After causing a stir last month with the announcement that most of its stores around the globe would close in a move toward online-only sales aimed at passing the savings along to customers, Tesla has just made an about-face and decided to keep significantly more stores open than previously planned.
The company assures this is the result of a close evaluation of every single retail location performed over the last two weeks (why didn’t they do that to begin with?), and it will continue to evaluate them over the course of several months.
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The bad news for customers is that the cost savings for Tesla only meet half of what was initially forecast, so Elon Musk and his team feel they need to raise vehicle prices by about 3 percent on average worldwide.
On its website, Tesla said that the current prices are valid until March 18. Meanwhile, no changes will be made to the 7-day/1,600-kilometre return policy.
Because time is money, too, and EV owners don’t want to waste it charging their car, Tesla recently unveiled V3 Supercharging, the next step in the growth of its Supercharger network.
It’s a completely new architecture that supports peak rates of up to 250 kilowatts per car. At this rate, a Model 3 Long Range operating at peak efficiency can recover up to 120 kilometres of charge in just five minutes.
But wait, there’s more: Supercharger stations with V3’s new power electronics are designed to enable any owner to charge at the full power their battery can take, which means no more splitting power with a vehicle in the stall next to you.
Tesla claims this combination of higher peak power with V3, dedicated vehicle power allocation across Supercharger sites and a new feature called On-Route Battery Warmup (the car will intelligently heat the battery to ensure you arrive at the optimal temperature to charge) will enable customers to charge in half the time—around 15 minutes in most instances.
The first public beta site for V3 Supercharging opened last week in California for Model 3 owners. The technology will roll out to the wider fleet in an over-the-air firmware update to all owners in the second quarter of 2019. Non-beta sites will start popping up across North America this spring and summer, followed by Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
Oh, and come back Thursday for the reveal of the upcoming Tesla Model Y compact SUV.