I believe Tesla is working to change consumer behavior and promote home charging solutions
When introducing the program, Tesla said that it aimed to still make the cost of Supercharging cheaper than gasoline and that it doesn’t aim to make its Supercharger network a profit center. Instead, they want to use the money to keep growing the network which now consists of over 1,180 stations and close to 9,000 Superchargers.
But this week, the rates were updated across the US. Some states saw massive increases of as much as 100 percent – though most regions saw their rates increase by 20 to 40 percent. For example, Oregon saw an increase of $0.12 to $0.24 per kWh, while California, Tesla’s biggest market in the US, got an increase from $0.20 to $0.26 kWh and New York’s rate went from $0.19 to $0.24 per kWh.
We asked for Tesla to comment on the increase and a spokesperson sent us the following statement:
“We occasionally adjust rates to reflect current local electricity and usage. The overriding principle is that Supercharging will always remain significantly cheaper than gasoline, as we only aim to recover a portion of our costs while setting up a fair system for everyone. This will never be a profit center for Tesla.” The new rate can be seen on Tesla’s website here.
There is absolutely no reason for Model 3 owners to go nuts. As a supporter of electrification of transportation and a Tesla owner, I applaud Tesla for raising rates to cover cost while confirming charging will never make a profit. I want Tesla to succeed so I do not want to see supercharging cost become a permanent negative entry on the balance sheet. EVgo announced they were cutting prices for "fast charging" in several news articles posted yesterday. I find it interesting that their new lower rates are $0.18 to $0.21 per minute with $9.99 monthly fee (applied as credit towards charging, if you don't use it, you lose it). NOTICE, PER MINUTE, NOT PER kWh. EVgo further restricts charging for monthly subscribers to 45mins during peak and 60 mins off peak. If someone can share EVgo charging total kWh per minute that they have seen, please share with this thread. For my MX 100D, all Tesla SCs used when traveling have been 90kWh - 118kWh charging rates and I have charged for a max of 45mins per stop. Using the low of 90kWh over 45 mins, that averages to 2kWh per minute. I have only used Blink public charger at local mall while stopping for lunch just to see how well they work. I can tell you that the charge rate was 6kWh to 11kWh. After charging for about 1hour, it added at most, 8 miles and I was charged a little over $3 for three different times I tried this. EVgo at lowest rate for 60mins would be $10.80...question is, how many kWh will you get for 60mins? At home in S. CA, SCE highest rate is $0.35kWh, with taxes, fees, etc., plan on $0.40kWh. This thread gives Tesla new rate of $0.25kWh, that is still 60% lower compared to home charging rates. Local gas rates as of today are $3.79 per gallon. No matter how you do the math, new Tesla SC rates are a bargain and should be applauded by all EV supporters as the bench mark to use to compare all other EV charging networks and continue to demonstrate that electric far exceeds gas options for long term ownership. If you want to go nuts, go nuts knowing you made the right decision by purchasing Tesla. I say good job Tesla.
Two words: Demand charges. Comparing the retail price for residential electricity with the industrial price for EV chargers doesn't work, because utilities have extra costs associated with serving large loads. IE, they may need to rebuild their distribution lines, or dedicate some portion of an electrical substation's capacity to meed these needs. To cover these costs, utilities bill industrial customers based on the highest peak consumption during a month. IE, if a Supercharger charges one car at 120 kW once during a month then nothing afterwards, the utility charges both the cost of electricity per kWh plus the much larger demand charge for that 120 kW peak power consumption.
With some utilities, the demand charges may be a large multiple of the electricity costs. One EV charging network operator pointed out that in California without demand charges, a high speed charging location may need to handle ~60 visitors per week, even if the location was free and the equipment was installed on a government grant. With the demand charge added in, you might need up to 120 visits per week, in the worst utility's area.
Demand charges make EV charging an extremely expensive proposition, and it's very difficult for an EV charging network to cover their costs. None of this is obvious to people either, because almost all homes don't have a demand charge.