Economy In Gear

Here's what it will cost to charge Tesla cars at company's Supercharger stations?

Tesla said in November that it would end free unlimited use of its Supercharger DC fast-charging stations. Now the company is offering more details on Supercharger pricing.

A Tesla Model S charges at a Tesla Supercharger station in Cabazon, Calif., on May 18, 2016.
Sam Mircovich/Reuters/File
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Tesla announced in November that it would end free unlimited use of its Supercharger DC fast-charging stations.

Now that the cutoff point for that perk has arrived, the company is offering more details on Supercharger pricing.

The new rates take effect for buyers who ordered a Tesla electric car after January 15, a deadline Tesla extended from its original cutoff point of January 1.

As the company previously mentioned, new customers will get credits for 400 kilowatt-hours of free charging, after which fees kick in.

In North America, those fees differ for individual states or provinces, while in other markets one fee is set for the entire country.

For example, the fee is $0.20 per kWh in New York, and $0.22 per kWh in nearby Massachusetts, according to the state-by-state list on Tesla's website.

At these rates, a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles costs about $15, while a trip from LA to New York City will run about $120.

Tesla says it views billing owners per kWh as the "most fair and simple" method, but that it is not possible in all states.

In those states, owners are billed by the minute instead, with two "tiers" to account for changes in charging speeds.

"Tier 1" rates apply when cars are charging at or below 60 kilowatts, while "Tier 2" applies above that.

"Tier 1" also applies when a car is sharing power with another, and is half the cost of "Tier 2" regardless of what the individual rates are.

Those can vary from $0.08 per minute for "Tier 1" and $0.16 per minute for "Tier 2" in Iowa, to $0.13 per minute for "Tier 1" and $0.26 per minute for "Tier 2" in Connecticut.

Pricing information can also be viewed on in-car touchscreen displays.

Tesla claims it is "committed to ensuring that Supercharger will never be a profit center."

If profit isn't Tesla's motive in ending unlimited free Supercharger use, managing customer use of the public charging sites may very well be the reason.

Last month, Tesla also instituted a fee for drivers who remain parked at a Supercharger station after their car is done charging.

Tesla has said in the past that it wants Supercharger stations to be reserved for long-distance travel only, something at least some owners have not been receptive to.

The potential for overcrowding will only get worse with the arrival of the $35,000, 215-mile Model 3, which Tesla says will enter production later this year.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he expects to be building 500,000 cars per year by the end of next year, and the Model 3 will likely make up the majority of that volume.

This story originally appeared on GreenCarReports.

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