Tesla recently put the brakes on free supercharging for life for new Model S orders, limiting Teslas ordered after January 1 or delivered after April 1 of 2017. Most owners will still get plenty of free electricity, though, with a 400kWh yearly credit, and with electricity past that point still costing less than gasoline would.
The change of the program was presented only for the Model S and X, and Tesla didn’t want to elaborate on the Model 3.
But today in Tesla’s shareholder meeting for the SolarCity merger vote, Elon Musk was asked during the Q&A what would happen to Model 3 deposits with respect to Tesla’s recent supercharging announcement, since deposits came in before January 1 but cars will not be delivered before April 1.
Because of this, the Model 3 will not qualify for lifetime free supercharging, however in answering this question Mr. Musk stated:
Model 3, from the beginning we said free charging is not included in the Model 3 – free unlimited charging is not included, so, free long distance is, but not free local. It becomes really unwieldy for people to use the gas station approach for electric cars, like, cars should really be charged where you charge your phone, but then you just need to solve the long distance problem which is what the supercharger stations will do.
We suspect this means that they will be on a similar program to the Model S, with a certain kWh allowance per year – only perhaps with a lower limit as the Model 3 is expected to be a more efficient vehicle. Tesla has responded that they have nothing further to announce beyond what Elon said on stage.
You can see a video of the meeting with Q&A here. This answer starts about 15:30 into the video.
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