Sometimes the underdog has his day.
One of the many reasons why people bought a Tesla was because the California-based EV automaker promised unlimited Supercharger access for life. Yes, free charging. Forever. That rule was later amended in part because of overcrowding at stations, though Tesla’s first customers were not affected. Well, for the most part. According to Teslarati, a Dutch taxi driver won a civil court victory over Tesla late last week for his right to use the charging stations and Supercharging network for commercial use.
The self-employed taxi driver filed suit against Tesla Netherlands and stated that he should be allowed free and unlimited use of the chargers at Tesla’s Amsterdam location. The driver bought the Model S with the 85 kWh battery back in 2014 specifically for taxi use.
Tesla understood he would be using the Model S as a taxi and had no objections. The driver’s suit states that “At the time of the conclusion of our (purchase) agreement, it was expressly agreed at the time that I would be allowed to use all supercharges from Tesla in the world free of charge and without any restrictions. At the time of the conclusion of our agreement, it was entirely clear to Tesla that the vehicle purchased by me would be used as a taxi.”
The driver also presented to the Court of Amsterdam Tesla’s own words from its website that said buyers of a Model S or Model X before January 31, 2018 would have free, unlimited Supercharging access. Furthermore, that access would be transferable if the vehicle was sold.
Last January, however, Tesla notified this taxi driver, as well as other taxi drivers, that the Supercharger in question was located at its European headquarters, which doubles as a service center and sales location. Because of this, lines for the Superchargers during peak hours lead to sometimes dangerous traffic situations. Therefore, Tesla felt it reserved the right to change access for taxis to that Supercharger, particularly during peak hours. Well, the court disagreed with Tesla on that one.
“Free for life” Supercharging is just that, regardless whether or not the Model S or Model X in question is for commercial or private use. Sometimes the underdog has his day.