In a blog post on Friday Tesla announced electric car owners will face a monetary penalty if they exceed the five-minute limit of keeping their cars parked at a charging space after a complete charge.
This penalty has been put in place by the company to discourage misuse of charging stations by their electric car users.
Come to think of it, moving a car out within the set limit after full charge should not be a hassle, at all, given the fact that the user will get a smartphone alert before the car is approaching full charge – an average of 30 minutes is the full charge time for a Tesla electric car.
At 8:22 PM on December 17, 2016, CEO, Elon Musk of TeslaMotors tweeted: “We are going to modify this so that people only pay a fee if most bays are occupied. If the site is basically deserted, no problem to park.”
A day earlier, on December 16, The Tesla Team, under the heading Improving Supercharger Availability wrote in their blog post:
“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 all the spots. To create a better experience for all owners, we’re introducing a fleet-wide idle fee that aims to increase Supercharger availability.”
The blog spoke about Tesla’s vision for the future when cars will be able to move out autonomously once the charge was complete thereby “enhancing network efficiency and the customer experience even further.”
The blog went on to explain about “The Tesla app” that will enable users to remotely keep an eye on the charging progress and reach the car in time to move out before the stipulated time.
“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.” The blog said.
Talking about “hope to never make any money from it,” according to an earlier Tesla statement made last month, effective January 1, 2017, free charging of electric vehicles will become a thing of the past. There will be “a small fee” attached to the use of their charging stations.
“Today, more than 4,600 Superchargers allow over 160,000 Tesla owners to drive across the continental U.S., from the Arctic Circle to the south of Spain, and across all of the population centers in China and Japan, among many other places…. Our intention has always been for Supercharging to enable long-distance travel. That’s why today we’re announcing a change to the economics of Supercharging — one that allows us to reinvest in the network, accelerate its growth and bring all owners, current, and future, the best Supercharging experience,” said the Tesla statement.
Electric car owners, it is advised that you plan all your long haul trips before the imposition of the “small fee” comes into effect.
Make the most of the available free time is the best one can advise. Drive safe!