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For Tesla Model 3 owners, Supercharger network will cost extra

Buyers of Tesla's most affordable electric car will have to buy a separate package to use the company's charging station network, CEO Elon Musk says.

‚ÄčTesla Motors' Model 3
Tesla Motors' Model 3

Tesla Motors Chief Executive Elon Musk has revealed one way the electric car company will be able to sell its upcoming Model 3 for so much less than its existing models: It won't have free access to the company's Supercharger network.

Owners of the existing Model S and Model X cars don't have to pay to use Tesla's network of charging stations -- 632 so far in North America. But at the company's annual shareholder meeting Tuesday, Musk said Supercharger access will be a paid option for the $35,000 Model 3, according to VentureBeat.

Tesla will offer Supercharger access as a separate option, Musk said: "It will still be very cheap -- and far cheaper than gasoline -- to drive long-distance with the Model 3, but it will not be free long-distance for life unless you've purchased that package."

Electric vehicle owners most often charge where the car is parked -- at home or work -- but the fast-charging Supercharger stations helped make Tesla's EVs better at long-distance journeys. Nearly 400,000 people paid $1,000 to order a Model 3, which is due to start shipping in late 2017.

Tesla declined to offer further details on the Supercharger package pricing.