Tesla Owners Gripe Over Supercharger Abuse Warning

Tesla owners are a unique lot as they have the privilege of driving an extended-range electric vehicle in addition to having access to free supercharging stations across the country, indeed around the world. Those stations are typically located in shopping centers near major highways connecting cities.

Last week, Tesla Motors fired off an email to an undisclosed number of owners, asking them to stop abusing the free network. Apparently, Tesla discovered that some Model S owners are recharging at the quick charging stations instead of recharging at home. The email did not sit well with a number of recipients, including some who took to the private Tesla Motors Club forum to share their outrage.

Tesla Model S Owners Object

Several of the recipients voiced their objections, particularly as they believed that they were being singled out by the automaker. Some claimed that they do use the network, except while taking extended road trips.

Tesla Supercharger

A Tesla supercharging station in Burlington, NC.

This was not the first time that the company broached the subject of supercharger station abuse. A thread in the same forum posted this past June said that CEO Elon Musk himself raised the topic at a shareholder meeting. The forum member claimed that Musk explained that some people use the supercharger station for their daily driving. As a result, they would receive a note asking them to stop.

Auto Trends obtained a copy of the note from one recipient whereby the company reiterated the network’s purpose and articulated that the EVs should be regularly charged at home. Further, the company offered a juxtaposition for the cost of charging at home, stating that it cost less than $2 to charge at home for a 40-mile daily trip. The note also explained that in some cases the rate is halved when electric customers choose to charge during off-peak hours.

The snippet of language that caused the most upset for Tesla owners was the following statement: “As a frequent user of local Superchargers, we ask that you decrease your local Supercharging and promptly move your Model S once charging is complete.” This particular statement seemed to elicit the most umbrage, leading to major publications, including Bloomberg and Automotive News to share the story.

Free Supercharging for Life

While most recipients and commentators expressed annoyance over the issue, others claimed that the supercharger network was bought and paid for as part of the ownership experience.

Others recall Musk stating “free supercharging for life” in meetings, according to Green Car Reports. Furthermore, the company states on its supercharging web page, “Supercharging is free for the life of Model S, once the Supercharger option is enabled.”

Tesla Supercharger StationAs far as restrictions on the number of times an owner can use the network, nothing of the kind is mentioned.

Common Stock Offering

Whatever push-back comes from the announcement, the brouhaha will probably fade away, disgruntled Tesla Model S owners may be or not. The company has far more weightier matters at hand, including a pending stock offering and a new model, the Tesla Model X.

Concerning finances, Musk announced a $500 million common stock offering last week, then quickly boosted that figure by more than $140 million as its stock price rose. The new offering might top $750 million if the offering’s underwriters opt to purchase shares too reports the Wall Street Journal.

Since 2013, Tesla Motors has raised more than $4 billion to pay for product development, to institute the supercharger network and break ground for a new assembly plant.

Tesla Model X

As for the Tesla Model X, the company’s first crossover SUV with standard all-wheel drive and Falco Wing rear doors is expected to be officially revealed in September with production commencing early next year. The Model X has been much delayed, but it is also a wildly anticipated electric vehicle at that.

Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.

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