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Supercharger costs, and is Tesla taking advantage of us?

TOFLYIN

Member
May 22, 2018
63
105
Toronto
So first off, I think the supercharger network was genius. Best way to remove range anxiety from the purchase of a car decision. And I even understand the removal of free supercharging. You can't expect something for free for ever. It was a lost leader to start with. Now I know in Ontario and many other places you cannot resell electricity. So the only way around that is charge by the hour (or minute). Great. I am with them so far. My problem is the superchargers like the one at Sherway Gardens that are restricted to 70 Kw. That seems like a cash grab to me. Charging the same for 70 Kw as 120 Kw. If a gas station charged the same to fill up a Kia as it did a Ford F150 people would freak. Make no mistake about it, the superchargers make a lot of money for Tesla, especially since the charge the same amount during peak hours as they do off peak (evenings and weekends). In Ontario if they are not using time of use the commercial rate including a delivery fees etc come to 11 cents Kw. Even if you got the 120 Kw for the entire time (and you don't) that would cost Tesla $13.20 hr and they charge $24 an hour. In reality their profit margin is well above 100%. Time of use commercial is even better for off peak, the rates are 6.5 - 13.2 cents Kw.

So my point is, if they have to restrict the power to less than 120 Kw, presumably due to available power, they should either install less chargers to get the 120 Kw rate, or better yet restrict the chargers to 60 Kw, and only charge the 20 cents per hour. Or allow us to set the charge rate when we connect to a supercharger. If I am not in a rush, and the superchargers are not busy I would have no problem with picking 60 Kw as a charge rate as the most cost effective. They could run it like the idle fees, if more than 80% of the chargers are in use it overrides the charge rate to the highest available.

My 2 cents (or 4 cents if you read fast)
 
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5_+JqckQttqck

Active Member
Apr 27, 2018
1,851
1,405
Toronto
It should be by the kW but our laws prevent selling it by the unit. It's something to do with our multiple delivery/suppliers that exist (for profit) in Ontario.

Every time I've charge, 120kW doesn't last long as the BMS will taper down to prevent thermal run away in the battery pack. You might get it for a few minutes at most. Most charging trips last for 20 minutes and cost no more than $8 CAD.

It would be great if they allowed users to set the charge rate to skit around the 40c/min :)
 
Looking around other DC fast chargers in my area run at 30-50kW and charge flat rate of $16.95, and are in use less than 1% of the time. I think they used to charge $25/h but guess they realized no one was going to pay so much. I've use superchargers 12 times and only once have I paid more than $16.95, and that was when I tried supercharging to 100% (wanted to get to destination without stopping again), or else it would have been much less. Haven't used a 72kW supercharger though.

(Edit: Also most of the other DC fast chargers are 30kW and have the option of doing $3.95 + $0.16 per minute, instead of the $16.95 flat rate).
 
Last edited:

darkenergy

Member
Apr 13, 2018
270
232
Canada
Looking around other DC fast chargers in my area run at 30-50kW and charge flat rate of $16.95, and are in use less than 1% of the time. I think they used to charge $25/h but guess they realized no one was going to pay so much. I've use superchargers 12 times and only once have I paid more than $16.95, and that was when I tried supercharging to 100% (wanted to get to destination without stopping again), or else it would have been much less. Haven't used a 72kW supercharger though.

(Edit: Also most of the other DC fast chargers are 30kW and have the option of doing $3.95 + $0.16 per minute, instead of the $16.95 flat rate).


We spent about $9.20 USD at a 74kW charge level to get our 3 up to about 70%. Seemed reasonable to me, especially wrt gasoline.

We also did about the same in CAD at 114kW rate to do about 80% in much less time. So if you aren't shopping that could be good.


My guess is that Tesla knows that people vastly prefer the high rates, but sometimes it isn't practical because of the location.

Also, don't forget that if you are adjacent to another car at the supercharger your charge rate is split between the two cars. Spread out!
 
I've noticed limited rates at some stalls in the US and Canada actually and whenever I see something odd, say sub 60kW when I'm the only one there, in many cases all I had to do was move and the rate would go substantially higher. I've also been adding notes to Plugshare for others (e.g. avoid stall 1B) so hopefully people have been able to steer clear of some of the stalls that don't seem to be charging at the expected rate.

Seems to be pretty random but something must be preventing specific stalls to charge at their full potential. Every time I've moved it was within 30 seconds or so, thus I don't believe it was a problem with my SoC or battery temp.
 

TexasEV

Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2013
7,650
8,914
Austin, TX
Also, don't forget that if you are adjacent to another car at the supercharger your charge rate is split between the two cars. Spread out!
No, the charge rate is split between the two paired chargers. That could be the car to your right, the car to your left, or the car halfway down the row. You have to look at the stall labels. Some are arranged 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, etc. and some are arranged 1A, 2A, 3A, etc., 1B, 2B, 3B, etc.
 
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ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
4,282
Buford, GA
So first off, I think the supercharger network was genius. Best way to remove range anxiety from the purchase of a car decision. And I even understand the removal of free supercharging. You can't expect something for free for ever. It was a lost leader to start with. Now I know in Ontario and many other places you cannot resell electricity. So the only way around that is charge by the hour (or minute). Great. I am with them so far. My problem is the superchargers like the one at Sherway Gardens that are restricted to 70 Kw. That seems like a cash grab to me. Charging the same for 70 Kw as 120 Kw. If a gas station charged the same to fill up a Kia as it did a Ford F150 people would freak. Make no mistake about it, the superchargers make a lot of money for Tesla, especially since the charge the same amount during peak hours as they do off peak (evenings and weekends). In Ontario if they are not using time of use the commercial rate including a delivery fees etc come to 11 cents Kw. Even if you got the 120 Kw for the entire time (and you don't) that would cost Tesla $13.20 hr and they charge $24 an hour. In reality their profit margin is well above 100%. Time of use commercial is even better for off peak, the rates are 6.5 - 13.2 cents Kw.

So my point is, if they have to restrict the power to less than 120 Kw, presumably due to available power, they should either install less chargers to get the 120 Kw rate, or better yet restrict the chargers to 60 Kw, and only charge the 20 cents per hour. Or allow us to set the charge rate when we connect to a supercharger. If I am not in a rush, and the superchargers are not busy I would have no problem with picking 60 Kw as a charge rate as the most cost effective. They could run it like the idle fees, if more than 80% of the chargers are in use it overrides the charge rate to the highest available.

My 2 cents (or 4 cents if you read fast)

First, let's take off your blinders and look outside of your specific Supercharger. In many states, charging is based upon the charging speed. For my state, Georgia, it is the following
$0.22 per minute above 60 kW
$0.11 per minute at or below 60 kW
There are locations which are charged per time
Tesla believes that owners should pay for energy delivered to the vehicle and therefore we price the service on a per kilowatt-hour (kWh) basis for the global network. In some regions, regulations and requirements make it difficult for companies that are not utilities to sell electricity for vehicle charging per kWh. In these places, we offer the Supercharger service at a per minute price, with two tiers to account for the dynamic charge rate.
So it sounds as if you might be in one of those locations.

Next, how much do you think that energy costs? Remember, Tesla doesn't pay the same rate as you do, they pay commercial rates and they have to have some relatively high power connections, much more like a large factory, than a small mom and pop.

What about the cost of the Supercharger, the installation, and even the ground that it sits on? If a Supercharger were to only cost $100,000, and as you've noted, the cost of energy is 50% of the cost of charging, then with 100 cars charging a day @ $10 per charge, then $100,000 / $5 = 20,000 charges. 20,000 / 100 chargers is a payback of 200 days. But I'm sure that you'd expect that cost of a Supercharger to be more than that and that very few Superchargers are currently charging 100 cars per day. Move it to 10 cars per day and that's now over 5 years before Tesla breaks even. You know, they aren't a charity.

Let's get in any other EV and see what the charging rate it. Looking at one of the Canadian Tire Gas in Richmond Hill, I can charge at the DC Fast Charger at 50 kW at a cost of $20/hr. For a 60 kW charge, that would be about $24.

BTW, go buy a hamburger, a sweater, or about anything else. It is pretty much the rule that resellers mark things up by 50%


Heck, Toronto currently has 7 Superchargers, with 9 more showing as coming. In Atlanta, we've got 5 with only 5 more coming. Just be glad that you have great access to Superchargers.

BEST SOLUTION for you. CHARGE AT HOME and beat Tesla grand plan to defeat you by charging too much for charging.
(BTW, how many HP printer cartridges have you bought that had $0.10 of ink in them)
 
My thoughts on supercharger pricing...

What I believe about Tesla's pricing/charge cost, motives, etc is a distant concern. My primary concern is the availability of a charging station when I arrive to charge and the distribution of supercharging locations. As long as there is a charging station/spot available, I am going to be happy.

-20º C (-4ºF), arriving with 18% to all stalls full and seeing the message on the screen that says "Hey, it's too cold, you want to charge now..." isn't a very comforting feeling.

Yes, I can park nearby, walk to a nearby restaurant and come back in 20-30 mins...

IF Tesla is making a profit on supercharging and that drives/funds them to build more superchargers, I do not have an issue with it.
Tesla, please please build more supercharging locations, increase the # of superchargers at a given location (I'm looking at you Kingston, ON) and shut up and take my money (not really the last part, but the joke doesn't work otherwise).

On a side note... If Tesla can figure out how to get my Model 3 to charge at 240kW (double the max now), they're welcome to bill me at twice (or more) the current rate.
 
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mociaf9

Active Member
Oct 18, 2018
3,046
6,348
CA
So first off, I think the supercharger network was genius. Best way to remove range anxiety from the purchase of a car decision. And I even understand the removal of free supercharging. You can't expect something for free for ever. It was a lost leader to start with. Now I know in Ontario and many other places you cannot resell electricity. So the only way around that is charge by the hour (or minute). Great. I am with them so far. My problem is the superchargers like the one at Sherway Gardens that are restricted to 70 Kw. That seems like a cash grab to me. Charging the same for 70 Kw as 120 Kw. If a gas station charged the same to fill up a Kia as it did a Ford F150 people would freak. Make no mistake about it, the superchargers make a lot of money for Tesla, especially since the charge the same amount during peak hours as they do off peak (evenings and weekends). In Ontario if they are not using time of use the commercial rate including a delivery fees etc come to 11 cents Kw. Even if you got the 120 Kw for the entire time (and you don't) that would cost Tesla $13.20 hr and they charge $24 an hour. In reality their profit margin is well above 100%. Time of use commercial is even better for off peak, the rates are 6.5 - 13.2 cents Kw.

So my point is, if they have to restrict the power to less than 120 Kw, presumably due to available power, they should either install less chargers to get the 120 Kw rate, or better yet restrict the chargers to 60 Kw, and only charge the 20 cents per hour. Or allow us to set the charge rate when we connect to a supercharger. If I am not in a rush, and the superchargers are not busy I would have no problem with picking 60 Kw as a charge rate as the most cost effective. They could run it like the idle fees, if more than 80% of the chargers are in use it overrides the charge rate to the highest available.

My 2 cents (or 4 cents if you read fast)

Not sure how Commercial/Industrial electricity supply is billed in Toronto but, in the US and I believe in general for entities using the type/size of service that a supercharger does, attempting to analyze the effective rates without accounting for demand charges (and/or subscription charges depending on the utility) will give you a grossly distorted view of what they are really paying. If all you are considering is what they are being charged for generation on a per kWh basis, you're likely missing well over half of what is actually being billed.

The urban-style superchargers aren't being installed due to the costs of electricity or limitations on available power. It's so that users will have a consistent and dependable estimate of how long their charging session will be. For travelling, this isn't often really that important. But if you don't have access to regular home/work charging and are relying on the supercharger for your electricity needs, it's much better to know exactly how long your charging session will be as opposed to rolling the dice and hoping that you don't end up at a stall where you get the short end of the stick because you plugged in second. For regular "everyweek" usage, being able to reliably schedule your charging duration is a major benefit even if it means that your charging will, on average, be a little bit slower.
 

realtycoon

Member
Apr 5, 2016
267
287
Toronto
Not sure about other jurisdictions, but read up about Ontario and the "Global Adjustment" . It's a very complicated policy, but in simple terms, it's calculated based electricity use during the five peak days per month, and results in a very large up charge for business users of power. As much at off-peak power is $0.06-$0.09 (including delivery), The Global Adjustment could result in costs of $0.40-$0.70 p/kwh.

The system in Ontario is a total mess.
 
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Using L2 chargers I can dial down my input in Amps. I have done this when using less reliable power such as at a cottage where it was tripping the breaker. I would like that same option when charging. I agree with TOFLYIN the OP. Give me the ability. Can't be that hard to program it in.

or

Add more than two tier levels in billing. Charge in increments of 10 Kw.

Its not the actual costs, but rather the perception of fair billing.

I have no issue Tesla making this a profit centre for them.
 

adaptabl

Banned
Mar 13, 2018
776
702
Canada
So first off, I think the supercharger network was genius. Best way to remove range anxiety from the purchase of a car decision. And I even understand the removal of free supercharging. You can't expect something for free for ever. It was a lost leader to start with. Now I know in Ontario and many other places you cannot resell electricity. So the only way around that is charge by the hour (or minute). Great. I am with them so far. My problem is the superchargers like the one at Sherway Gardens that are restricted to 70 Kw. That seems like a cash grab to me. Charging the same for 70 Kw as 120 Kw. If a gas station charged the same to fill up a Kia as it did a Ford F150 people would freak. Make no mistake about it, the superchargers make a lot of money for Tesla, especially since the charge the same amount during peak hours as they do off peak (evenings and weekends). In Ontario if they are not using time of use the commercial rate including a delivery fees etc come to 11 cents Kw. Even if you got the 120 Kw for the entire time (and you don't) that would cost Tesla $13.20 hr and they charge $24 an hour. In reality their profit margin is well above 100%. Time of use commercial is even better for off peak, the rates are 6.5 - 13.2 cents Kw.

So my point is, if they have to restrict the power to less than 120 Kw, presumably due to available power, they should either install less chargers to get the 120 Kw rate, or better yet restrict the chargers to 60 Kw, and only charge the 20 cents per hour. Or allow us to set the charge rate when we connect to a supercharger. If I am not in a rush, and the superchargers are not busy I would have no problem with picking 60 Kw as a charge rate as the most cost effective. They could run it like the idle fees, if more than 80% of the chargers are in use it overrides the charge rate to the highest available.

My 2 cents (or 4 cents if you read fast)

I suspect installing superchargers will never be a profit centre for Tesla. Even at those rates I doubt it will ever come close to covering the infrastructure, maintenance and electricity cost for superchargers. Then you have all the cars with free supercharging. Down the road as more Tesla EV's are on the road, traffic at the superchargers will be a problem. I guess the solution is to raise the rates to a point where only those who have to charge will. It will be really bad if more people buy EV's without level 2 charging at their home. Maybe there may have to be a fair use policy added to those with unlimited supercharging to stop overloading the superchargers in order to save the cost of home/work charging.
 
Using L2 chargers I can dial down my input in Amps. I have done this when using less reliable power such as at a cottage where it was tripping the breaker. I would like that same option when charging. I agree with TOFLYIN the OP. Give me the ability. Can't be that hard to program it in.

The difference is that Tesla does want you to hug the supercharger more than you need.
It wants you to free it up as soon as possible for the next person in line.

Slowing down the rate for you to pay less is not their goal.
 

5_+JqckQttqck

Active Member
Apr 27, 2018
1,851
1,405
Toronto
Installing a home charger is a no brainer. The real issue here is condo boards are not fitting their properties with EV chargers for their residents.

Home charging in running at $0.02 per km. You get a free charger after 10km driven (if installed on your own or NEMA 14-50).

Work charging would be an alternative for those that cannot charge in their condos. Tesla's workplace charging program is still active as far as I know. Charging Partners | Tesla Canada
 

TOFLYIN

Member
May 22, 2018
63
105
Toronto
Installing a home charger is a no brainer. The real issue here is condo boards are not fitting their properties with EV chargers for their residents.

Actually condo boards (at least the better ones) are starting to install chargers. The building that I am on the board of in downtown Toronto just installed the infrastructure for up to 42 chargers. 15 were installed this week. Pretty good since we only have 3 EV's currently in the building, but quite a few of the owners wanted the option, and the price I was able to negotiate for a bulk install sealed the deal. We divided the infrastructure (transformers and panels etc) by 42 and each owner covered that cost and the cost of the wiring and charger to their parking spot. Costs ranged between $2800 and $3500 including HST depending on the distance from the panel.
 

Cosmacelf

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2013
9,028
23,731
San Diego
Actually condo boards (at least the better ones) are starting to install chargers. The building that I am on the board of in downtown Toronto just installed the infrastructure for up to 42 chargers. 15 were installed this week. Pretty good since we only have 3 EV's currently in the building, but quite a few of the owners wanted the option, and the price I was able to negotiate for a bulk install sealed the deal. We divided the infrastructure (transformers and panels etc) by 42 and each owner covered that cost and the cost of the wiring and charger to their parking spot. Costs ranged between $2800 and $3500 including HST depending on the distance from the panel.

Awesome. Nice to see such enlightened condo owners and a condo board that isn't composed of lawyers. And of course, they had a champion (you) that pushed the whole thing through. Congrats.
 

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