Tesla Motors uses a lot of added extras to get customer attention and rave reviews. The high-end luxury aesthetic is pointed at those who enjoy expensive cars and well-engineered brands. Advanced technology appeals to the Silicon Valley crowd who are impressed with large touchscreens, software updates, and a car that continually keeps in touch with headquarters to make sure it’s as tuned up as the latest Mac. But Tesla also makes a strong pitch to customers that the Tesla is a rational, affordable vehicle. Tesla pitches that idea so hard that some allege that its cost calculator on the Tesla website is false advertising. But in addition to that, Tesla offers customers free charging at Tesla’s charging stations. The lure? When away from home, and using Tesla charging stations, customers will never have to pay for power.
This is a bonus to owning that has gotten the attention of many Tesla owners. And as Tesla rolls out chargers throughout the US, it’ll start becoming easier for Tesla owners to go a long time without having to ever pay for power. And this added feature to owning a Tesla is having a spillover affect, because Nissan just announced that Nissan Leaf owners in Texas will get a year’s free access to eVgo’s charging stations in Dallas-Fort Woth and the greater Houston area.
Okay, this isn’t ‘free charging for all’ just yet. But surprisingly enough Texas is selling Leafs at a pretty good clip, so Nissan wants to boost it even further. And one way to get customers excited is to offer them free charging. Business owners are also starting to offer employees free charging in parking lots. If Nissan, and other companies, start using free charging as a way to lure customers in and it begins to get popular, not offering free charging will look bad.
You’ll have a situation similar to hotels offering ‘free HBO’ in their rooms. It used to be a perk that was advertised to draw in customers. Then, not offering it became an oddity. Now… what hotel doesn’t have it?
If the promise of free charging fuels sales, expect it to become the free HBO of the electric car world.