Today, Tesla has announced that it’s bringing back a useful feature, new customers who buy a new Model S or Model X vehicle will get unlimited charging at its supercharger stations. The news comes after the reduced company sales and when the company had greater-than-anticipated losses in its latest quarterly earnings report. The second quarter of wider-than-expected losses of $408 million despite record deliveries of its electric vehicles.
The automaker reported in July that it delivered a record 95,200 of its electric vehicles in the second quarter, a dramatic reversal from a disappointing first period. According to the Tech crunch, the company generated $6.3 billion in revenue in the second quarter from those sales, the bulk of which came from its lower margin and less expensive Model 3 vehicles.
At the same time, sales of the new Model S and Model X have been slowed down. Of its 95,200 deliveries, just 17,650 were Model S and X vehicles. Tesla doesn’t separate delivery or production figures for the S and X. The company has also started to phasing out free unlimited access to its supercharger network when it announced that customers who buy cars after January 1, 2017, will have 400 kilowatt-hours, or about 1,000 miles, of free charging every year. Once owners surpassed that amount, they would be charged a small fee.
The company then narrowed down the free unlimited access to superchargers through a referral program and only to buyers of performance versions of the Model S, Model X and Model 3. However, the free unlimited supercharger referral program is now set to end on September 18. It is not clear yet how long this latest offer will last. The company has been tinkering with its pricing structure, vehicle configurations, and rewards programs, with changes occurring monthly.
On the other hand, Elon Musk also announced that his tunneling and transportation startup. The Boring Company would be launch in China later this month. Musk told about his plans at the AI conference, which is called the World Artificial Intelligence Conference, taking place in Shanghai on August 29-31. A security filing last month had revealed that the Boring Company had raised its first outside investment through the sale of $120M in stock. So the company has some extra cash sloshing around to plough into new ventures.
It also landed its first commercial contract: $48.7M to build and operate an underground “people mover” in Las Vegas, focused on the Las Vegas Convention Center. This underground system is not a tried and tested metro system. The plan apparently involves building two tunnels: One for vehicles, and a second tunnel for pedestrians who will be carried in (modified) Tesla cars.
Present generation Teslas are not capable of driving themselves, merely offering driving assistance features to humans. The Las Vegas contract includes three months of safety testing before Musk’s modified Teslas will be allowed to whisk people through the tunnel.