Last month we told you about the possibility that Tesla may implement a congestion fee at busy Supercharger stations. The company has now announced it is coming soon to select Superchargers in the US, while also confirming new details about the controversial fee.
Evidence of Supercharger congestion fees was first uncovered in the source code of a software update last month. At the time it was suggested the congestion fee would apply when charging above 80%, the same level that Tesla currently uses when deciding to charge idle fees. However Tesla is being a bit more lenient when it comes to congestion fees.
In a message sent to owners through the mobile app, Tesla will be replacing idles fees with congestion fees at select Supercharger stations over the coming weeks. Tesla goes on to explain the fee will be applied when the “Supercharger is busy,” without providing a definition for what busy means. It also didn’t provide any information on how much the congestion fees are, but according to an update to the company’s support section of their website, the congestion fee will only apply when charging at 90% state of charge (SOC) or above.
The website also reveals the congestion fee will be US$1.00 per minute, twice as much as idle fees when a station is 50% occupied, but the same amount when a station is full. Congestion fees will follow the same general rules of the idles fees with a five-minute grace period to unplug once you reach 90%.
You will have a five-minute grace period to disconnect your vehicle and leave before congestion fees apply. After the grace period, you will be charged a fee for each minute you remain connected to the Supercharger.
Tesla goes on to explain the reasoning behind the congestion fees.
This fee encourages drivers to charge only as much as is needed for their trip, rather than all the way to 100%. This increases the availability of Superchargers so that everyone has access when they need it.
The confirmation of congestion fees has mostly drawn a negative reaction from owners. Many say it is unfair to those who stay plugged in a little longer than the navigation recommends, like in situations when towing or driving in cold weather. There is also the outstanding question of what a “busy” Supercharger will be defined as, but we assume it will be when all stalls are occupied as there is no sense in penalizing an owner if there is one available.
What do you think of the congestion fee? Let us know in the comments below.
BREAKING: Tesla has started notifying owners of the new congestion fee we first told you about last month.
According to a message delivered to owners through the mobile app, the congestion fee replaces the previous idle fees, and will be applied at select Superchargers and… https://t.co/F3Zj9MPVnO pic.twitter.com/lv0ZjBmxwG
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