Tesla starts charging users for ‘parking’ in Supercharger spaces

Tesla has introduced a new idle fee system that will charge Supercharger uses who leave their fully-charged vehicle unoccupied in a congested Supercharger centre.


The new fee is a response from Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk to a tweet he received from a frustrated Tesla owner last week. The system will aim to reduce congestion at some of Tesla’s busier Supercharger stations. After Loic Le Meur wrote to Elon Musk:

“The San Mateo supercharger is always full of idiots who leave their tesla for hours even if already charged.”

Musk replied: “You’re right, this is becoming an issue. Supercharger spots are meant for charging, not parking. Will take action.”

That action, as it turns out, took less than a week to come to fruition, with Tesla announcing yesterday that vehicles left unoccupied after charging will be charged a fee. The fee is set at US$0.40 for every minute the vehicle remains unoccupied in the US, with the fee standing at AU$0.55 here in Australia. The idle fee will be charged to the owner’s Supercharger account.

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In a statement, Tesla said that it “understand[s] 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.”

Musk has since specified that the fee will only apply if the Supercharger station is congested. On Twitter, he wrote: “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.”

Tesla has previously introduced a text messaging warning service, that sent a message to the owner of a vehicle every five minutes after it was left unoccupied after charging.

Alexi is a contributing news journalist and junior road tester at PerformanceDrive. He has a passion and appreciation for the engineering in cars, as well as new technologies that lessen the impact on the environment. His dream cars are an M3 to drive to work, and a LaFerrari for the weekend.