Tesla Hits Supercharger Hogs With New Fee, Hopes to 'Never Make Any Money From It'

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
tesla hits supercharger hogs with new fee hopes to 8216 never make any money from

Tesla announced Friday that it will impose an additional fee of forty cents per minute on vehicles left idle in a Supercharger space for more than five minutes.

The new expense is apparently another attempt by the company to clamp down on the habitual misuse of its charging network. Since many Supercharging locations are literally parking spots and a Model S takes longer to “refuel” than a gas-powered car, it makes sense that Tesla drivers might wander off to search for coffee.

While it’s easy to accuse the automaker of nickel-and-diming customers, don’t forget that Tesla only has 769 stations — usually providing between two and eight spaces — sprinkled across North America. That number leaves quick-charging opportunities few and far between. Driving to another location could end up being the rest of your day, and the likelihood of rolling into a full station will only increase when the nearly 400,000 reserved Model 3s begin production.

The company hopes to double the size of its charging network next year, but the days of free and abundant charging opportunities are gone. Tesla announced last month that, starting in 2017, new customers would have to pay for Supercharging. Now, it’s tacking on an idle penalty.

Despite the new revenue opportunity, Tesla reminds us that everything it does is for the greater good and that making money is passé:

“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.”

That’s $0.40 a minute if you don’t return in time, in addition to whatever the company decides to charge for juicing up cars next year. However, all anyone knows about that is the pricing will be subject to fluctuations (despite the company’s assurance that it will typically “cost less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car.”)

It’s good to hear that Tesla is so bent on not making money, because it continues to place itself in a highly-calculated position to do just that.

[Image: Tesla]

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  • White Shadow White Shadow on Dec 21, 2016

    A guy on YouTube posted a video of his cross-country trip with his son and when he got to the Tesla charging station, there were five or six Teslas waiting in line for the next available charge bay. Think about the potential wait just to get to the bay and then add the time to charge. That could be several hours to refuel.

  • Jdmcomp Jdmcomp on Dec 21, 2016

    To be honest, this is one of the many hurdles elect vehicles will have to overcome. I see the charging spots (not all are Tesla) with the same cars parked in front of them all day. They are free parking for elect cars while the rest of us pay for the space and the elect used. Wireless charging will have to overcome low power transfer and the EMF problem.

  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
  • Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.
  • Marvin Im a current owner of a 2012 Golf R 2 Door with 5 grand on the odometer . Fun car to drive ! It's my summer cruiser. 2006 GLI with 33,000 . The R can be money pit if service by the dealership. For both cars I deal with Foreign car specialist , non union shop but they know their stuff !!! From what I gather the newer R's 22,23' too many electronic controls on the screen, plus the 12 is the last of the of the trouble free ones and fun to drive no on screen electronics Maze !
  • VoGhost It's very odd to me to see so many commenters reflexively attack an American company like this. Maybe they will be able to find a job with BYD or Vinfast.