Pay-as-you-go access to supercharging

Pay-as-you-go access to supercharging

Pay-as-you-go access to supercharging.
I hope this becomes an option as it will make it more like "buying what you need" as we now do with gasoline. I have heard some discussion that owners with unlimited access to supercharging tend to use it instead of other sources of electricity.
And of course there is the situation like mine where you will only need supercharging occasionally

JoeHarper | 2016年6月14日

Could not agree more with the above.

Red Sage ca us | 2016年6月14日

Could not disagree more with the above. Pay-as-you-go charging is available from third parties to support such wondrous vehicles as the Nissan LEAF and BMW i3. Very soon, pay-as-you-go charging will be available for those who buy the Chevrolet BOLT. Companies get the union they deserve. Electric cars get the charging system they deserve.

Drdpharris | 2016年6月14日

FYI There are many other threads exploring this topic, and we should not repeat the discussion here.

SamO | 2016年6月14日

There is no fee sufficient to subsidise thousands of charging spots: see the failures of Blink and Chargepoint

dsvick | 2016年6月14日

@Drdpharris - "There are many other threads exploring this topic, and we should not repeat the discussion here."

What about the trunk? Can we talk about that here? Or maybe supercharger access? :)

yongliangzhu68 | 2016年6月14日

Tesla must still be having a health debate since Musk has not announced yet. He has stated on June 1st: "Will post detailed description soon. I think it's a good balance." Hopefully it will be this week. However 'soon' could also be 3 months. :)

Haggy | 2016年6月14日

Tesla might not be able to sell electricity in many places if the state's PUC wants to regulate them as a public utility. While it's true that some people abuse the system and prefer to charge at superchargers, most people recognize that one of the big advantages of an EV is that you can charge from home at a low cost and don't waste your time. If you need to sit at a charger for an hour to save a couple of dollars, you'd be better off getting a minimum wage job and working an extra hour. If charging at home costs you a dollar a day, that's so much less than the cost of gasoline that I don't see why anybody would want to go to a supercharger, potentially several times a week.

Haggy | 2016年6月14日

Tesla might not be able to sell electricity in many places if the state's PUC wants to regulate them as a public utility. While it's true that some people abuse the system and prefer to charge at superchargers, most people recognize that one of the big advantages of an EV is that you can charge from home at a low cost and don't waste your time. If you need to sit at a charger for an hour to save a couple of dollars, you'd be better off getting a minimum wage job and working an extra hour. If charging at home costs you a dollar a day, that's so much less than the cost of gasoline that I don't see why anybody would want to go to a supercharger, potentially several times a week.

Rocky_H | 2016年6月14日

Good grief, not another thread on this!
@Tylerkinetics, Here, you can go amuse yourself by reading through the 9 pages of discussion / arguing on this exact topic and feel free to contribute there and delete this thread.

Oh, and for good measure, here is the 20 PAGES of arguing about it over on the TeslaMotorsClub forum.

Mark K | 2016年6月14日

This recurring theme suggests strong demand for a good resolution.

Synopsis of solution from other threads:

1. Ten Supercharges included free for all M3 buyers. (Trial size fixes EV dissonance, and sells the upgrade).

2. Unlimited travel access for $2K upgrade to base M3. Purchase anytime.

3. Access included with bigger battery. (Priced to make this combo the best deal).

4. Affordable financing option. $50 / mo for 48 months. Purchase anytime.

Rocky_H | 2016年6月15日

@Mark_K, You know how people can do $XX per month for XX months? Include the option in their car loan.

PhillyGal | 2016年6月15日

Dear everyone who wants pay per use charging, please visit

Electric Jen

Nexxus | 2016年6月16日


+1 Exactly!!

jordanrichard | 2016年6月16日

Tylerkinetics, with regard to people using the SC instead of other means, I think you have your information confused. What you are thinking of was an issue with a select group of people that were using chargers "local" to their homes, at an amount that Tesla considered "a lot", enough that raised suspicion for them. Those owners were sent letters as a friendly reminder of what the SC network's purpose was.

dachuyn | 2016年6月16日

Lets move closer to one of the SC stations and live there :-) You can stay in a cheap hotel 1 day a week to clean up yourself (and do whatever due), and camp out in your M3 6 days ... Remember to buy 24hr fitness lifetime package too...

Not sure if there is such thing like lifetime food package as well ...

SamO | 2016年6月16日

Great article @PhillyGal!. Well constructed, logical and compelling.


Way to construct a strawman. No scarecrows in sight.

finman100 | 2016年6月16日

thank you PG! nicely said.

I like the property taxes/schools comparison. It IS for the common good, this new-fangled system called sustainable transportation. WE are just getting started. It IS different (than buying gasoline), yet similar to current methods to get big things funded. THIS (Supercharger) is a big thing!

And the emphasis is, again, on the WE part. I drive a lot of public roads and enjoy a lot of public works. In our system, WE all pay up front for such things, so WE can live our lives, better.

Well, there are those pesky East Coast pay as u go toll roads that I traveled in PA whilst living in the capital city for a year-ish...

Go Tesla!

artC | 2016年6月16日

@PG +1

@finman +1. PS: I thought you lived in Portland. Am I wrong?

JayInJapan | 2016年6月16日

Thank you, @PG! You nailed it. There will be no pay-per-charge for Superchargers.

Red Sage ca us | 2016年6月17日

PhillyGal: +21! Excellent article! Here's my take on it all...

Pay Per Use – kWh: So many claim that they are somehow 'afraid' that Tesla Motors cannot possibly bear the 'burden' of paying for electricity for Superchargers. So, they want to 'pay their part' as a contribution. Because, even though Tesla Motors has repeatedly noted in SEC filings that the amount paid is so insignificant as to be of no concern, these people think it will somehow drive them to bankruptcy because of 'abuse'. Those people hope to stave off that happenstance by reversing the 'mistake' of 'FREE for LIFE!' Supercharger access by ensuring that Tesla Motors 'corners the market' on public charging to become 'The Next EXXON!' They expect Superchargers to become a source of regular income, and a primary profit center for Tesla Motors, instead of a constant drain on resources. That is a complete fallacy. If Tesla Motors were to charge enough for electricity (even by following regulations to become a utility) to make each charging session profitable, the amount it cost would be too high for any reasonable person to consider using at all.

Pay Per Use – Time: Another point is that Superchargers do not run at maximum speed all the time for every single car that plugs in... The State of Charge in the vehicle at the time that you start charging affects the charging rate. The weather conditions in the area may slow the amount of time it takes to fill the battery in cold areas, as the battery pack is warmed prior to charging. Superchargers are in 'A' and 'B' pairs, so if someone is already using one side, the other will be slower to start, and both cars will take longer to charge while both sides of the charging pair are in use. So you would end up being billed, or penalized, for arriving at a Supercharger when it was busy, even if you were not at fault, and were not 'abusing' the privilege.

Pay Per Use – Day: It astounds me that people want to use a 'Day Pass' system, just to further highlight their utter disgust with what Tesla Motors is trying to accomplish. Even taking the bus or subway using a Day Pass is a bad idea if you need it more than three days in a row. It is incredibly expensive, on purpose, as a reverse incentive meant to encourage getting a Monthly Pass (or simply buying a car) instead. If you were to opt for the Day Pass for Supercharger access, you would end up enjoying using the Superchargers, and driving a Tesla so much, you would end up getting the unlimited access anyway.

Limited Access - Buy a Car: With the purchase of a vehicle, you get limited access to the Supercharger network. Perhaps only for the original buyer -- and a fee applied to whomever buys the car used. Maybe for a limited time after purchase -- maybe 1-to-3 months or 2-to-4 years. Perhaps restricted only to use during a certain part of the day -- say, 7:00 pm to 7:00 am on weekdays, and 2:00 pm to 2:00 am on weekends.

Prepaid Access - FREE for LIFE: One way to look at it is by how much money you would spend to drive a given distance using gasoline. Here in Los Angeles, if a person happens to own a hybrid that manages 40 MPG even in this type of traffic, that is pretty awesome, even when gasoline costs $3.00 per gallon. If you happen to be one of those mythical beings whose driving habits fall within the statistical mean of 15,000 miles per year or less... Then you would be buying no more than 375 gallons per year, and paying at most $1,125 for the privilege. If you drive a bit more, around 25,000 miles per year, that is 625 gallons, and $1,875 per year. For anyone that rolls 35,000 miles or more per year, it becomes very interesting, at 875 gallons, and $2,625 per year. Under each of these parameters, I would be happy to pay up front for a 'FREE for LIFE!' plan, even if it were as much as $2,000 -- because that would amount to buying gasoline for maybe nine months of driving an ICE for me -- and every year thereafter of 'FREE' charging would just be extra special bonus gravy points.

bj | 2016年6月17日

Like everyone I have opinions on this matter and even expressed them a few times, but it's been done to death here in multiple threads. Telsa will tell us what they are going to do when they are ready to tell us. End of from me.

Tstolz | 2016年6月17日

This issue is complicated. The bottom line is Tesla will offer their customers what they can. If they can not for some reason continue to offer the pay up front 'free for life model' it will be because they can't figure out how to make it work for model 3.

Keep in mind this issue really isn't easy ... there are many, many factors to consider. The business model that Tesla must decide upon will need to consider each factor and its relative impact.

Only Tesla has the data to make an informed decision. I could see it go either way.

GCUK037 | 2016年6月17日

Red Sage ca us,
Re: Pay Per Use - kWh. How much would it cost per kWh? Naturally the cost will vary country to country.
I would personally like to prepay but via an account and thus I control how much I put in and I pay for what I consume. When the funds run out, I can't charge until I top up the account again.
Superchargers would be very handy for the long trips I do 6 + times per year = 12 trips there and back, plus the very occassional emergency top up. I intend to charge from home mostly, aided by my solar panels, but I will still need access to superchargers sometimes.
I'm wondering whether you're advocating a pay the fee up front at the point of purchase, or never use the supercharger network policy?
It would makes sense to allow all tesla owners to use it for their occassional needs as they're here and ready to be used. It's just figuring out how that's achievable for Tesla and they're customers in a fair way.
I'm happy to pay for what I use, but I may be reluctant to stump up a chunk of money upfront for unlimited access. You give kids the keys to the candy shop and they'll take as much as they can. You make them pay for what they consume and they'll be less frivolous.

finman100 | 2016年6月17日

Albany OR now, Harrisburg PA 2007. the East is nice. but the West is better!

artC | 2016年6月17日

"the East is nice. but the West is better!"
agreed! originally from NYC, now in Portland.

"I traveled in PA whilst living..."
Originally from... England?

carlk | 2016年6月18日

People who are against pay per use model overlooked one thing. It has been worked well for over a century in our fossil fuel filling stations. There is never shortage of gas stations wherever there is a demand. And there is rarely overcrowded stations since there will always be business willing to build more in the areas. Consumer's money does talk.

For the supercharger Tesla cleverly used the taxing each new car model to build the initial infrastructure. Soon as the network covers the basic need of everybody it is more efficient to go to the supply and demand pay as you go system. Just to build more stations/stalls where there are more demands to make more profit. The last I checked the capitalist free market system seems still serve us well. People who say I trust Tesla will build enough superchargers if we all pay the package in advance need only to look at the current SC situation, I mean the service center long wait situation or course. I don't want to accuse Tesla of not putting the best effort but again when it comes cost and profit for a business the profit part always win, or it will never lose. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just too naive.

topher | 2016年6月18日

Any common good is subject to the tragedy of the commons.
en dot wikipedia dot org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

Thank you kindly.

Maxxer | 2016年6月18日

I think there is advantages to both sides. Decide which side you're on and bash the others.
Human specific behavior

PhillyGal | 2016年6月18日

Thanks for all the compliments :)

joey | 2016年6月18日

One day...when ICE cars become the minority....service stations are going to put in chargers.

Being independent of Tesla...they will charge (pun intended).

They will vastly outnumber any amount of superchargers that Tesla owns....there are a lot of service stations. And while some will go out of business..many will do whatever it takes to get you to go to their station. And sit in their coffee shop. While filling up.

So no...I have no plans of buying into what will undoubtedly become a minority. If I feel the need to 'fill up' it will because I am going somewhere far. Otherwise I will plug in at home.

As electric cars become more and more will put in superchargers. In abundance. They want you to shop. And you are a captive audience....since you have to wait half an hour to fill up anyways.

Again....they wont be Tesla. They will be free. Or low cost (like parking).

I mean really...people act like its going to be Superchargers or nothing.

SamO | 2016年6月18日

We all understand how the Supercharging system currently works. Either you purchased a vehicle with a specific cost $2000 for Supercharging, or it is internally allocated by Tesla Motors.

So far the cost of constructing the network is clear.

What is the business case for pay per charge?

How much could it hope to generate with a fleet? At what rate?

Lay out your business model. It should be clear. Look around for another success in that market.

I'll wait.

Then, explain how they are doing it better than Tesla. Simpler. Faster.

I'll wait.

What is their business model for installing charging stations at businesses?

Tesla seems to be fine with giving away unlimited Destination Charging stations to any business with a pulse. That model seems to be working much better without trying to be a middleman in the power transaction.

Why isn't that unsustainable for those businesses?

I'll (continue to) wait.

carlk | 2016年6月18日


OK here you go. I'm pulling some arbitrary numbers so don't argue with me about details. I'm just showing you how this business model will work. You can always adjust details to make it to make the most business sense.

Let's say by the time M3 is ready to ship Tesla has completed the SC network that will be just enough to take care of all existing cars. And let's say an additional charging stall will cost $20K, at about $10 a day deppreciation, to build and could take care of charging need of 10 cars a day. And let's also assume it costs $5 electricity and maintenance to charge one car. Tesla could just build one additional charging stall, at existing SC location or a new location near by, whenever that area has an increased demand of 10 cars a day, and charge ~$8 for each of them to charge there. After paying the cost Tesla will make $20 a day, or $7K a year, profit. That should be enough to give Tesla all the incentive to build SC wherever there is a demand. Tesla owners will be assured of having an SC available whenever there is a need and at a cost that is a small fraction of filling a gas tank. I couldn't think of a better system that does not come with some drawbacks. Again you have to trust the free market system which always make the best balance between supply and demand.

Tstolz | 2016年6月18日

At this particular point in time there is no question Tesla's model is better IMHO. That said, the business case and consumer interest in pay per charge ... or block payments ... has been well articulated in these forums. As more EVs hit the road other business models become possible. This point will likely occur sometime after 2018.

Pay me now or pay me later. The cost to build the network is basically the same either way. The average cost to charge on the network is basically the same either way. Which model is more cost efficient for the network operator? Right now Teslas pay up front of course. Will it always be so? I doubt it.

dd.micsol | 2016年6月18日

Major weakness as pay as you go at the charger is security. No on is monitoring those chargers like a gas station. If you pay at the charger the probability of getting hacked/cracked/bypassed/tapped is 100 percent. I'll never ever use it while it isn't monitored by at least a security camera-preferably 4 for each station. The only way I would pay right now is by lifetime payment. One payment and done. I don't even want hear yearly payments. Security expenses is a huge risk and bill. If the java developer is their security IT department-there's a lot to be worried about.

carlk | 2016年6月18日

Hmmm.... you prepay your food, clothing, transportation, housing, education, Amazon purchase....once in your lifetime and use them forever too? I'm worried about it for you if you are not doing that.

topher | 2016年6月19日

"If you pay at the charger the probability of getting hacked/cracked/bypassed/tapped is 100 percent."

You must *hate* going to the ATM.

"At this particular point in time there is no question Tesla's model is better IMHO."

Tesla's current model must fail due to tragedy of the commons, and rational pricing. People who use more than average will pay the average, people who use less than average will not. Costs will increase and increasing the price will only make it worse. This is basic economics. This is why no other industry sells commodities at fixed one time prices.

yongliangzhu68 | 2016年6月19日

dd.micsol: The chargers are 'dumb'. All the charging info would be located in your Tesla's system. So if someone is able to hack your Tesla the amount of SC credits you have would be one of the least of your worries. I would say that your estimate of 100% chance of being hacked is over stated by well over 99.999%. :)

Tstolz | 2016年6月19日

@topher ... you are preaching to the choir man ... read my posts! I'm simply acknowledging that to get the Supercharging network up in the first place Tesla got it right. IMHO going forward paying for blocks of time/kW or similar may prove to be a superior model.

SamO | 2016年6月19日

So we wouldn't have the Supercharger with pay-per-charge, but as soon as we have a Network, we have to institute pay-per-charge, or the network is doomed. Do I have that right?


vp09 | 2016年6月19日

Electric Jen, well done!

Tstolz | 2016年6月19日

Actualy no Sam0 that's not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is that as long range EV density increases other business models become possible.

EV density wasn't there at the start ... so pay up front was the clearly the best option for Tesla. I am simply not so arrogant as to presume that Tesla's current model is the only and best model for EV charging forever .. or that Tesla will never modify it as times change and as more information becomes available. Like I've said before ... I can see it go either way.

That said my instinct tells me that pay as you go or by block will become the norm for high power DC charging and that we will pay for parking with access to power/chargers at parking lots and destinations in the long run. Cost to charge will be higher compared to home charging but less than gas.

carlk | 2016年6月19日

@SamO It's actually pretty simple. The initial network needs to be fiananced by mandatory funding from each car when there were not that many cars, especailly in certain areas of the country, that will pay to use it. This, however, is no longer the case when there are millions of car on the road in a few years. The challege then will be how to meet everyone of those millions need fairly and equitably not to mention meets Tesla's cash flow consideration. The free market system is always the best solution and what will best match the supply and demand.

dd.micsol | 2016年6月20日

So you guys have never been hacked by someone who walks by you with a card with a chip? I highly doubt it-you just don't know it yet. Is your computer encrypted? Better be. Do you have a level 3 firewall at home? I doubt it.
Are all your ports open on that home router? Probably. Even have issues with malware-I'm sure you have.
My security at home is top of the line. Security at these charging stations won't be even close to this if it is pay per charge. Seriously. I don't see any security positions or cisco positions on their website.

Tstolz | 2016年6月20日

... kind of like how security is such an issue for gas stations that use credit cards to pay at the pump you mean?

I doubt Tesla would use a credit card option if they ever went pay as you go ... maybe the future competing DC charging network would go that way I suppose ... Tesla would more likely just use software.

How about this ... you pay Tesla a $100 activation fee to enable Supercharging on your car ... you are then charged monthly for your usage at a fair rate on a credit card.

Pretty sure Tesla already tracks Supercharger usage data in fact so this should be doable ... and yes yes I know reselling electricity can be tricky in some jurisdictions ... the solution is either work it out with the utility or simply not resell the electricity ... sell time hooked in and balance the rate based on available power. That way you are selling a service .. not electrons.

carlk | 2016年6月20日

Really can't understand your concern. How do you pay all your purchases now? Sounds like a very strange reason to against pay as you go which is the way we do for pretty much everything in life.

Orland | 2016年6月20日

I think parts of the argument forgets how Tesla had planned and is still planning on rolling out/modifying the Super Charger network. The initial intent was that they are at least energy grid neutral - all charged via solar panels. Or to take a page out of the apple play book - you build enough solar capacity in other locations to make the usage of the electricity grid neutral at a minimum.

If that falls to plan or reasonably so, and the network is paid for by the "premium" attached to each car being purchased. And for a note - I think somewhere Elon stated the cost of each Super Charger station but I can't find his quote. I did locate an article indicating that for a 4 stall station you are running approximately $100k or about $25k per stall, which some rough approximate calculations mean at $2k charge per car - 13 cars would cover the initial cost per charger. This does not include any ongoing maintenance or power costs (if any, as these should have included solar panels).

http://insideevs .com/tech-crunch-what-it-takes-to-be-a-tesla-supercharger-partner/
https://www.quora .com/How-can-Tesla-afford-to-offer-drivers-free-charging-for-life

And from a business perspective he has been very vocal about not gouging the customer. He would rather charge a flat 20% markup all around, so what's the business reason for Tesla to start this type of charging. The more Supercharger stations they have the less reason anyone has to object to buying a EV because of "range anxiety", that's the real push. Once they've recouped initial deployment costs - this doesn't have to be a revenue generating segment of the business. It becomes more a marketing expense - You see the Tesla brand in all these locations.

Then factor in the locations of destination chargers vs superchargers and this seem significantly unlikely that Tesla would have a need to start charging in this manner for use of the network.

yongliangzhu68 | 2016年6月20日

dd.micsol: You are thinking some kind of 'old school'. There is no CC readers or hacking involved. Here is the way it could work.

1) You have an account with Tesla and you buy credits from an App or on-line.
2) The credits are downloaded to your Tesla.
3) When you visit a SC your Tesla knows how many/much access credits you have and allows you to use it that amount.

How is it possible to hack your credits unless you can get into your Tesla's operating system?

Red Sage ca us | 2016年6月20日

graemecobb037: Remember, my reply above was basically a comment on the options outlined in the Teslarati article by PhillyGal/ElectricJen that is linked above. Please read that article for a point of reference.

I believe the 'Pay Per Use - kWh' is the worst of all suggestions. It would cost TOO MUCH to the Consumer, and still wouldn't be worth the effort to Tesla Motors. A complete lose-lose proposition.

I will undoubtedly purchase a Model ☰ with the highest capacity battery pack in Performance trim. I expect that car will include 'FREE for LIFE!' Supercharger access by default. I am against pretty much all of the pay-per-use/billing/subscription options presented, because I see them as clunky, wasteful, and non-profitable. If there must be a fee to activate 'FREE for LIFE!' access to Superchargers for those who order a base Model ☰, I hope it is not more than $500 for the sake of affordability.

Rocky_H | 2016年6月20日

@carlk, Quote: "Really can't understand your concern. How do you pay all your purchases now? Sounds like a very strange reason to against pay as you go which is the way we do for pretty much everything in life."

That's because almost nothing else that people buy in life can be analogized to it. Almost everything else has a significant portion of the cost (usually most of it), in the ongoing actual selling of the item itself. So with those other things you mentioned: "food, clothing, transportation, housing, education" there is significant cost for each additional item or use. (Although apparently you are not familiar with pre-paid college plans that many states have.) Tesla has already said that the electricity costs are insignificant. So a better analogy would be like a water fountain that is provided to the public. A place may collect some money to get it built, but then they sure as heck aren't going to bother to try to charge people three fourths of a cent per cup or gulp of water that people take from it. It's not worth the effort or time.

Also, it's really cute that you only consider pay per metered use as "the free market system", but pre-paid is apparently not.

Badbot | 2016年6月20日

All of this is so scary. I'm going to go whittle some wooden nickels now.