Tesla Will Charge For Overstay At Their Superchargers To Improve Efficiency
The basic premise is this, you should charge your vehicle to max. capacity and then be on your way, straight away if possible. If you leave your car charging and then go off for a meal, coffee or a bit of sightseeing you can be charged $.40 per minute, including tax (€0.35 in Europe). If your car leaves the charging point within five minutes, Tesla will waive the idling fee. “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 Tesla cars occupying all the spots…” said Tesla in a recent statement.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted as a response to some owners complaining about others using the charging points as convenient parking, 'You’re right, this is becoming an issue," Musk replied. "Supercharger spots are meant for charging, not parking. Will take action.' Another tweet about the charge points from Musk, 'We are going to modify this so that people only pay a fee if most bays are occupied. If the site is basically deserted, no problem to park.'
The initial idea was for Tesla to allow customers to take their time at charging points, but as the number of their vehicles has increased dramatically and thus the need for more charging points, a lot of time spent at each can be at a premium or so it seems. EV hotspots like South California means there needs to be a quicker turnaround of vehicles being charged up, meaning it can lead to frustration if a vehicle is left at its charge point.
You would immediately think of the same scenario at the gas pump with Tesla already ahead on the analogy, 'you would never leave a car parked by the pump at a gas station and the same thinking applies with Superchargers.' Current Tesla superchargers notify the car's owner not long before charging has finished and again when charging has completed. Five minutes after they say is enough time to remove the vehicle and allow another Tesla owner to charge up. If you're hit with the idling fee you will be given an alert and billed at your next service. You can find the full idling fees listed here.
Tesla announced that they will stop providing free charging to customers who purchase vehicles after the beginning of 2017, which will also affect the upcoming model 3 owners. However, Tesla also say that once their production is at full tilt the idle fee may stop as the charging stations become more prevalent and numerous. Tesla also plans to double the amount of superchargers and destination chargers at minor locations by the end of 2017.
Although it seems the problem is more prevalent in some areas more than others, the ability to charge up and move on as quick as possible is in its early stages, so it's really up to Tesla and other EV companies to come up with a happy medium that allows recharging as quick as possible without long lines of frustrated EV vehicle owners waiting for their top ups in the future. Like any other electrical device you need to recharge, charge it up where you charge your phone is always going to be best.