Tesla has officially announced its decision to implement congestion fees at select high-traffic Supercharging stations across the United States. This move, reportedly uncovered by a notable Tesla software hacker, involves the introduction of a controversial fee structure designed to encourage efficient use of the Supercharger network.
Tesla's congestion fees, set at $1 per minute, will come into effect once a vehicle reaches a State of Charge (SoC) of 90%. The primary objective is to dissuade users from charging their electric vehicles to full capacity, thereby facilitating a faster turnover at charging stations during peak hours or busy travel periods.
The congestion fees will replace the existing idle fees at specific Supercharging stations. Previously, drivers faced idle fees of $0.50 per minute upon reaching the desired SoC or 100%, with a doubling of the fee if all stalls were occupied. The new approach eliminates idle fees and, instead, charges owners $1 per minute for every minute their vehicle remains connected to the charger beyond the 90% SoC threshold, including idle periods.
Tesla emphasizes that the congestion fee implementation aims to prompt vehicle owners to conclude charging sessions sooner, maximizing Supercharger availability for all users. The Tesla app will notify users when their vehicle surpasses the charge level threshold or completes charging, and congestion fees will apply when the station is at capacity until the vehicle is moved. Importantly, there is no specified limit on the accumulation of idle or congestion fees.
It remains unclear whether the SoC or fee rate will vary among different Supercharging locations. However, Tesla assures that the congestion fee details will be displayed on a vehicle's touch screen when selecting a Supercharger, suggesting potential variability in the future.
Peeked a bit into 2023.38, lots of stuff seems to be in motion.
Congestion fees added (if you charge above 80% on a congested supercharger)
"object on road" pushed by map service (waze-like, but detected by (other tesla) car visions?)
option to autodial 911 on airbag deploy
— green (@greentheonly) October 20, 2023
Currently, these fees will be enforced at “certain” Supercharging stations in the U.S., triggered automatically when a station is deemed busy, even if stalls are available. Congestion fees will also be applicable to owners with vehicles enjoying free lifetime Supercharging access but only after the vehicle completes its charging session.
Tesla justifies this fee structure as an encouragement for drivers to charge only as much as necessary for their trips, promoting increased Supercharger availability. This strategic move aligns with Tesla's broader efforts to address issues such as owners occupying charging spots for extended periods, potentially exacerbated by the company's plans to open Supercharging stations to other electric vehicles in the near future.