Tesla owner Mark Chu, broker of Big Realty in Fresno, is excited to hear about the new fees for the automaker’s charging network. He doesn’t have to pay the new fee since he already owns a Tesla, but hopes the decision will thin the lines at charging stations.
Tesla has two stations in the central San Joaquin Valley: 10 chargers at the Marketplace at El Paseo in northwest Fresno and 13 chargers at Harris Ranch Inn and Restaurant on Interstate 5 northeast of Coalinga.
“More and more people are owning Teslas so the charging stations are getting more and more full,” said Chu, who commutes often to Southern California and the Bay Area.
Chu said he normally charges at the Tejon Ranch station just before the Grapevine, but on his last two trips, the wait for a charger was an hour long and then it took an hour to charge.
With Tesla’s new cheaper Model 3 coming out, “more people will own the car, so I can imagine what the charging stations will be like,” Chu said. “That’s a selfish reason.”
Tesla Motors Inc. says cars ordered after Jan. 1, 2017, will get roughly 1,000 miles worth of credits each year for use at the Supercharger stations. But after the credits are used, owners will have to pay fees that Tesla didn’t detail on Monday. Vehicles ordered or sold on or before Jan. 1 would still get unlimited free charging.
Chu’s advice for future Tesla owners? “I would hurry about getting one before the deadline.”
Tesla wouldn’t say specifically how much its fees will be, but it said charging would cost less than the price of filling a comparable gasoline car. The company says it will release fee details later this year and that prices could fluctuate over time and vary by regional electricity costs.