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Does Tesla charge idle fees for empty superchargers?

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,830
9,853
Boise, ID
Along I-70 in Kansas, the superchargers are often very, very empty. It's unusual to see a 2nd car. If I go to a restaurant and come out 20 minutes late, will Tesla still charge me idle fees?
Ah, well, there is the theoretical "answer", and then there is the practical "how it plays out in real life" answer.

According to Tesla's policies, if it is less than half full, there should be no idle fees. If it is at least half full, then yes, there would be idle fees. This is sensible and should work pretty well.

However...Tesla's detection systems have been awful at some times in the past about detecting the number of cars accurately. There is this 5 page thread from 2018 of people getting charged idle fees when they were the only car there, or when they were far less than half full, but Tesla's systems were inaccurately showing that the site was mostly full and was assessing idle fees. Hopefully, Tesla has fixed these communication issues some in the last few years, so the in-use stall count is more accurate now.

Idle fee at empty Supercharger?
 
yes idle fees are necessary because people were blocking the SC by leaving their car plugged in for half the day while they were off at the mall or something. making it a cash penalty to do so stopped that quite effectively.

However in my P85D it takes 4 hours to go from 15% to 100% so if i ever need some extra time i just move the slider on my phone from 90% to 100% and that gives me an extra hour and a half at least. But most of the time I'm at a SC for like 30-45 min to go 10-60% then leave.
 

TespaceX

Member
May 1, 2020
560
1,002
CA
Idle fees only apply if the SC is 50% occupied. It's $0.50/min if over 50% full, $1.00/min if the SC is 100% full. If fees apply, you have 5 min to move your car after it stops charging before you have to pay any idle fee.
Maybe that’s what is written on the website.
But, my in-laws have been charged for $1/min. when there was just one other car at a station with 20 chargers. (In CA)
And good luck trying to get Tesla to do anything about that, hah.
 
Maybe that’s what is written on the website.
But, my in-laws have been charged for $1/min. when there was just one other car at a station with 20 chargers. (In CA)
And good luck trying to get Tesla to do anything about that, hah.

I think the idle fees are higher at higher-usage superchargers. Did your in-laws contact Tesla about getting a refund? Others have done that successfully.
 

TespaceX

Member
May 1, 2020
560
1,002
CA
I think the idle fees are higher at higher-usage superchargers. Did your in-laws contact Tesla about getting a refund? Others have done that successfully.
They filled out a support request through the app as “Other” issue but never got any response. Obviously there’s no way to directly contact anyone by phone. (And I’ve mentioned it before here. This lack of support after purchase is one of the regrets that my parent’s friends have after buying a Tesla. Older folks just aren’t well adept at having to do everything through an app).

In any case, it was only a few dollars. Not worth it to them to chase after Tesla through the myriad of hoops and walls Tesla puts up to prevent people from getting someone on the phone to explain their situation.
For example, if you get a missed call from Tesla service, you have to message them through the app again to tell them to try calling you back. You can’t just call back the same number that they called you from (as that goes to some kind of fax-like tone). It’s just terrible for older folks. Or, maybe our parents just aren’t tech savvy as others.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: FlatSix911
I'm seventy eight. I'm not sure if I qualify as tech savvy, but it certainly isn't hard to know when my car will be charged and I'll have to go move it. I have seen people hog the chargers, and not give diddly-squat if someone complains about not being able to charge, as when I was one of five cars waiting to charge while three cars had finished and sat hogging spaces. It's tempting to damage some paint when someone parks across the lines blocking anyone from pulling in beside them, especially when they come out and excuse themselves with "Well, my car charges faster if no one is paired with it."

Some people are selfish and self centered. They will only change if there is a penalty attached to their selfish behavior.
 
They filled out a support request through the app as “Other” issue but never got any response. Obviously there’s no way to directly contact anyone by phone. (And I’ve mentioned it before here. This lack of support after purchase is one of the regrets that my parent’s friends have after buying a Tesla. Older folks just aren’t well adept at having to do everything through an app).

In any case, it was only a few dollars. Not worth it to them to chase after Tesla through the myriad of hoops and walls Tesla puts up to prevent people from getting someone on the phone to explain their situation.
For example, if you get a missed call from Tesla service, you have to message them through the app again to tell them to try calling you back. You can’t just call back the same number that they called you from (as that goes to some kind of fax-like tone). It’s just terrible for older folks. Or, maybe our parents just aren’t tech savvy as others.

The best way to contact Tesla about non-service issues is via the Contact Us support page: Tesla SSO - Sign In. After you see a list of matching articles, you get the option to send e-mail and/or chat.
 

FlatSix911

Porsche 918 Hybrid
Jun 15, 2015
7,466
7,674
Silicon Valley
I'm seventy eight. I'm not sure if I qualify as tech savvy, but it certainly isn't hard to know when my car will be charged and I'll have to go move it. I have seen people hog the chargers, and not give diddly-squat if someone complains about not being able to charge, as when I was one of five cars waiting to charge while three cars had finished and sat hogging spaces. It's tempting to damage some paint when someone parks across the lines blocking anyone from pulling in beside them, especially when they come out and excuse themselves with "Well, my car charges faster if no one is paired with it."

Some people are selfish and self centered. They will only change if there is a penalty attached to their selfish behavior.
I hope you are not serious about damaging someone else's property... Karma is a B*tch.
 

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