How will Tesla charging fees affect Irish drivers?

It is capping free energy for its customers...

How will Tesla charging fees affect Irish drivers?

Richard Vogel AP/Press Association Images

Tesla is set to curtail one of the perks that it's been using to get drivers to invest in one of its electronic cars ahead of its Irish launch.

In the new year the company will no longer offer unlimited free Supercharger facilities at charge points. The remote high speed charging points are designed to enable long distance travel in the company's vehicles.

Until now it has cost nothing for Tesla drivers to use these points - but that will change in 2017.

For Tesla cars ordered after January 1, 2017, 400 kWh of free Supercharging credits (roughly 1,000 miles / 1,600km) will be included annually so that all owners can continue to enjoy free Supercharging during travel.

The company adds that the best way to charge your car is either at home or at work, during the hours you’re not using it. It seems that some motorists have become overly reliant on the remote charge points.

Tesla has confirmed to Newstalk that cars ordered by Irish buyers before January 1, 2017 will continue to receive unlimited free charges.

If you buy a car from it after that point then after the 400 kWh mark there will be what the company calls "a small fee to Supercharge which will be charged incrementally and cost less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car."

There are set to be four Supercharge points on the island.

Tesla Model X SUV

Tesla will open a showroom in Dublin in 2017 and it is already possible for eager electric car lovers pre-order their motors.

Its Model S and Model X SUV are available to officially pre-order, with deliveries expected early next year.

You can get your hands on an entry-level Model S for €81,086, with the full-spec version costing double that figure.

The Model S will let you travel over 400km on a single charge for its basic model (up to 613km for full-spec) and go from zero to 100km/hour in 2.7 seconds at its fastest. The Model X SUV starts at a price of €110,042. You can order test drives of both now.

No word as yet on when Ireland will be getting the more affordable Model 3, which Tesla itself says is its first vehicle aimed at the mass market.  It is set to retail at a base price of $35,000 across the Atlantic, with full production slated for 2018 (though Tesla CEO Elon Musk has admitted it may take until 2020 to fulfil demand).

Additional reporting Craig Fitzpatrick