Tesla takes on Supercharger abusers

Tesla drivers hogging the Supercharger stations will get an unwelcome surprise — a bill.

The electric vehicle maker announced Friday afternoon it would charge U.S. Tesla drivers 40 cents per minute of idle time at the fast-charging network. The company wants to discourage users from parking in a spot after their carĀ is fully juiced — leaving other drivers needing a recharge to sit and wait.

“A customer would never leave a car parked by the pump at a gas and the same thinking applies with Superchargers,” the company said in a statement. “To be clear, this change is purely about increasing customer happiness and we hope to never make any money from it.”

Supercharger users will get a 5-minute grace period. After that, the meter rolls. The fees will be imposed on drivers around the world. The bill will appear on their next visit to a service center.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced tweaks to the program this year. Teslas bought after Dec. 31 will no longer get free, unlimited fast-charging. Drivers of the Model 3, due out late next year, will get about 1,000 free miles worth of electricity on the Supercharger network before being billed.

The proprietary network, built by Tesla and stretching across the U.S. and Europe, allows Tesla drivers to take their vehicles on long distance trips without worrying about electric vehicle range anxiety. It can add 170 miles of range to a car in as little as a half hour. And the fuel is free.

But the free charging proved too alluring to many luxury car owners, leading the Palo Alto company to chide its customers not to use the stations for daily fill-ups.

Photo: Tesla Supercharger, BANG file photo.


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  • shade_tree

    Like they say, most people become rich by being frugal

  • Wrily

    Why do Superchargers look like parking spots? If Tesla wants people to treat them as filling stations they need to lay them out for drive through service, like every filling station before Tesla.