Tesla is now going to fine owners of Tesla EVs that are left connected to its Supercharger facilities after these vehicles have been fully charged. The carmaker will be counting minutes of idle time and each will cost $0.40.
Improving Supercharger Stations
The new measure is designed to make the charging stations more efficient. The company noted that a growing number of consumers are getting inconvenienced as charging station slots are often occupied by vehicles that are already juiced up.
Tesla is hoping that the fee will guarantee that when it is time for travelers to charge, empty slots will be available within a seamless charging service delivery.
"We envision a future where cars move themselves once fully charged, enhancing network efficiency and the customer experience even further," Tesla said in an official statement. "Until then, we ask that vehicles be moved from the Supercharger once fully charged. A customer would never leave a car parked by the pump at a gas station and the same thinking applies with Superchargers."
The Supercharger facility can fully charge the 90 kWh Model S in about 75 minutes.
Fees For Idle EVs
Considering the amount, the initiative could prove to be effective. Say, a Tesla owner is used to leaving his car at the station for a day. He will have to cough up $576 for the trouble he has caused other travelers. That amount should already get others moving their vehicles with alacrity.
To make the experience fair and more effective, Tesla noted that it has already updated its app so that it now notifies owners if their batteries are about to hit 100 percent. There is also a five-minute grace period, so if you are late but still managed to move your car within this time frame; your fee will be waived.
How To Pay
For those banking on the possibility that the system will not work or that fees will remain uncollected, here is the bad news. You can have your car stay connected to Superchargers to your heart's content and no one is going to knock on your door demanding payment.
However, when it is time for you to visit a Tesla Service Center, your accumulated fines will be included in your bill. According to The Verge, there is also a need to create an account at Tesla's website in order to initiate the payment process.
"To be clear, this change is purely about increasing customer happiness and we hope to never make any money from it," Tesla said.
The company has already attempted to address the problem of congested Superchargers in the past especially given the fact that more Tesla EVs are getting sold every day. This involved the text-based alert system initiative introduced to notify Tesla owners that their car is reaching its preset charging requirements. That strategy appears to have failed in achieving the desired effect.