Elon Musk is not happy. Or at the very least, Elon Musk is concerned. There is an issue with drivers leaving their electric cars at charging stations well after the car is charged and ready to go. This is a bit of a problem because our infrastructure, our ability to support electric vehicles, is still somewhat lackluster.
To be blunt, the number of charging stations isn’t really enough to support the number of electric cars that need charging, and the problem is only heightened by individuals who (seemingly) abandon their cars at charging ports for ages. As Musk asserts, “Supercharger spots are meant for charging, not parking.” So he’s doing something about it.
Just yesterday, the company introduced a new $0.40 per minute idle fee for the entire Supercharger network.
This charge is set to start as soon as charging is complete. However, it will be waived if the car is moved within 5 minutes (still seems like a long time to wait), and it won’t apply if the Supercharge station is mostly empty.
You can take a look at the full press release from Tesla below:
Improving Supercharger Availability
We designed the Supercharger network to enable a seamless, enjoyable road trip experience. Therefore, we understand that it can be frustrating to arrive at a station only to discover fully charged Teslas occupying all the spots. To create a better experience for all owners, we’re introducing a fleet-wide idle fee that aims to increase Supercharger availability.
We envision a future where cars move themselves once fully charged, enhancing network efficiency and the customer experience even further. Until then, we ask that vehicles be moved from the Supercharger once fully charged. One would never leave a car parked at a gas station right at the pump and the same rule applies with Superchargers.
The Tesla app allows owners to remotely monitor their vehicle, alerting them when their charge is nearly complete and again once fully charged. For every additional minute a car remains connected to the Supercharger, it will incur a $0.40 idle fee. If the car is moved within 5 minutes, the fee is waived. To be clear, this change is purely about increasing customer happiness and we hope to never make any money from it.
We’re excited to increase availability during long distance travel and think this change will make the Supercharging experience far better for everyone.