Charging Up Interest in Tesla's Supercharger Network

Charging Up Interest in Tesla's Supercharger Network

Tesla has been actively expanding and promoting its Supercharger network across the globe. If you use any Supercharger in California’s metro areas before 10h00 and after 19h00, you will be able to get a 50% discount.

Tesla’s new discount scheme indicates the US carmaker is attempting to attract drivers to charge up at night in a bid to decrease congestion at its Supercharger stations during peak hours. Last year, Tesla was experimenting with temporary Supercharger discounts in the state by offering $0.09/kWh, which is less than a third of the normal price. The US manufacturer also offered a year’s unlimited supercharging to potential new owners of the Model 3 and Model Y to boost sales.

It’s not just California that got the discount structure. In February and March this year, Tesla did a trial in Norway and Sweden where drivers were able to take advantage of cheaper charging on specific days. Last year, EV sales in Norway surpassed all other vehicle types – which was a first in the world. This makes Norway an important market for US auto manufacturers penetrating the electrification industry.

The discounted pricing structure came around the country’s winter holidays and also reduced the normal price by 50%. Norway is seeing an increase at charging stations, particularly on Fridays and prior to holiday periods. In winter, freezing temperatures also add to the congestion issue because cars require more frequent charging in colder weather.

Compare to other EV owners, Tesla owners have the benefit that the Supercharger stations are operated and managed by Tesla and not third parties. This has helped ensure queues are not unmanageable, but Tesla management has observed there’s been an increase in waiting times. However, just over 98% of Tesla owners were able to connect to a charger within 10 minutes of arriving at a Supercharger station during peak travel time during Norway’s summer last year.

So, part of Tesla’s strategy was to choose its busiest market, including neighboring Sweden, to test the new pricing policy with charging demand.

Even Sandvold Roland who is in-charge of Senior Communications at Tesla Norway said, “The test is part of a larger project that examines how price can be used to encourage our customers to better use the Supercharger capacity. Norway and Sweden are the first markets in Europe where such tests are carried out.”

In Norway, the current average price for Supercharging is NOK 2.57 per Kilowatt hour. When Tesla ran its pricing structure on different Saturdays, it charged about NOK 1.29 per Kilowatt hour. Currently, there are just over 1,000 Supercharger units at Norway’s 72 stations. Tesla plans to install another 30 new stations this year.

Tesla describes its Supercharger stations as the “world’s fastest charging network” and it has plans to accelerate the network’s expansion around the world. In November 2020, Tesla had 20,000 Superchargers globally.

This week, the EV company opened the first Supercharger in Tel Aviv, Israel. It was welcomed in the region as the small landlocked country has been introducing more electric vehicles into its market. The US company will open more 3 more stations in Haifa, Eilat, and Beersheva in the coming months.

The first Tesla Supercharger station at the Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv has 8 charging points. Tesla claims it takes just a few minutes to charge a car to get a 120 km range.

The company entered Israel's market in February with the Tesla Model 3 starting at $54,600 (180,000 shekels). The prices for recharging will cost only one shekel per kilowatt-hour. Fully recharging a Tesla 3 car will cost around 60 to 80 shekels ($15-20), which is a very affordable rate and will no doubt encourage more people in the area to look at Tesla as their EV choice.