Friday, September 04, 2015

What happens if you give electricity away for free?

Here is the definition of a scarce good I use:

Scarce-A good or resource is scarce when the amount available is less than the amount people would want if it were given away free of charge.

The car maker Tesla offers a benefit to its customers: "Free charging at company-run stations is one of a handful of unique incentives aimed at Tesla owners."

That is from Tesla Owners Frustrated by Recharge Waits: Complaints about long lines to top-off batteries has sparked warnings to frequent users from the Wall Street Journal this past July.
"AMSTERDAM—Matthijs van Seventer won’t take his Model S electric sedan to the Tesla charging station in the southeast part of the city if he is in a hurry. The chargers are typically loaded with taxicabs serving Schiphol airport.

“It’s barely viable,” he said standing near a row of superchargers, which for Tesla owners are the equivalent of gas pumps to quickly recharge their battery-powered vehicles. “When I arrived there was just one spot left.”

Mr. van Seventer’s frustration reflects a rare rift in what has typically been a cozy relationship between Tesla Motors Inc. and its thousands of owners around the world."

"Even as Tesla has poured millions of dollars in creating a global network of free charges, owners of the $76,200 and up luxury sedans feel there still aren’t enough.

Mimi Kim Jamil recently slipped into the last spot at the San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) Supercharger station where there are eight stalls and plugged in her 85 kilowatt-hour Model S. A moment later, two other Model S drivers pulled in behind.

Superchargers can recharge 80% of an 85 kilowatt-hour battery in about 30 minutes. While that’s much longer than the about five minutes needed to refuel a gasoline-powered car, it is more than 10 times faster than a typical Tesla home charger.

“I felt bad for them,” Ms. Jamil said, noting that the other seven Model S sedans were unattended, a sign that their owners may be picking up items at the nearby shopping center while their cars charged. The two drivers needing to charge “were just waiting, waiting, waiting.”"

"Superchargers are too often being used by people who are driving around town instead of those needing energy for longer road trips, creating lines of people waiting for juice.

“There are a few people who are quite aggressively using it for local supercharging,” he said. “We’ll sort of send them just a reminder note that it’s cool to do this occasionally, but it’s meant to be a long-distance thing.”

That didn’t sit well with some owners, because use of the chargers is included in the price of a Tesla, and advertised as being “free for life.” While many of its rivals spend big money on advertising, Tesla has invested millions of dollars in charging stations meant to be an extra incentive for buyers to consider its pricey electric car."
Here is another article on this topic: Tesla could have a problem with one of the best things about owning its cars by Benjamin Zhang of Business Insider.

In a related story Trees Are Scarce In San Antonio!

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