Tesla jacks up Supercharger idling fees to combat charging congestion

Tesla is increasing the amount it charges idling customers in a bid to curb congestion around its charging network.

The fees, first introduced two years ago to help incentivise Tesla owners to move on once their cars were done charging, have been increased to discourage users from hanging around post-charge. It also follows news that new Tesla owners who buy any Tesla won’t have access to the Supercharger network for free, even with a referral.

From today onwards Tesla owners around the world can be charged two different rates for idling to help balance out congestion across its network. Those found idling at busy stations that are completely full will be charged 70p per minute, while those idling at stations that are at least 50% full get charged 35p per minute.

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“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 spaces.” Tesla explained in an announcement about the fee. “To create a better experience for all owners, we’re introducing a fleet-wide idle fee that aims to increase Supercharger availability.”

The fee for idling is a completely separate fee from charging meaning that even Tesla owners with unlimited charging will face the fee. Those who pay per kWh or per minute will also have to face the idling fee too, making the cost of charing rather expensive if they’re too careless with their time.

“Based on feedback from the Tesla owner community, we are adjusting the idle fees associated with our Supercharging program to continue providing the best Supercharging experience as the size of our fleet grows,” explained a Tesla spokesperson. “As has always been the case, our Supercharging and associated fees charged on the network are not meant to be a profit center for Tesla, and we hope to never need to bill for idle fees.”

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Interestingly, Tesla has said that owners cannot let their unpaid balance for idle fees, or Supercharger fees, exceed £50 or Tesla will block access. Thankfully you can escape idling fees if you move your car within five minutes of idle charges coming into effect.

Owners can pay online through their “My Tesla” account and new functionality to link a credit card to your account from your car is coming soon.

You can see the idle fees by country over on the Tesla website.

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