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Tesla ends free charging and raises prices

Tesla customers who bought cars after 15 January will pay thousands of pounds more and will be charged for using the firm's Supercharger network, with Tesla blaming currency fluctuations

Words ByDarren Moss

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Tesla Supercharger

UK buyers planning on buying a Tesla Model S or Model X will now be subjected to price rises of thousands of pounds.

The American electric car maker increased its UK prices by 5% across the board on 15 January. In the case of the Model S saloon, that means the price has gone up from Β£58,955 to Β£61,902, and for the Model X SUV, the price rises from Β£82,055 to Β£86,157. Those prices make Tesla's models some of the most expensive electric cars on sale.

Pricing for Tesla's newest car, the Model 3 small saloon, has yet to be finalised, but it's expected to cost from around Β£35,000.

As well as increasing prices for its model range in the UK, Tesla has also started charging customers to use its network of Supercharger charging stations. Prior to 15 January 2017 the network, which currently comprises 35 locations – seven of which are in London – was free for all Tesla customers to use.

A Supercharger can supply 170 miles of range in 30 minutes of charging, compared with 85 miles from a public charging point, or 11 miles from a home charger in the same time. Tesla now offers owners enough charging for the first 1000 miles or so (40 kWh) of travel each year for free, but after that they will be charged 20p per kWh. The fees only applies to cars bought after 15 January and delivered after 15 April, charging remains free for cars purchased and delivered before these dates.

In comparison, Pod Point's network of rapid charging stations cost from Β£6.50 for 30min of charging, while Ecotricity fast chargers cost Β£6 for 30min.

Explaining its price increases, Tesla said the changes were due to "currency fluctuations" and that it adds "only unavoidable taxes, customs duties and transportation costs" to the prices of its vehicles. However, Tesla is one of a number of car makers to increase its prices following last June's Brexit vote to leave the European Union (EU).

In the past few months, Vauxhall, Ford, Nissan, Peugeot, CitroΓ«n and DS have all increased their prices, some by as much as 2.5%, blaming the Brexit vote. Despite car makers blaming currency fluctuations for these rises, some look more opportunitistic, with Brexit merely a convenient excuse to squeeze more money from UK buyers.

Despite these rises, though, targets for dealers remain as tough as ever, so there are still bargains to be found if you're prepared to haggle at the dealership. Here are out tips on how to secure the best deal.

See more of the Tesla Model S in our video below.

Read more - our full Tesla Model S review

Read more - the best (and worst) electric cars


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