy 60 and 85 owners a cup of coffee if they are taking up a spot in the SC lot.
  • edited November -1
    Tesla really did right by the 40kWh buyers.

    Tesla paid for all the cells for a 60, but only charged for 2/3 of them.

    SuperCharging was never planned or promised for the 40, so no one lost out on anything.

    Tying the SC upgrade to the 60kWh upgrade is a very reasonable way for Tesla to recover their cost to deliver the benefit.

    Tesla's offer to provide the upgrade at any time that works for the buyer is an extraordinary, standup policy.

    While more gifts would be nice, it's more reciprocal to be thanking them, than to expect something more.
  • edited November -1
    I am an 85 owner and so have no bias here.
    Upgrading to 60 and adding SC option is already available to 40 owners.
    I don't see why Tesla is not allowing plain SC option for 40 owners. H/W is already in the car. This allows 40 owners to enjoy SC privileges. There are not too many 40s on the road and not all owners will get SC option. If they charge 2.5K for 60 owners, they may ask similar amount from 40 owners. Seems fair to everyone.
    I support above as it seems the right thing. It is not that 40 owners are legally entitled for it. Tesla makes effort to retrofit many features on the old cars (like parking sensors, folding mirrors or twin chargers) at a cost. In this case it is a simple software setting for them. They should look into it.
  • edited November -1

    What you've missed in your be fair at a cost is a 60kWh battery was given to the 40kWh buyers at no extra cost. That is the omly reason that being able to SC at this point even exists. They want now to not pay the additional $10K cost of the battery under their car and just pay the upcharge a 60kWh owner has to pay.

    I have no problem with someone paying $12,500 and upgrading it to a true 60kWh battery with SC privileges. I don't have a problem with them leaving it software limited to 40kWh and paying $5000 for SC privileges. But to pay for a 40kWh while getting a 60kWh battery and pay only what a 60kWh owner has to pay is unfair.

    The poster's that have the 40kWh that are pushing for the privilege have definitely said they won't pay the $10,000 more that their actual battery is worth. If they didn't get that battery given to them in the first place their car would not be in the situation where it could even be possible to get SC privileges.

    They ordered a 40kWh, it never had the possibility to supercharge, it had the range they wanted. If it is no longer the car they really wanted they do have an option to pay $10,000 more for the battery and remove the software. The owners of the 60kWh don't have that option to increase to an 85kWh without actually paying the difference and getting another car.

    That would be like someone with a 60kWh battery asking for Tesla to give them back $12,500 and have their car software limited to a 40kWh because they found they were never going to drive on long trips and don't want to supercharge anymore. Even though it is able to be done. Just because something is possible doesn't mean that it should be done.

    I think if someone who has gone on these forums and bragged about how great a deal they got with their 40kWh battery and how people that paid $10,000 more for range they won't probably ever need or use was just stupid, can now come on here and post that just because they got a 60kWh battery for the original price of a 40kWh that they should be able to pay only the supercharger fee because it can be done.

    I have an 85kWh battery that I will beg Tesla to return $20,000 of the price to software limit my Model S to act like a 40kWh if they do allow 40kWh to supercharge. Then if someday I want to go on a longer trip or just want to use Supercharger to fill up weekly I will just have them turn it back on at no extra charge because all the right equipment is already on my car.

    The cars that can supercharge from the factory have special equipment just for DC to DC that is not on the cars that leave the factory not supercharger ready. It's not just an OTA change as most people think. The reason it is $500 more to add after the fact to a 60kWh than add to the original configuration is for the DC to DC equipment that is not on the non supercharger equipped 60kWh. So even though a software limited 40kWh is really a 60kWh battery it still is not just an OTA change to add Supercharging.
  • edited November -1
    The 60 can be upgraded to an 85 according to David Noland at Green Car Reports. He paid $18,000. Search GCR for "Tesla upgrade".
Sign In or Register to comment.