Supercharger price increase means more superchargers in 2019?

Supercharger price increase means more superchargers in 2019?

The supercharging costs go up to 31 cents per key in all states.

I think this was necessary to pay for the upcoming 2019 SC expansion. A pretty steep increase though. What do people think?

Jiver | January 20, 2019

If you click on a Supercharger it will tell you the rate. I am on my first road trip and was surprised that I am paying more to operate my M3 than an ICE diving across Kansas. Gas off of I70 is $1.75 for unleaded. Denver Airport is 0.31/kwh. Limon was 0.27/kwh. Hays KS is 0.25/0.13 per minute. The jump from 0.22 to 0.31 is a big jump for Colorado.

I guess if I wanted to save money I would not have bought an M3. I charge at home for 0.13/kwh. Tesla advertises "go anywhere" and you can but now they have made that much more expensive.

I did grab a free charge from a chargepoint L2 overnight in KC. Slow but free!

I'm up around 430 kw/mile due to cold (20F), strong crosswind, and speed (80mph). Cabin temperature 68. I'm comfortable but paying for it.

Looks to me like Superchargers are now a profit center and ICE cars are cheaper to operate on road trips.

Magic 8 Ball | January 20, 2019

@Jiver writes: "I guess if I wanted to save money.............."

The displacement game is brand new and since I can make my own electricity at home (can't make gas) many people, like myself, are finding operating costs to be much cheaper than ICE.

gmr6415 | January 20, 2019

@mcalbright, "When billing per minute, there are two tiers to account for changes in charging speeds, called “tier 1” and “tier 2”.
Tier 1 applies while cars are charging at or below 60 kW and tier 2 applies while cars are charging above 60 kW. Tier 1 is half the cost of tier 2.
Tier 1 also applies anytime your vehicle is sharing Supercharger power with another car.

Mr.Tesla | January 20, 2019

It's okay.

1) Discourages lingering = increases availability
2) Pays for expansion
3) Pays for upgrades to v3
4) Offsets maintenance/upkeep
5) Offsets possible real-estate/location costs
6) Most owners charge at home most of the time anyway

Conclusion: Increases sustainability and usefulness of the Supercharger network

RES IPSA | January 20, 2019

The "good old days" of cheaper fuel costs (other than charging at home) are slipping away. And in a few years, even charging at home will get more expensive. But I think it will always be cheaper than an ICE car (regarding fuel). Will it remain 60% or more cheaper than an ICE... probably not).

How will our current electrical infrastructure handle 10's of millions more EV's on the road? It will have to expand and upgrade... hence increased costs to the consumer.

And no, solar will not solve the problem.

Magic 8 Ball | January 20, 2019

Our current grid, over a 24 hour day, is horribly under utilized. Plenty of existing grid for millions to be charging, especially at night. The grid overproduces a lot because the big plants just don't turn on/off or slow down easily.

Look up "duck curve" and the explanation behind it.

RES IPSA | January 20, 2019

@Magic... Thanks. Interesting info. You still think our current grid can handle the approximate 100 million vehicles driven each day in the US combines with the average distance those vehicles are driven each day? I hope so...

RES IPSA | January 20, 2019

combines = combined

Magic 8 Ball | January 20, 2019

I think we are a ways off in needing to think about grid upgrades. I completely disagree about solar not solving the problem. We will, soon, be making more electricity on our roof than our annual needs including car charging and using more for the house, as well. Granted not everyone is in a location to do this but millions are. We are wasting huge amounts of energy, just to make available our combined massive uses for a few hours a day.

Batteries, microgrids, and alternate storage, is where this is going.

RES IPSA | January 20, 2019

@Magic... My comment on solar was more financial in nature... most cannot afford 7-10k (assuming prices come down over the next 5 years or so) for solar at their residence. It will be a good solution for and others similar to you.

CA is mandating solar on all new construction, so that may have a significant impact decades from now

Magic 8 Ball | January 20, 2019

I really don't see how most homeowners cannot afford to buy solar. My system will be about 10kw, cost net just under 30K, and will save me 85K over 25 years. The return is undeniable. My In laws bought from same outfit in 2006 paid about 27.5K net for 18 panels @ 215w each, in comparison our system will be 28 panels @360 each. The in laws system is still working fine, paid for itself after 10 years, and they only got 3.8 kw vs our 10kw.

You are correct that it may not pencil out for most but as prices of solar continues to drop it makes more sense each day. Last solar evaluation I had done was about 2 years ago and it did not pencil out enough for me. Two years later I am excited to get these installers drilling holes in my roof (YiKES).

beaver | January 20, 2019

Road tripping with Tesla just got more expensive. At $0.31 per kWh my model 3 is similar cost per mile as my Civic in CA, and half the cost of my Acura MDX SUV.

One of the most trusting things with this change is the variability in SC cost! It’s annoying to have to check the map.

RES IPSA | January 20, 2019

good solution for you...

epikula | January 20, 2019

We wouldn't tolerate it tolerate it if big oil raised gas prices 3X overnight why should we accept this from Tesla. Average price delivered with utility infrastructure costs included of electricity per kWh in the USA is .12 cents, why almost 3X across the board. BS!

DMSDesign | January 20, 2019

I drove by 3 superchargers yesterday in the SF Bay Area. All 3 had different prices on my screen. $.35, $.33,and $.32

DMSDesign | January 20, 2019

On this web site, they do not list the prices on the site. You can, however, see the prices on the navigation screen. I do not know if the prices at each station vary due to time and usage.

beaver | January 20, 2019

@DMSDesign thanks for the data

I wonder what the most expensive SC in CA is, likely urban with high usage rates. Orange County?

Revelate | January 20, 2019

Given commercial power is tiered too as I understand it, there needed to be a pricing change anyway.

Los Angeles is nowhere close to as inundated with Teslas as the Bay Area is, but when I go past our Superchargers I do see the same vehicles from time to time: these are not all people traveling, no chance.

Ultimately it's just economics as other people have stated: if it becomes more expensive some consumers at the margin will optimize it out of their life. I'm one of those condo-dwellers and my property management is babbling about an upgrade to the entire electrical system in the complex (sigh, you'd think in 2008 they would've overbuilt for such things but no...) and so I've figured out a different solution for charging and the Downey or Hawthorne superchargers are a fallback if required.

Ultimately if it becomes too expensive to operate because of electricity prices I either sell the car or move somewhere I can install my own charger on a standard TOU rate.

Everyone else who's impacted by this will do a similar calculus, but really I think this is a non-issue.

CST | January 20, 2019

Keep in mind that as EV adaption increases, competition for gasoline will decrease, resulting in a decrease of gasoline price until the market crashes. It is expected that for a certainly timeframe, driving a gas guzzler may seem economical, however purchasing the old technology will not result in a long-term savings. More so, if people only make the choice based on cost, we will never get past our pollution issues.

rkalbiarEV | January 20, 2019

Personally, I would only use a supercharger when travelling and even then I would try to avoid it. I have no real concern with supercharger prices.


This will definitely impact new potential users. Potential customers, especially those new to EV's, will see these high prices and do the math... and think.. 'Geesh, EV's are not worth it. You spend a whole lot of money up front to save very little money later!'

I know this for a fact because it has happened to me many times.. Questions and/or statements like that from non EV owners. I have to explain to them that charging at home is MUCH cheaper but you do have to account for having a an outlet installed (Tesla) or also buying a charger (most other EV's.)

DMSDesign | January 20, 2019

The price is what it is. I think, however, Tesla must give better explanations and be able to go to their website and find out what the price will be. For me, I have solar and cost me nothing to charge my M3. I rarely use superchargers, unless I am on a long trip. But would like to be able to figure out what the rate will be as I travel out of my area. But Tesla has always been a poor communicator to its customers

rsingh05 | January 20, 2019

Epostby - comparing like cars, my road trip costs in my 3 will still be HALF of my previous car, a 335i. Not reasonable to compare a civic which uses regular fuel and has better than average fuel efficiency than an average ICE because it is not in the same performance envelope as a model 3.

RES IPSA | January 20, 2019

@rsingh05... l think it is completely fair and reasonable to compare "like" modes of transportation to one another. Comparing driving a personal car to public transportation would not be fair and reasonable since the time and convenience difference between the two is drastic.

Just comparing fuel costs:

To go 400 miles in CA with my M3 using a supercharger costs about $34 at the new average cost (31 cents a kw/hr x 110 kw)

In my 2010 Prius, it costs me about $32.50 to drive 400 miles ($2.95 a gallon... current price in SD)

Charging at home, my M3 is much cheaper at $9.90 (9 cents a kw/hr x 110 kw).

mabuck | January 20, 2019

It is just one less selling point Tesla has now when trying to sale vehicles. I do not like the change, but unfortunately, we bought into a car company that controls the EV charging market for our car when traveling. I will be very happy once other fast DC chargers become mainstream, so I can ditch the SC network when possible.

beaver | January 20, 2019


I understand and a like for like comparison is more fair. But I replaced my civic (13 years!) with my model 3 so it’s a natural comparison for me. I am definitely a “stretcher” :) I also highlighted that supercharging my M3 is half the price per mile as my MDX, I am fully supportive of Tesla and “our” mission. I bought my M3 not for the savings (though I sold the long term savings to my wife lol), but to support a cleaner future and kick ass acceleration.

Now I am waiting for a 3 row Model Y so I can replace my MDX.

rxlawdude | January 20, 2019

" CA... Cost of afternoon per can hit 50cents/ kW hr."

Yes, while off-peak commercial rate is about 7cents/kWh.

@RES, you have my sympathy re SDGE. They are the most expensive utility in the nation, and how the CPUC has allowed them to collect usurious rates is a head-scratcher. While their super off peak is "only" 9 cents/kWh, all their other rates are up to 50% higher than SCE, which is no bargain itself.

I'm so glad to have moved out of South OC, where SDGE gouges. Even solar doesn't help much, given the gerrymandered "peak" times.

Sleepydoc1 | January 20, 2019

Road tripping in a civic or Prius vs a Tesla and the biggest complaint is a couple dollars for energy. Small price to pay for such an improved driving experience. Remember no oil change when you get back home. No smog check due at the end of the year and you will probably turn the car in before brakes at 50,000 miles.

rxlawdude | January 20, 2019

@Sleepy, a rough gasoline:per kWh comparison is ~ 11 * cost per kWh

So, even with a $.31/kWh Supercharging rate, at least in California, it's still cheaper than gasoline. But in states with fewer environmental regulations that increase prices, the new rate may indeed make equivalent travel more expensive on a per-mile basis.

But, as you point out, TCO includes all those things you have to do with an ICE/hybrid that you don't have to do with a Tesla. That more than compensates for more expensive road trips.

And, as I pointed out on another thread, our S70D with free unlimited Supercharging, the value of that car just increased.

RES IPSA | January 20, 2019

@RX... Yeah... SDGE is expensive for sure, but I have been able to make the TOU 5 plan work to my advantage.

My wife hates me, but I am strict when it comes to electricity use now. No appliances except for 12 am to 6 am weekdays and then 12 am to 2 pm weekends and holidays. If you have discipline and don't mind getting up at 12 am 2 nights a week to start the dryer and dishwasher, it is a good deal. I have saved about $40 a month so far over my bills last year, and that includes charging my car... twice as much electricity use yet $40 cheaper per month for my house. Come summer, I hope I can survive the 54 cents a kw/hr rate from 4 pm to 9 pm each day without AC.

It is guaranteed that SDGE will increase my rates once more EV owners take part

operationdoc | January 20, 2019

@sleepydoc1, don't act like it's smart to compare Civic/Prius to M3. Civic/Prius are <$25k starter cars. M3 is twice as much and a luxury vehicle. 1st smog check is required after 6 years for ICE vehicles and every 2 years then. Don't act like it's an every month event. Oil change is no more frequent then every 6 months. Dude, you must be drinking Kool-aid everyday.

CST | January 20, 2019

Model 3 is a premium vehicle, not a luxury car. Where do people come up with this crap?

leo33 | January 20, 2019

Maybe a stupid question, but I cannot find the pricing information in the car's navigation app. Touching on the marker in the map will show me the potential idle fees, but not price per kilowatt-hour (or hour depending on state). Where should I see it? Firmware version is 2018.50.

Tuning In | January 21, 2019

I'd gladly pay even 75 cents per kWh if it means short to no wait times for SuperChargers and the max charge rate, given that I use it to charge when I go on travels.

Free anything always perpetuates waste and over-consumption.

Magic 8 Ball | January 21, 2019

Wow! Interesting concept. Express SC's with higher rates.

dalesmith1962 | January 21, 2019

@CST "Model 3 is a premium vehicle, not a luxury car. Where do people come up with this crap?"

Luxury - an inessential, desirable item that is expensive or difficult to obtain

That describes a Model 3 as far as I'm concerned.

SteveWin1 | January 21, 2019

If I didn't have free unlimited supercharging, it would literally be more expensive to drive my Tesla than my F150 on long trips. Even WITH free supercharging its about $0.29/mi to drive my Tesla and about $0.30/mi to drive my F150 (depreciation is much higher for the Tesla) -- so its really close. If I had to pay for supercharging, I would be jumping into my F150 for road trips to save money. I would miss EAP, but at least I'd have Android Auto.

RES IPSA | January 21, 2019

The screen on my car lists the Qualcomm SD Supercharger at 36 cents a kw/hr. I hope that is not accurate as this supercharger has always been free for all Tesla vehicles. Hopefully Tesla just did not want to put "free" or "no cost" on the screen info

jamespompi | February 12, 2019

Based on the increased SC rates (the revised ones), if you use the Tesla trip calculator and plug in the actual national fuel average (2.27) Theres no actual fuel savings anymore

finman100 | February 12, 2019

why do so many people lie about these comparisons? wow. really? an F150 is more efficient for road trips. yeah, right.

Let's just use the cheapest gas anywhere versus the most expensive electrons anywhere and roll the numbers. (sarcasm).

I can't believe people don't care about breathing clean air. fuck. that is sad.

The EV revolution is going to be very hard on some individuals.

jamespompi | February 13, 2019

@finman100 I'm not lying.. I used the road trip calculator on Tesla's website and replaced the fuel cost it was using with the national average, not the lowest price. I just feel like these increases are making me lose the allure of taking my car on a road trip. Also feels like unlimited supercharging is being subsidized by pay per use customers given how many rate hikes have happened in less than a year.

Bighorn | February 13, 2019

That’s a different way to look at the early adopters! Thanks for all you do. /s

Teslanene | February 13, 2019

I’m thinking about going to Seattle next month from California. I thought about taking the M3 but gas savings is $200 compare to my ICE. Outside of CA gas is cheap, so I am leaning more towards my ICE. I still like the convenience of putting fuel anywhere and not have to worry about range or going out of my way to SC.

jimglas | February 13, 2019

Vroom vroom, have fun

RedPillSucks | February 13, 2019

When people calculate their cost of charging the M3 for trips are they factoring in that typically, the starting point where you've charged to 100% is NOT done at a supercharger, so it wouldn't incur high supercharger fees, whereas for an ICE car you have no choice but a gas station at whatever price it is.

jamespompi | February 13, 2019

@RedPillSucks Thats a good point, also the last road trip I took from FL to SC only charged me for about half of the SC's. not sure what caused it but I wasnt complaining. I stayed in Savannah, using the parking garage across the street was $10 less than the hotel and it had 4 destination chargers. If youre being aware of it, you can find free chargers all over. Still bums me out when I see the prices getting closer to gas.

patpeke | February 13, 2019

I don't use superchargers often, but do take long road trips every so often. If the condition of superchargers in Carlsbad and San Clemente are any indication, the increase in price was needed for pure maintenance alone- several of the SC units were damaged or broken. Frankly, pretty darned disappointing and sad to see them in such disrepair. Trying to call Tesla to report it was an exercise in futility. Is this a sign of a cash crunch at Tesla?

billtphotoman | February 14, 2019

I am with @Tuning In on this one. Plus, if the price of charging at SCs makes it profitable 3rd parties will step in and expand the options. For people who can't charge at home and currently rely on SCs, it might make sense for Tesla or a 3rd party to offer slower / less expensive (perhaps Urban SCs) targeted for those owners. Even 50kW can add a lot of range over a typical 1 hour lunch. As for apartment and condos claiming they need to "upgrade their electrical system", presumably the electrical systems in the older complexes were able to handle the increased electricity demands of older less efficient appliances and lighting. So, the extra capacity saved from switching to more efficient appliances, TVs and LED lighting could be used for 12 amp L1 charging which can add 60 miles of range every 12 hours.

SteveWin1 | February 14, 2019


Nobody is lying and you're a dick for assuming that I am. I spent a lot of time looking up KBB values at different miles for both vehicles so I could create a model for depreciation to add to the expected fuel and maintenance costs. I'm sorry if you don't like the results because you want to "breathe fresh air." I want to breath fresh air too, but that doesn't change the economics of the situation. If you want to live in la la land, and assume everyone that says something that you don't like is lying, then go right ahead. When I account for fuel, maintenance, and depreciation, it is slightly cheaper to drive my pickup truck, per mile. I have broken down the numbers on other threads, if you care to take look and then you can tell me if you think I did something incorrectly. I'd be happy to be proven wrong. I didn't want that to be the case, but that's what I came up with when I ran the numbers. But, I'm not lying, dick.

finman100 | February 14, 2019


bheck11 | February 14, 2019

One note for those comparing the cost of supercharging to that of fueling an ICE vehicle with gas. On a per mile basis, you need to fully load the cost to get a true comparison. That is, the cost per mile of driving a vehicle is *not* just the cost of fuel. You also need to factor in the costs of maintenance that is on a per mile basis. The obvious one is oil changes, but also includes things like air filters, cooling system maintenance, transmission maintenance, exhaust system maintenance, etc. -- anything that has a maintenance interval based on mileage. These costs may not be huge on a per mile basis, but they do exist.