Elon Musk’s Tesla has drastically increased the price of their Supercharger electric charging stations worldwide shortly after the company announced mass layoffs and the shutdown of their referral program.
Electrek reports that Elon Musk’s electric car manufacturer Tesla has drastically increased the price of their Supercharger stations worldwide; this change comes shortly after the company shut down all Tesla referral programs and announced the layoff of seven percent of its workforce.
Last week Elon Musk announced via Twitter that Tesla’s referral program — which offered Tesla owners the chance to earn six months of free supercharging by referring a friend to purchase a Tesla — will end on February 1. The LA Times discussed this decision by Tesla noting:
It’s unclear how much money the end of the referral program will save. Tesla doesn’t break out the costs in its financial statements. But for a heavy user, it could total several hundred dollars — potentially adding up to tens of millions of dollars that Tesla could spend on other things.
It was also announced last week that Tesla would be cutting seven percent of it’s workforce; in an email to employees Musk stated:
Looking ahead at our mission of accelerating the advent of sustainable transport and energy, which is important for all life on Earth, we face an extremely difficult challenge: making our cars, batteries and solar products cost-competitive with fossil fuels. While we have made great progress, our products are still too expensive for most people.
Now, Tesla has increased the prices of supercharger stations worldwide in an effort to generate even more revenue; customers will now be charged per kWh used at the stations or will pay per minute in some markets which forbid the direct sale of electricity. Tesla already increased the cost of Supercharger stations throughout the U.S. last year; some areas saw a 100 percent increase in cost but the average Supercharger station price increased by 20 to 40 percent.
Now prices are increasing again; in New York, Supercharger stations charged$0.24 per kWh following last year’s increase, now downtown New York City locations will charge up to $0.32/kWh. California saw prices increase from $0.26 per kWh to between $0.32 to $0.36 per kWh. Norway — one of Tesla’s most important markets — also saw a huge increase in Supercharge costs, increasing from 1,40 NOK to 1,86 NOK per kWh. On average, prices appeared to increase by approximately 33 percent worldwide.
Tesla said in a statement:
We’re adjusting Supercharging pricing to better reflect differences in local electricity costs and site usage. As our fleet grows, we continue to open new Supercharger locations weekly so more drivers can travel long distances at a fraction of the cost of gasoline and with zero emissions. As has always been the case, Supercharging is not meant to be a profit center for Tesla.
While the Supercharger stations may not be a “profit center” for the company, it is likely that these latest increases will take some financial pressure off the firm which appears to be implementing a number of cost-saving measures in recent months.