Tesla Supercharger Idling Fee Set for $0.4 per Minute, Five Minute Grace Period

Tesla is taking quick steps to get everything ready for the arrival of the Model 3, and sorting out Supercharger crowding has got to be one of the priorities.
Tesla Model S at Supercharger 7 photos
Photo: Tesla Motors
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With more cars expected to hit the road in the upcoming two years than all previous years combined, Tesla's charging stations are going to get flooded by people eager to use their EVs as if they were conventionally-powered cars by covering long distances.

Elon Musk's company has already announced all new Tesla owners starting January 1, 2017, will lose the privilege of free lifetime Supercharger access, something all current Model S and Model X owners enjoy. To sweeten the deal a little, all Tesla cars sold after that date will get 1,000-miles worth of charging free each year, with everything beyond that point charged at a rate yet to be announced.

Last week, after a Model S owner complained about people blocking Superchargers even though their cars had finished charging, Elon Musk said the company plans to do something about it. It looks like it didn't take Tesla too long to come up with a solution.

A blog post yesterday detailed how Tesla plans to solve this problem. In short, it involves a "fleet-wide idle fee" that will apply to all those who leave their cars plugged in for longer than necessary. The blog post/press release even gets a little cheeky and makes a very pertinent comparison with leaving your car at a gas station right in front of the pump for hours.

Tesla says that a $0.4 per minute fee will be incurred from the moment the car's battery had finished charging. If the EV is removed from the Supercharger within five minutes, the fee is lifted. Just like now, owners will be alerted to their car's charging status via the Tesla app on their phones.

Tesla stresses the fact it does not look to make any money from this new rule, but it is simply a way to ensure customer satisfaction. In a later tweet, Musk clarified things saying the fee will only be applied if the station is nearing its full capacity, so if your car is the only one charging, you're allowed to leave it there.

Judging by the online reaction, people are not very upset with the decision. However, one thing is clear: owning a Tesla is becoming increasingly complicated - and also increasingly similar to owning an ICE vehicle, except for the emissions part.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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