Tesla Adjusts Supercharging Cost To Include Vehicle Use While Charging

Perhaps too many people are cranking up the AC, gaming, and watching Netflix while they fill up?

Most Tesla owners will be quick to tell you they really appreciate their car’s features, like video games, Netflix, etc., especially since they can use them to pass the time while charging. One would think that Tesla was adding the car’s electricity use to the owner’s Supercharging bill. However, apparently that wasn’t the case in the past, though it seems it will be going forward.

Aside from the ability to watch movies and play games, Tesla owners may also be using their car’s HVAC system while charging. This makes sense if they’re sitting in the car during the process and the weather is extreme. According to an internal message sent to Tesla employees:

The calculation used to bill for Supercharging has been updated. Owners will also be billed for kWhs consumed by the car going toward the HVAC system, battery heater, and other HV loads during the session. Previously, owners were only billed for the energy used to charge the battery during the charging session.

Owners may see a noticeable increase in billed kWh if they are using energy-consuming features while charging, e.g., air conditioning, heating etc. This is more likely in extreme climates and could be a 10-25 kWh difference from what a customer experienced previously.

Do you think this change is fair? Will it impact you? Let us know in the comment section below.

Source: Electrek

This article originally appeared on Inside EVs.


Apr 1, 2014
Amherst, NY
Of course it would be fair to be charged for energy used. It is just hard to give up a freebie. I will feel the same if/when I lose my free lifetime Supercharger access.


Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
Brea, Orange County
Running the AC for let's say 30 min at 1.5 kW (that's a reasonable average based on my measurements) that's less than 1 kWh. A typical supercharge session on a trip adds 30-40 kWh. The AC use is such a small amount, I'm a little surprised Tesla even bothers. Heating in very cold areas might be a little more, but again, nothing big.
What uses a lot energy is cooling the battery down during supercharging. I assume that Tesla ia switching from measuring the energy added to the battery (which ignores any other power use) to measuring the energy going into the car which is really the energy you are getting from the station. Honestly I don't get why Tesla didn't do it that from the start.


Jun 19, 2019
No Where But Everywhere, USA
As the number of Tesla vehicles increases the company must make sure that the Superchargers do no become a financial drain. The Superchargers seem to be priced much less than commercial DC fast chargers.

SMH... Tesla Supercharging Network has always been financial drain from both a CAPEX and energy cost per month per site. To the tune of 10s of millions per month globally.

It will never be profitable even if they wanted it to be and they don’t per EM.

There is not an EVCI provider of DCFC currently that is turning a profit as none of their business models work.

Just like gas stations don’t make the majority of their profit by selling fuel.

Not sure why this is so difficult for the EV industry to understand.

DCFC makes up less than 20% of the EVCI market and it may never be profitable.
  • Informative
Reactions: GeoX750


Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
In a galaxy far, far away
Well, I'm little bit puzzle on how the billing was performed previously and how it is done now?

- When I'm charging at home, I have a Watt meter giving me the total energy used including the losses in the inboard charger (~ 5%).

- When using a Supercharger, I assumed that I paid only the energy passing through the plug, so after the AC to DC converter, right?

So, if I'm correct, there is a 5-10% loss which is not billed to the customer?
- If I am using HVAC, some of the energy will go to the battery (let say 50 kW) and some might be used by the HVAC (let say 1 kW, or 2%)

Will Tesla then use a different rate for the battery than the HVAC, the current rate is about $0.25?

How this will work in states where Tesla has to charge by duration and not by energy delivered?

- Or does this new mechanism apply only if you are enrolled in a free supercharging program?

So you will not be charged for the battery and only for the HVAC?

If you had a free 1,000 miles or 1,500 km referral program (~400 kWh), you will pay then only the HVAC at each session?

Why not deduct the total energy delivered to the car, so may be you will have 2% of it used for the HVAC (about 8 kW, or 30 miles / 50 km)?​

Honestly, unless you are an heavy user, the 2% of overhead for HVAC seems to be penny counting.

Note: I felt bad for people in cold weather countries who cannot use gloves when driving because of the touch screen:

Tesla doesn't provide an heated steering wheel for the Model 3, so you might have one hand with a glove but not the other,
thus forcing you using some extra HVAC, especially when parked at a Supercharger and using the touch screen.

While Tesla doesn't disconnect the HVAC on the passenger side if there is no passenger, like on the Kona?

Last edited:


New Member
Oct 10, 2019
Columbus, OH
We weren't already being built for that?
because that's still you pulling energy from the supercharger so you would have assumed that vehicle usage would have been included in that because it's still energy or pooling no matter what that seems like a really weird thing to post.


Jan 14, 2020
Horsetown USA
how does supercharger distinguish between battery charging and other electrical use?

Best guess: Way back at the beginning, they were using the Car not the Supercharger as the primary communication tool. So it's relatively easy to report back to the mothership what your SOC % is, and it knows your battery size. Example: If it knew your battery held 80 kWh, and you added 50% SOC, you put 40 kWh in the car. Finding out how much power is being pulled from the SC is tougher for the car. Apparently the SC's are smarter now, and are the primary reporting tool. It's easy for the SC to report the amount of power pumped by calculating amps, volts, and time at the transmission end.

But that's just a educated guess, and if somebody with inside knowledge steps up, I will yield the floor. ;D


Active Member
Nov 15, 2016
Behind you
Is that an error in their last sentence ... 10 to 25kwh difference?

I’ve personally seen some really bad supercharging habits. One owner once said to me, “supercharger idle fees are easy to avoid. Crank the heat up to HI and it won’t reach 100%.”

So the 10kwh I’d believe if the heat is cranking. The 25kwh I have to think are abuse situations.

It surprises me that they haven’t been using metered energy for fees.
Dec 7, 2019
I wonder how many people put their car into ‘dog mode’ in the cold or hot weather when they leave it and shop at a mall for a few hours? Also - charging efficiency is easily accessed from teslafi which will show how much energy was consumed vs put into the battery (and excessive more detail through the ODB tools/apps).


Aug 1, 2014
Lemont, IL
Call me clueless, but I always assumed this was the case. I really dont see how it wasnt. If I was charging up to a certain % and I have the AC on draining battery wouldnt the SC have to supply more to the battery to get it up to say 80%. If my AC draws battery down 5% that is 5% more I need the SC to give to the battery. I guess if the juice from the SC is bypassing the battery and going straight to AC then it would be different.

Still I cant believe that this is much of an issue at all.


Active Member
Nov 15, 2016
Behind you
Could you imagine if the electric company did it this way?

Instead of using the meter of energy they send into my house, they could charge me based on the SOC I have in my home batteries. I have no home batteries, so it should be free....I just want free unlimited electricity to go with my free supercharging.