Last week, Tesla raised its per-kWh charging rates across its Supercharger network by about 33 percent, and this was exactly as unpopular as you think it would be, according to Engadget. Now Tesla is walking back these increased Supercharger rates by 10 percent in response to the customer backlash.
Last week, Tesla said that the change was to "better reflect differences in local electricity costs and site usage," in a company statement on the price hikes. They also touted the continuous expansion of the Supercharger network with new stations going online every week, and stressed that the Supercharger network wasn't there to generate profit for them.
This still wasn't enough to justify the extra costs to Tesla owners, however. Tesla initially claimed that their increased prices would still make a battery recharge less expensive than filling up your tank with conventional fuel. However, Tesla superfans Electrek noted that this price increase shot Supercharger rates up to 32 cents per kWh in downtown New York City, and 36 cents per kWh at some places in California.
TechSpot also ran the numbers using the American Automobile Association's current national average fuel price of $2.24 per gallon instead of the $2.85 per gallon figure Tesla used in its claim and determined that in some markets, filling up a 15-gallon gas tank would actually cost less than recharging a 100 kWh Tesla battery. Many parts of the country are enjoying sub-$2 per gallon prices for normal unleaded fuel right now as well, making a $32 to $36 Supercharger recharge look even less palatable.
So, Tesla cut its prices back down by 10 percent globally in response to the customer uproar, according to Electrek. This makes the new average price $0.28 per kWh instead.