Tesla has surprised – and disappointed – customers in Australia and across the world with a rise in the cost of its Supercharging network. In Australia, that puts the cost of Supercharging – for those who do not have a free pass – now at 52c/kWh, up from 42c/kWh previously.
Tesla has a growing network of Supercharging stations across the country, with some 42 stations built or “coming soon”, and it is already the most substantial of any EV charging network in Australia.
It is used mostly – but not exclusively – by Tesla owners travelling long distances. The advantage is that they charge the batteries quickly, at a rate of up to 150kW, depending on the car and the state of the battery.
Most Tesla owners use home charging for their regular top-ups, often with their own rooftop solar.
But some Superchargers in city and regional locations are regularly used by Tesla owners as their local top-ups, either because of a lack of charging options at home, or because they can access “free” charging under the terms of their purchase, or through referalls.
At the new rate, charging a Model 3 SR+ from near empty to its capacity of 50kWh would cost up to $25, although most only charge to around 80 per cent because the charging is slower from 80-100 per cent due to the battery chemistry. For a top of the range Tesla Model S, the cost of going from low to full would be around $50.
Tesla did not comment on the price rise, which was quietly announced on its web-site in the past week, but the Tesla Owners Club of Australia defended the rise and said that even at the rate of 52c per kWh it “makes for pretty cheap motoring.”
In a comment emailed to The Driven, the club said:
“At around 110kph a Tesla uses under 190Wh/km. That means more than 5km per kWh or under 10c per km. Using those numbers with a fossil car with fuel at $1.50 per litre it’s about 6.6l/100.
“The Supercharger network needs to expand, and to at least pay for some of its way. It’s for long distance travel and the price of electricity is around the same as peak rates – you pay for the convenience of high speed charging.
“Even then the cost is less than most pay at home during peak times, a little bit more than the average fixed home rate, but is still cheaper than most comparable fossil cars. Additionally, since in reality you only pay the peak rate for part of the trip, the EV is still significantly cheaper.”