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Supercharging Hidden Charge for 60 kWh S's?

I found some red flags in the press release and Elon's presentation on the Supercharger. The question that is raised is this: Is the Supercharger hardware included in the price of the 60 kWh cars or not?

The press release has a footnote that says, " Supercharging hardware is standard on Model S vehicles equipped with an 85kWh battery and optional on Model S vehicles equipped with a 60 kWh battery." To read it yourself go to the press release and find the footnote about mid-page, just above the "About Model S" subheading. The link is:

http://www.teslamotors.com/about/press/releases/tesla-motors-launches-re...

In his presentation at the event Elon said, "For cars that have supercharger hardware installed, and that will be the case for the 85 kWh pack, and a small incremental charge for 60 kWh pack you'll be able to travel for free..."

Here's the link to the video. The quote starts at about 7'50" into the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgk5-eB9oTY&list=UU5WjFrtBdufl6CZojX3D8dQ...

I just signed my contract for a 60 kWh S yesterday, and I was counting on being able to take long trips that use the Supercharger. I hope that I misheard and misread. My Tesla configuration rep. is looking into the discrepancy, as it didn't make sense to him either.

By the way, I have strong confidence in Tesla and bought my first TSLA stock on today's dip.

Stu B
#P4562

I just had to hand over $1,000 dollars for Super Charger and it would have been 2,000 if I had not asked for a 60Kwh battery in the first place, lucky me. So much for FREE. This is not good, that did not handle this right.

In The Revenge of the Electric Car, there is a scene where Elon pleads with Roadster purchasers to accept a hefty price increase. The increase was necessary because the cars were costing more than Elon had anticipated.

This is deja-vu. Tesla has downgraded the number of deliveries for 2012 and hence a hefty reduction in cash in-flow to Tesla Motors. Tesla has renegotiated the repayment of the DOE loan and is also selling more stocks to raise cash. Elon has said that the next six months is critical to the survival of Tesla.

If we cancel on-mass, Tesla will stop "nickel-and-diming" us to death.

Georges mail ignores the fact that the web said included, and my signed contract says included. Thought we had a deal.

Georges mail ignores the fact that the web said included, and my signed contract says included. Thought we had a deal.

Supercharging on the 60kwh is about as optional as the right rear wheel. What will the decision to forego this option do to resale?

"If we cancel on-mass, Tesla will stop "nickel-and-diming" us to death."

Yeah, that's because if we cancel en mass, there will be no Tesla to nickel and dime us, and no Model S either.

I think this is a big PR blunder on Tesla's part, but not one that deserves the death penalty!

I share the profound disappointment regarding this announcement. Many of us are thrilled that Tesla has managed to design, build, and deliver a phenomenal car ex nihilo. Anyone who has driven the car will realize that the Model S has the potential to radically change the driving experience. I came away from the test drive with a feeling of euphoria that has turned me into a proselytizer for Tesla.
The $1000 up charge for supercharging is a stunning miscalculation. Tesla depends on the goodwill of early adopters to provide a level of enthusiastic support that cannot be achieved simply through positive reviews and advertising. This announcement will take the wind out the sails of many ardent supporters.
I suspect that the majority of those who chose the 60 kWh battery are stretching to justify the cost of this car (otherwise they would have purchased the 85 kWh battery.) That includes those like myself, who have made lapidary calculations on the cost of various options and what monthly payment we can realistically afford to arrive at this configuration. Adding $1000 to the bottom line (before tax) is of course affordable for someone willing to pay this much for a car, but represents an unexpected shock. And saying that it is "half off" is insulting.
I hope that Tesla will rethink this decision and exclaim "mea culpa!" Perhaps we will get an Apple-like apology that was issued today regarding the iOS Map app.
Tesla would do well to calculate the ill-will that they have engendered with this move.

I think they are making a mistake if they don't grandfather everyone who'd reserved before the change on the website. I'm getting the 85kwh battery anyway, so it doesn't affect me personally, but based on what I'd read on the Tesla site (and I've read every word more than once) it seemed obvious to me that supercharging was included with the 60kwh battery.

They need to back peddle quick.

Did everyone think it would be free though? I remember reading discussions about how much it would cost for each super charge. Well it's just an upfront payment now it seems. It costs me about 100 to fill up now so that's 10 tanks of gas. Hardly expensive compared to a lifetime of charges.

@Michael23: Point taken, I guess I hadn't thought much about what, if anything, it would cost at the "pump".

Tesla's position seems less unreasonable with that in mind. They never discussed what the cost of filling up via supercharger would be, nor certainly did they promise that it would be free to anyone, let alone everyone.

alfafoxtrot1 | SEPTEMBER 28, 2012
Supercharging on the 60kwh is about as optional as the right rear wheel. What will the decision to forego this option do to resale?

If their assertion that supercharging can't be enabled after delivery is true then you're right. But I don't see why you couldn't add supercharger access anytime later at a service center as long as the physical hardware is already built in...?

$2k to occasionally use the supercharger is absurd. I mean, how many long road trips are you going to take with your S? The network won't be ready for YEARS.

They know the most popular model will be the 60kwh. They're just using them to fund the supercharger network deployment.

When I put the deposit for the S, I knew there was going to be extra charge for the access. But then it said it was included so that was a pleasant surprise. But now at $2k option is just plain rip off.

Tesla will not survive if pieces start falling apart. It starts with rip off options, then leading to limited use due to range, then poor customer satisfactions. Add eventual disappearance of 7500 federal tax credit and sales tax (WA) exemption, all of a sudden, a model s is seriously expensive.

Be warned tesla, this is a slippery slope.

jackyche | SEPTEMBER 28, 2012
$2k to occasionally use the supercharger is absurd. I mean, how many long road trips are you going to take with your S? The network won't be ready for YEARS

Not really, there are already 6 in place and lots more within 1-2 years. Life of the car will be much longer (I hope...)

They know the most popular model will be the 60kwh.

How do they "know" that? How do you "know" that? My assumption is that the 85kwh battery will be the most popular, and would have even before the recent announcement about supercharger option pricing for the 60kwh model.

They're just using them to fund the supercharger network deployment.

Evidence? Or do you just like conspiracy theories? I'm particularly fond of the one saying we never went to the moon.

When I put the deposit for the S, I knew there was going to be extra charge for the access. But then it said it was included so that was a pleasant surprise. But now at $2k option is just plain rip off..

Here's where I think you're justified in being pissed off. To me it now makes sense, but Tesla definitely mismanaged expectations for supercharging with the 60kwh battery models. They should definitely enable it at no extra charge for everyone who's already signed their paperwork, or otherwise already locked in the 60kwh battery. For any reservations made after the change went up on the site, the $2k option is fine.

It can be spun many ways.

As "go tesla chicago" stated above.

We can now consider the 85kw option an $8000 upgrade instead of $10,000

I had always imagined my 60kwh Model S would have an enabled supercharger that would allow me to use the supercharger station AT A REASONABLE PER USAGE COST. This would be a much more appropriate way to handle this issue. Most of us will not use the supercharging network that often, unless they become as ubiquitous as gas stations and I do not believe that will be the case for many many years. We are stuck buying something we do not need for a price we can never recoup. We are stuck buying it because it will be necessary for resale value. The price is frankly outrageous. Very disappointed in Tesla and am leaning towards cancelling my reservation.

If you cancel over this, I suspect you'd regret it in a couple days. I'd be happy because it would probably put me further up in line though, so go for it.

Not great to go from TBD to Included to $2000. But still a great car.

Now I will possibly upgrade to 85kw as the supercharging is included in the 10k extra. Also happy to move further up in line if anyone chooses to cancel.

The thing that is even more ridiculous is that Tesla is forcing 60kwh to lock in supercharger access, prior to delivery. If the hardware is built in and it is merely a software issue to unlock the supercharge capability; why can't Tesla offer this as a future upgrade? This would circumvent the resale argument. These added costs after patrons are required to lock in, is getting ridiculous. What makes this even worse are the horrible responses from Tesla corporate. Tesla should just be honest, it always works. People will be angry but they will understand. It seems as if Tesla feels that they are doing customers a favor by allowing people to purchase their cars. Recipe for disaster.

I would like to go from Seattle to Vancouver and back with only one recharge. And I do this once every couple of months.

There's no way I'd pay $2k for this. I'll just drive my ICE. No big deal, its not like my ICE is a clunker or anything.

Which means I just tell my friends my tesla sucks and can't make the trip.

Regardless, when I get my time to build your tesla email, I'll either defer or cancel all together. Its just not worth it to be an early adopter if it means getting screwed left and right.

Yes tesla.mrspaghet, you'll get yours a little bit early. And if enough people do this, you'll get your really early. And then Tesla itself won't survive and you'll be driving a classic.

Hi everyone,

Let me explain a little further. Mark posted my response to him so I won’t duplicate the post. Thanks Mark, your posting is appreciated. Here is a bit more detail on the subject. The equipment we are using to Supercharge is significant, and took a lot of coordination with local utilities to deliver and activate. All utilities have been very cooperative, and many expedited things for us to make last Monday night happen. But to say the least, it was a very last minute rush to get everything in place. We also didn’t have firm “usage fees” locked down with the utilities that supply the electricity until very recently. It turns out that not only do we have to pay for metered usage, but because of the type of service, in many cases there is a “first usage” fee each month that is quite significant. We have been working thru all these costs and logistics for months.

As I said to Mark, there is nothing hidden going on here. We had hoped to announce the Supercharger network in July. It was impossible to do so. We had to delay the launch until September because there were too many unknowns. We didn’t finalize all the moving parts about pricing until late last night while I was in Boston.

What we always wanted to do was keep Supercharging access easy and the usage fee to a minimum. We also wanted to move the system towards solar. And while all of this was going on, we wanted to make sure to keep options open for everyone who was configuring their car throughout the process. In order to do so, we made the decision to include the necessary hardware in all cars that were being built. This would give everyone the exact same option today as they had in July.

If we had launched in July, the prices for Supercharging would have been:

85 kWh No charge
60 kWh $2000
40 kWh Not available

Those are the exact prices today, except for those who have configured their car already with 60 kWh batteries. For them it is $1,000.

We discussed internally lots of options for pricing over the past 4 months. Some included an activation fee plus pay-as-you-go fees. But pay-as-you-go fees would require some sort of password, special key or credit card debit arrangement. We did not want to do that. We seriously considered at least 6 or 7 optional payment alternatives, but eventually circled back to keeping it simple… keeping it standard on the 85 kWh cars, and having it as an optional one-time fee when the car is built on 60 kWh cars. Then we wrestled thru a series of other details:

Should the access be free and unlimited, or should it be free for a few years and then have an annual fee…we opted for free and unlimited.

Can it be passed on to a future owner – we decided yes. Should the new owner have to pay an activation fee even though access is free – we decided no. We felt as though these two decisions would increase the value of your Model S.

We went thru a whole series of these scenarios, but ultimately ended up with as simple a solution as we could find. And all this was finalized in the last week.

We also considered what would happen today when we made this announcement. We were pretty sure there would be questions about the language on the Options & Pricing page, the Design Studio and the MVPA. They all said “hardware” and some said “software” would be included in the car. None of them said access was included. It would have been much easier today to go the less controversial “pay-as-you-go” route. There would have been no question about the language to date. We also considered a “per visit fee” that would also have been less controversial. But when we weighed those options, and the need to use a credit card every time you Supercharge, or the need to have a “special key” or “password” to enable the unit each time, we just visualized people out on the road who forgot their password or key, and we just didn’t think that was the right way to go. We really wanted to keep it free, easy, and unlimited. So we felt it was better to go forward with it as “an option” for those who want to consider it, but keep the plan we think is best in the long run, is easy to use, and unlimited.

When the time came to announce the finalized plan, we wanted to acknowledge those who had already configured. Our goal all along was to make sure they had the same option today as they would have had no matter when they finalized their order. We accomplished that by including the necessary hardware and software in their car, but then we decided to do something additional for them. While it may not be viewed that way, that is why we have offered them the option to enable Supercharging for $1,000 vs $2,000. Simultaneously with the announcement today, we sent emails to everyone who has configured a 60 kWh car giving them the option to enable access for $1,000, while also answering a series of questions we thought they might have. We are also individually calling a few customers who have paperwork in hand for a 60 kWh Model S but did not finalize their paperwork this week. We are offering them the $1,000 option as well. We began making these calls at the exact same time as the announcement was released and the emails went out.

To wrap this up, we have tried to keep use of the system simple, we have made it unlimited and transferable, and we wanted to do something extra for those who configured early without full details. That’s how we got to today.

There were also a few references in this thread to other things that have not been announced. It is certainly not that way by desire. Connectivity was mentioned. We have not announced details on this because we are still working on the rates from various carriers. If we had announced the plan two months ago, it would have been more expensive than if we announced it today. We have also been working to simplify a very viable connectivity solution that, if chosen today, would be less expensive, but a pain in the butt to execute. We are trying to enable another way to use this method in a simple way, but we want to make sure we can do it before making an announcement about it. We are actively working on connectivity every day to try and get the most cost effective functionality that is easy to use. We will announce the options when we feel we have the best outcome and pricing possible for our customers. We are also working on an extended warranty, pre-paid battery replacement options, and road hazard insurance. None are ready to be announced, but all are being actively worked on. We will announce them when, and if, we are satisfied with the program details.

I hope this helps explain a little about what we are doing. While it may not seem so, we are doing a lot of things everyday that are focused specifically on ease of use and minimizing cost for every Model S owner. We will continue to do so.

GeorgeB

jackyche | SEPTEMBER 28, 2012
I would like to go from Seattle to Vancouver and back with only one recharge. And I do this once every couple of months.

There's no way I'd pay $2k for this. I'll just drive my ICE. No big deal, its not like my ICE is a clunker or anything.

Which means I just tell my friends my tesla sucks and can't make the trip.

Or you could just tell them the truth, which is that you didn't pay for the option. You could honestly make that complaint about any other electric car though, since none have options you can buy to make them not suck.

Regardless, when I get my time to build your tesla email, I'll either defer or cancel all together. Its just not worth it to be an early adopter if it means getting screwed left and right.

Doubt it. Right now you're pissed off but by then you will remember that the reasons you put down your deposit in the first place have not changed. If I'm wrong, good for me, I get my car sooner.

Yes tesla.mrspaghet, you'll get yours a little bit early. And if enough people do this, you'll get your really early. And then Tesla itself won't survive and you'll be driving a classic.

See my comment above. Most people won't cancel their orders for the same reason.

Jackyche,if you do that trips 6 times per year and use a supercharger at no other times and keep your car for 10 years then you are paying $33 of today's dollars per charge, that seems pretty reasonable to me.

I think it is a terrible PR move by Tesla to try and add in a charge after having announced it would be included, particularly for those have locked in a vehicle based on that information. However had they never announced it was free it is almost exactly what I expected the option it would cost. Also remember until less then a week ago it was widely expected the supercharges themselves would be paid for, all in all I think the costs are more then reasonable, I just think the PR of the announcements is the issue.

Thanks George. I think most people will recognize that, like it or not, we are very much early adopters and many things are still in flux. I'm guessing that anyone who cancels at this point is unrealistic in their expectations of perfect order, perfect planning and omniscience in every detail of a groundbreaking product.

Dear George,

I strongly believe that you are trying to do the best you can for all of us. But the " under promise over deliver, and put a smile on your face" things just don't seems to work out!

For trust and understanding we need information at the right moment not afterwards.

There are just to much moving targets at the moment. The SC event could have been fantastic, read what happens, you can not be smiling about it!

I'm no rocket scientist, but geeze, whats with this not wanting a card to lose on the road? Ever see chargepoint? A smartcard unlocks the pump. Or you can unlock it from your phone. Charges to your account go to a linked bank account you set up once. But tesla guys, did you ever consider waving your car key at it? Its got a unique id.

You likley to lose that on the road? I think not. Free idea. Have fun.

The takeaway from George's response is that Tesla have told their customers that 'supercharger hardware' is included, and have left it for them to somehow figure out that 'supercharger access' is excluded.

In The Netherlands we would say "they have made their customers happy with a dead sparrow".

Expectactions do matter.

Thanks for the response George.

I have been a huge fan of Tesla since the beginning and have been planning for this moment for 4 years. I have always appreciated your honesty and the integrity of the company. I can't speak for everyone else here but this time your explanation does not instill trust or confidence that Tesla will always be there for their customers. As others have pointed out, this is a PR gaffe.

I understand there are cost associated with establishing the network but Elon had already stated the stations were "cheap" to set up. The electricity is also partly subsidized by the sun - free electricity. So you set expectations that this would be included and free for customers. That was genius because it resulted in me upgrading my configuration and spending more money than I planned! Now I just feel deceived. It would have been better to set expectations in the beginning with at least an expected "range" of cost for supercharger access. Based on what you've said here, you could have at least done that in'p July. I'm also sure you realize that most of those here are intelligent enough to be offended by the argument that 'saying HW and SW is included doesn't mean access is included'.

I personally am now forced to re-evaluate my options and select a configuration that is over $13,000 less than I was willing to sign up before this announcement. Surely I can't be alone and this can't be the result Tesla was looking for.

Please make this right.

seems to me that the one thing they did wrong was change TBD to included on the SC hardware and software. There s no need to do that before they worked it out, especially since the 60 kwh cars won't be delivered for some time.

Definitely not cool. I'm a P85, but there is principle at play here. See comments under separate thread.

Sh*t happens. Not ideal from a PR point of view but $2K for lifetime access to the supercharger network doesn't seem unreasonable to me. Tesla has one of the most impressive products (of any sort) on the market but they are a startup. Treat them and expect to be treated as such.
Alastair


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