Tesla to Start Charging Idling Fees at Busy Supercharger Stations 
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Tesla to Start Charging Idling Fees at Busy Supercharger Stations 

TESLA supercharger row in parking lot, glowing red with blue twilight sky
  • Drivers don’t leave their gas-powered cars at gas pumps when they’re full, and EV drivers shouldn’t leave their charged EVs at charging spots. 
  • Tesla will double the idling fees at Supercharging stations at 100% capacity. 
  • If a driver moves their EV within five minutes, the idling fees are waived. 

As the EV giant prepares for the onslaught of non-Tesla EVs having access to charging stations, Tesla made a major move today to begin assessing idling fees for charged EVs hogging the plug. 

Could you imagine if someone filled their car up with gas, and then just left it sitting at the pump? For who knows how long? And doing this at the only gas pump within 50 miles. This is what it’s like when EV drivers plug in and leave the scene.

Bad Behavior Results in Idling Fees for All


EV drivers know that bad behavior can make EV charging incredibly annoying. From EV drivers who leave their charged cars sitting at stations to drivers of ICE cars “icing” EV charging spots, some drivers are just plain rude. (I’ve experienced both in the last two weeks.)

When people misbehave, everyone suffers. Charging stations back up, drivers are forced to wait, and then they get angry. 

Now that more drivers have EVs, charging stations are at a premium in some areas of the country. Electrify America already charges idle fees for drivers who leave their charged EVs sitting in spots for over 10 minutes, and Tesla is taking it even further. 

Once your Tesla battery fills, you have one minute to move your EV. Otherwise, the Tesla Supercharger will begin assessing a $1.00 per minute idling fee. Is this excessive? A bit. Is it needed? Yes. Will it help? Hopefully. 

According to Tesla, this new idling fee is in response to drivers complaining about fully charged vehicles occupying spaces. 

Reasonable Rules for Idling Fees

Tesla is being reasonable about the fees, as the fees only start accruing when the Supercharger station is about 50% capacity or more. If the EV is moved within five minutes of the end of the charge, the fee is waived. Best of all, if the Supercharger station is at capacity, the fees double. 

Way to go, Tesla. 

The fees won’t be a surprise, as the Tesla app will alert drivers when their charges are getting close to completion. The app will deliver an alert as soon as the charge is complete. At busy stations, the fees will begin 60 seconds after the end of the charge. 

Congestion Fees Begin at a 90% Charge


The Supercharger station near my home is rarely at 50% capacity, and drivers tend to move their vehicles quickly. But, some Supercharger stations are constantly busy. Drivers who neglect their vehicles at congested Supercharger stations will receive a congestion fee once their EVs reach a 90% charge. 

Because charging speeds slow dramatically once the level reaches 90% in a Tesla, the idling fee is designed to get the stations moving. Tesla EVs can make it to the next station with more than enough battery to spare at 90%. Charging a congestion fee gives everyone access to the limited number of chargers around the country. 

No Way Around the Idling Fees

Since Tesla stores credit card information for all users, the fees will be added automatically to driver accounts. There isn’t a limit on the fees drivers can accrue. For example, if you leave your vehicle in a spot for 90 minutes, you’ll receive a $90 charge. Remember that idle fees double when Supercharger stations are at 100% capacity so that 90-minute idle fee would double to $180. 

The Easy Solution: Charge and Move Your EV


At Electrify America stations, drivers using free charging sessions aren’t assessed an idle fee. This will not be the case with the Tesla Supercharger idling fee. If you are using free time to charge, you still have to move your Tesla or you will receive Supercharger idling fees. (As an EA user, I wish EA would do this – especially with all the Volkswagen ID.4s that sit idling after their free 30-minute charges.)

Tesla has announced they will not assess idling and congestion fees – no “double dipping”. Drivers will only receive one fee, but remember the fee doubles when at a 100% full Supercharger station. 

If you’re worried about accruing Supercharger idling fees, there’s an easy solution: move your car when you’re done charging. 



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