- Thomson Reuters
This year, Tesla has been trying to address some of the misuses of its Supercharger network.
Its latest move is to institute a global “idle” fee, the carmaker said in a blog post on Friday.
“We designed the Supercharger network to enable a seamless, enjoyable road trip experience,” the post said.
“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.”
The post went on on to envision a future in which Tesla can “move themselves once fully charged, enhancing network efficiency and the customer experience even further.”
But because “[o]ne would never leave a car parked at a gas station right at the pump and the same rule applies with Superchargers,” Tesla added.
The Palo Alto-based automaker than explained the new rules.
“The Tesla app allows owners to remotely monitor their vehicle, alerting them when their charge is nearly complete and again once fully charged,” Tesla said.
“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.”
In November, Tesla announced that after January 2017, all new Tesla owners would be charged for Supercharger access, although they would receive approximately 1,000-miles worth of long-distance-travel credits each year to obtain free recharging on lengthy journeys.
Tesla has been dealing with the tendency of some owners, who have free Supercharger access, to use the fast-charging infrastructure to “refuel” their vehicles more rapidly than they could at home.
The company would prefer that owners reserve they network for long-distance trips and recharge when necessary at their residences.
The new rules will demand a higher level of charge discipline among owners, who will have to monitor their vehicles’ status, even when the Supercharger maybe located near a restaurant or shopping center that’s being patronized.