Technology

Tesla Wants Owners To Stop Hogging Superchargers With A New Idle Fee

Would you park your car at a gas station pump for hours? No.

Perhaps the honeymoon of Tesla’s free supercharger network is coming to an end. First, Tesla announced that Model 3 owners will have to pay to use the superchargers. Then came word that new Tesla owners after January 1, 2017 will also have to pay a network fee. And now the EV carmaker has stated that it’ll start charging a "Supercharger Idle Fee" of $0.40 (50 cents in Canada) for every minute following a completed charge. Why? Because some owners left their cars plugged into superchargers, often times for hours after being recharged.

This, in turn, blocked other owners from using the superchargers. One rightly annoyed Tesla owner complained about the problem on Twitter and CEO Elon Musk swiftly responded, stating he was going to “take action.” And he did. The goal, according to Tesla, is to "enhance network efficiency and the customer experience," and we think it’s a smart idea. However, if an owner moves the car within 5 minutes of a completed charge, the fee will be waived. Fair enough. Owners can monitor their car's charging status via the Tesla mobile App, so there’s really no good excuse for being discourteous to others. But for those who are, they’ll be receiving a bill for their supercharger hogging at their next Tesla Service Center visit.

Tesla also points out that it doesn't want (or need) to make money by doing this. The change is "purely about increasing customer happiness." As proof of this, Tesla plans to ditch the fee entirely once its cars become fully autonomous, thus being capable of heading home on their own once charging is completed.

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