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Tesla to end free Supercharging for new car buyers next year

Act fast if you want free Supercharging for life with a new Tesla because your time to order is running out. Tesla announced the coming change in the Supercharging network program on Monday and new owners will be given annual Supercharging credits, as reported by Electrek.

One of the many unique selling points of Tesla vehicles has been the promise of free fuel for life. Buy the car and never have to pay to charge it at any of the companies more than 4,600 Superchargers around the world. The deal is still in effect for new Model S and Model X orders until January 1.

Related: Model 3, possibly other Tesla models, will have Supercharger credit option

Tesla CEO Elon Musk already confirmed Model 3 buyers would not get free Supercharging standard with the lower-priced, entry-level cars. There have also been rumors of a Supercharging credit program. Now the Supercharger network program changes have been officially announced, although the pricing for charging has not.

“These changes will not impact current owners or any new Teslas ordered before January 1, 2017, as long as delivery is taken before April 1, 2017,” Tesla said in the announcement. Note that even though at least 370,000 reservations have been placed for Model 3s, those are not full orders and would not apply anyway because Model 3s are not scheduled to go into production until the summer of 2017 at the earliest for delivery late summer or fall.

Buyers of new Teslas ordered after January 1 will receive free Supercharging credits for 400 kWh, approximately 1,000 miles annually. Otherwise, the company will charge “a small fee to Supercharge which will be charged incrementally and cost less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car.” The amount of the fee is not specified, but may change over time and vary based on regional electricity costs. Tesla said the Supercharger network will not be a profit center and that the change will allow “us to reinvest in the network, accelerate its growth and bring all owners, current and future, the best Supercharging experience.”

As Musk has said previously, the company believes, “the best way to charge your car is either at home or at work, during the hours you’re not using it.”